2 Timothy 3:15 The Words of Jesus
by Dan Ahlenius
Over the last few weeks I have been thinking and praying about the series of messages that I am about to begin this morning. It all started last July when Amy and I went to pick up her parents and sister and brother-in-law at the Portland airport for our vacation on the Oregon Coast in the little town of Yachats. As Amy and I were walking around the airport I notice most of the Bookstands were filled with a # I Best Seller called THE DA VINCI CODE, so I picked up a copy to read part of the flyleaf and quickly discovered that this was a book to pull people away from a firm belief in the Bible or to keep people from ever wanting to believe in the claims of the Bible. Well, 10 and behold, for Christmas Amy's Father bought me two books by scholars called BREAIINGTHE DA VINCI CODE and THE DA VINCI DECEPTION. Both of these books try to give people a proper view of how blatantly false and ignorant the purported truths are in DAN BROWN'S THE DA VINCI CODE. Furthermore, I am told that Hollywood is going to make a blockbuster movie based on this heretical book. Consequently, over the Next 5 weeks I want to preach a series of messages that will clear up in your minds what the Bible says about Jesus is true. Therefore, we will focus on the foundation that the Bible contains the very words of Jesus. The Divinity of Jesus, the Celibacy of Jesus, the Resurrection of Jesus, and finally the Exclusiveness of Jesus. Consequently, we will embark on a 5-week theological journey that will be topical, but exegetically based.
"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NASB 1995)
I. All Scripture is God Breathed (v. 16a)
A) When we read that Paul is claiming that" ALL" Scripture is God Breathed he is voicing his firm belief that all of the Old Testament writings from GENESIS TO MALACHI, the 39 Books (Canon of accepted Jewish Scriptures were "breathed" or "inspired" by God.
B) I cannot speak for each person here, but I am just as convinced as the Apostle Paul was that God, Himself inspired and enabled Moses, David, and the Prophets to write down material that is widely recognized to have originated in the heart and mind of God Almighty.
C) Now, I do not believe that God wholeheartedly indwelt each writer so that they did not know what they were writing.
D) On the contrary, I believe that the Lord worked through each of these human writers so that their writing styles and personalities are evident.
E) But, at the same time I don't believe that the Old Testament saints were generally aware that what they were recording would be considered Holy, or Sacred writings by the generation of men and women that would follow them.
F) Likewise, when the Apostle Paul and the other writers of the New Testament were writing letters to the various churches or individual people, I don't think they were conscious that they had literary masterpieces in their hands.
G) Rather, God uses imperfect man in order to get His perfect message across, and obviously He decided to use the men who served Him to do so.
H) I want to read to you what THE BAPTIST FAITH AND MESSAGE has to say about the Scriptures that we call the Bible. "The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation."
I) Therefore, if you agree with the explanation of THE BAPTIST FAITH AND MESSAGE, then you hold that the 66 Books that we have in our Bibles are God's divine, inspired, and trustworthy words written down so that we might know Jesus better and more fully.
J) READ 2 PETER 1:20-21, whereby the Apostle Peter collaborates with Paul on the belief that the Scriptures were given directly by the Holy Spirit. He even said that men were carried along by the Holy Spirit to pen His words to us.
II. What Paul Tells Us Scripture is Useful For (v. 16b-17)
A. Teaching About God
1) What we know about God and His character is revealed in the pages of the Bible.
2) Not many of us, if any of us, is able to have a regular time of fellowship with God without the help of His written Word.
3) God has been revealed to us in the Bible so that we might know about Him, in order that we might learn to know Him personally.
B. Teaching About Man
1) We learn that we came from Adam and Eve and that we were born separated from God.
2) The Bible gives us information about ourselves that we wouldn't know otherwise.
3) The Bible gives us guidance as to why we are here on Earth, namely to know, worship, and serve God.
4) God has explained to us why we were created and what He desires from us.
C. Teaching About Sin
1) The Bible clearly describes right from wrong and tells us what is sinful.
2) Then it explains how we can receive forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
3) There is a big controversy in our country Today concerning who can and cannot be married, but if all Americans believed in the Bible then they would accept God's verdict that homosexuality is an abomination in His eyes. We must love the person hate the sin.
D. Teaching About Life
1) The Bible teaches us how to deal with people and situations.
2) It also teaches us about doctrines and what we are to believe.
3) In a nutshell, the Word of God teaches us what the meaning of life is and how to have a truly fulfilling life.
E. Teaching About the Afterlife
1) The Bible prepares us for when we die because it outlines two areas or choices we have.
2) We must choose to prepare to live in Heaven with God or in Hell separated from God our Maker.
3) And the Bible also gives a brief glimpse of what will happen in the afterlife so that we can eagerly anticipate going home to our Maker.
III. The Bible Is Useful for Rebuilding (v. 16c)
A. This idea of rebuking means to confront our wrong actions so that we can change them.
1) The Bible is a consistent measuring stick or guide that enables us to conform to God's plan for our lives.
2) For instance we may have the belief that it is okay to live in sin because we are saved. But, the Apostle Paul tells us in ROMANS 6:1-2, that we died to sin and that it is basically a slap in Jesus' face to sin on purpose.
3) The Bible is to be used to rebuke those who have fallen into error, or sin in their lives. And the proper Scriptures should be shown to the person so that they might be won back to right living.
