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Scripture: God Breathed & Useful!

2 Timothy   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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Why so important for all of us to study Scripture (not just Pastor)?

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 How would you explain the doctrine of election? Brother Joe once asked a 19th C. African American preacher to explain it. His answer? "Brethren, it's this way. The Lord, He's always votin' for a man. The devil, he's always votin' against him. Then the man himself votes to break the tie." That preacher studied the Word. Just what Paul urges in 2 Tim 3:14-4:5. Let's look. 14aContinue in what you've learned. God doesn't change. Nor has what He expects of us. Nor has His plan of salvation. Learn it. Then continue 14bin what you've become convinced of. That's the issue. When we 1st accept the Lord, we're on fire for Him. Years pass, & passion fades. How can we stay on fire? Continue in it? Remember. 14bYou know those from whom you learned it. Remember those who taught us what to believe & how to act. How to be Christians. 14bYou know... 15ahow from infancy you've known the holy Scriptures. Remember what they taught us. Remember all we learned from & about the Word of life. Not tradition (no matter how much we love it), but Scripture. How much God loves us. How those who taught us modeled God's love for us. Keep remembering those who taught us the Scriptures. The ones who modeled it for us. 15bThey're able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. The faith won't change. Remembering those who taught us encourages us to keep on in it. Why keep studying Scripture? 16aAll Scripture is God-breathed. God reveals Himself in Scripture. We can't see Him. So where else can we learn what He says about Himself? Besides, God is all powerful, all knowing, & present everywhere. Don't you think learning about someone like that is reason enough to study Scripture? All of it, since it's all about Him? But there are more reasons. 16bAll Scripture is useful for teaching. For doctrine, explaining what's right. 16cAll Scripture is useful for rebuking. For reproof, telling us what's not right. 16dAll Scripture is useful for correcting. For telling us how to get right. And 16eall Scripture is useful for training in righteousness. For showing us how to stay right. But don't miss that all Scripture useful. All of it. How so? 17To thoroughly equip the (wo)man of God for every good work. Everyone should be studying Scripture. Even for bad reasons. Toward the end of his life, W.C. Fields suffered from what a lifetime of drinking had done to him. After he took ill, a friend found him reading the Bible & was astonished. "You're an atheist. What are you doing reading the Bible?" Fields replied, "Looking for loopholes." God can & often does work through His Word, even if the reasons aren't good. Nevertheless, our reasons should be more positive. How important is studying Scripture? Crucial, but for a purpose. Not just to increase our head knowledge. How do we know? When Paul continues, he knows these will be his last words to Timothy, & to the church. Tradition says he was beheaded in Rome in perhaps just days after dictating these words to Luke. Last words are important. 1aI give you this charge in the presence of God & Christ Jesus. Wow! And he isn't just speaking to Timothy. These words are for us. His point? Don't forget that God & Jesus are always present. Always watching us. Why's that so important? Someday, Jesus 1bwill return to judge the living & the dead. It's crucial to remember that. His return will be so sudden there'll be no chance to change anything. 1cIn view of his appearing & his kingdom, Paul's charge is urgent. Jesus could return at any moment. When He does, He'll start His KoG. Now is the time to make any change in our lives that we want included when He judges our works (or lack). Paul's charge? One kind of work is crucial. And it depends on Scripture. 2aPreach the Word. Not ourselves. Not our experience. Not about God's Word. Not from God's Word. Preach God's word. The difference? Power. Power in God's word isn't available anywhere else. When? Sunday? Of course, but be ready. Always. 2bBe prepared in season & out of season. When we do feel like it. And when we don't. When we feel ready. And when we don't. When it seems like a good time. But also when it doesn't. Ours is just to obey. Results are His job. And how are we to go about preaching the Word? To start, afflict the comfortable. 2cCorrect those in error. Help them to see & accept the truth. 2dRebuke those in sin. Appeal to their conscience. Help them repent. And 2eencourage those walking in God's way. Comfort the afflicted. Urge them to continue. Preach the word. Do it 2fwith great patience but with careful instruction. Why patience? If people don't feel our love, they can't hear us. Correction without love feels harsh & judging. It'll hurt our witness & Christ's cause. But it's equally true that we must instruct carefully. If we correct or rebuke without instructing people how to think or do better, we leave the root cause untouched! It's urgent to preach the Word carefully, with love. Why's preaching the Word so urgent? For one, we don't know when Christ will return. It could be as soon as the next heartbeat. How will we feel when we see all the chances to speak that God gave us? Paul says we need to do 5 things. Always be ready. Preach. Every time we do, put all the Bible we can into it. As we do, correct. Rebuke. And encourage. Let's choose now. Be ready. Whenever God gives us an opening, we'll preach. How? 1st, we'll pray for help, especially the words. Whatever God gives us, let's preach carefully: teach, correct, rebuke, & encourage. There's another reason it's so urgent. Paul says 3athe time will come when (wo)men won't put up with sound doctrine. We're there. That time arrived long ago. How so? 3bTo suit their own desires, they'll gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. Think about it. How many people do we know change churches because they just don't like Bible based sermons. People say they just want a word that'll help them through their week. No theology they have to work at. One church asked a pastor to stop reading the scripture before helping them understand it. People flock to churches that preach that 'God just wants to bless us, if...' People want to hear how much God loves us; not that we may experience that love as discipline. They make themselves the measure of who should teach & what teaching is OK. That's a slippery slope. Before long, 4athey'll turn their ears away from the truth & turn aside to myths-atheism, evolution, humanism, reincarnation, new age, & all the other errors. It happens. Unless we commit to studying the truth, it'll happen to us. Paul's next words are pointy. For each of us. Especially pastors. 5aBut you, keep your head in all situations. We'll need self-restraint to be loving at all times. 5bEndure hardship. Jesus promised that the faithful will know hardship. 5cDo the work of an evangelist. Each of us is responsible for our part of Jesus' Great Commission. If we don't do our part, who will? Not all of us are called to preach to 100k people at once. But we're all called to speak the truth to the one in front of us. The one He sent. Do it for this one. And the next one. And the one after that. For each one, 5ddischarge all the duties of your ministry. Our job is to be faithful. If we'll do our part, He'll do the rest. What do we say? It doesn't have to be complicated. Everyone one of us has sinned, The penalty for sin is death. But Christ died so that we don't have to! If we trust Him, He'll save us & give us His Spirit to help us be what Scripture calls us to be. No other religion gives its followers help. Christ does. In no other religion does its god suffer & die to save its followers. Ours did. No other god loves its followers. Our God does. Worried about our passage, a young pastor spoke to Spurgeon in the 1800s. "I need a bigger church." Spurgeon asked, "How many do you preach to?" Slowly, he answered, "Only 15." Spurgeon said, "That's enough to account for on judgment day." Put ourselves in that young pastor's place. Each one God sends us will be enough to account for. Feeling unready to preach? To teach? Correct? Rebuke? Encourage? There's only one way to get equipped. Study God's word. Keep our heads. Endure hardship, Do the work of an evangelist. Discharge all the duties of our ministry. All, while keeping our eyes fixed on Christ. Scripture: God Breathed & Useful - 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5 Page 1 of 1
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