Summary: value of reading the Word
Intro: a grocery store owner overheard a young man using his pay phone. The young man said, I would like to do your yard work, then he said, you already have someone, are they doing a good job, are you completely satisfied, is he totally dependable. When he hung up the phone the man said to the boy, you need a job, the boy said, no I already have that yard job, I was just calling to check up on myself. That is why we read the Word of God, because it is a spiritual check-up that we can take every day.
Why Read the Bible
background: Paul is writing Timothy, and encouraging him in ministry. He gives him some of the greatest advice that anyone could ever give, stay in the Word. There is great value in reading the Word of God. A recent study states that almost 90% of Americans have a Bible, but less than 50 % state they ever read it. Don’t just own a Bible, let it be your lifeline to God.
Here are just some of the benefits of staying in the Word.
1. make thee wise unto Salvation—v.15—the first benefit of the Word of God is that it produces faith in Jesus Christ which is able to save your soul. The just live by faith and by studying the Word of God you will be a workman that needs not to be ashamed.
2. inspired by God—v.16—we read the Word of God because it comes to us from God. It is like going to your mailbox and opening a letter to find it has been specially sent to you directly from God. It isn’t a group of theological men writing you a book of theories, but God Himself declaring to you His love, grace and mercy over our lives.
3. profitable for doctrine—v.16b Doctrine sounds like a bad word or a theological word, but simply stated, Doctrine is our belief system. It isn’t okay just to say, I’m a Christian and I believe what my pastor says, or what our church says, or what our denomination says, what is important is what do you believe. Paul is saying, Timothy, stay in the Word so you will be able to give people sound doctrine.
4. For reproof-16c elegmos-only time used in scripture—it means, able to bring conviction on the sinner. What a wonderful thing, the Word of God convicts us of sin. One thing you don’t want is to become comfortable with sin, so the Word of God has the ability to bring conviction which leads to Godly sorrow and repentance.
5. For Correction—16d—not only does the word bring conviction of sin, but it also corrects us in any area of life that needs more discipline. The disciples were a group of men disciplined under the authority of Jesus Christ. We may not want to admit this, but all of us can use a little more discipline in our lives. In everyone there are areas that the Word of God corrects, even in our attitudes, or words and our daily walk with God.
6. instruction in righteousness—16e—not only does the Word tell us what we are doing wrong, it gives us instruction on how to live right. Or to be in right standing with God. I need the Word of God because I want to be in right standing with God. There is a way that seems right unto a man, but in the end it brings destruction. You thoughts, your ways are not His ways, His ways are higher, His thoughts are higher.
7. perfect—17 as we allow the Word of God to work in our lives, it brings us to salvation, it keeps us in the faith, it purges us by the washing of the water of the Word. Not that we are perfect, but in the eyes of God we stand in Christ perfected by the blood.
8. good works—17b –be not just hearers of the Word but doers. The last value we see in these verses of reading the Word of God, it causes us to put our words into action. James says, show me your faith without works, I will show you my faith by my works. So a reading of the Word produces faith, and faith becomes active in working for the kingdom of God.
Close: Sherlock Holmes Illustration
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson go on a camping trip, set up their tent, and fall asleep. Some hours later, Holmes wakes his faithful friend.
"Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see."
Watson replies, "I see millions of stars."
"What does that tell you?" asks Holmes
Watson ponders for a minute.
"Astronomically speaking, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.