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Is your conviction, creed, and confession that all Scripture is inspired by God and it's profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness. What's the point of the Bible? What's the purpose of the Bible? These are some of the ultimate questions of life. The Bible tells us who God is, what God was doing before creation, what God did by means of creation, what God's purpose was because of creation. The Bible tells us about our beginning, talks about our fall, talks about our redemption in Jesus Christ, talks about marriage, management of money, friendship, life, death, eternity, heaven, hell, doctrine and more. But that's not what the Bible at its heart is about. At its heart, it pulsates with the story of God's love for a fallen sinful world and His plan to redeem that world and rescue mankind through the coming of His son, Jesus Christ. We see that Scripture proves fulfilled prophecy, internal testimony, and amazing unity. The Bible has been burned. The Bible has been banned. The Bible has been berated. But, here it stands and it will stand forever, and you can build your life on it. There's no Christian competency without the Bible. You can't be a fully-rounded, impactful, living for Jesus Christian apart from the Bible. You’ve got to be in the book, so that the book can be in you, making you wise on salvation, equipping you under every good work, instructing you in the things of God and His will. The Bible is a training manual on how to live a life that pleases God. It is enough to completely outfit you for life and godliness. Love the book. More importantly, love the one it speaks of, the Lord Jesus Christ. Love his church and the body of believers. Love His Word and grow in your faith as it will be a lamp unto your feet and a light on your path.
More From This Series
Philip De Courcy (00:00):
Let’s take our Bibles and turn to 2nd Timothy, chapter 3, if you’re visiting with us, as many of you are. We’re in a series of studies in 2nd Timothy called Without Apology. We want to live lives unashamed in our commitment to Jesus Christ. Paul said in Romans one 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Two or three times in the early part of this letter, Paul will say to young Timothy, who was given to timidity sometimes and cowardice in the Christian life, “Hey Timothy, don’t be ashamed of Jesus Christ. Don’t be ashamed of the gospel. Don’t be ashamed of me his prisoner.” And so we want to live a life without apology.
We’re working our way through this wonderful book, Paul’s last book. He will Die a martyr. His head will be severed from his shoulders not too long after writing this book and he’s waving the flag as he departs this life and asking that men would rise up, men like Timothy and live unashamed for Jesus Christ. And critical to that fact is knowing and obeying the word of God. And we started to look at second Timothy three versus 15 through 17, a message we call the Good Book. We covered part of these verses last month and we’re going to wrap it up this morning. Just follow along with an open Bible.
Listen to what Timothy says. Although we’re looking at verses 15 to 17, let’s back up in into verse 14 because it’s the natural transition. “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 reprove, for correction, for instruction and righteousness that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. So reads God’s word.”
Mark Twain attended a Sunday morning sermon and after the service he met the pastor at the door and following the service he told him that he had a book at home that contained every word the pastor had preached that morning. Well, the pastor was a little taken back and he assured Mark Twain that his sermon was original, but Mark Twain stood his ground and told him that, “I have a book at home. Every word in your sermon is contained on that book.” And the pastor said, “I’d like to see that book.” And he said, “Well, I’ll send it over to you tomorrow morning.” Sure enough, the morning comes, the pastor receives a package from Mark Twain, and as he opens it up, he finds the book, and it’s the dictionary, and on the fly leaf of the dictionary are these words from Mark Twain. “Words. Just words. Just words.”
When it comes to preaching the Bible, I would suggest to you guys that those words echo the sentiment of many today when it comes to the Bible. Words. Just words. Just words. For many the Bible is a religious document written by man. They may even see it as inspirational, helpful, but they do not see it as a book inspired by God, authored by the Holy Spirit and invested with the par of heaven.
I’ll give you an example. Be Maher of HBO fame … Real Time is his program. He used to have a program, Politically incorrect. He speaks I think for our culture, for a growing number of Americans when he says, “I don’t believe God is a single parent who writes books.” See for the world, the Bible may be inspiring at best, but it is not inspired. It’s a religious document written by man. That’s where the world is at, but that’s not where the church is at, or that’s certainly not where the church should be. Because it’s our conviction, it’s our creed, it’s our confession that all scripture is inspired by God and it’s profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness. We believe that the Bible contains God-breathed words.
