Hello, and welcome to this teaching from Skip Heitzig of Calvary Albuquerque. We pray that this message strengthens your relationship with the Lord. If it does, we'd love to hear about it. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you'd like to support this ministry financially, you can give online securely at calvaryabq.org/give. In this special teaching, Skip shares the significance of God's word in our daily lives. Now please open your Bible to 2 Timothy chapter 3 as he begins the message your amazing Bible.
Father, we do thank you that we are called as a nation on this day to pray all for the same thing. And we can't help but think as your people pray what could happen. And so Father, we know that it's very difficult down in Texas, with hundreds of square miles underwater and all that goes along with waterborne disease and infrastructure being down.
So we want to pray, Lord, for the protection of life, for those who are in those affected areas, those who were in shelters who have been dislodged from their homes, some 37,000 homes underwater. We pray, Father, that you would provide food and water, potable water necessary for just everyday life for these folks. We pray, Lord, that they get electricity where they need it and cell phone service so they can communicate.
We pray, Father, for medical personnel who have to work overtime, strengthen them and give them energy. For emergency personnel., we've just prayed that you would help them to get to the right people, the right places, at the right times. And Father, now as we turn our hearts toward your word and we consider what you might have to share with us, we pray that our hearts would be open and excited about your truth. In Jesus' name, amen.
So you have your Bibles opened to 2 Timothy chapter 3. I want to give you a few words about the Bible this morning, a little bit different from the Technicolor Joy series, 2 Timothy chapter 3. And if you don't mind, I'm going to have you get ready to turn to a couple more passages. So get a marker and put your marker also in the Book of Hebrews, first chapter of the Book of Hebrews, Hebrews chapter 1, and then also a marker in 2 Peter chapter 1.
So we're going to look at those two in a minute, but we're going to begin in 2 Timothy chapter 3. If nothing else, you're going to learn your way around the New Testament this morning, because I'm making you turn to a few places. So 2 Timothy 3, Hebrews 1, and 2 Peter chapter 1.
Your Bible is really an amazing document. The Bible you hold in your hand,-- I can't say the iPad you hold in your hand, though you might-- but the Bible that you hold in your hand has 66 separate books, written by over 40 authors, written over a 1600 year time period. From different walks of life, these authors came, but they all write a very consistent message.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Bible holds the record in books sold and distributed in history. It's the highest selling, most widely distributed book ever. Since the year 1815, over 5 billion copies of the Bible have been sold and distributed. It's been translated into 1442 languages, other portions have been translated into 1,145 languages, so the total number of languages and dialects the Bible is put into is 2,587. That's enormous.
However, people's attitudes toward the Bible, now that's a different issue. I would categorize people's relationship to the Bible, people's attitude toward the Bible, I would say there are three basic categories. Category number one are people who say it's just a book, another book. Category number two, people who say it's an important book. Category number three, people who say it's the book.
Think of the first category. There's a lot of people who say, well, the Bible is a book, it's just another book. It's a book that has wise sayings in it, some crazy stories, and a whole lot of names that are hard to pronounce. To them, that's the Bible. And that is typically the response of the unbelieving world.
According to Barna research, 19% of Americans are engaged Bible readers. Only 19% of Americans are engaged Bible readers. Here's how they define engaged. Those who read the Bible at least four times a week. 19% of Americans say they read the Bible four times a week or more. Another 19% are skeptics, and they say the Bible is just another book that contains stories and advice. That's category number one.
Second category are those people who say, no, it's an important book. The Bible is important, at least my pastor thinks it is. And I have one, and the country, the United States, has a lot of biblical overtones in it, and it helped the founding fathers of this nation. So it has to have some historical significance, it's an important book. Well, that's true. Nine out of every 10 households, to be more precise, 88% of American households own a Bible.
And venture a guess. Of the homes that own bibles, guess how many the average number of bibles per household is. 4.7. Almost five bibles per household. That's a lot of bibles. But being pro-Bible is different than being pro reading the Bible. All those statistics show is that people think it's important to own a Bible, so they own five of them.
Bible ownership is strong, Bible engagement is weak. Again, Barna research says 19% of people are engaged in reading it. So this second group are church attenders. The Bible is an important book, they'll take it with them or they'll refer to it maybe from time to time, or they'll expose themselves to teachings about the Bible, but in terms of making personal use of it to shape their life, that's different.
And that takes us to the third category. The third category are the people who say, no, the Bible isn't just another book, and no, the Bible isn't just an important book, the Bible is the book. It shapes their worldview. They don't just read it, they feed on it.
