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October 7, 2020 7:00 pm
Dr. Pearson Johnson of the BJU Bible faculty continues a doctrinal series entitled “God’s Word in Our Hands,” and his scripture is 2 Timothy 3:12-17
Welcome to The Daily Platform sponsored by Bob Jones University today. Dr. Pearson Johnson of the BJ you counseling faculty continues our doctrinal series entitled God's word in our hands as we continue our series this morning on God's word in our hands were honored to have Dr. Pearson Johnson come and speak to us this morning.
Dr. Johnson is a real godsend. Us here at Bob Jones University.
Both he and his wife Amy and their children were ministering for many years, of the inner-city Baptist Church in Allen Park, Michigan really God moved in their heart to actually have an interest in what we were doing here on the University campus with our Center for student care and really after really much prayer God really led them to connect with us and then they came this this past year serving here and I'm so thankful for Dr. Johnson's heart's desire. His love for students is passion for ministry. His passion for discipleship, evangelism, and also helping students grow spiritually and so he's going to come this morning and give us a message. I think that will be very helpful and practical practical on the sufficiency of Scripture. Dr. Johnson puts my privilege to be here today and certainly glad to be a part of what God is doing here Bob Jones University, but especially privilege for my wife and I to build a minister to you.
Look out as I was sitting up here and I didn't think you could see much because the lights appear, but really I see a lot of things to a lot of faces, people Lord's prayer was starting to get to know some of you on campus was able us to teach the freshman class a ministerial class and really excited about the guys that God has brought here several you guys are down here you guys overhear us all you got his burden you to minister God's word to people and that is a very exciting thing is no better thing to do than administer God's word to people in the today when I talked about the sufficiency of God's word. Let me give you a little little bit of the testimony of how God let us hear God brought us from Detroit and I were we lived in a suburb of Detroit Allen Park minister to intercity Baptist Church as Dr. Pettit missed mentioned in the guys giving given us, given me a pastoral heart want to shepherd his people the opportunity to be a student here came in 1989 as a math major, I was almost 1 of those people.
As Dr. Pettit said in chapel. They give problems to other people. Right God rescued me out of mathematics. Thankfully though I was in that program. I really appreciated my teachers. I believe then that the math teachers were some the most godly people on campus as a share God's word with me as a math student really gave me a burden for knowing God more fully and effectively. I went after my undergrad to work and also can't and it was at that time that God gave me a confidence in his word serve as a counselor for couple summers and you have worked in camp.
You understand this process, you you get people into your cabins. You get them onto your ministry. Therefore, for a week and we find out that you really are very insufficient for doing anything that can change their life, but you also find out in that time of personal insufficiency that God is the one who is sufficient. The guys given us his word is given us the tool of prayer to affect change in people's lives.
And at that time of my life. I realize that the God you can use someone like me to see people change and grow as long as I depend on your work as long as I depend on you through prayer and so God called us to do ministry at that point I came back for seminary in the sense I completed my education and was able to minister for the last nearly 20 years up in Michigan now. One thing I've I've learned to expect and what I tell people were from Detroit. They always say Detroit. Aren't you glad you moved to South Carolina. They say something else about Detroit and east of bumper sticker T-shirts loading up there that said, say nice things about Detroit. So if you if you say something mean about Detroit than than you can expect a full reenactment of the Civil War that point we love love Michigan will determine love people that city but were also glad God is called us here. Let's look at and what is what God is as tall as here before. I do have skincare office is a place of unexplainable commercial student office a place for students and faculty and staff can encumber confidential biblical counseling and for resources for helping others in mentoring, discipleship relationships, God is has led us here to work with US students and faculty and staff also has led Kristin Barnes here is a women's counselor and maybe you've met her already sees CHC as well is is a godsend. She has a heart for ministry to people she knows God's word and and as we are in the process of drawing ourselves would certainly want to help others grow selection season and I have up there a picture of Calvin Coolidge in a recent biography that was written about him to get time to reflect on American history. Coolidge was 1/30 President of the United States. He was known as silence, came to office in 19.23, he was the vice president's Pres. Warren Harding died of a heart attack and so he ascended into office. At that time and became the president. He also won reelection. The next term easily. He was instrumental in cleaning up several scandals and national government at the time in reputation as one biographer said of honesty and integrity that helped him restore faith in government. Certainly we need that today knowing one of his biographic biographies is titled a Puritan in Babylon, but he was known as being a man of few words, one dinner party. It was said that there's a wife, who are a lady that talk to Coolidge, his wife and she made a wager that she could get Coolidge to say more than two words during the entire dinner party at the end of the party after not hearing anything. She went up and said that wager with the president present Coolidge he uttered the words you lose man of few words who knew the importance of words. He knew the importance of words.