We saw that the Greek term inspired carries the idea of breathe out. Paul is saying that the Bible is the breathe out words of God. Don’t be thinking of inspiration that God breathed into man and they wrote. God breathed out his word and in a mysterious, miraculous manner, the Holy Spirit ensured that the words were written corresponded to the words that God wanted written. And so you have in the words of the writers of scripture, the very word of the living God. Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the moth of God.” The Bible is the breathe out word of God. It mouths God’s heart and God’s mind to creation.
We saw last time second Peter 1, verse 21 that prophecy doesn’t come from the will of man, but the prophets or men of old were carried along by the Holy Spirit. And we saw that’s the same term in Acts 27 verse 15. For the wind that carried the boat Paul was in across the sea, the wind caught the seal and carried, drove the boat. And the writer in second Peter is reminding us that the prophets of old were carried along, directed by the Holy Spirit to write. That’s our conviction, that the Bible is the God-breathed words of God. It’s authored by the Holy Spirit and it’s living and it’s powerful. It embodies the power and presence of God.
And so we started to look through this text and we covered two thoughts, didn’t we? We looked at the nexus of scripture. What is its integrating center? What is the Bible all about? Paul tells us in verse 15, “From a child because of his mother, you have known the holy scriptures which are able to make you wise onto salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
What’s the point of the Bible? What’s the purpose of the Bible? What’s the nexus of the Bible? It’s faith in Jesus Christ, that the Bible will help you be a better man. The Bible will speak about romance and marriage. It will speak about work ethics. It will speak about friendship, the management of money. But that’s not what the Bible at its heart is about. At its heart, it pulsates with the story of God’s love for a fallen sinful world and his plan to redeem that world and rescue mankind through the coming of his son, Jesus Christ. My friend, if you have a Bible at home and you’re not saved, you haven’t understood what this book’s about. This book will make you wise onto salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
We looked at the nature of scripture. It’s God- breathed, and we’re coming this morning to look at what I call the necessity of scripture. It’s useful. That’s another way to read the word profitable. In verse 16, all scripture is given by inspiration. It’s God-breathed out words and is profitable. Notice that. Profitable, useful. And so we want to come and look at that.
And before I do that, I’m just going to briefly take maybe five to ten minutes and just help you become a better apologist for Jesus Christ, to have a reason for the hope that lies within you. Because we looked at the explanation of inspiration. We looked at the extent of inspiration. It’s all the writing, but I want to look for a moment at what I call the evidence of inspiration. You know what? Bill Maher and our culture mocks the idea that God would write a book. Well, I do believe God wrote a book. I believe it’s this book, and I think there’s evidence to show that. So I want to look at some proofs of inspiration and I’ll make them quick, but I think they’ll help you at least begin to make an argument for your Bible that’s under constant attack.
Now when it comes to the proof of inspiration, one of my favorite quotes is A.T. Robertson, a great Southern Baptist Greek grammarian who said, “The greatest proof that the Bible is inspired is that it has survived so much bad preaching,” and that’s good. That’s proof enough. It has survived guys like me and others who have mishandled it and just done not a good job with it. But here’s several arguments quickly.
What I call number one, it’s internal testimony. You got to begin here. This is a clear indisputable fact that whether you agree with it or not, let’s at least be honest enough to admit that the Bible writers give voice to their conviction that they are writing the words of God. Call them diluted. But you can’t seriously study this book and at least not be challenged by the internal testimony of the writers who tell you this isn’t a human document. This isn’t a religious book inspired by wise men. Now this is the breathed out word of the all wise God and they have become a conduit for his revelation. 3,808 times in the Old Testament you’ll get this phrase. I’ll quote it in the old King James that I grew up with. “Thus sayeth the Lord.” They’re conscious that the words they’re speaking, they’re not their words. In the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, you’ll find that phrase 600 times.