Walter Scott, who is a great British novelist-- you'll be familiar with his name if you know that background-- Walter Scott was on his deathbed, and he said to his secretary, bring me the book. Well, she knew he had thousands of volumes in his library, so she thought, which one? You have so many. And he said, the book. The Bible, the only book for a dying man.
But it's more than just a good book for a dying man, it's the only book for a living man or woman as well. This third category of folks would say, it's important for me not just to have a Bible, but not to live by bread alone, but every word, as Jesus said, that precedes from the mouth of God.
Listen to the words of George Muller. George Muller founded an orphanage in England years ago. And he said, and I quote, the vigor of our spiritual life will be in exact proportion to the place held by the Bible in our life and thoughts. I solemnly state this from the experience of 54 years. The first three years after conversion, I neglected the word of God. Since I began to search diligently, the blessing has been wonderful. Great has been the blessing from consecutive diligent daily study.
I look upon it as a last day when I have not had a good time over the word of God. Now, I like that. I like a guy who says, My day's a lost day if I haven't had a good time over the word of God. So those are the three categories. It's just a book, it's an important book, it's the book.
Now, to be fair, I think I could even say there's a fourth group. There's a lot of people between group two and group three. That is, they want the Bible to be an important book to them. They want it to assume a greater role in their lives, but life crowds in around them, they don't find the time for it, and/or they work in a secular world with secular values, and so they get challenged every single day, which causes doubt.
With that in mind, I draw your attention to 2 Timothy chapter 3. Unfortunately, I can only skim the surface. It's always a problem I have when I kind of find a text like this. I think, I'm only going to do one week on this, and I could do 12, but I'll spare you, we'll just do one. 2 Timothy chapter 3:14.
Paul writes to Timothy, but you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable. For doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be complete thoroughly equipped for every good work.
There's just a few things about this text. I want you to notice. First of all, I'd like you to notice the designation of the Bible in this text. It's called scripture twice. In verse 15 from childhood, you have known the holy scriptures. And then look at verse 16, all scripture.
The word used here for scripture is graphe. Graphe, that Greek word, is the word where we get our word graph from. So think of words like autograph, or photograph, or lithograph. The word graphe means writing.
Why is this important? Because it shows us that God didn't just think his message, He didn't just speak his message, He didn't just reveal his message and dreams and visions, He graphed it. He saw to it that it was written down in human language.
Now, some people have a problem with this. They go, well, you know, the Bible, how do we know the Bi-- you can't say the Bible's written by God. There's a whole bunch of guys and people over history, they wrote it down. It's their thoughts I've always looked at it this way. If God has the technology to create the world, he certainly has the technology to make sure a book can get written. That shouldn't be too difficult. I mean, I can write a book, so certainly God could manage that. If he can create the world, if you can believe Genesis 1:1, the rest is a piece of cake. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
So this is the writing of God, the graphe of God. Now when he speaks here of the scripture, what is he's speaking of? What is Paul referring to primarily? Primarily, he is thinking of the Old Testament. Look at verse 14. "You must continue--" he's writing to Timothy. "You must continue in the things, which you have learned and have been assured of knowing from whom you learned them." Now, if we had time, we could find that he had a mom and a grandma who taught him scripture. Eunice and Lois, their names are mentioned.
So Timothy 2,000 years ago was trained by mom and grandma the scripture. Well, 2000 years ago what scripture was scripture? The Old Testament. For New Testament people, the only scripture they had was the Old Testament. So primarily, that's what he's thinking of. In the Old Testament-- the 39 books that comprise the Old Testament-- over 3,000 times it claims to speak with authority. Phrases like this, "and the word of the Lord came to me saying," or "thus says the Lord."
That is why in the New Testament, you find over 300 quotations, direct quotations from the Old Testament written in the New Testament, because that's the scripture to them. It was authoritative to them. So 300 times they quoted, 320. Another 1,000 inferences of Old Testament text. So clearly New Testament people, believers in the New Testament era 2000 years ago believed the Old Testament was inspired. And I bring this up, because people often ask me, OK, you're a Bible teacher, but why do you-- why do you have to teach the Old Testament.
I mean come on Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, some of those ancient books that are so old and so outdated and have really nothing to do with my life. And by the way, they've all been fulfilled in Jesus Christ. So why do you bother teaching them? Well, here's why. Because the only Bible to the early church was the Old Testament. The Bible Jesus referred to and Paul referred to typically was all those books that we call the Old Testament. And the Old Testament anticipates the new. I love how Augustine put it. He said the new-- that is the New Testament-- the new is in the old contained, and the old is in the new explained.
