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March 16, 2021 7:00 pm
Dr. Sam Horn continues the series entitled “I Believe,” with a message titled “The Inspiration of the Bible,” from 2 Timothy 3:14-17.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina.
Every school day travel is a time for the students to gather together around God's word through faithful preaching and teaching the students are challenged to know love and serve God from the sermons preached from the travel platform today doing a study series based on the creed that students recite each day in chapel services. This creed is a formal summary statement of foundational truths and summarizes the doctrines of our Christian faith. Today's sermon will be preached by Dr. Sam Horn, Dean of the seminary will be guiding us through the doctrine of the inspiration of the Bible. I'm asking you take your Bible and turned to second Timothy chapter 3 as I got ready for the message today. I don't know why I started thinking about this, but I started thinking about math.
I don't know how many be wake up and you sort have random thoughts but it's pretty scary when you wake up in your thinking about mathematics you know math is actually foundational to all of life as you and I know and enjoy it. Almost everything that we use almost everything that touches our life somewhere or another is rooted in a mathematical equation gives examples your iPhone that you may be reading your Bible on this morning before it ever existed. Physically it existed as a series of complicated mathematical equations, and this is true for almost everything else that we use in our daily life of me think about the alarm clock that woke you up this morning and then you hit snooze and snooze and snooze. It was a mathematical equation that made all of that possible think about the coffee maker that help you jumpstart your love for Jesus this morning that was a mathematical equation at some point. Think about the clothes you put on the car you drove to school this morning. The money you earn and span the bank you put it in and from which it magically disappears all of these things began somewhere as a mathematical equation. So, make no mistake math people make life happen. Math really is foundational to all that we do in life and and when you think about math is an interesting thought.
There are foundational principles called axioms that really make all of math happen every branch of mathematics that you can think of whether it's simple arithmetic or plane geometry or algebra or calculus or physics or statistics are probability or complex number theory and all of the applied mathematics, all of them go back to foundational axioms that make all the rest of the mathematical family work and this morning I want us to consider the fact that just like there are foundational axioms in mathematics. There are foundational axioms related to our spiritual belief and at the front and of all of that at the foundation of all of those massive doctrines, nine of which are contained in the creed you recited this morning. There is why primary foundational theological axiom upon which all of the others rest and it's the one that you recited this morning, creed when you said, I believe in the inspiration of the Bible and by that I mean both the old and the new Testaments. So this morning I don't intend to give you a deep theological lecture on the finer points of inspiration, but I do.
I do want to ask three questions this morning. Related to this idea that that there is this fundamental theological axiom that stands at the base of everything else that we believe in self with three questions every simple light does believe actually look like when I say I believe in this and what is it exactly that I'm supposed to believe and then thirdly, why does it matter so three very simple ideas this morning as we think about the text before us. I ask you to go to second Timothy chapter 3 because out of all the places in our New Testament that speak to this aspect of belief and inspiration. I can think of a better place than the letter that the apostle Paul wrote to a young passionate follower of Jesus Christ. Not much further along in his journey than most of you are in this room. And so the apostle Paul, beginning in verse 14 said to Timothy continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and has been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them, and that from a child thou hast known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make the wise under salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. And then this amazing text. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable.
It is useful, it is capable, it is it is able doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect through really furnished under all good works. So as we listen in on this conversation between Paul and Timothy.
I think one of the questions I have, and certainly hope you have is this what exactly does believe look like in Paul's mind when he says to Timothy, you need to believe this and I think the text where we find some help with that is in verse 14 when Paul says continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and maybe the best way to sort of impact that little phrase is, is to note that whatever Paul has in mind when he talks about believe it is something that is genuinely personal, is something that comes to the very heart of an individual where where that individual. In contrast to all of the other people around him has come to a settled decision about something and that's exactly how you see verse 14. Opening up it's it's like this, but you Timothy and and if you could step back and start reading. Second Timothy from the front end of the book, you would immediately discover the context of all of this is that Timothy is a leading and mentoring a group of believers, and there are other people who have learned things there are other people who have believed things and in many cases it looks like their belief system is actually the better one and they have been making on believable progress in getting people to buy into their beliefs and Paul says to Timothy in the face of all of this. Now you Timothy continue in what you have believed. You know you leave Bob Jones University and not even as you leave as you live your life within the context of Bob Jones University.
