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  • Clay Burgess

The Good Book

2 Timothy 3:15-17


All of us typically strive to move forward to make life better as much as it depends on us, but the challenge is this: we can lose focus in the grind of life and just give up or settle. We all worship something and what we worship, or give value to, bleeds through everything we do. It impacts and affects everything! We are easily distracted and that is dangerous because then we become careless in our thinking and planning regarding our future. Perhaps we should pause and ask this question: “Who or what is the object of my affection?”

While we NEVER plan to ruin our lives, without consistent vigilance, many just don’t plan NOT to! We can CONNECT to the source that will PROTECT us from future disaster. The source is God and the means of connection is prayer. More specifically, persistent prayer! Facing an overwhelming and unpredictable world, prayer connects us to the One who can help us handle it. By praying we are admitting that we need help, that we are dependent. By praying we are talking, having a conversation, with God the Creator of the universe! We have that access or privilege because of the work of Jesus. (Romans 5:2a)

So, if prayer is the talking part of the conversation, what about the listening; Does God still speak today? If he does, how can I be sure that it was Him? Is it warm and fuzzy feelings? Is it double rainbows? Is it a strong desire or “want to”? Is it our best guess or writing in the clouds? If God speaks, will it be audible? How can you be sure? Because if He speaks, you wouldn’t want to miss that!

According to Henry Blackaby, author of Experiencing God[i], God typically speaks in one of four ways: through the Bible; through prayer; through circumstances; or through the Church.

I believe that God primarily speaks to us today through His Word. This can cause tension, especially when cultural values clash with Scriptural values. Then we must decide: Is the Good Book good enough?

Is it enough when it contradicts what I want to do? Is it enough when the unexpected hits? Is it enough when a crisis hits? Is it enough when the stock market dips? Is it enough when my health fails? Is it enough when I lose my job? Is it enough when my marriage hits the rocks?

What then? Is it good enough when it is contrary to what I want to do? What I want to be? How I want to act? How we view the Bible is important. It is important because our view of the Bible will determine our level of yielding to its authority…as the final authority regarding my moral behavior.

Theologian Wayne Grudem writes, “The authority of Scripture means that all the words in Scripture are God’s words in such a way that to disbelieve or disobey any word of Scripture is to disbelieve or disobey God.”[ii]

That’s a big deal. Is the Bible God’s Word? Should it have authority in my life? So, is the Good Book, the Bible, good enough? What is the Bible good for? Let’s explore that answer today:

BACKGROUND (13-14)

2 Timothy 3:13while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. The situation in the world is not getting better. It is messy.

2 Timothy 3:14But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it—Here Paul gives Timothy an emphatic reminder. He must go back, return, retrace, review…remember!

2 Timothy 1:5 (ESV)—I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.

THE WAY OF SALVATION (15)

2 Timothy 3:15 (ESV)—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.

Paul takes Timothy back to his heritage, his mother Eunice and grandmother Lois, who taught him early the ways of faith from Scripture. Which are able to make you wise for salvation— the Bible reveals who God is and what He has done. His goodness in Creation-Fall-Redemption = GOSPEL. The Bible reveals how to get right with God, and how to find true and lasting satisfaction in life. Through faith in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:24 (ESV)—So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.

The Bible leads us to Jesus, to salvation.

Romans 3:23-25 (ESV)—for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
John 14:6 (ESV)—Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

The way to God is through Jesus Christ. Are you acquainted with the Bible? Do you know it on a deeper level than just hearing about it? Do you realize that it is the source of wisdom, direction, salvation?

THE WORD FROM GOD (16)

2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV)—All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

The Bible is inspired by God, it is from God, and it is about God. It is both authoritative and life giving! And profitable—The Bible is useful, beneficial, and sufficient. The Bible is comprehensive.

Exposure to the Bible changes us. Consider these four value-adds the Bible offers us.

1) Teaching—The Bible gives us tools for life. Specifically, doctrine—both content and instruction, clarity on what to believe. The Bible equips us to do the right things the right way for the right reasons that will produce the right or desired results! The bottom-line, the Bible sets us up for success in life.

2) Reproof—The Bible reveals things we do not see or choose to ignore. To reprove carries the idea of rebuking in order to convict of misbehavior or false doctrine—refuting error. It is a warning to leave a wrong path; point out dangers; expose false teachers.