I’ll give you two verses because we’ve got to keep moving, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament. In Exodus 24 verse 4, we read about Moses that he wrote down all the words of God. If you go to John in Revelation 2, verse 7, you’ll find as he records God’s word, he says seven times to the seven churches in Asia, He that has an ear, let him hear what the spirit of God says. This is not John’s words, these are the spirit of God’s words. So it’s internal destiny.
Number two, it’s amazing unity. It’s amazing unity. Now guys, you know that the Bible is a library of books. Not one book. It’s 66 books written by 40 different authors across 1,500 years written in three different languages from three different continents and yet it has a cohesive message. There’s no internal contradictions in the Bible. There is a seamless unity, because it mixes wise under salvation. It’s about the coming of Jesus Christ and his gospel, his life, his death, his resurrection, his ascension, his present ministry in heaven and his coming again at the end of the age.
And here’s a book, 40 different authors over 1500 years, three continents, three languages, and yet it’s unified. That’s why Jesus could say in Luke 24 … We looked at it last month. Beginning at Moses and the prophets and the Psalms, he showed to them the things concerning himself. It’s one story. There’s a unity to the Bible that’s marvelous. You can’t say it about the Quran by the way. The Quran was written over 23 years. That’s it. Twenty-three years by a single author and it lacks unity. There’s an amazing disunity in the prophecies and the verses of the Quran.
Let me take a moment because I think this’ll help you grasp it. This is written by Harold Wilmington at Liberty University. He says this. “Let us imagine a religious novel of 66 chapters which was begun by a single writer around the sixth century A.D. After the author had completed five chapters, he suddenly dies. So follow this. That’s the Pentateuch. That’s Moses. You got your first five books of the Bible. The guy dies. But during the next 1000 years up to the 16th century another 30 amateur freelance writers felt constrained to contribute to the unfinished novel. Few of these authors showed anything in common. Some of them were black, others were white, others were yellow, a few were brown. They spoke different languages, lived at different times, in different countries, had different backgrounds, occupations and they wrote with different styles.
Let us further more imagine that at the completion of the 39th chapter in the novel, all the writing ceases for 400 years. Not one word is added until the 20th century. After this long delay, it begins once again. There’s eight new authors who add 27 chapters. You get the analogy? He says, “Imagine that. How would that novel read? Would it be unified? Would there be inherent contradictions?” Probably. Surely. Common sense tells you that. My friend, you apply those principles of the Bible, how do you come up with a unified Bible, with a singular message, with no internal contradictions? Because God wrote it.
Here’s another idea. Fulfilled prophecy, internal testimony, amazing unity, fulfilled prophecy. The Bible not only opens a door to the past, the Bible opens a window to the future. You know that. It reflects the omniscience of God who authored it. We believe that God knows all things past, present and future. As I heard a pastor say one day, “Has it ever occurred to you that nothing has occurred to God?” Some of you’ll get that about 11:15. All right?
Has it ever occurred to you nothing has occurred to God? God knows all things. Now, if that’s the God who wrote this Bible, I would assume then this Bible will reflect his attributes and his nature, and it does because the Bible not only is history, it’s prophecy. It predicts future history and we don’t have time to get into all of that, but that’s one of the things that makes the Bible astounding. One of my favorite heroes is Winston Churchill. He once said, I always avoid prophesying beforehand. It is much better policy to prophesy after the event has already taken place. Of course.
One example, the life of Christ. We could look at prophecies concerning the four great empires back in Daniel 2. We could look at prophecies regarding Cyrus, the Assyrian king, but let’s just take the life of Christ. You go back to the Old Testament, before Jesus is born, and you’ll find the time, the place, his family, his ministry and the details of the method of his death. Go to Daniel 9 and you’ll find the time he’ll be born. Go to Micah 5:2, and you’ll find the town he’ll be born in and what tribe his family comes from. Go to Isaiah 61 and you’ll be told about his ministry preaching to the poor and liberty to the captive. Go to Psalm 22 and you’ll realize they’ll pierce his hands and they’ll pierce his feet. Amazing, isn’t it?
Now the Bible is God’s word, internal testimony, amazing unity, fulfilled prophecy. Fourthly, proven indestructibility. What does the word of God say in Isaiah? “The word of the Lord shall stand forever.” Books go out of print. They need updated and revised. Not the Bible. The word of the Lord shall stand forever. Jesus said, “Heaven in earth will pass away but not one word of my words will pass away.” And we’re back to that idea. The Bible reflects the nature of God.
