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SERMON TEMPLATE
Introduction Secular arguments against the Bible are many, but most of them take place in an area of the brain that reasons… that looks at evidence and comes to a reasonable conclusion about them. For example: Is the bible historically accurate? And with this question in mind they look for answers through historical methods. Is the Bible scientifically reliable? And with this question in mind they look for answers through scientific methods. I don’t have time to refute all the secular scholars here. And if I did, I would be preaching to the choir, as they say. Most scholars, for example, agree that Jesus existed. There are points of scripture that are historically accurate. Jesus did live. Jesus was a prophet. Jesus had a following. Jesus was crucified by Pontius Pilate. But they will only believe only to the point of his death. They don’t recognize the resurrection, for example, because they cannot find any evidence that will draw them to that reasonable conclusion. This means, that as an historical source, and a scientific source, the bible is unreliable. You see, they’ve already answered the question before they asked it!!! Here’s the problem… the Bible was not written with history in mind. It was not written as a scientific account. The bible was written to record the shared experiences with God as He intervened. And you can’t look for reasoned proof if you begin by not agreeing with this Biblical premise. So here’s the question we ask ourselves today: The question today is not whether or not the Bible is true; the question is this: Is the Bible still reliable as a means for keeping for the faith? Does it lose it’s meaning? (the Bible loses it’s value in a secular world. This cannot be helped. The latest numbers say that almost a quarter of Canadians identify as non-religious. In Ontario it’s almost a third, And the number is growing). Does the Bible still have meaning to my life--here and now?
Setting the Stage.- Scripture as a core value Here’s how GSC views the Bible: Inerrant Word of God from God - inspired word of God written by the hands of men who were led by the Holy Spirit. It is infallible, in the sense that God’s word is perfect. Whether or not history or science can prove Scripture, we understand that it may contain things that we don’t quite yet understand, things that we can’t quite fit into our understanding… we believe that even with it’s mysteries, it is without error. Revelational of God to the World - It reveals God as sovereign and gracious… It tells the world of the Salvation Story of Jesus and reveals to ears that are willing to hear that God is Creator of the universe who has given his Son in order to bring his people back to Him. A lamp in our life’s path that guides us toward God, upward toward God, and in communion with Him. Instructional - it is useful for living a holy life in such a way that it impacts the world with Jesus. The instruction for human flourishing in terms of purpose, meaning and cause of life. Instructional in living a life for God, and with God. These are the three qualities of the Bible that make it reliable, applicable and relevant in our lives today. things -. is packed with information about how the world works. It begins with a basic fact about life: that in the world, then as now, lives are directed in the way of good and evil. It begins with "blessed." The word means... a "happiness received by divine [God's] grace." It's saying that when someone directs their lives [walks] in the council and direction of God's plan and purpose, they will be living a happy and blessed life. It is referring not to a life later, which will come, but life here and now. The author is saying, that if you, right now, avoid the path of the wicked (), you will be blessed. And verse one says, your happiness - that is, "human flourishing" - is not found in the ways of evil: not found in the way of hatred, impatience, war, conflict, faithlessness, and self. The fulfillment of life can only be achieved by a relationship with God. The call here, is to not let sin entice you. says that sinners will say, "Come with us..." (), but urge the reader to resist: "... do not walk in the way with them;
hold back your foot from their paths,
for their feet run to evil..." ()
-v.2 - But his delight is in the law of the Lord” The Hebrew word for law here is not referring to THE Law of Moses. It really means, God’s instruction. “it has a more general meaning in this context, namely, the guidelines which God gives for human life. Instruction of the Lord” Receiving God’s wisdom by way of instruction will bring pleasure and satisfaction to those who receive it. -.By contrast (v.4): Those who don’t live in the instruction of the Lord are like chaff: “They have no substance or stability. Like the husks which the wind blows away when grain is winnowed, they will never survive in the furnace of God’s judgment. They will have no place among God’s people.” Secular politics, philosophies and social/cultural structures will blow away like chaff. Rome… blew away. The Babylonians… blew away. Only the instructions of the Lord will bind his nation together. “Here is a choice which everyone must make and there is no escaping. Either we go the way of God’s law or the way of the wicked. The first leads to life, but the second leads to destruction” and on his law he meditates day and night. The Hebrew word for meditates actually refers to something audible, something spoken, an utterance, a muttering.... And in this way we are drawn into what He has to say... drawn in to his teachings as his disciples, who hear him speak inwardly to us. This means that they have a close and permanent relationship with the Lord which encompasses their entire life.” So much so, that we begin to see the delectable nature of Jesus, and our souls hunger and thirst for more of him and more of his word, more of what he has to teach us.
Conclusion (What does it say again?) .Our challenge in a secular world is not to get people to believe that the Bible is true; only the Spirit of God can do that. Only God Himself can move peoples hearts toward repentance. Our challenge is to simply hear it and live it and speak it. To avoid the counsel of the ungodly and reflect a godly life by allowing God to speak into our hearts, and relying on it's truth by faith. By showing by our words and our deeds the transformational power of God to say to the heart, you are loved, that life is precious (even in our suffering). That is the way to bring the reliability of the Gospel into the reality of the world. By "knowing" the Gospel, and making it known with our words. By "being" in the Gospel through our discipline (discipleship). And by "doing" the Gospel through godly acts of love.
Application (What do we do about it?) ILLUSTRATION: The Great Piggy Bank Robbery is a 1946 Looney Tunes short directed by Bob Clampett. The central character of the cartoon is Daffy Duck. While reading his beloved Dick Tracy comic book, Daffy knocks himself out—upon which he enters a fantasy in which he is Duck Twacy, who has to investigate a conspicuous piggy bank robbery crime wave—if only because his own precious piggy bank was stolen. In one of the scenes, Daffy is chasing a suspect, who drives off in a car. Daffy quickly hails a cab, and shouts at the driver, “Follow that car!” And the cab driver speeds off… without Daffy, who is left standing while the cab drives away. A taxi cab is not a reliable mode of transporting you from your house to the grocery store unless you are in it. The Bible is not a reliable mode of instruction and revelation unless… you are in it. The Bible is the wood that keeps the fire of your faith burning. Without drawing near to it, your flame will flicker. And when it flickers, darkness flits about it. And when it finally goes out, darkness fills the room. A police officer is not protected from a bullet in the chest if he's not wearing his vest. Is the Bible reliable yes. But, like a life raft, only as much as you are willing to sit in it. No matter what happens, the bible holds the light up to the secular world, and makes visible in its light the ways of the wicked. v. 3-4 - Be a tree. Plant yourself into the word of God and let it nurture you and give you what you need to resist the affects and sin of a secular worldview. Allow the Spirit of God to strengthen your hold on God. Stand in it. You will not wither. You will not be blown around like chaff. You will prosper.
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