The Word of God

Bible Book: 2 Timothy  3 : 14-17
Subject: Bible; Word of God; Scripture

The Word of God

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor, www.pastorlife.com
Introduction

Thomas Paine sought to destroy the Word of God. He once said, “I have gone through the Bible as a man would go through a forest of trees with an axe. I have cut down tree after tree - they will never rise again.” Paine died a drunkard in the year 1809. Since his death the Bible has continued to be the best-selling book in the world and is loved by Christians today as in all generations.

Let's look in 2 Timothy 3:14-17 and listen in as Paul writes to a young minister. Here we learn some very important facts about The Word of God.

2 Timothy 3:14-17

14 “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (NKJV)

First note ...

I. The Provision of the Word of God

2 Timothy 3:16,  "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness ...",

Where did your Bible come from? You might answer that your Bible came from a local book store, or perhaps you would say that a certain publishing company provided it at a price. Perhaps you might respond respond by saying that your Bible was given to you by a friend or family member as a gift for Christmas or a birthday.

In reality, your Bible has been provided for you by none other than God, Himself. Note in verse 16 that Paul writes to Timothy revealing that all Scripture is God-breathed. The Greek word for this phrase is "theopneustos." The word is a compound word made up of two Greek words. The first word is "Theos," which means “God.” The second word is "pneo," which means “to blow,” or “breath.” Thus, we are told that the Scripture was actually breathed into existence by God. The Bible is not man's idea of God but God's thoughts to mankind.

How did God go about the process of breathing into existence His Word, the Bible? He moved on the hearts and minds of men and they wrote the words which now make up our Bible. Look with me at 2 Peter 1:21, "For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."

God moved the hearts of those who penned the Bible. Think how amazing that really is:

  • The Bible was written over a period of time covering approximately 1,500 years
  • The Bible was written by more than 40 writers
  • The Bible was written mostly by people who did not know each other
  • The Bible was written across many different ages, cultures and language groups
  • The Bible was written by some who were educated, like Moses and Isaiah, but also by some like Amost and Peter, who were not highly educated
  • The Bible was written in the house of a king and other portions were written in captivity in a foreign land
  • The Bible was written in the Wilderness and some of it from a prision cell
  • The Bible was written in the Egyptian desert and part of it was written in Rome.
  • The Bible was written in Jerusalem and part of it was written in Asia Minor.

Now think about this! The Bible was written across 1,500 years, by different people, from different cultures, in different locations and most did not know each other (of course they didn't - someof them lived one-thousand five hundred years apart).and in different languages, yet the Bible does not contradict itself. Only one author could do that and that author was God who loved the writers to pen your Bible.

The reason no one will ever be able to destroy this Book is because it is God-breathed. In the year 303 A.D. the Emperor Diocletian sought to destroy Christianity and the Bible. He ordered that every copy of the Bible be brought to him and he had them burned. He took what he believed to be the last copy of God’s Word and burned it, and then he buried it. He erected a column over the ruins of that Bible and had words eteched upon it which read in Latin, "Extincto nomine Christianorum," which means, “The name of Christianity has been extinguished."

Just twenty years after Diocletian thought he had snuffed out the light of God’s Word, a new emperor rose to power named Constantine. Constantine called for a copy of the Bible and within hours, fifty copies of the Bible were delivered to him. He declared Christianity the religion of the entire Roman Empire. An explosion of Bible copies and Bible knowledge followed.

This Book cannot be extinguished because God of its author and protector. It would be easier for a blow out the light of the sun with your breath than for anyone to extinguish the light of this old Book. Some have blasphemed this Book, some have banned it, and some have burned it, but God just keeps on blessing it in every generation.

  • This Book is not man’s ideas about God, it is God’s Word to man.
  • This Book is not a guess book, it is a grace Book.
  • This Book is not a book from man to man about God, but a Book from God to us telling us the truth about Himself and about ourselves.

It is critical that a person who is going to study the Bible understand that this is God’s Word.

Now think about ...

II. The Purity of the Word of God

The Bible is pure - it is Holy. Though the Bible was written over many centuries, it is unified and never contradicts itself. It is the inspired, infallible and inerrant Word of God. What do those three words mean?

  • The Word of God is inspired - meaning that God inspired men to write it. We have just seen that in the previous paragraph.
  • The Word of God is infallible - meaning that the Word of God cannot lead you astray. Everything this Book tells you is right and trustworthy.
  • Thirdly, the Word of God is inerrant - the Bible is truth without any mixture of error. The Bible does not contain errors.

Just think about it, the Bible is a unified Book. It is unified theologically, philosophically, scientifically, ethically, historically, morally, doctrinally - the Word of God is unified in every way.

God’s Word tells the truth. Someone has well said that man could not write a Bible if he would, and he would not if he could. What is meant by that statement? Just this, that no one of us could write a Bible if we would. To write a Bible, you would have to write accurately about the future hundreds of years in advance. God spoke to us prophetically telling things to His Bible writers hundreds of years before they happened. Also, we would not write a Bible even if we could do so. Why? Because it would require us to tell the truth about everyone in our family. Would you write a Book that tells the absolute truth about everyone in your family? Would you write a book that told the absolute truth about your own behavior - all of it? David did, in the Psalms he recorded. Paul did, when he wrote about assisting in the stoning of Stephen and the arrest of many Christians who were thrown into prison. I don't think you would, but God did. God told the truth about so many who failed Him, even though they were part of His eternal family.