God is omniscient. The Bible takes us from the beginning of history to the end of history and the Bible reflects the eternal and enduring nature of God. God is indestructible. He said no beginning and no end. And while the Bible has had a beginning, in some sense it will have no end because it will endure like the God who wrote it. And it’s anvil that has broken many a Hummer, it’s a none that has broken many hammer. It’s worn out the hammers of those that hate it and mocked it. The Bible is being burned. The Bible is being banned. The Bible is being berated. But here it stands and it will stand forever, and you can build your life on it guys. Jesus said it’s like a rock, and if you’re a wise man you’ll build your house on a rock not sand. And the Bible is that rock.
When it comes to the indestructibility of the Bible, I like the story of fellow Irishman who built a stone wall. He built it three feet high and six feet thick, and when he was asked why he built it thicker than it was high, he said, “Well I’m anticipating that when it gets knocked over it’ll be taller than it’s ever been before.” Well you know what? There’s plenty of people who have tried to knock the Bible over and every time they try to knock it over it just rises higher and higher and higher, because it is the word of God. It stands the test of time. Its critics will die but it will live on forever, and those who put their trust in its message about God’s eternal son will have eternal life.
Now here’s where we’re going to sideway. Not only it’s internal testimony, it’s amazing unity, it’s fulfilled prophecy, it’s proven indestructibility, what about it’s transforming ability? It’s power to change lives. We’ll get to our taxed again here in a moment, but just understand that the Bible is the word of life. Philippians 2:16, “Holding forth the word of life.” Hebrews 4:12, “It’s living.” Tell me what book is living, living and powerful. Tell me what book changes lives like the Bible does. It has fixed marriages. It has conquered addictions. It has reformed character. It has added purpose to people’s lives by the gift of eternal life. It has sweetened trials. It has brought comfort in the face of death. That’s what the Bible is able to do.
Back actually to Harold Wilmington and the very helpful article I read on the Bible. He tells the story about a public square in New York where preachers could get up or just people that wanted to spud off on a soapbox. And this communist get up in New York City several years ago and he pointed to a raggedy bum who was asleep on one of the park benches and he said, “You know what? Communism will put a new suit of clothes on that old man there.” Now for he had done a Christian get up and he said, “You know what? The Bible will put a new man and that also of clothes there.” It’s true.
So let’s come and look at the necessity of scripture, because it is profitable. These are just the beginning of an argument for you to defend your Bible, be unashamed. But let’s look at the necessity for a few moments these verses we didn’t finish. “All scripture is given in my inspiration of God and is profitable, useful, necessary for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction and righteousness that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Guys, the health, joy and impact of your life in Christ depends largely in what you do with your Bible, because the Bible will make you wise under salvation. It will instruct you in righteousness and it will equip you for every good work within the will of God. Deliver out your purpose. When it comes to the beginning, the middle, and the end of the Christian life, the Bible is absolutely necessary, and we’ll see in a moment, totally sufficient.
Here’s a statement. Pretty simple, but write it down. There is no Christian competency apart from the Bible. It’s just a fact. That’s what Paul’s argument here. There’s no Christian competency without the Bible. You can’t be a fully-rounded, impactful, living for Jesus Christian apart from the Bible. You got to be man of the word. You got to be in the book so that the book can be in you, making you wise on salvation, equipping you under every good work, instructing you in the things of God and his will. And remember he that does the will of God abides forever.
So let’s look at the profitability of the Bible. Three things quickly as it relates to salvation. We’re doubling back, but it’s worth doubling down. Verse 15. If you know the scriptures, and Timothy did because his mother taught him them. So did his grandmother. Read about both Eunice and Lois in chapter 1. And with that knowledge of scripture, Timothy was made wise onto salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember the nexus of the Bible is the story of God’s redeeming love in Christ. It makes us wise onto salvation. We get saved, we come into a relationship with Jesus Christ by, through the means of, the Bible preached and believed. No other way to get saved. Faith comes by what? Hearing and hearing by the word of God.