That's really what we want to talk about today. The importance of God's word. I want to think about this today. I don't think any of us are sitting here today saying I do not believe in God, we would all say God I believe in you. I believe in you. God I want to encourage us to think. Today, as we say God I believe in you. I want us also to say God I believe you see, God is spoken to us in his word, the Bible, he has told us his mind. He's been gracious enough to reveal himself and his will to us in the Scriptures, and so as we say God I believe in you. We also should just as firmly say God I believe you make reference to this book, taking God at his word and I would encourage you if you listen through this series is chapel series about God's word in our hands and you've struggled to grasp some the truths and in the series and struggled more poorly to believe them encourage you to pick up a book like this by Kevin Dion. He's a young, relatively young Bastrop in East Lansing, Michigan passes in a college town Michigan status and he wrote this book to really minister, specifically the people of your generation.
To give you confidence in God's word taking God at his word encourage you to pick that up. And in this book the young states that traditionally Protestants have highlighted four essential characteristics of the Scriptures. Always we talked about in chapel.
Some of these we have at the first being necessity that is general revelation is not enough to save us. God's word is necessary.
We see God revealed in creation. We know God's presence in God's justice and God's judgment in our consciences as we discern right from wrong, but that revelation itself is not enough to save us.
We cannot know God, seemingly by means of personal experience or human reason.
We need God's word to tell us who we are to tell us how to live to tell us who Christ is to tell us how to be saved. God's word is necessary and thankfully by God's grace we have his word.
Second Peter one says he is by his divine power given us all things for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him and we only know him through the revelation of him and through his son Jesus Christ that is given in the Scriptures, God's word is necessary. God's word is clear. We believe in clarity.
Carrie McGonigal spoke about this last week is sometimes called perspicuity, but there is a good way to to look at that, the saving message of Jesus Christ is plainly taught in the Scriptures and can be understood by all who have ears to hear in her eyes to read it.
We don't need an official magisterium to tell us what the Bible means God's word is understandable. Aren't you glad you can open God's word and you can read it and you can understand what it says God's word is understandable, now prescribed is 214 says the natural man does not receive the things of the spirit of God for their spiritually discerned or spiritually appraised. So we do need the spiritual moment our eyes illumine our minds to understand the word when we have the spirit. We also have the ability to clearly understand God's word authority is the third essential characteristic of God's word. God's word is final. The last word always goes to the word of God is was a Reformation principal solo script euros. One of the primary calling points of the Reformation that is by Scripture alone, we discern the truth, they affirm this in terms of one phrase which are translated in English Scripture is the norm of norms that cannot be normed.
That is, everything is ultimately judged by the Scripture. Every counsel, every body of believers. Every leader and every opinion that we have. It's all normed by the norm of Scripture. Scripture is the grid by which we need to shove every thought that we have every philosophy that we believe in here about every pressure. The culture gives us we should push to the grid of Scripture because it is the norm of norms that cannot be normed by anything else the church as an institution and people was always accountable to the word of God and the word and the spirit will norm the church will reform the church we see that in place in history, and the Reformation received a Reformation God in his spirit and the word reforming her norming the church into conformity with his word the ministry Martin Luther, who, after much agony and much searching and much bearing of his own guilt finally realized that the Jost will live by faith, that it is south of salvation comes by faith alone through grace alone in Christ alone and that that alone is taught in Scripture, God norms, even the church in our beliefs by his word and finally God's word is sufficient.
That's our topic for today. God's word is sufficient. It is enough. God has given us everything in his word that we need and will talk more about that here are some definitions of sufficiency and I don't want to do this to be academic, but I want you to think as I share these definitions.
Are these things I agree with really in my heart and in my mind. Are these definitions things.
I agree with because these given after accurate description of what the Scripture claims to be in and of itself.