There are immense competing beliefs and often times it seems that those competing belief systems are going to have the attraction they are going to be what everybody flocked Stephen if the apostle Paul could sit down and look you in the you would say to you this but as for you, you believe you continue so belief or Paul is intensely personal and then I want to note is that is unshakably persistent. He said to Timothy continue in the things that you have learned, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.
Timothy doesn't matter what anybody else says it doesn't matter how convincing it may be on the surface you know something about your belief and one of the things you know is you know the life and you know the character and you know the conduct of the people who taught you this belief from the time you were small. Timothy these new people. These people have this additional teaching, they may appear a certain way, but you know, deeply, intimately, personally, the character in the conduct and the consistency of the people who taught you this belief and then he points to the two people in Timothy's life who taught him about the Bible. It was his mother, Eunice, and his grandmother Lois and then Paul said, in addition to these wonderful people that you lived with. You understood these truths and you saw them in action because you lived with me and you followed me, and you watch what happened to me for these true you, and I've learned the Bible in general and we have learned it specifically with regard inspiration from our youth up. We are like Timothy. And we have learned it from reliable and consistent and credible sources. For example, you have learned about the Bible's inspiration from Jesus himself, because throughout his ministry, Jesus constantly verify the authority and the inspiration of the Old Testament, and with regard to the New Testament that was coming.
He promised that his Spirit would guide his apostles when it came time for that truth to be delivered. So you have learned this from Jesus you have learned it from the apostles who wrote it because they claimed it. Second Peter chapter 1 is a very clear indicator of this were peters is when he tell you how all of this happened to holy men of God were moved along by the Holy Spirit and they wrote these words down from us and then on top of that you many of you like me have learned about this from godly parents and from pastors who loved us and shepherded us and prayed for us and cared for us and we have a lengthy opportunity to look at their lives and to see their character and to see their conduct tested under pressure tested by sorrow tested in every way, so we have learned this from unbelievably reliable sources, and some of you right now for the next four years or wherever you are in your program are learning this same truth from very capable men and women who stand in front of you on a daily basis to teach you the skills and the knowledge that you will need for life and in the context of what they are teaching at the heart of it is this foundational belief about the Bible so Paul says it needs to be deeply personal. It needs to be persistent and then finally it needs to be passionate Timothy continue in the things which you have learned and have been assured Timothy this is gotta be more than just accurate comprehension about the Bible's inspiration and its nature is gotta go way beyond mental assent to sort of.
I say the creed and I agree with it and I'm done. It has to go deeper than just doctrinal orthodoxy. It has to be rooted in the very soil of yourself for us to go deep into the roots of your heart needs to resonate at the deepest level of who you are is a belief that should so soundly be anchored in you that it moves you in profound ways, and you treasure it above all other beliefs is a living movie, stirring belief, a conviction that brings you amazement joy and confidence that you have book that contains on its pages. The very breath of God, that when you open up this book, you are not just reading something that Paul wrote down.
You are actually listening to the voice of God when you woke up this morning and you got your cup of coffee and you sent out your Bible and you opened it up and you began reading.
You began reading something that God intended to say to you this morning you can go through an intermediary.
You didn't have to go to somebody to get this.
These words are God's very own words and when you read them. He is speaking directly to you.
This is an amazing reality. My ninth grade daughter taught me word this year is the word may know this word may, if it means it means a lack of enthusiasm uninspiring man, I'm not impressed by this.
You mean that's all you know sometimes I think we come to a doctor like inspiration and that's what it's like for us because we've heard it.