Look at Acts 2:41, the day of Pentecost. 3000 people saved. What do we read? “And they gladly received the word and were baptized.” What’s the means of a man coming to faith in Jesus Christ? The word of God preached, the word of God communicated, the word of God taught, and that word believed on.
One more example would be First Thessalonians, 1 verse 6. Paul’s writing to a church in Thessalonica. These people got saved of out paganism, idolatry. He’ll talk about how God indeed turned their hearts and they turned to God from idols. But in verse 6 he says that you receive the word in much affliction and joy of the Holy Spirit. Guys, how do people get saved? They get saved by a clear, compelling and compassionate rendering of the gospel, the sharing of God’s word. And then you and I ramming that home, pleading the cause of Christ and asking for a verdict and calling that person to make a decision to put their faith in what they have heard about Jesus Christ and God’s love for them and his death and the cross for their sin. That’s how people get saved.
I love the words of John Wesley, the great Anglican preacher who started the Methodist church. In a volume of his sermons in 1746 he wrote these words, “I am a creature of a day passing through life as an arrow through the air. I am a spirit come from God returning to God just hovering over the great gulf. I want to know one thing, the way to heaven, how to land safe on that happy shore. God himself has condescended to teach the way he has written it in a book. Oh give me the book.” Every congregation member on a Sunday morning should say in their hearts as the pastor gets up the steps to the pub, “Oh give me the book.” Every child has a right to say to their parents, “Give me the book.” Your workmates and your neighbors in all their ignorance have a right to say to you and to me based on the great commission, “Give me the book. I need to hear the hope and the message of Jesus Christ.” Because that’s where the Bible is profitable as it relates to salvation.
Secondly, as it relates to sanctification. Big theological term, basically means set apart. Set apart. When you and I get saved, when the Bible makes us wise unto salvation through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, it doesn’t stop there. Salvation’s not a get out of jail card like the Monopoly game where you just stick it in the back pocket of your jeans and you’re good to go. It’s a changing of your life, because the purpose of salvation is to make you conform to the image of Jesus Christ. That’s not how you’ve been living up to the moment you get saved, but that’s how you’re ought to be living after the moment you’re saved, and the Bible will help you to work that out and live that out.
Remember sanctification, big word. Holiness can sometimes a scary word. It’s simply means set apart, and that’s progressive. Every sermon you hear and begin to apply to your life, every Bible study you go to, every man’s group where you have a conversation about Christ every Sunday morning, worship service. All of that begins to progressively set you apart where you go, “You know what? I can’t do that anymore. The Bible condemns that, and I can’t go there anymore because that’s not good for my sanctification.” And on and on it goes where you progressively get set apart, and you become increasingly more like the Lord Jesus, and the agency of that is the spirit of God using the word of God to produce the man of God.
Look at that little phrase by the way, verse 17, “That the man of God may be complete.” Who wants to be a man of God? That’s why you’re here. I know that. I love you for it. You want to be that. I know that. Hi. The word of God makes the man of God complete. Bible study, sermons, good books on the Bible. That produces a crop of man of God. It brings us to maturity. That’s what that idea is, that the man of God may be complete, mature.
So what is the Bible? The Bible is a training manual on how to live a life that pleases God. Got to understand that. It’s a light onto our path and a lamp onto our feet. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way but by taking he to the word of God.” “Blessed is the man who meditates on the Bible day and night, for he will be like a tree planted by the river whose leaves blossom all year round.” The fruitful productive life is the life that is rooted in the word of God. Jesus said, “The wise man builds us house upon the rock and the wisest person builds this life upon my words, which are rocklike.” In fact, we’re not going to take a ton of time to unpack these four aspects to the usefulness of God’s word, but I’ll unpack them in simple ways.