What the Scripture promises a few different ones. John framers word in his book the doctrine of the word of God is the sufficiency of Scripture means that Scripture is clear enough to make us responsible for carrying out our present responsibilities to God ANOVA select as a child like expectations that were unclear. None of you as a student, probably like expectations are unclear like to get a syllabus that outlines the course and what you need to do to succeed in the so God has not left us without expectations that are clear, Scripture is sufficient in that it is clear enough to make us responsible for carrying out our responsibilities to God. No one can say that God is not revealed enough for us to be saved or to live a life that is pleasing to him. Dion says this we don't need to add to it to meet today's challenges or subtract from it to mesh with today's ideals Westminster confession of faith says this, the whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man, salvation, faith and life are either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence that is by drawing principles from the Scripture may be deduced from Scripture which nothing at any time is to be added by new revelations of the spirit or traditions of men debacle counseling coalition, which is a group of biblical counselors and counseling organizations came together and instated some of their guiding convictions and this is one of them is a book that we believe that God's word is authoritative sufficient and relevant, inspired and inerrant Scriptures rightly interpreted and carefully applied offer us God's comprehensive wisdom. That is how to live life we learn understand who God is who we are, the problems we face how people change in God's provision for that change in the gospel. No other source of knowledge thoroughly equips us in ways that transform the human heart. That's keep no other source of knowledge thoroughly equips us in ways that transform the human heart. Wisdom given by God and his word is distinctive and robust. He comprehensively addresses the sin and suffering of all people in all situations. God's word is sufficient talk about a few things we don't mean when we talk about the sufficiency of God's word only say the Scripture is sufficient.
We do not mean the Scripture by itself is all we make use of we say solo Scripture is not solo so Scripture doesn't mean Scripture make it and by itself means by Scripture alone. We evaluate all the things that would we do. Some may argue I have no pre-but the Bible say the Bible itself is enough they mean they don't need creeds and confessions in theology and catechisms and curricula. I appreciate Dr. Pettit's presentation to up to us of why the creed is important what university greed is important post, Reformation churches do not make use of creeds of theology or catechisms because they believe the Scripture is insufficient as a matter fact, Michael Horton says in his theology says we make use of these precisely because they believe the Scriptures are so clear and consistent that there principal teachings can and should be summarized for the good of the whole community children as well as adults. And so we have creeds and confessions of faith, we have theologies catechisms, we have classes in Sunday school because we believe the scriptural truths can be put together and forms we can understand so doesn't mean you just read the Scripture means you learn from the Scripture and from godly people also domain that when we say the Scripture sufficient that we are not wrestling Scripture gives all the information about all possibilities for all ties wrestling. It talks about everything possible. Carl Truman says in some areas.
The Scriptures are sufficient teaching principles, but not necessarily for providing specific details cultural cultures change circumstances change, people are all different scriptural principles can be applied across the board to many different situations.
That is, Scripture doesn't speak explicitly to in vitro fertilization or gender reassignment surgery or Christian rap, but it does give us principles that are sufficient to shape our answers to those challenges or to him in our beliefs about what we can do to worship God. When my friends wrote this. The Bible principles supply all the inspired revelation. We need even though they do not spell out all the data that we could have to reach wise conclusions. Scripture is sufficient by saying Scripture is sufficient where we all say we are always right, and cannot be corrected. We can say because I believe in the Bible. Everything that I say correct again what I say must be normed by the normal Scripture that cannot be normal. You have to listen to what I save in a chapel today and say is that agree with the Bible but of abuse and dictatorial leadership is taken place under the guise of biblical belief, we must always run back to the Scriptures to evaluate the truth of what is said what we listen to and how we are guided by saying Scripture sufficient. We don't say that the use of Scripture is simplistic that is that we just slap a verse on a problem and that makes everything better. The Bible is not a set of proof text, but it is a set of contexts was pulled Scripture verse on say this is your problem. This is the solution I'll be very honest with you here and I'm hopefully honest with you, everything I say extremely honest student your office, you come with the problem is not always easy to say this is the verse that applies specifically that problem God has given us means beyond just Scripture versus he's given us contexts and situations throughout all of Scripture that we can learn principles from and applied in specific situations. But God is a just given us the words of Scripture.
In the words of Scripture he's told us that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. And so when you come with problems that we deal with the Scripture with your problems. I know that the Bible says is also another resource that is powerful to affect change that is prayer so we can go to the Lord in prayer is a God there's nothing that I can say that will change the situation or circumstances as I don't have the wisdom to completely deal with a complex problem. The God I know that you are the creator of the world that you love this person that you can help them. We can go to the Lord. We don't just slap a Band-Aid on a problem that we deal with the problem with the Scriptures and we also take those things before the Lord.