In other words, the Old Testament and the New Testament are like two pieces of a puzzle that perfectly go together. One predicts and anticipates the other. So they go together, like East and West go together, like thunder and lightning go together, like pen and paper go together, like mac and cheese. Some things just always go together. But in verse 16, notice all scripture is given. All scripture is given. Now, did you know that there is evidence that in New Testament times the church was already considering parts of the-- what we now know as the New Testament to be as inspired as the Old Testament?
I bring this up, because people say, well, we had the canon of scripture hundreds of years afterwards in the New Testament. Well, actually, at this time New Testament authors were already considering other New Testament authors to be scripture writers. Example, we know that Paul the Apostle quotes Moses. We know that Paul quotes Isaiah and other prophets. But did you know that Paul the Apostle also quotes Luke, a New Testament author?
I want to show this to you in 1 Timothy chapter 5 verse 17. I can just read it to you. Paul says, "let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. For this scripture, says--" now listen carefully-- "the scripture m you shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain, and the laborer is worthy of his wages." We have a problem here, because he says the scripture says that. Now we know the first part of what he quotes is indeed scripture. It comes from Deuteronomy chapter 25, and that's the part where he says "you shall not muzzle an ox, while it treads out the grain." Moses said that. He quotes Moses. And so when he says the scripture says that, he's quoting Old Testament scripture.
But the second phrase, "and the laborer is worthy of his wages," guess what? You can't find that anywhere in the Old Testament. You know why? Cause it ain't there. Yet, he says it's scripture. And the only place we find it is in the Gospel of Luke, and Luke quotes Jesus who said the laborer's worthy of his wages. So here you have Paul quoting Moses saying that scripture along with quoting Luke saying that scripture. So already they're considering contemporary writers as scripture writers. It's not the only place. Peter thought what Paul wrote was scripture.
2 Peter chapter 3 verse 15 and 16, again, I'll read it to you. Peter says "our dear brother, Paul--" like that-- "our dear brother, Paul, also wrote you with the wisdom God gave him. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand." I'm glad he wrote that, because I've always felt that. "which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other scriptures." Did you hear that? He is now considering what Paul wrote on a par with other scriptures. So he lumps them together under the title of scriptures. So we teach the whole Bible.
New Testament, Old Testament, Old Testament, New Testament, it's all scripture, and I look at it this way. It takes the whole Bible to make a whole Christian. It takes the complete text of scripture to complete our understanding of God's plan of redemption. So can I just appeal to you, get familiar with your bibles. Find out what God says in every situation. I've always loved what Spurgeon said. He said a Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn't.
That's why I brought my beat up Bible today, so you would think I'm more spiritual than I really am. Now, that's not to say when you buy a new Bible go run over with your car and stomp on it and rip it apart, so it really looks vintage. I'm sure that day is coming. They'll sell jeans with holes in them now for like $200. I'm sure the day is coming when they'll sell bibles like that, kind of, pre-worn. But that's its designation. It is scripture. It is graphe. It is the writing of God.
But look at something else. Not only its designation, but consider its inspiration. Verse 16, "all scripture is given by inspiration of God." If you have a new international version, I prefer that in this text. "It says all scripture is God breathed." All scripture is God breathed. That's the best translation. In Greek, it's [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH], which means all of the writings are breathed out by God. All scripture is God breathed. In other words, the scriptures are the direct result of the breathing out of God through men. Old Testament and New Testament, God spoke. It's recorded.
OK, turn to Hebrews 1. I ask you to put a marker there. I want you to notice how the writer of Hebrews does this. He makes it very clear, and he does it in two verses. Hebrews chapter 1 verse 1 says "God who at various times--" or as your margin may say in many portions-- "God who in many portions and in various ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets has in these last days spoken to us by his son whom he has appointed heir of all things through whom also he made the world."
What the writer is saying is simply this. There's two occasions that God spoke. In the Old Testament through the father's or to the fathers by the prophets, and now through Jesus Christ his son. He spoke in times past through many portions. There was Pentateuch, history, poetry, prophecy, and he says he spoke in many ways. He spoke through visions. He spoke through symbols. He spoke through prophecy. He spoke through parable. He spoke through types. He spoke through ceremonies. He spoke through theophany. He even spoke through audible voice from time to time.