Our whole life coming times as a senior.
Have you said the creed about University we think about the doctrines classes that you took and how those doctors classes is driven this truth home in your life and you filled out note and youth and youth done quizzes and you've written papers and and and here you are. And here I am and I'm I'm ashamed to say it very often.
When I when I think about the fact were to take time to talk about the inspiration of the Bible.
I'm unimpressed. It's you know what you stumped me moment in the apostle Paul is looking at Timothy and he is saying to him, you cannot think that way about the Bible and its inspiration. So what is it, secondly, that I am supposed to passionately believe about the Bible and supposing to move now to that part of his his comment to Timothy and Huizinga say Timothy you need really two things deeply and passionately and personally and persistently about your Bible number one, you need to believe that these writings of these Scriptures. These graph they are holy and you can see that as Paul talks about the fact that you have known these from the time that you were a child.
In verse 15.
From a child thou hast known the holy writings the holy Scriptures, so Timothy you need understand that these writings and and when he starts using the word holy for them.
He's actually saying. These writings are unique, they are set apart from all other writings. There is nothing else. There are no other written down themes that are like this written down.what you're holding in your hand. These sacred writings are unique, they are unique in their source, their unique and their nature they are unique in their message. The writings that you hold in your hand. Both the old and the New Testament pauses to Timothy, these are holy writings. Their unique set apart in a category from all other writings and what makes them unique. Timothy is the second thing that you need to believe you need to believe that these writings are unique, but what makes them unique is that they are inspired.
All Scripture verse 16 is given. Here's how it was authored here. I will delivered it was given by inspiration of God, and I said we were to go into a deep theological lecture about this morning to say this inspiration, as Paul is thinking about it is not so much a God breathed into these words some inspiring thoughts. It's actually saying the very opposite it is saying.
Just like when you speak your words are carried out of your mouth by your breath. These words were breathed out by God. They are his own very words they come from him. They focus on his side and they are guided and guarded by his spirit. These are no ordinary Peter is good to talk a little bit about the process of all of this is happened. So how did inspiration happen, holy, set apart men were actually the recipients of these words as the Holy Spirit guided them and moved them and protected what they wrote set at the end of the day what they wrote in the original document that was produced was the very words of God, and that's what you and I hold in her hand and so that means something Timothy because you believe these writings are unique and you believe that they come from the very mouth of God. And they are the very words of God himself.
Then you need understand that they are infallible, which means they are fully trustworthy. They are sure and reliable.
They are a trustworthy record of what they claim so that you will never be misled by the Scriptures, they are inerrant simply means that in in the original written down record that was guided and guarded by the Holy Spirit.
There were no mistakes. There were no errors. The writers recorded and reported authentically and accurately is completely accurate in what it claims and because of that it is authoritative. It has moral, ethical, social, spiritual, personal authority over all of life.
Every part of life in every area of your life in every area of my life. The Scriptures become the authoritative standard because of what they are and and how they came to be and what they claim in all of this means that they are eminently useful. They are eminently sufficient to address anything that comes up in the sphere of life that we encounter so others we can say this because of what we are to believe the Scriptures are an accurate record of what God wants me to know they are and reliable record of what God wants me and you to believe and they are an authoritative standard of how God wants us to live. In other words, when we start to think through what is morally right we start asking questions. What is ethically just what is theologically true. What is spiritually beneficial doctors I have given you an authoritative standard in my breathed out words that you hold in your hand that brings us to the final thing this morning and that is this why is it so important that we believe this when we know what Paul had in mind when he said to Timothy, you need to believe there has to be this deep, personal, persistent, passionate embracing of a belief in many goes on to say what you need to believe that way about his is in the nature the unique nature of the writings that came from God that you hold in your hand the Bible. Both the old and the new test. But why is it important to believe that because if we don't understand the significance of why we believe it will eventually just be doctrinal orthodoxy will be some theological proposition that we can't carry around in our brain so that whenever we get asked the question about our Bible we go III it's a holy Bible. Oh yeah, it gets its is is like inspired it, and then all of a sudden it's just words that come out of her mouth instead of a belief that deeply anchors itself in our soul. So why is it so important to believe this pauses there are three reasons that you should hold onto this with all of your mind with all of your Saul with everything that you have. You should not have or be moved away by anything from or anyone reason number one.