  • Think about Abraham, the Father of the Jews. He lied and God put it in His Book.
  • Think about David, the man after God’s own heart. David committed adultery and manslaughter and God had it penned right here in the Book.
  • Think about Peter, who denied Jesus; God put it in the Book.

You see, to write a Bible, you would have to tell the truth about everyone, including those nearest to you in your family. No, you would not write a Bible if you could.

God told the truth and nothing but the truth, so help Himself! You hold in your hand the only Book in the world that contains the absolute truth.

III. The Priority of the Word of God

The Bible should be the Book of choice in our reading. Note that Timothy is said to have learned the Scriptures from infancy. That means that in his life a great priority was put on knowning and believing God’s Word. This was taught to him by his mother and grandmother (something we are told in 2 Timothy 1:5).

I heard the late Dr. W.A. Criswell speak to this subject one time and he shared toughts along these lines, thought I don't have the actual quotes. One never grows too old for this Book. Numerous preachers through the years have pointed out how the Bible speaks to a person through all the passages of life. Just think how this Book reaches across generational lines. Let us glance in the window of a home where a little girl is being tucked in bed at night. Her father sits down with her to read her a Bible story. He reads of Moses hidden in the reeds along the Nile River in a basket. Her little eyes are wide with wonder as she listens to the story. Then go down the street from that little girl’s house to a home where an old man sits by a warm fireplace with a Bible in his hand. He is reading from the Book of Revelation. He is reading about the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem and the day when God will wipe all tears from our eyes. Look closely, you will see a tear in his eye as he picks up a photo of a woman who was obviously his wife. He looks longingly at the picture, for she is already with God. He dreams of the day when he will join her at the feet of Jesus. This Book has priority because it speaks to people of all ages and all income levels and all cultures and all languages. From the cradle to the grave, the Word of God is precious to all who will believe it!

  • The precious Word of God
  • A Lamp to my feet
  • A Light to my path

It is importhat that I hide His word in my heart that I might not sin against God. This Book ought to take first place in your reading habits - beginning at an early age and continuing all your life.

I have my late father's Bible. I remember seeing him read it when I was a boy. I note now the markings he made in his Bible. A check-mark here and an underline there! What a precious memory for me. Are you going to leave anything like that to your children and grandchildren?

IV. The Purposes of the Word of God

2 Timothy 3:15-17

Why did God give us a Bible?

The Word of God is written for ...

  • The Glorification of the Savior
  • The Salvation of the Sinner, and for
  • The Sanctification of the Saints.

Primarily there are two basic reasons for God’s Word.

  • Wise unto Salvation

First, we have God’s Word that we might be wise unto salvation. Look at verse 15 and notice what Paul wrote to Timothy.

  • Workers for the Savior

Secondly, we have God’s Word that we might be workers for the Savior.

Do you spend time in God’s Word daily? Can you share Scripture passages with friends to help them find God’s direction in life situations? Do you flounder looking for answers to problems in your own life and find yourself listening to a television talk show personality in an attempt to find hope in your life? Listen, the answer to your need lies in God and He has given you His Word, the Bible, as a book to guide you, comfort you, convict you, bless you and show you His way to victory.

Did you know that half of the Books of the Bible can be read in less than 45 minutes each, and many of them can be read in their entirety in less than 20 minutes? I know of people who have read the Bible through every year for many years without disrupting daily life, work, hobbies or friendships. In fact, reading the Bible helped in all those other issues and aquaintances. Listen carefully, we are falling apart in our society because our Bibles are not falling apart from having been read thoroughly.

We face many decisions in life and will have many needs on our path through life.The Bible has been given to us to help us make those decisions and to meet those needs. It should be our constant companion - studied diligently and consulted often along the way. We can't do without it.

Conclusion

In a book of illustrations Paul Lee Tan tells teh following from history:

"The pony express was a thrilling part of American history. It ran from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California - a distance of 1,900 miles. The trip was made in ten days. Forty men, each riding 50 miles a day, dashed along the trail on 500 of the best horses in the West. "To conserve weight, clothing was very light, saddles were extremely small and thin, and no weapons were carried. The horses themselves wore small shoes or none at all. The mail pouches were flat and very conservative in size. Letters had to be written on thin paper, and postage was $5.00 an ounce (a tremendous sum in those days). "Yet each rider carried a full-sized Bible, presented to him when he joined the pony express." [Resource Sampler, by Paul Lee Tan, ed. Page 8.]

As the Bible crossed America in those early days, it was used to guide decisions in morality, family life, business and matters emotional. Our nation and many of our churches have left the Bible out of our journey and one can see clearly the damage the departure from the Word of God has done to us.

We need to make a new commitment to the Bible and to its Author. Will you make a commitment to read your Bible daily, and perhaps some of you will make a commitment to read the entire Bible through in the next 12 months. We have Bible reading guides here at the front of the church today. Come, pick one up, and get into God’s Word in a renewed way. It a world of lies and half-truths, this Book is truth given to us by the one who bears the name Truth – “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the Life,” said Jesus.