B. To Rebuke means that the Bible can be used to reprimand a person for doing something that God does not approve of.
1) The Word of God is powerful and authoritative as HEBREWS 4:12 teaches. The Word of God can penetrate to our very soul and can convict us of wrongdoing.
2) The Word of God is the standard of practice that each person and each church should abide by.
3) Therefore, the words of Scripture should lovingly be used to rebuke believers who have gone astray in order to lead them back to a right way of living.
4) When the Word of God is used correctly for rebuking sin, or error, it is the Lord who is speaking not us; therefore, God's Word should be the Authority to be followed and obeyed.
IV. The Bible Is Useful for Correcting (v. 16d)
A. To correct means to guide someone back from error, or to set right.
1) For example, I might have a leadership style of being overbearing and like to dictate orders and one of you might come to me in love and tell me that Jesus lead out of a servant hood style of leadership, which might be more beneficial to the church.
2) I would stand corrected and would have to decide whether or not to follow Jesus' style of leadership rather than my own.
3) Or I might say something wrong about the Bible such as how old Moses was when he died. And one of you could point to the Book of EXODUS to show me that Moses was 120 years of age when he died, not 90.
4) To correct is like attempting to set a broken bone in a cast so that it might grow back properly.
B. The Bible can be used to correct people of wrong statements, beliefs, or claims.
1) To correct mainly speaks of changing another's beliefs or ideas whereas, to rebuke speaks of pointing out the wrong, or harmful actions of others, something they have already committed.
2) Thus, the Bible is highly useful in correcting wrong perceptions, or misunderstandings in a person's beliefs, or viewpoints.
3) Therefore, the Word of God is our source and foundation for all that we should believe and think, and it should be used in a gentle way to correct, or steer misguided people back to God's Truth.
4) If we believe that God's Word is inspired and that He gave it to us then we should use it as a guide and measuring stick to make sure that we are believing what God said not what we want to believe.
V. The Bible is Useful for Training In Righteousness (v. 16e-17)
A. The Bible can be used as a How-to-Book.
1) It clearly tells us what to do to please God and how to get along with our fellow man.
2) It also clearly points out what not to do, or what to avoid.
3) God has given us instructions on how to live a righteous life and Jesus gave us The Golden Rule as a summary of all that is expected of us.
B. The Bible Offers Us Training.
1) Just as a young child has to be taught how to walk, the Bible offers us instructions on how to live our new Christian lives.
2) But, it also applies to those who are maturing in their faith.
3) The Bible provides many stories that teach us Biblical principles as well as words of wisdom such as the book of PROVERBS, for straightforward advice on how to handle certain situations.
4) Then at the end of verse 17, Paul told Timothy that the end result of learning and appreciating the Scriptures was that he would mature as a man of God and be equipped for every good work.
5) But, what does this have to do with the Heretical Baal! and Movie that is on it's way?
VI. The Modern Danger
A. The Da Vinci Code Challenges the Origin of the Canon.
1) Dan Brown, the author of this book claims that the 27 books in our New Testament just happen to be a selective and narrow-minded collection that Christians have arbitrarily decided to use.
2) He even goes so far as to imply that Emperor Constantine in 313 A.D. became a Christian and forced all the Bishops to choose what was going to be considered the Bible at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D.
3) However, since late in the first century and early in the second century, when the church was relatively young, the books that we have in our New Testament were widely recognized as having God's stamp of approval on them well before Emperor Constantine made Christianity the new religion of the Empire, which began the rise of the Papacy in Rome.
4) The 27 books in our New Testament have pretty much withstood the attacks of heretics throughout the last 2000 years, but we must be cautious to the devious implications and suggestions of modern-day authors and movie producers who will do their best to lead people away from the truth.
5) Dan Brown has tried to use writings found at a place called Nag Hammadi, to shed "LIGHT" on what we know to be truth.
6) These extra-biblical writings are so call "WISDOM LITERATURE, OR GNOSTIC TEACHINGS FROM THE 2ND AND 3RD CENTURIES."
7) Some of their titles include, Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Philip, Gospel of Mary; Acts of John, Testimony of Truth, Pis tis Sophia, and Wisdom of Jesus Christ.
B. Holding True to the Only Bible
1) The early church Fathers and leaders, as a large majority denounced these writings as being heretical and not fit for reading.
2) And if the Church through the ages had declared writings and teachings contained in these and similar writings to be contrary to God's divinely inspired Word, then so should we.
3) The Solution is that God has upheld the 66 Books that we have in our Bibles as His divinely, inspired Word, by practice and discernment; therefore, to try and understand the Bible by using any other book or writings, whether ancient or modern is simply unwise and basically foolish.
Therefore, as your Pastor
I must affirm my strong position that the Bible that
we have that consists of the 39 Books in the Old
Testament and 27 in the New Testament are the only
trustworthy and divinely breathed and inspired words
from God that we have and should use for teaching,
rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.
Moreover, anything that any book not part of our 66
member Bible should not be used to try and
understand who Jesus Christ is. God has told us what
we need to know about Him and we don't need any
other man's help in knowing or fellowshipping with
Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God.
(c) 2005 Message by Dan Ahlenius
Dan is a graduate of William Carey University, B.A., New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Master Divinity.
LEGAL NOTICE: Used by permission.
LEGAL NOTICE: Used by permission.
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