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The Bible: God’s Perfect Word- Sermon #4


2 Timothy 2:15; 3:14-17


Intro: We have been investigating the Word of God for the past four weeks.  We have encountered the truth that the Word of God is a divine revelation of God’s Person and Character.  We have been reminded that the Word of God was divinely inspired in the beginning and that it has been supernaturally preserved down to this very day.  We have discovered the purpose for which the Bible was given to man.  It was given so that lost sinners might come to know God in a personal relationship.

      I hope that you have a deeper understanding of how your Bible came to be and that you love for this book is greater than it has ever been.  As we finish our time in this series, I would like to examine the benefits that come from a close relationship with the Word of God.  We are told in 2 Timothy 3:16 that the infallible, inerrant and inspired words of God are “profitable”.  This word means “beneficial, useful, and full of profit”.  I would like to zero in on that aspect of the Word of God today and preach for a few minutes on The Profit In The Holy Scriptures.



(Ill. The word “furnished” means “to be complete and equipped.”)

A.  They Equip Us For The Faith - In the pages of the Bible we learn all we need to know to give us:

1.  Saving Faith - 2 Tim. 3:15 - The Bible shows us our condition, our condemnation and how to obtain our conversion.  The Bible shows us a crucified and risen Savior Who gave His all that anyone who believes in Him might be saved.  The Word of God is a book about redemption!


      One of the most dramatic examples of the Bible's divine ability to transform men and women involved the famous mutiny on the "Bounty." Following their rebellion against the notorious Captain Bligh, nine mutineers, along with the Tahitian men and women who accompanied them, found their way to Pitcairn Island, a tiny dot in the South Pacific only two miles long and a mile wide. Ten years later, drink and fighting had left only one man alive--John Adams. Eleven women and 23 children made up the rest of the Island's population. So far this is the familiar story made famous in the book and motion picture. But the rest of the story is even more remarkable. About this time, Adams came across the "Bounty's" Bible in the bottom of an old chest. He began to read it, and the divine power of God's Word reached into the heart of that hardened murderer on a tiny volcanic speck in the vast Pacific Ocean--and changed his life forever. The peace and love that Adams found in the Bible entirely replaced the old life of quarreling, brawling, and liquor. He began to teach the children from the Bible until every person on the island had experienced the same amazing change that he had found. Today, with a population of slightly less than 100, nearly every person on Pitcairn Island is a Christian.[1])


      (Ill. Many years ago in a Moscow theater, matinee idol Alexander Rostovzev was converted while playing the role of Jesus in a sacrilegious play entitled Christ in a Tuxedo. He was supposed to read two verses from the Sermon on the Mount, remove his gown, and cry out, "Give me my tuxedo and top hat!" But as he read the words, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted," he began to tremble.

            Instead of following the script, he kept reading from Matthew 5, ignoring the coughs, calls, and foot-stamping of his fellow actors. Finally, recalling a verse he had learned in his childhood in a Russian Orthodox church, he cried, "Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom!" (Luke 23:42). Before the curtain could be lowered, Rostovzev had trusted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior.[2])


2.  Serving Faith - 2 Tim. 2:15 - Here, we are commanded to “study” the Bible.  This word means “to be diligent, to labor.”  If we will spend the time we need in the Word of God, we will be able to “rightly divide” that Word.  This is a surgical term that means “to make a straight cut”. 

            In other words, we will obtain a correct understanding of the Word of God and this prepares us to be a “workman”, that is, a “servant” who will not be put to shame in the face of the enemy! As we study the Bible, we will learn about the Wonder of God, the Work of God, the Will of God, and the Ways of God!  We will receive a theological education that will enable us to serve the Lord without shame!  The Bible teaches us about the Person, Promises, Prophecies, Plan and Proof of God.

B.  They Equip Us For The Fight - Eph. 6:18 - When Paul described the armor of the believer, he only mentioned one offensive weapon: The sword of the Spirit, or the Word of God. The word sword comes from the Greek word “rhema”.  It refers to what was called the “Roman short sword”.  It was much like a dagger.  This short sword was on the belt of every Roman Legionnaire.  They carried wherever they went and used it in many tasks from preparing their food to hand to hand combat.

            It is interesting that Paul should use this word for the Bible.  In some other places, the word “logos” is used.  The word “logos” refers to “the whole Word of God”.  It is the same word used in John 1:1, where Jesus is called the Word of God.  The word “rhema” refers to a “specific word”. 

            Think of it like this, the “logos” or the whole Bible brings to mind the idea of a complete armory.  In that armory, there are weapons of every description.  When a battle arises, we should be able to walk into that armory and select the perfect “rhema” or specific sword we need to fight that particular battle. 