It’s profitable for doctrine. I think you would know what that means. Doctrine means teaching, instruction. The Bible tells us who God is, what God was doing before creation, what God did by means of creation, what God’s purpose was because of creation. The Bible tells us about our beginning, talks about our fall, talks about our redemption in Jesus Christ, talks about marriage, friendship, life, death, eternity, heaven, hell, doctrine. What you need to know about what’s important, it’s all here. So put the newspaper down, turn the box off, shut your phone down and get into the book. Because anything you need to know about who you are, what you should be doing, what you’re not doing, it’s all there. Profitable for doctrine, profitable for reproof. I would like to think all the time we’re doing what we ought to do, but you know better than that and so did Paul. The things that I want to do, I don’t do. The things that I don’t want to do, I do. And the Bible will get in your fierce about that, and it will reprove you.
Let me say something my friend Mark Hitchcock shared in a sermon not unlike this one this morning. He says, “Men don’t reject the Bible because it can’t predict itself. Man reject the Bible because it contradicts them.” It’s true. Thirdly, correction. Well, if the Bible gets in your face and calls for change, the Bible then turns you around and points you to the path of obedience and shows you what you need to stop doing and how to begin doing what you ought to have been doing in the first place. And then instruction in righteousness. The word instruction there is a fatherly term. It means to raise your children to discipline and develop your children. So the Bible instructs the child of God and helps them to grow in their knowledge of God.
Or I like what Warren Wiersbe said. “Doctrine tells us what is right. Reproof tells us what is not right. Correction tells us how to get right. Instruction tells us how to stay right.” That’s good and that’s what the Bible’s profitable for. That’s why it’s so precious. That’s why I have this living memory of my working-class father. Before he dons his overall to go down to the factory, always open his King James Bible, about six o’clock in the morning, with a cup of tea in his hand and read it, because he knew that it would tell him what is right. It would tell him what is not right. It would tell him how to get right. It would tell him how to stay right.
Since I’ve talked to about my father, I’ll talk about my mother. You know I’ve sat in many a seminary class, but probably none better than my mother’s kitchen. I remember one day a young Christian finding my feet in Christ, which is interesting. That word correct, by the way I forgot, means to set upright on one’s feet. That’s what the Bible does. It gets you under your feet. And I was getting under my feet and my mom said to me one day something she had heard as a young girl herself from a pastor she loved in great Victoria Street Baptist Church in Belfast. Pastor [inaudible 00:31:56], and she said, “Philip, either this book will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from this book.” It’s one of those ones you write down in the fly leaf of your Bible. It’s relates to salvation. It relates to sanctification.
Guys, as we wrap up, it relates to service, this necessity, this ability, this usefulness is profitability. All scripture, all the writings, that’s what the word is. Remember grafi, all the writings are given by inspiration, breathed-out from God and they’re profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for a correction, for instruction and righteousness that the man of God may be complete. Finally, thoroughly equipped for every good work. Thoroughly equipped for every good work. This really its disservice. I get saved and here God wants to start setting me apart for himself. For I begin to put behind me the things that displease God, and I put in front of me the things that please God and I begin to grow in holiness. And as I begin to grow in holiness, God can use me to serve him.
Earlier on in this book, we looked at it, that phrase fit or useful for the master’s use. That’s what the Bible helps us to become fit or useful for God’s use. It’s the training manual for godly life. It’s the operations manual for how to live your life for God’s glory. In fact, if you go back to the first letter, what does Paul say in 1st Timothy 3 verse 15? I’ll read it for you. “I write so that you might know how you ought to behave yourself in the house of God.” What is the purpose of 1st Timothy? It’s a pastoral letter to a minister and it’s written. One of the books in the Bible was written to a young man called Timothy with the express purpose of what? So that you might know how to behave yourself in the church. He was equipping him to be a good leader. The Bible does that. And by the way, it does it well.
Just look at that phrase again, thoroughly equipped. You don’t have to be a bright spark to get the idea of what the word thoroughly means. Thoroughly, fully, completely. Fact it’s been translated fully furnishes, completely outfits, thoroughly equips. In fact, it was used of a wagon that was outfitted completely for the journey ahead. It’s like maybe to up update that it’s like a camper you have, and before you head up to the Sierras or whatever, you just stick everything into that car that you need from lip balm, the gas, whatever. And before you know it from floor to ceiling, your camper is outfitted, fully furnished for your journey. That’s our word.