So the writer is saying in the Old Testament God is speaking. It was God's speaking. It wasn't religious men sitting around one day going I think I'm going to write scripture. God was speaking. He was speaking through them. And since the coming of Jesus Christ, God is speaking again. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John record the very words of Jesus Christ. So in the Old Testament, God is speaking and revealing Himself. In the New Testament, God is speaking and revealing His son. That's what these two verses are saying.
OK, so how does he do that. Well that takes us to inspiration inspiration is the process. What does inspiration mean God breathed what does that mean exactly. Well, this is where I beg your attention for a little bit, because you've had conversations with people, and when you bring up the Bible and you say-- if you say and I trust you do-- I believe that the Bible is inspired by God, you'll probably have a little problem there. You'll probably have a little pushback. And you might have someone say, well, I will concede that the Bible is inspiring. It's inspiring to read the Bible.
And what they're referring to is what I'll call natural inspiration. It's at a level of inspiration where a lot of people, advanced people, capable people do a lot of inspiring things. So they're speaking of a high level of human achievement, and we've all known people with extraordinary capability. You've read inspired poets or inspiring musicians or painters or writers. In fact, even after a great performance, we'll say something like what an inspiring performance they gave. So people will think about the Bible at that level. It's sort of like a Rembrandt or the writings of Shakespeare, so inspiring.
But here's their belief. The Bible was written by very smart, creative man. And I laugh at that, because if they only knew the background of some of the Bible writers, they were not predisposed to be academic. They were shepherds. They were farmers. Amos the prophet was a fig farmer down in the desert. So it wasn't like he was around books all the time. But they'll say highly capable, very religiously astute, and really smart guys wrote the Bible.
I have a question would a smart man or smart man write a book that condemns everybody on earth, including themselves apart from belief in a single person? I don't know of one except this one. Because God has said here's the problem with humanity and I know how to fix it. So when we say the Bible is inspired, we don't mean natural inspiration.
Something else, we don't mean concept inspiration. And this argument goes like this well you know OK, I will grant that God inspired writers of the Bible with concepts, but not necessarily words. So don't worry about the words. Don't get hung up on the actual literal words of the Bible. It's the concepts that are important. God gave them ideas and concepts without words. So for example, he planted the concept of love in Paul the apostles mind, and one day Paul decided he's going to write 1 Corinthians 13. That's how that argument goes.
Now, when I hear that it's to me so absurd to say it's not about the words, it's about the concepts, because how do you communicate ideas without words? Oh, it's just words. It's just concepts. It's not really the words themselves, just the ideas. You might as well talk about a tune without notes. You might as well talk about music without a melody. You might as well talk about sun without light or geology without rocks or anthropology without people. Concepts and words go together, because words express concepts.
This is why God did not say to Moses I will be with your mind and teach you what to think. He said, I will be with your mouth and teach you what to say. This is why God did not say to Jeremiah the young prophet, I will inspire your thoughts and plant impressions in your mind. He said I will put my words in your mouth. You can't get more direct than that. Did Jesus say heaven and earth will pass away, but my concepts will never pass away? No, he said heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
In fact, do you want to know what Jesus thought of the Bible? It could be summed up in one verse. He said this, not one jot or tiddle will pass away from the law until it's all fulfilled. You know what a jot. It's the smallest Hebrew letter. And a tiddle is like the commas, the breathing marks that tell you how to pronounce certain words. Comma, period, exclamation point, they render the sentence with direction.
I've always loved the story about the wealthy gal who went traveling overseas without her husband. Husband stayed back home, was in business meetings. So she's overseas. She's shopping. She's got money, and she sees a bracelet she thinks she needs to have. It costs $75,000. She gets on her little iPhone and text her husband I found the perfect bracelet. It's only $75,000. Can I buy it? Because she thought I've got to defer to my husband. Can I buy it? So, now, he's in a business meeting, but he sees this text, and immediately he answers it. No. Price is too high.
But you know how it is when you text. And if you text fast, there's that crazy spell check. And-- or you don't put in all the pronunciation marks or commas or periods. A lot of people just-- it's crazy. So he wrote no. Price too high. That's what he wanted to say. But he left a comma after no. So instead of saying no, comma, price too high. Without the comma, she read it as no price too high. And she thought what a wonderful husband, and so she bought the $75,000 bracelet all because of one comma.
Now that explains to you the reason why I explain words, original words, Greek words, Aramaic words, Hebrew words. That's why I tell you about context and syntax and meaning, because it's inspired by God. Theologians call this the verbal inspiration and plenary inspiration of the scripture. What does that mean? Verbal, the words are inspired themselves. Plenary, all the words are inspired. So there are 770,430 words in the Bible. All of them are important. All of them are inspired by God.