            This is just what Jesus did on the Mount of Temptation, Matt. 4:1-11.  Three times Jesus was tempted and three times Jesus walked into the great armory of the Word of God, entered the Deuteronomy room and walked out with the perfect sword with which He could stick the devil! (Ill. “It is written”, Matt. 4:4, 7, 10.)

            Of course, before you can do this, you must be familiar with where the right swords are located within the armory!  This means that you need to study the armory and familiarize yourself with placement of all the swords.  Then when temptations and trials come, you can walk into the armory and find the perfect weapon for the day of your battle! 

            By the way, when you try to fight the battles of life and the enemy of life in your own strength, you will fail, 1 Cor. 10:12.  But, when you fight the battles of life with the Sword of the Spirit, you are assured of victory, Matt. 4:11!  Learn the layout of the armory; it will enable you to fight far more efficiently!


(Note: Notice this: Christian is never really commanded to fight, but he is told to “stand”, Eph. 6:11, 13, 14, 15.  After all, “the battle is the Lord’s”, 1 Sam. 17:47. 

      Ill. There is a bird called the gray heron that has a very odd mode of defense. When attacked by the eagle or falcon it simply stands quiet and firm, using its bill as a sword, allowing the enemy to pierce himself through by his own force.

      The Christian's method of defense is very similar. We have the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. When attacked by the enemy, without or within, stand firm and display the Word, hold it forth. The more fiercely the foe attacks the more surely shall they pierce themselves with it. God’s Word is a burning fire and all it will consume all that cross it.)



A.  They Enable Us To Grow Spiritually - 2 Tim. 3:15 - We are told here that the Scriptures have the power to make us “wise”.  The word means “to teach or to have understanding.”  I would submit to you that there are people in this room today who have not had the benefit of obtaining an extensive formal education, but who know the ways of God better than many theologians because they know their Bibles.  Experts say that 30 minutes per day for ten years yields the equivalent of a Doctor of Philosophy degree, Ill. Psa. 19:7.)

            If you will get the “seed” of the Word within your heart, God will water it and it will bear fruit!  You will grow!  (Ill. As you abide in Him, through prayer and through studying and meditating in the Word of God, you will find that “fruit” will be produced in your life. You won’t have to struggle to grow in the Lord, you just will!  Ill. “Furnished” in 2 Tim. 3:17 is in the passive voice!  How much time and effort are you putting into your study of the Word? – Ill. Psa. 1:2; 119:148.)


      (Ill. Listening to some people, it is very easy to see that they do not know very much about the Bible.  The following story bears this out: A pastor entered a class as the lesson was in progress and asked, "Who broke down the walls of Jericho?" A lad answered, "Not me, sir." The pastor turned to the teacher and asked, "Is this the usual behavior in this class?" The teacher replied, "I believe this boy is an honest boy, and I really don't think he did it." Leaving the room, the pastor sought out a deacon and explained what had happened. The deacon said, "I have known both the boy and the teacher for several years, and neither of them would do such a thing." By this time the pastor was heartsick and reported the incident to the Christian Education Committee. They said, "We see no point in making an issue out of this thing. Let's pay the bill for the damage to the walls and charge it to upkeep. Anyway, our insurance may even cover it.”)


      (Ill. A man in Kansas City was severely injured in an explosion. Evangelist Robert L. Sumner tells about him in his book The Wonders of the Word of God. The victim's face was badly disfigured, and he lost his eyesight as well as both hands. He was just a new Christian, and one of his greatest disappointments was that he could no longer read the Bible. Then he heard about a lady in England who read Braille with her lips. Hoping to do the same, he sent for some books of the Bible in Braille. Much to his dismay, however, he discovered that the nerve endings in his lips had been destroyed by the explosion. One day, as he brought one of the Braille pages to his lips, his tongue happened to touch a few of the raised characters and he could feel them. Like a flash he thought, I can read the Bible using my tongue. At the time Robert Sumner wrote his book, the man had "read" through the entire Bible four times.[3])


      (Ill. Martin Luther’s Bible study method: “I study my Bible like I gather apples. First, I shake the whole tree that the ripest may fall. Then I shake each limb, and when I have shaken each limb, I shake each branch and every twig. Then I look under every leaf. I search the Bible as a whole like shaking the whole tree. Then I shake every limb--study book after book. Then I shake every branch, giving attention to the chapters. Then I shake every twig, or a careful study of the paragraphs and sentences and words and their meanings.”[4])


B.  They Enable Us To Go Spiritually - 2 Tim. 3:17 - The Word of God gives us all the tools we need to go to work for the Master.  The Bible teaches us about:

·        God’s Works (What He is doing around us)

·        God’s Will (What He wants from us)

·        God’s Ways (How He accomplishes His Will).

