Tyler David speaks on 2 Timothy 3:14-17
Before I was saved, I had never read the Bible before. So when I began to read it, something amazing happened. I began to meet the God of the universe. I began to get to know Him and discovered how amazing He was. He began to come alive to me. He was more intense, powerful, loving and in control than I had imagined. He was blowing my mind and undoing every stereotype that I had about Him.
It was difficult to understand at times. Some things rubbed me the wrong way. It was because I was getting to know a person. If God were perfect, holy and eternal, then I would imagine something about Him would rub me the wrong way.
All of a sudden I could pray to Him. He wasn’t a vague, distant god-being that lived in the sky. But He was someone I knew. I knew what He like and disliked, how I had offended and hurt Him. I knew His love for me through Jesus.
I knew all these things because of the Bible. I don’t know where I would be without it. I can’t tell you how often my thinking, desires, and actions wonder away from God. The Bible is an anchor that brings me back to God, again and again.
Since I began to believe in Him, no one has brought me more joy, healing and satisfaction than God. My prayer for us is we would grow in our love and dependence of the Bible.
Three Things to Know:
• God speaks through the Bible
• When He speaks, He expects to be heard and obeyed
• A practical way to read the Bible
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. 2 Timothy 3:14-17 (ESV)
2 Timothy is one of the last letters written by Paul, to a young pastor in Ephesus, named Timothy. Paul knows he is about to die. So he writes a letter to Timothy to ensure that him and his church stay faithful to God.
One of the very last things Paul tells him is to honor the Word of God and the Bible is authoritative and where you hear God speak.
God Speaks Through the Bible
4 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... 2 Timothy 3:14-16a (ESV)
Paul makes it clear; the way you hear from God is by reading the Bible. These sacred readings are the way you get to know Him, who He is and what He is doing.
Our tendency is to move beyond the Bible, which is why Paul was reminding Timothy of his own faith story, to remember what he’s learned. What was happening in his church still happens today.
We try to move beyond the Bible. We think the Bible is the first-day stuff and we start needing more spiritual experiences and knowledge. Rarely will people deny the Bible and say its wrong, but they will begin to be enticed by things that are beyond it. We think we need to have a certain type of experience in order to really know God.
When your Bible reading grows stale and you’re getting nothing out of it. When you’re praying and feeling like nothing is happening. It is then that you start to try other things, reading other books, having different experiences. But it’s the Scriptures that make you wise for salvation. Not these other things.
Notice that Paul doesn’t say, “Timothy, if you want to know God, go look at a mountain.” Or, “Go be inspired by some art, or your culture or your family.” He does tell him if he wants to know for sure who God is, go to the Scriptures.
Why is the Bible this special book, above every other book in regards to who God is and what He is doing?
God breathed out the Bible. Though human beings wrote the Scriptures, it is actually the Word of God. He used human authors with different writing styles, cultures, languages and time periods, as the means to communicate to the world.
The Bible is the very Word of God.
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 Peter 1:20-21 (ESV)
Men wrote down the Scriptures, but every word they put down, was exactly the word God wanted. The Holy Spirit was orchestrating all the writings. Therefore, it’s the only place you can know for sure you are hearing from God.
Sometimes we’ll have a sense or a feeling that we think is from God. We’ll think He’s speaking and leading us into a certain direction. He may be. But the only way you will know for sure is by reading the Scriptures. Is what you’re thinking consistent with the Bible?
God doesn’t lie. He will not say something to you that is contrary to something He’s already said. It’s not in His nature. So if you feel something and you’re convinced it’s from Him, but contrary to the Bible, then it’s not from Him.
That is why Paul reminds Timothy to stay close and be acquainted with the Scriptures and know them, because they will make him wise.
It’s not just that God speaks through the Bible, so there is more for us to know. But He speaks so as to be obeyed.
He expects to be Heard and Obeyed
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. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV)
The Holy Spirit wrote the Scriptures for us to hear from God and then to obey what He said. It’s not just more information for you to understand. It’s information for you to understand and then obey.
You live in light of it.
The Scriptures were given to us to teach, train, challenge and rebuke us, so we can begin to look more like God. Then we can show the world what He’s like.
This makes complete sense when you think about God’s salvation. God saved us into a relationship. Jesus died so that we could know God as Father.
In any relationship, when you share information about yourself, you’re not doing it just so they can know it. You’re doing it so they can treat you accordingly.
If your spouse tells you that your joking hurts their feelings. They don’t tell you so you can continue to do it. They’re sharing it because they want you to stop doing it, so that you can respond accordingly and change they way you treat them.
God is speaking to us so we would actually change in light of what He has shared. He wants us to read what He’s saying and then change, because we love Him.
Any educated person can read the Bible and have a general understanding of what it’s saying. But it becomes spiritual when you actually believe what it’s saying. You enjoy and try to obey it. It’s a person you’re interacting with.
You’re learning about God and what He’s saying and you want to change because of what He shared.
Here’s how we read the Bible. It’s simple, easy and effective. We use an acronym called REAP:
Before anything else, pray. When you pray before opening the Bible, you are reminding yourself that God is a person and He’s whom you’re interacting with. It’s not just a book you’re reading. Ask Him to change and prepare your heart.
Pick a reading plan that will take you through the entire Bible. While you are reading the day’s passage, you’re only looking for one or two verses that stick out. Once you’ve found the verse(s) that stand out, write them down word for word.
As you read the text, ask yourself what it’s saying. Who is talking? What are they saying? Why are they saying it? Who are they saying it to?
Lastly, ask how it relates and points to Jesus. Everything in the Bible points to Him and shows what God is doing through Him. So ask yourself how the verse you’re examining does this.
Here, you are considering how you are obeying what you are learning. Are you actually doing what you’re reading about?
Think of stories in your life where you are doing what the Scripture is saying.
For example, if the main truth you examined is to pray and that God listens to the prayer of His people, the application would be to ask yourself if you pray. Then think of stories in your life that show you going to God in prayer consistently.
We will more often than not, ask these questions and realize we have failed. But when this happens, remember the Gospel. Jesus obeyed everywhere you failed. He died for your sins, so you don’t have to feel guilty. This is not a guilt trip.
The main thing is to ask God for the Holy Spirit.
When you begin to realize that you don’t love God the way you should, you ask Him to empower His Spirit in you. You and I cannot believe, love and obey what God says in the Scriptures without the Holy Spirit doing a work in us. We need Him to teach us and give us the power to obey.
As you do this REAP Method, write it all out. For most of us, we try to do it in our minds. This makes it easy to wonder and drift. If we write every word out, it helps us focus on what we’re learning. It might be cumbersome at first, but it will help you.
We also want to encourage you to do this in community. Read the Bible with your community. It helps when you don’t understand something, or are struggling with something. They can help you; walk through it with you, be accountability for you.
We want every person to be in community so you can learn from each other. We want you to read the Bible, because you’ll get to hear from God. We want you to REAP through the Scriptures so you can know Him.
There will be nothing in this world that will bring you satisfaction and joy like He does.
This is our prayer for you:
The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
8 the precepts of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the Lord is clean,
the rules of the Lord are true,
and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.