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Why Bother with the Bible? (Part 3 of 6)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
December 7, 2021 3:00 am

Why Bother with the Bible? (Part 3 of 6)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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December 7, 2021 3:00 am

We’ve all looked at a button in a car or a switch on a wall and wondered, “What’s that for?” But have you ever looked at your Bible and asked the same question? What’s the purpose of the Bible? Find out when you join us on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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We all will. At a knob on the client switch on the wall of one what's that for a bigger look at your Bible and ask the very same question, what is that for today on Truth for Life.

Alastair Begg brings a straightforward response that compels us to ask an even greater question two Timothy chapter 3 verse 14 but as for you, continuing what you've learned and have become convinced off because you know those from whom you learned from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures was able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work on that we set ourselves the task last time off, addressing a very simple and yet straightforward question, namely, why bother with the Bible. Why bother with the Bible. At the heart of all that we discovered last time we tried to nail down one essential sentence which was quite straightforwardly in the Bible God was and is speaking to us during the week I came across a quote from JC Ryle. The one time Bishop of Liverpool's practical religion in which he writes as follows. When you read the Bible, you're not reading the self-taught compositions of poor imperfect men like yourself but the words of the eternal God. When you hear it you are not listening to the adding opinions of short-lived mortals, but to the unchanging mind of the King of Kings. The men who were employed to indict the Bible, spoke not of themselves. They spoke as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. All other books in the world.

However good and useful in their way are more or less defective the more you look at them.

The more you see their defects and blemishes. The Bible alone is absolutely perfect from beginning to end. It is the word of God and that of course is the emphasis of Paul to Timothy hear a young man pastoring in the face of confusion within the church and compromise outside of the church. And Paul writes to him, to urge him on to where he had begun his spiritual journey and in the course of that in verse 16, he tells Timothy that all Scripture is God breathed at the NIV translates the art used is God breathed and translated quite literally two Greek words put together to form a word. The word CRS for God and Numa. The word for spirit or for bread.

The picture as we saw last time is not of the existence of writings into which God breathed inspiration.

Indeed, the word inspiration is not as good a word as perhaps exploration would be the idea of the breathing out of God through human instrumentality, providing us with the Scriptures themselves. The word inspired actually comes from the Latin Vulgate translation divinity.

This inspired data and from that we took inspired and put it in our English version by the NIV helps us here with this notion of God breathed and you will notice that the subject of inspiration is not the human author were familiar talking about a poet being asked inspired are a musician being inspired are somebody like Jan van Gogh being inspired. That is not the picture here. The inspiration is not that of the author that what is inspired is Scripture itself. God breathed out Scriptures and it is because of this, that the Scriptures, by means of their inspiration are completely inspired independent of how we make deal about them. It is not that the Scripture becomes inspired when we start to feel properly about that somehow or another.

When we encounter it in an existential way, it becomes something that prior to that it was not all yes there are those who teach that and you may have come from a congregation in which before the Scriptures were read. If you are paying particular attention you would have become alert to one of the prepositions and the individual might have students and I want you to listen for the word of God. Here you will find he was saying let us listen to the word of God. What is the distinction the distinction is the belief that the Scriptures are the word of God. They do not become the word of God to as by some kind of existential response and furthermore we noted, as Paul tells us here that it is not just parts of the Scriptures that are God breathed, but all Scripture is breathed out by God. It is all equally authoritative. That doesn't mean that all parts are equally interesting. Not everybody finds every part is interesting is another, and some may say II find it quite fascinating to read the book of Ezekiel some dances I find it really tortuous reading the book of Ezekiel, I find such and such a passage stimulating it's elevating it's moving but I understand that the gospel of John may appear to us to be very staring book of Esther may appear to us to be rather dull. John's Gospel may actually be more stimulating than Esther, but it is not more inspired than Esther. All Scripture is breathed out by God and he is given for as these 66 books.

I library a compendium 2027 of them. After Jesus and 39 of them before Jesus giving us the 66 books that make up the library, which is in between. The letter covers of my Bible here immediately. On Sunday I was bombarded by a number of questions concerning what we considered, not least of all, the issue of the Apocrypha, while what about the fact that other Bibles, the Roman Catholic Bible at the Orthodox Church Greek and Russian have lots of other books in them that we do not have what you want to say about that. I was asked will very little is my answer.

And this is the little that I'm going to say the short Lehman's answer is very straightforward and it is this and you must send your sensible people check the evidence on your own. But there is actually no evidence there is no evidence that other books where ever regarded as being canonical that these other books were ever regarded as being part of the canon or the list of the 66 books of the Bible nowhere have I find a more helpful statement regarding this and in the Westminster confession of faith and which in its section on Scripture. I commend to you. It points out its observations regarding the Apocrypha and says, first of all the books, commonly called Apocrypha not being of divine inspiration or no part of the canon of Scripture and therefore are of no authority in the church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved or made use of than other human writings now towards the books of the Apocrypha are no more helpful to others than Shakespeare or Cicero or the countries of Calvin is not to say these things aren't helpful but they have no more sanction to them than that and then extrapolating from that I read this statement to you which I hope you find helpful. The word Apocrypha which insolently means anything has been applied to certain ancient writings whose authorship is not manifest, and for which unfounded claims have been set up for a place in the canon, arguing for the existence in the Bible.