            As we read the Word of God we discover that there are some things that we are to avoid and there are some things that we are to do. 

            As we obey the Word of God, as we do the do’s and don’t the don’ts, we will find ourselves “throughly” or “completely and perfectly” “furnished” or “equipped” to do the Lord’s work in this world!  

            God saved you to work for Him, Eph. 2:10; James 2:18, 20. The Lord saved us to work and the Bible tells us how!



A.  We Are Enlightened Through Their Coaching Ministry - The Scriptures teach us “doctrine”!  This word simply means “teaching or instruction”.  It refers to the body of truth that we believe and practice as part of the Christian faith.  Everything we know about God and believe as Christians has been taught to us by the Word of God!  In fact, God could never have been known unless He had first reached out to us!  Like a good coach, the Scriptures teach all the fundamentals of the faith and they instruct in the deep things of God.  By the way, we should never base our doctrine on feelings or experiences or on what someone we admire believed.  Everything we believe and do should be based squarely on a clear Word from God, not on our own opinions, preferences or prejudices!  (Ill. The folly of the Charismatic movement – “I don’t care what the Bible says; I know what I have experienced!”)

B.  We Are Enlightened Through Their Chastising Ministry - The word “reproof” means “to be convicted”.  It has the idea of putting something to the test.  The Word of God will put your life to the test.  It is like a set of scales, or balances.  It will show you where you fall short.  It is like a plumb line, it will show you where you do not line up!  Scripture will put you to the test!  It is like a mirror, it will reveal the true you, James 1:23-25.

            The word “reprove” comes from the same word that is translated “evidence” in Heb. 11:1.  In both cases it refers to “convincing evidence”.  In modern language, we would call it “the smoking gun”.  Sometimes, the Word of God is laid alongside our lives and serves as the Lord’s Exhibit A.  He shows us from the Word the He has the goods on us and how we are living.  The best thing to do is to bow before Him and deal with everything that He shows us about ourselves.  Never rebel against the convicting ministry of the Word of God!  (Note: Don’t get mad at the preacher either!)

C.  We Are Enlightened Through Their Correcting Ministry - The Word “correction” means to “restore to an upright or correct state”.  The Bible doesn’t just show us what is wrong in our lives; it also teaches is how to fix what is wrong.  It teaches us about the matter of repentance and confession of sin, Pro. 28:13; 1 John 1:9. If you will do what the Bible says to do about the wrongs it exposes, it will get you on the right path in short order!

D.  We Are Enlightened Through Their Commanding Ministry - “Instruction in righteousness” refers to “Instruction that aims at increasing virtue”.  The Bible will tell you what is wrong with you.  It will also tell you how to fix what is wrong with you.  Then, it will tell you how to live so that you can avoid being found in the wrong the next time around.  Literally, the phrase “instruction in righteous” means “that which cultivates the soul”.  The Word of God, if read, believed and lived out in your life will cause you to become more like Him!


      (Ill. There are several tools God uses in maturing us for His glory.  Sometimes, He will use adversity to shape us.  There are times when God will use chastisement to speak to His children.  However, the Bible is the primary tool God uses to develop His children, Rom. 10:17; 2 Tim. 3:15.)


Conc:  A New York enthusiast had a good collection of paintings, one of them being the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which hung over his writing desk.

For a long time he noticed that it persisted in hanging crooked despite the fact that he straightened it every morning. At last he asked the housekeeper if she was responsible for its lopsided position each morning that he came to his office. "Why, yes," she said, "I have to hang it crooked to make the tower hang straight."

      Does that sound strange? That is exactly how a lot of people read the Bible. Many people twist the Word of God in order to justify their own opinions or actions, or doctrine to make them all appear right. Let us not twist the Scriptures to suit our own fancy. Let us be sure to hang the picture right!  Preachers and teachers need to be especially careful that we “cut it straight”, James 3:1.  We must not allow our opinions to cloud the message God wants His people to hear!

      There is great profit in the Word of God!  But, only as we take it like it is written and conform our lives to it!  Thank God for the Bible!

[1] Signs of the Times, August, 1988, p. 5.

[2] J.K. Johnston, Why Christians Sin, Discovery House, 1992, p. 121.

[3] Robert L. Sumner, The Wonders of the Work of God.

[4] http://www.sermonillustrations.com/a-z/b/bible_study_of.htm

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