The Inspired, Sufficient Word
2 Timothy 3:16-17
February 17, 2019
I am surrounded by Bibles.
One day in my office several years ago I counted 22 Bibles on my shelves and desk. I don’t have as many at home, but another dozen or so is likely (I haven’t counted them). I have 20 English translations in my Bible software. I have three different Greek New Testaments with that software, and the Hebrew Old Testament, and the Greek Old Testament (Septuagint), and at least 14 more versions I cannot read (Spanish, German, French, Italian, and Romanian among them). I have a New Testament in my car. And my cell phone has an iOS version of my desktop Bible software, so I have access to all those versions of the Bible on my phone. And I also have a phone app that gives me access to Bible versions in hundreds of languages. And I’m pretty sure I’m overlooking some copies of the Bible somewhere.
I am surrounded by Bibles, and I suspect that you are, too. The question for most of us isn’t “do we have the Bible?” but “Do we know the Bible and do we believe the Bible?”
Since you are attending worship at Grace Bible Church this morning, you likely affirm the authority of the Bible. You probably agree that it is inerrant. You certainly will readily affirm that it is sufficient and powerful. But do you really believe those statements? Does the way you live affirm that the Bible not only has a priority place in your life, but that you really believe this Book to be true — that it is “the verbally inspired Word of God, the final authority for faith and life, inerrant in the original writings, infallible and God-breathed,” as our doctrinal statement says? Do you trust this Book so much that it is the first place you turn for help when you have a problem and you allow it to dictate your daily desires, decisions, and deeds? When you counsel others, as you do on a daily basis when you offer opinions, share stories, give feedback, and pray with others, is your counsel saturated with the authority of Scripture? Is your counsel just one more voice of “opinion” or does your counsel carry the weight of God’s authority because your counsel is marinated and wrapped in the grace of the Bible?
At GBC, we love people and love Christ and love discipleship and love the Bible. Because we love Christ and love people, we want to help hurting people in the name of Christ. But we are incapable of changing people. Because we cannot change people, we are pointers to the one means of change in the life of the sufferer or sinner: the Bible.
Why are we so adamant about the necessity of using Scripture as the primary means of ministering to people? Because Scripture itself attests to its power to change individuals and that Scripture is the means the Spirit of God uses to change people. Consider just a few examples:
- Obedience to the Bible is the mark of prosperity and success (Josh. 1:8)
- Scripture is the means to spiritual stability and prosperity (Ps. 1:2-3)
- As we read this morning, the Bible restores, makes wise, produces joy, enlightens, warns, protects, and is more desirable than gold or honey (Ps. 19:7-13)
- The Word of God is an enduring (eternal) message, in contrast to everything else mankind knows, which is why the teacher and preacher are persistent in proclaiming only the message of God’s Word (1 Pt. 1:24-25)
- Every part of Scripture is beneficial to grow the believer (1 Pt. 1:2-3)
- God’s Word is the tool used by the Spirit to bring transformation in the believer (Col. 3:16)
These are just a few of the compelling reasons Scripture gives why it is essential. The Bible is unique in its power and abilities. There is no more important weapon the believer has to defend himself and guide his life than the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. It is useful to protect him from the deceiving attacks of the evil one (Eph. 6:10-11, 17), and it is useful to protect him from the desires of the flesh by helping him understand the inclinations and longings of his soul (Heb. 4:12). It’s both a life protector and a soul examiner. It is powerful.
Perhaps you are unconvinced. Let’s look briefly at one short passage in Scripture that compels us to trust and use this unique, divinely-given Book.
As we examine this passage, we will find that —
All Scripture is sufficient for all the spiritual needs of all people.
In this passage, we will see three primary principles about the Word of God:
- The Word of God is God’s Word (v. 16a)
- The Word of God is God’s Sufficient Word (v. 16b)
- It will teach you (because you are ignorant)
- It will convict you (because you are rebellious)
- It will restore you (because you are incapable)
- It will train you (because you need oversight)
- The Word of God is God’s Word to Equip Believers (v. 17)
Download the rest of this sermon on 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.