But I don't want you to get the wrong impression. When I say it's not natural inspiration or a concept inspiration, you might think that it's sort of like a mechanical form of inspiration. That God's up in heaven like dictating what he wants to the prophets, like, take this down like you would a secretary or an amanuensis. Like the Old Testament version of Siri, you just, kind of-- you just, kind of, speak it and you write it down as I hear it. And it wasn't that way at all.
And the reason I know that is because as I read through the Bible, I find that different authors have different styles, different personalities, different backgrounds, different experiences. So Luke was a doctor. You'd expect medical terminology in his writings, and it's there. Matthew was a Levite, so he was conversant in the Old Testament. You would expect a lot of quotations from the Old Testament. There are a lot. Paul was a rabbi schooled in secular thought and religious thought. And so you would expect him to quote spiritual and non-spiritual sources. He does that. He's very astute and well-read.
So it's not mechanical inspiration. So what is it exactly? How does it work? That's where I want to take you to that third passage I asked you to turn to, 2 Peter chapter 1. 2 Peter chapter 1, I think will give you some insight into the process of inspiration. 2 Peter chapter 1 verse 19, Peter says, "and so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Knowing this first--" I want you to know this first off-- "that no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."
What is he saying? Simply this, inspiration didn't originate in the minds of religious men. When you read the Bible, it's not like some guy in a quiet room musing about the heavens, musing about eternity, having high religious thoughts. It's not an act of human will, but holy men were moved-- moved, it says, by God. They were moved by the Holy Spirit. Now, that word moved is a Maritime metaphor, a ship going metaphor. It's the word pharaoh or pharomenoi is the word here in the text, pharomenoi. It means to be born along, carried along, conveyed along. It was a term used of a ship hoisting it sails, so that a wind could carry it to a destination.
So that's how inspiration works. The writers of scripture had their own style, their own backgrounds, but they raised their sails so to speak and the Holy Spirit took them to a destination, so that what was written was exactly what God wanted to say. Even though in that boat, in that human boat they're able to make their own kind of decisions and have an enormous amount of freedom to move and write with their own style and backgrounds, the destination is where God wanted them to end up. So the content is revelation. The process is inspiration. All scripture is inspired by God.
OK, push pause. Step back from the text a minute. If all of that is true, if it is-- now, I believe it is. I don't know if you do, but I believe all that I just said is true. Otherwise, I wouldn't have said it. But if all that is true, if we're dealing with a document that is actually breathed out by God, and holy men hoisted their sails and God brought them to the exact destination taking into consideration their own style, their own language, their own background, but it was exactly what God wanted to say, if this is God breathed truth, every word of it, why don't more people actually read it? No, let me rephrase that. Why don't more believers read it?
That 19% still bugs me. Only 19% are engaged Bible readers. Why is that? Well, there's a couple of ideas. Because it takes so long, and it's so hard to understand. I mean, Skip, you said 66 books. That's a lot of books. 39 in the old, 27 in the new, 31,102 verses, that's a lot of stuff. That's a daunting task. Listen carefully, if you just read the Bible 12 minutes a day, you'd cover it in a year, 12 minutes a day.
It takes a reading through the Bible at what's called pulpit speed. That is you say it out loud. I'm not saying you need to do that. But it would take at pulpit speed, 72 hours to go from Genesis to Revelation. You break that down into 365 days, 12 minutes a day, 12 minutes a day. 12 minutes a day to read through your Bible. Now, let's consider something else as we close, and that is the application. We've looked at its designation. It is scripture, graphe. It it's inspiration. It's inspired by God, God breathed. But now it's application.
Look at what it says in our text. Verse 16 all scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable. It's good for something. What's it good for? It's good for doctrine. That's teaching. It's good for reproof. It'll smack you upside the head from time to time. For correction, change your course. For instruction in righteousness or right living that the man of God may be complete, whole, total, maxed out, thoroughly equipped for every good work. Now, I don't know any other book that can do that. A medical book can't do that. A law book can't do that. A comic book can't do that. The Bible can.
Some books will give you information, others provide recreation, many will give you inspiration, but only one book will give you transformation, and that's the Bible. It'll change your view of life. It'll change the way you do life. Martin Luther used to say the Bible is alive. It speaks to me. It has feet. It runs after me. It has hands. It lays a hold of me. He's in that third category, by the way, Martin Luther. The Bible is the book. So what will it do for you exactly? Number one, it'll make you wise for salvation. Verse 15, look at it yourself, "from childhood you've known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus."
