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Theme: Scripture Reading Leads us into Life. Purpose: That we make regular Scripture reading a part of our life. Gospel Connection: Scripture is the Gospel Story and Equips us for Gospel Living. Mission Connection: Reading Scripture Makes Disciples that Serve in Christ's Name.

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2 Timothy 3:14–17 NRSV
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.
Introduction: Survivorman Video Intro.
Paul in a Sense is saying that....

We Live in the Wild

A difficult world to live in.
-“Evil people Go from Bad to Worse” Deceiving Others, and being deceived themselves.
- It can be confusing, disorienting, it can be hard to know what to believe. My Friend who said, “People are telling me all different ways to get to heaven.”
- NPR - There is a Rise in Millenials turning to horoscopes to help them make decisions
Though very scientific minded - because of the feeling of lack of control they turn to superstition.
We need the right tools to get us to the path

Scripture Reading Leads us into Life

- Paul tells Timothy that it is the Holy Scriptures that point us to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
- Scripture is our Compass
What is Scripture?
Imagine going to an Art Display
- We might learn something of the artist from their art
- But we will learn more if artist reveals himself.
- God reveals himself in Creation, but more directly through events described in scripture – Especially Jesus
So Knowing Jesus is Life, Jesus is Life, and all of scripture points us to Jesus our salvation, and he has revealed who he is in Scripture.
In that it is a record of who God is and what he is doing in this world, but it is also a tool.
Scripture is a Compass, it equips us for every good work by:
- Teaching: It Teaches us the Direction to Go
o Three things that we should learn
§ Behind the Text
§ The Text
§ In Front of the Text
- Reproof: It shows us when we have strayed off course
o People will accumulate teachers to suit their own desires
John Stott in Authentic Christianity noted: "We need to repent of the haughty way in which we sometimes stand in judgment upon Scripture and must learn to sit humbly under its judgments instead. If we come to Scripture with our minds made up, expecting to hear from it only an echo of our own thoughts and never the thunderclap of God’s, then indeed he will not speak to us and we shall only be confirmed in our own prejudices. We must allow the Word of God to confront us, to disturb our security, to undermine our complacency and to overthrow our patterns of thought and behavior."
- Reading the Sermon on the Mount in High School
- Correcting: It restores us to the correct course
-Equip means to mend a broken net, or set a broken bone.
- While at the same time convicting us Jesus is dying for us, being raised for us
- Training: It makes us fit for the journey
o Athletes train during season and during the off-season
o Hunting Seasons
Paul Tells Timothy to proclaim this word in season and out of season. – Be Ready
George Barna wrote The State of the Church in 2002. Barna conducted a survey of self-pronounced Christians and here’s what he found about their knowledge of the Bible. Now, remember these are Christians.. • 48% could not name the four Gospels. • 52% cannot identify more than two or three of Jesus’ disciples. • 60% of American Christians can’t name even five of the 10 Commandments. • When asking graduating high school “born again Christians” over 50% of them thought Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife. • 61% of American Christians think the Sermon on the Mount was preached by Billy Graham. • 71% of American Christians think “God helps those who help..

How Can we Best Read the Bible?

Just read it. There are a ton of tools out there. There are reading plans galore.
To Start - keep it simple - We can teach a class on Bible Study Methods, but for most of us I simply recommend a couple of simple questions to ask while reading.
S - Scripture - What word or phrase stood out to you?
O - Observations - Ask the Who, What, When, Where, and Why Questions?
A - Application - How might you live this out?
P - Prayer - Pray to God about what you learned.
4 Questions - What stood out?, How did it make me feel? What is God saying? What am I going to do about it?
The Importance of Community - Yes, we can get in the way of our own hearing the word. Reading scripture in Community provides discernment, accountability.
Ravi Zacharias tells the amazing story of a young Christian in Vietnam. He writes, “I was ministering in Vietnam in 1971, and one of my interpreters was Hien Pham, an energetic young Christian. He had worked as a translator with the American forces, and was of immense help both to them and to missionaries such as myself. Hien and I traveled the length of the country and became very close friends before I returned home. We did not know if our paths would ever cross again. Seventeen years later, I received a telephone call. ‘Brother Ravi?’ the man asked. Immediately I recognized Hien’s voice, and he soon told me his story. Shortly after Vietnam fell, Hien was imprisoned on accusations of helping the Americans. His jailers tried to indoctrinate him against democratic ideals and the Christian faith. He was restricted to communist propaganda in French or Vietnamese, and the daily deluge of Marx and Engels began to take its toll. ‘Maybe,’ he thought, ‘I have been lied to. Maybe God does not exist. Maybe the West has deceived me.’ So Hien determined that when he awakened the next day, he would not pray anymore or think of his faith. The next morning, he was assigned the dreaded chore of cleaning the prison latrines. As he cleaned out a tin can overflowing with toilet paper, his eye caught what seemed to be English printed on one piece of paper. He hurriedly grabbed it, washed it, and after his roommates had retired that night, he retrieved the paper and read the words, ‘Romans, Chapter 8.’ Trembling, he began to read, ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him. . . for I am convinced that nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’ Hien wept. He knew His Bible, and knew that there was not a more relevant passage for one on the verge of surrender.
Reference the Reformed Confessions: The Reformed Confessions are statements of faith written to clarify the Gospel at times when the Church was in crisis. Heidelberg Chatechism: Q&A 19, 22, 98 Belgic Confession: Articles 2-7 Canons of Dort: Head I, Article 3; Head II, Article 5; Head III and IV, Article 8, 17; Head V, Article 14
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