And so what’s the implication? The Bible is sufficient. This is what our Protestant forefathers talked about, the sufficiency of the Bible. A man with the Bible [inaudible 00:35:15] of the Holy Spirit, part of a body of believers can go a long way. It’s sufficient. Or let me put it like this as we wrap up. The Bible is enough. The Bible’s enough. It will completely outfit you for life and godliness. It can do its job without the addition of dreams. You don’t need a dream to understand what God wants you to do. He’s already told you. It can do its job without the supplementation of new revelation, words of prophecy. Why do I need a word of prophecy when this Bible says it can completely outfit me, which means I don’t need anything else to live a life that pleases God, in terms of knowledge and the will of God.
It can do its job without the aid of worldly wisdom and it can do its job without the necessity of church tradition. It’s one of the Catholic church’s fallacies, that there’s the word of God and church tradition on both their secret scripture. That’s the teaching of the Catholic catechism. It’s wrong. There can be a place for tradition and the wisdom of men before us, but it’s not on the sea level or authority as the word of God, and I don’t need it to be thoroughly outfitted.
The fall of 1970, Marshall University’s football team had lost a close one against Eastern Carolina, 17 to 14. They climbed back on the plane for the journey back to Virginia as friends and family awaited their arrival. But if you know the story, maybe watch the movie, We Are Marshall. The plane went down. 37 players lost their lives, coaches, trainers, booster club members all perished, and it just gutted the heart of that time. And Marshall University went in the morning and it was hard, and they wondered if there’d ever be a future for their football program, and they realized it would be hard to find a coach. Who would want to come and build a team from where that’s at? Where it’s tore up from the floor up. But you know what? They found a coach crazy enough to do it, and they were helped by the NCAA aa who give them a waiver, allowed them to play all freshmen on a varsity team.
And here was their problem. He had no playbook. The old playbook was no good. It was for a varsity team. This is rookies. This is a team of freshmen. Where do you get a playbook that is uncomplicated, focuses on the basics, will help move raw recruits into real players? Someone suggested that you know what? The West Virginia University had such a playbook and maybe they should go and ask them for it. How do you think that went down? Asking another team for its playbook? But you know what? Their coach was a good man, a generous man, and he’d gave them the playbook. You know who that was? That was Bobby Bowden, by the way. And they started again with a playbook, and they began to rebuild that program, and they began to take raw recruits and turn them into real players. It’s a good movie, by the way. You should watch it. We are Marshall.
Guys, God has given us a playbook. It’ll turn raw Christians into seasoned saints. It’s profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction, and righteousness. It will make the man of God complete, seasoned, mature, and it will outfit him totally for the life that God has planned for him. Love the book. More importantly, love the one it speaks of, the Lord Jesus Christ. Love his church and the body of believers. Be found among them. Be part of the mob, man of the Bible and grow in your faith and allow the word of God to be a lamp onto your feet and a light on your path.
Let’s pray. Father, there’s probably one prayer we would simply pray this morning. May we hide your word in our hearts that we may not sin against you. It made such an impact on me that morning in the kitchen, Philip. This book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the book. Lord, I must confess, I haven’t lived that perfectly to my shame, but God, my love of your word and my confidence in it hasn’t waned. And I believe before me this morning there’s a mob, men of the Bible who want to be the men that you’ve created them to be, conformed to the image of your son, men who live out the will of God, men who stand up for truth and the glory of God in a world of mockery.
God, make us those kind of men and help us to realize that there is no competency in the Christian life apart from the Bible. And so Lord, help us indeed to say to ourselves, to ask of our preachers, “Give me the book. Give me the book.” Because we are arrows through the air as John Wesley said. We have come from God and we’re going to God and we hang over the great gulf, and heaven and earth will pass away, but God’s word will not pass away.
And so we pray that you’d help us to repent of our laziness, our lack of study, our ignorance of your word, where we rest in little cliches and pious statements. Help us to be men who can articulate the Bible, the doctrine of Christ, the doctrine of God, the doctrine of salvation, the doctrine of end times, doctrine of the Church, Doctrine of the Holy Spirit make us such men. We aspire to be that. And we covenant a fresh together this morning to become that. And everybody said, Amen.