Now, why will that do that? How will it do that? Easy, it tells you how bad off you are. If you read it, you'll start going oops, wow, oh man. And you'll discover you're a sinner. Number two, it'll introduce to you the Savior who came to fix that problem. So he was here first service. He always sits in the front row. My Father-in-law rod who was an atheist who raised my wife to be an atheist, very advanced in degrees. He was both a doctor and a lawyer. Went to-- got two advanced degrees. Was reading the New Testament one night just to see if God-- Jesus was a positive person, was reading the red letter edition, and in just reading the red letters he said, I am in trouble. I'm starting to believe this is true, and I'm in trouble.
And he did what any smart man would do. He gave his life to Christ and got baptized immediately. It made him wise unto salvation, because it told him he was in trouble, but it also introduced the hero of this story, Jesus Christ, who came to fix the problem. Every story has its hero. In the Bible the hero is Jesus. So I like to do this. I like to boil all of everything that I study down to a minimum, an irreducible minimum. And I think I can reduce the whole Bible to the irreducible minimum of this.
The whole Bible is about one person and two events. How's that for scant? It's one person, two events. It's about Jesus Christ, that's the person, two events, first coming, second coming. That's the whole Bible. It's about the first coming, Jesus came to deal with sin. It's the second coming, he came to rule-- he will come to rule and reign with those who are cleansed from sin. One person, two events. He's really the theme of the book.
Remember what he said in the Sermon on the Mount, I did not come to destroy the law and the prophets, but to fulfill it. What he's saying is I'm the very theme of the Bible itself. You remember what Jesus said to the Bible readers of his day? He said, "you search the scriptures, because in them you think that you have eternal life, but these are they which testify of me." See studying the Bible won't get you to heaven, only Jesus will. And if you study the Bible, it'll point you to him. It'll point you to him. It always does. It'll make you wise to salvation.
It'll make you wise to salvation, but it will also-- and I close with this thought-- it'll make you well-equipped in every situation. That's what it says in verse 16. Profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction, and righteousness that the man of God may be complete. It'll instruct you. It will correct you. It will rebuke you. Have you found that to be true? You read one portion of the Bible, and it soothes you. You read another portion of the Bible, and it slays you. One day you have a wonderful experience of being comforted, and another day you read it and you're confronted by it.
So the Bible has the ability to comfort the afflicted, while at the same time afflicting the comfortable. It'll do all of that. Now, my dad was a builder. He loved to build homes. He would get a raw land and subdivide it and put in roads and housing developments. He just loved-- that was his joy zone. He was a builder in Southern California. But I noticed growing up that he couldn't build anything unless he had an architect, and an architect would provide something very important to him, a set of blueprints. Because builders would never dare build anything without blueprints.
And I would just suggest don't try to build your life, unless you do it by God's blueprints. And when you read through this book, it will reveal Himself and His Son. It will tell you about who He is, what He's like, what He loves, what He hates, what His plan is, who He favors, how He judges, then it will reveal His Son, how He saves, and your role and your plan in that. So in the end, it's not about how many times you've been through the Bible. It's about how many times the Bible's been through you.
And in the end, it's not about how much you know about this book. It really is, do you know the author of this book? Are you in a relationship with him? Because we don't worship God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Bible. We worship Father, Son, and Spirit, but it is this Holy Bible that points the way and reveals the truth. Let's pray.
Father, we thank you for your word. When we hold this book, we realize that godly men and women have given their very lives, because they were killed by churches and movements that did not believe in it. But they stood firm and they stood against and they stood for your truth standing against the establishment. We find ourselves in a day and age that doesn't revere the Bible as being important at all.
Most think it's just another collection of dusty sayings that have no relevance to real life. When, in fact, it is God breathed revelation preserved in written form for all humans in all languages of all sections of the earth to be shown the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you. May we like Martin Luther say, the Bible is alive. It speaks to me. It has feet it runs after me. It has hands. It grabs a hold of me. We pray, Lord, that as we hold this book, your truths would hold us. In Jesus' name, amen.
As believers, we must understand the importance of God's word. Did this message encourage you to dive deeper in your study of scripture? Tell us about it. Email us at email@example.com, and just a reminder, you can give financially to this work at calvaryabq.org/give. Thank you for joining us for this teaching from Skip Heitzig of Calvary Albuquerque.