3) Correction—builds on “reproof” and means restoration or reformation. Means to correct or set right. The idea is to get behaviors and beliefs back on the right path.

4) Training in righteousness—This points to instruction that shows the correct way to do something. It is better than discovering the wrong way on your own, which can be painful!

In addition to leading us to Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:24), the Bible clears our path of danger.

Psalm 119:105 (ESV)—Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

The Bible refreshes us.

Psalm 19:7 (ESV)—The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;

The Bible gives insight.

Psalm 19:7 (ESV)—The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;

The Bible protects us from ruin.

Psalm 119:11 (ESV)—I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

God is active in our lives through His Word which is all important because we need the help!

Hebrews 4:12 (ESV)—For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

THE WISDOM FOR LIFE (17)

2 Timothy 3:17 (ESV)—that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

The end result of exposure to God’s Word…that the man of God, speaking of Christians in general, may be complete—capable and proficient in everything they are called to be or do (prepared)…equipped—qualified. For every good work—equipped by divine activity for divine activity.

Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)—For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Good deeds create good will, and good will creates opportunities to share the Good News!

My Mom used to give me slips of paper each day with verses to read. Not overwhelming amounts, sometimes a single verse. Perhaps a proverb that impacted her. “Consistent deposits over time make a difference.” God’s Word never returns void.

The Good Book is good enough to get you right with God and right in your living!

Wise living is obtained from exposure to the Word. It takes time. Will you make the time? The Bible can be read in 71 hours; fifteen minutes a day and you can complete the Bible in a year; five minutes a day and you will complete the Bible in three years.

Are you anxious, uncertain, or confused? What if you made Bible intake a priority? What if you made spending time in the Bible a habit? Should you make your priorities line up with Scripture? Should it be the final authority for your moral behavior?

Wayne Grudem writes, “God’s truthfulness means that he is the true God, and that all his knowledge and words are both true and the final standard of truth.[iii]

You will never develop the habit of reading the Bible by accident. You must be intentional and set goals. Consider starting with these:

BIBLE READING GOALS

1) Step Goal—Get a copy of the Bible. Get a plan to direct your reading.

2) Sprint Goal—Start a 7, 14, 21-day plan on YouVersion.

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld explained his method for success: each January, he hangs a large year-at-a-glance calendar on his wall and, for every day he wrote new material, he had the exquisite pleasure that can only come from drawing a big red "X" over that day.

Drawing those Xs got to be pretty fun and rewarding, so he kept doing it. Eventually, he began to create a chain of red Xs. The idea was to never break that chain.[iv]


3) Stretch Goal—Study with others in a group.

The results if your priorities line up with Scripture, you will be connected to God, prepared to face day, and enjoy a sense of satisfaction because you will be wise, able to identify and do what matters most.

The Good Book is good enough to get you right with God and right in your living!

Right living is noticeable. It raises eyebrows because it is counter cultural. People begin to ask questions about your joy and attitude and outlook on life. This gives the Church the opportunity to influence the world.

Theologian Kevin Vanhoozer writes, “The church has a prophetic ministry of forth-telling, forth-showing, and forth-doing the gospel, thus projecting the world of the biblical text into the public square and onto the stage of world history.”[v]

The Good Book instructs and motivates us to good deeds, to right living. Good deeds create good will. In our angry and suspicious world trust is needed. Good will prepares the way for the Good News of the Good Book!

Our world needs a word. It needs a good word, a word of hope, that peace is possible, that broken things and broken relationships and broken lives can be fixed, renewed, and even restored.

It is possible, we have access to the Word. Let’s get to know it better so we can share it more effectively! For our sake; For His glory, For the sake of our world! That’s why we must know the Word so we can share the Word!


When we taste the goodness of God's grace in the pages of God's Word, we are compelled to tell God's world about God's Son! The good book is exceedingly good indeed!

[i]Henry Blackaby, Experiencing God (Nashville: Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1994), 97-132. [ii]Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994), 73. [iii] Ibid., 195. [iv]https://www.writersstore.com/dont-break-the-chain-jerry-seinfeld/ [v]Kevin J. Vanhoozer, The Drama of Doctrine (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2005), 355.

©2021 CHRIST-CENTERED & CLEAR

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