Dependence on him. God is also given us the church or the fellowship of believers is something revealed in his word is brought around us, people with different gifts to help support us and build us up and edifies collation says if a brother is overtaken in a fault, you are spiritual, restore them in this in the spirit of meekness. Consider yourself considering yourself lest you also be tempted. God is brought people around us in a community that can encourage and support us so it's not just the use of Bible verses that show the gods Scripture sufficient God is revealed means by which you can affect change. This also doesn't mean the loss. People can't help us with our problems doesn't mean that biblical counseling provides the only help someone can get with any of their problems.
Biblical counseling coalitions as God's common grace.
Grace brings many good things to human life.
There are numerous sources of help, such as scientific research or medical practice. Organize observation about human behavior.
Those we counsel reflection of their own life experience, literature, film in history, culture. All these can contribute to our knowledge of people and many sources can help with some relief. However, we must also realize that nothing outside of God's revelation provides a comprehensive system of principles and practices. The deal with the whole of the human condition we can get help Bible second Timothy three.
Closing time or just reflect on the passage of Scripture that God has given us sufficiency clearly stated second Timothy three, Paul is talking to Timothy. It's a transition time in world history really is a time of transition in church history. The apostles are moving off the scene. He's equipping Timothy to take over and lead the churches in Ephesus is telling him this is how you are able to take the course from here on out chapter 3 verse 12 he says yeah and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived but continued down the things which you have learned and has been assured of, knowing of whom you have learned them that from a child have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise and the 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 perfect or mature or complete, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. Paul tells Timothy in his coming ministry and Paul tells us in our present ministry and Paul tells everyone of you in your present circumstances in life.
God's word is sufficient to meet the needs of your life and your growth.
Paul tells Timothy.
We will always be in contrast to the world. Evil men and evil flashings will get worse and worse all who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution because of their distinction from the world. Don't think that if you believe God's word is sufficient and you will be accepted by everyone around you. Certainly that wasn't the case with Timothy.
That's not the case with us to understand that we will need to consistently continue in the word Paul tells Timothy continuing the things that you have learned to become invented convinced that on encourage all of you here today.
You've heard from God's word is believed in Jesus as your Savior Timothy from a child and known the holy Scriptures, which eventually made him wise to salvation God is done that in most of your lives as well continue trusting his word. If you trust God's revelation for your salvation. Certainly you can trust God's revelation for your sanctification and every one of your circumstances. We've trusted and what God is set for our eternal destiny.
We can trust in what God is said for our temporal circumstances.
God's word is sufficient way to consistently continue in the word, we can have complete confidence in the word, we can do that, because of its source. It was breathed by God was given by God himself, the creator and sustainer of the universe, our God, who loved us so that he sent his son to die on the cross for our sin do that based on the source we do that because it aligns with the purpose of Scripture which is to mature us to equip us for every good work. You know, we were re-created in Christ Jesus unto good works. Paul says in Ephesians chapter 2 said how can I do what God has called me to do. We can do that because God has given us a sufficient word is given us is he tells Timothy a word that teaches us doctrine that gives us the proof it matures us and equips us. He teaches us what to believe.
It protects us when we are wrong. That's reproof the census back in the right path.
It cares crossing her access. That's when Paul says me says, for correction, and it strengthened us for instruction in righteousness firm with me. The fact that I started with. I believe in God do you believe God how you think about his word will show whether or not you believe in the sufficiency of Scripture.
I would encourage you to do so spring God you are great in God you are good when the ways we know your goodness is because you graciously revealed yourself. You've revealed your son. You've revealed your will in your word and God you've given us a word that is sufficient for life and godliness that only really equips us for what is called us to do and how you called us to live God. I pray for every student and faculty and staff member here today that they would have the confidence in your word that guides them through their lives that they would believe in you and that they would believe you.
Help us with this in Jesus name and then you been listening to The Daily Platform. I'm Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University and I invite you to join us at our beautiful campus in Greenville, South Carolina to see how you can be prepared academically and spiritually to serve the Lord through one of our more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. For more information about Bob Jones University, visit www.bjyou.edu or call 800-252-6363