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Speedbumps - Can We Take God at His Word?

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2 Peter 1:19–21 ESV
19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
2 Timothy
2 Timothy 3:16–4:5 ESV
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
2 Timothy 3:14–4:5 ESV
14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
2 Timothy 3:16 ESV
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
2 timothy 3:14-4:
Introduction:
We are currently in a sermon series entitled Speedbumps where we’re looking at different questions that might cause a person to doubt their faith.
Week 1 we asked why the miracles of the Bible don’t seem to happen today.
Last week we asked why a good and loving God would allow so much evil in the world.
Now what you probably noticed is that we answered both of those questions by looking into God’s word; the Bible.
And today we are going to look at the Bible.
And the question, Can we take God at His word? Can we take what the Bible says seriously? Is it profitable? Is it relevant? Is it authoritative? And probably most importantly, is it true?
And yes, like we’ve done the last few weeks we are going to answer this question by looking at God’s word. And some might ask, how can we answer a question about the Bible with the Bible? Isn’t that circular reasoning?
Only if we think of the Bible as a single book written through one person in one time claiming to be speaking for God.
However we have 66 separate books written by 40+ people on 3 continents, in 3 different languages, over a period of nearly 2,000 years. No internet, no collusion, no printing press. Yet there is a consistent message that points to an amazing God who desires a relationship with His people. And more importantly there is a God who has spoken to His people.
And the question we want to ask is “Can we take God at His Word?” And our passage today teaches us that not only can we take God at His, it would do us well to take God at His word.
So...

Big Idea: Let’s Take God at His Word

1. The Bible is trustworthy because it came from God. (; )

Explanation: Both Peter and Paul clearly take the Bible very seriously. First we have Peter saying that NO scripture finds its origin in the will of man, but even as men, wrote God spoke. He moved them along in a way that He is not doing anymore. He gave us His permanent word to guide us and tell us how we are to live our lives.
Paul takes it a step further and tells us that ALL Scripture is inspired by God. ALL scripture is useful for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in all righteousness.
Now both Peter and Paul tell us that Scripture is inspired by God. This is the doctrine of Inspiration. That it came from God. Now we don’t have time to get into whether or not what we have today is the Scripture peter and Paul were talking about, but there is a lot of evidence that shows that what we have is what God gave.
Illustration: Now we think of a lot of things as inspired. We think of Shakespeare as inspired. We think of Bach and Beethoven as inspired. Even modern day artists hone their craft with inspiration. We might even say they perform with God given talent. But they are still bound by human error. Shakespeare could be wrong about what love really is in the same way that the most gifted musician still misses the occasional note.
Paul takes us a step further and show us the doctrine of innerancy…that there are no errors in the Bible. That in inspiring people to write scripture He kept them from making errors. The only way what Paul says can be true is if the Bible is without error…that ALL scripture is useful…is if all Scripture is true.
Application: And this is the dividing line. We either believe that the Bible is true or we don’t take it seriously. We can’t take God at His word if we don’t believe it is His word. For some this is where you are at. You have a hard time Believing that the Bible is the Word of God.
But my first question would be, have you read it? In your darkest hour have you read it looking for light? In the good times have you read it looking for the words to express that inner joy. Have you read it when you’re asking God for an answer to your prayer? Have you mined it’s depth looking to know God better. Have you read it looking for the answers to life’s toughest questions?
Skeptics always want to ask have you read it critically being open to finding flaws. I have. To the skeptic, I would ask have you read it with an open mind that you might find truth?
Now like I said last week, this brief message likely won’t settle the question for the truth skeptic, but perhaps it will begin a journey that leads you into a deeper understanding of the great God that we worship.
But if you are already there…if you already acknowledge that this is the word of God. What’s next?
I’d like Josh Bingtan to come answer that question for us this morning.
God breathed
Inspired
Verbal Plenary Inspiration
Innerrancy

2. We need to work at rightly interpreting the Bible. ()

Josh

3. We need to stand firm even when others turn from its truth. ()

Explanation: Paul’s warning for Timothy was that a time will come when people will not endure the teaching of the word of God. They aren’t interested what the Bible has to say. They want to be told what they want to hear.
Some want to put this in the end times saying at the end, people will not want to hear the Bible. But this was Christians in the early first century. hadn’t even been 100 years and they are sick of hearing the hard truths of God’s word. “Just tell us the good things.” “Make us feel good.”
Paul encouraged Timothy to stand firm, preach the word, even if no one was listening.
Paul talks about a few things that the Bible does for us.
Reproves (In other words, it brings conviction). You hear it and in your spirit you know that God is speaking to you.
Rebukes - A much stronger warning to shape up.
Exhorts - It encourages us. In it we find the will to keep going. Even when reproof or rebuke come, there is the encouragement that God’s grace is great and his love is abundant, but to leave you in sin would not be graceful or loving.
Patience - This one is a little weird. How can the Bible be patient with us? It’s patient in that it is simple enough that that a toddler can understand it, but deep enough that even the greatest theologian will never completely mine it’s depths. We grow into the Bible as we read it. It reveals a little at a time because it is Living and Active as says.
Teaching - The bible teaches us how we ought to live.
And this is why people are turning away. The Bible’s power to do all of these things means that it has authority over our lives. That we ought to read it and form our lives around it. Which means when we have to choose between the Bible and culture....we stand firm on the word of God.
Does that mean we’ll always understand it? Of course not, but it’s pretty simple. You actually have to work harder to try to make say something it doesn’t.
Today is no exception:
People will and have already turned from the truth.
It’s like they are ashamed of God and His words.
They are ashamed of what God has to say about homosexuality.
They’ll say things like,
They are ashamed of Jesus’ exclusive claims.
They are ashamed that the Bible seems to endorse slavery.
They are ashamed of the flood and of the Palestinian conquest.
They like the Letters in Red, but of course, the Letters in red they don’t like they just say that Jesus never said that or that doesn’t sound like my Jesus.
We can take God at His word because He has proven trustworthy. He reminds us that He is faithful and gives examples of how He has cared for and rescued His people. He has promised eternal life to those who are in Jesus. He has promised punishment for those who continue to rebel against His grace and his mercy.

Reflection: Will you take God at His Word?

And again I want to ask have you read it? In your darkest hour have you read it looking for light? In the good times have you read it looking for the words to express that inner joy. Have you read it when you’re asking God for an answer to your prayer? Have you mined it’s depth looking to know God better. Have you read it looking for the answers to life’s toughest questions?
Jesus is coming back and may we be found faithful to the words that He has given us.
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