These unique writings have the ability to make you wise by enlightening you about salvation Timothy these writings that you been talking about.
In reading, particularly Old Testament have opened your eyes and enlighten you so that you know the truth about how a man becomes right with God. How does a person alienated by his sin or her sin come to a right relationship with a holy perfect God. Timothy, you have discovered that way your eyes have been enlightened by these writings and you have discovered that salvation is by works. It's by faith and not just any faith but say that it raises the reality of what God told you to believe about Jesus and his finished work Timothy you live in a world you live in a city where everybody is trying to figure out how to deal with their sins. Everybody is trying to figure out in the end how their you get the habit and you have a unique sacred book that is the breath of God himself. That has led you to understand something that that the way to salvation that everybody is looking for is through faith in a particular person, God's anointed, appointed Messiah who came and accomplished justification through his atonement.
You have been made wise about this and by the way, so have you in a positive Timothy Scriptures don't is make you wise with regard to salvation. They actually make you holy by instructing you in righteousness and that's what you see in verse 16 all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and it is profitable, it is useful here is what it does. These God breathed, words are profitable for you and your holiness because they teach you the truth and and when you are in a place where where you have embraced error are you are being attracted by air or in some area of your life you're living out erroneously. These words can bring you reproof they can expose that and so these words can also correct that when you were when I fall off the path of righteousness. These words from God reach out and bring us back and then they just correct us in his back on the path but they train us. The big building endurance, so that we have the ability to stay on that path in the difficult days ahead. So these Scriptures make you holy and then the words that God breathed out that are on the page in front of you, make you profitable. They give your life significance because they empower you for something they empower you for a certain kind of good works.
Make no mistake that the words of God as as they encounter in your heart and your mind are just there to make you a better person. There are plenty of people who reject the Bible and who want nothing to do with the belief system that you and I've embraced to do all kinds of good works.
They build hospitals they they do relief work, they reach out to the uneducated masses. They are concerned about the injustice of life in the Army moved to do something about that. But when they get done with that work. What happens is the watching people who see that work are pointed back to them or to that cause Paul as an entirely different thing in mind. He says do you as a lawyer or accountant or nurse or missionary or market or whatever it is a God is equipping you and giving passion to do these words as they encounter your soul will make it so that when you live your life consistently under pressure. When you don't came to what is going around you when there is a gracious, contagious generosity about and people around you watch that under pressure and they see it under all kinds of circumstances that are adverse to you when I get done watching the good works that you are doing before them. They are to be thinking about you at all. To be thinking about your father who is in heaven and they will give glory to him. And Paul says there's only one set of words that have that kind of power to shape your life in that way. So believe with all of your heart. Hang on, with all your soul to this amazing foundational principle, I believe in the inspiration of the Bible. Both the old and the New Testament's father, thank you for the opportunity to talk about this to come together around your word around a topic that most of us is not new.
It's so familiar.
The creed we say every day and yet Lord, for this moment for these 30 minutes.
We have stilled our hearts, we have opened our eyes and we have listened to the words on your page that you've given to us about you that lead us to the truth about you that that lead us in the path of righteousness and that give to us are great significance as we do works that point and to Lord I know that this is been a time when we could've done other things so I pray for those in this room who are under pressure and who are are struggling to find time today to do things would you reward them. Would you bless them today unusually and will thank you for this in Jesus name, amen. You been listening to a sermon preached by Dr. Sam Horn about the doctrine of the inspiration of the Bible. Thanks again for listening. Join us again tomorrow as we continue the study in the doctrines of the Christian faith here on The Daily Platform