Some of these have been associated with the old and some of the New Testament. In this section of the confession.

However, the name is applied principally to the experience Scriptures for which a place is claimed in the Old Testament canon by the Roman church and then it lists them target wisdom Judith Ecclesiasticus Barrick. The two books of Maccabees and also points out that they put a prefix to the book of Daniel, which is called the history of Susanna insert in the third chapter the song of the three children in the ad to the end of the book of Daniel, the history of Bell and the Dragon. At least things are part and parcel of the apocryphal writings, the confession goes on to say that these groups have no right to a place in the canon is proved by the following facts one they never formed a part of the Hebrew Scriptures.

They have always been rejected by the Jews, to whose guardianship.

The Old Testament Scriptures were committed to.

None of them were ever quoted by Christ or the apostles.

Three. They were never embraced in the list of canonical books by the early church fathers, and even in the Roman church.

Their authority was not accepted by the most learned and candid and until after it was made.

An article of faith by the Council of Trent in the late 16th century very very important because people will come to you and they will say in all these books were authoritatively in the Bible and you folks at the Reformation ally Martin Luther and the rest you went in there and remove them. The factors they were never regarded in that way until the Council of Trent baptized them into orthodoxy late in the 16th century and fourthly, the internal evidence presented by their contents disproves their claims. None of them make any claim to inspiration, while the best of them. This claimant, some of them consist of childish fables and inculcate bad morals. That's all I want to say concerning the Apocrypha.

I want to commend to you at the Westminster confession of the confession was put together by the Devine's and Westminster in the 17th century in the middle of the 17th century actually presented to Parliament on 3 December 1646 is amazing to think about that, historically, isn't it that you have these theologians, these biblical scholars presenting to the Houses of Parliament to the very seat of government. The theological framework for an understanding of the Bible. The parliaments sits in session like Congress would do, and they sit and they discuss the nature of all of these theological principles. Parliament, as subsequent to that in December 1646. Send it back to the assembly of the Devine's asking them. Interestingly, to provide more scriptural proofs for their points and so they reconvened put more scriptural references in the document and then it was fully reported and finished with four scriptural proof and then endorsed by Parliament on 29 April 1647 along with that, let me commend to you the foundations of the Christian faith.

By the late James Boyce the opening for five chapters on the adoption of Scripture will reward your careful attention as will the section in know the truth by Dr. Bruce Milner book that I have come to commend warmly and to use with great frequency is a vast subject and therefore we must restrain ourselves and get to the matter at hand and return to the text from which we read our question has to do now with not what is the Bible but has to do with what is the Bible for what is the Bible for the here we have essentially two answers that Paul chooses to give to Timothy. At this point.

Why should anybody bother with the Bible. Well first of all there at the end of verse 15 because it is through the holy Scriptures. The he had a dramatic side that holy writings that a man or woman is made wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. And secondly, in verse 17 because it is by means of the same holy Scriptures that a man or woman of God can be thoroughly equipped for every good work taking it down a couple of notches. It shows us how to be saved, and it shows us how to live when we have been saved. Incidentally, that's what gives me and my colleagues complete freedom in teaching the Bible in a way that we do verse by verse in chapter by chapter and book by book's online almost paralyzed in their approach to teaching the Bible because they recognize that there is a great diversity of people listening.

Some of them have no idea about the Bible at all. Psalm are unchurched and unlearned and disinterested, whereas others have been around for a while. What are we to do and they have conferences and sit together and discuss telling people when they should comment how they should listen and then come in the evening if you want to learn the Bible properly come in the morning if you want just to hear about Jesus and so on. I applaud their endeavor to be very, very purposeful, but I fear no such tyranny and feel no such need. Why, because of what I learned here that Paul says the Timothy of you just teach the Bible. Two things will happen. People will be saved and the people who are saved will learn what it means to be safe and you really don't need to bother much beyond that provided you are faithfully Timothy speaking into pagan eyes culture and then to a church that represents the diversity of perspective. So we let the Scripture speak to say and to equip now by deduction, then each of you should be sitting here now saying to yourself that is if your congressman to search all if you're even listening then and by deduction.

It is very clear if what this character is saying is accurate, then I as an individual this morning in listening to the Bible being taught either need to learn what it means to be saved (asking the question had I-beams or I find myself asking the question on my learning what it means to live as a saved person but those are the only two options.

The Scriptures are given to us to make men and women wise for salvation and to equip them. Then with everything that goes along with what it means to be say when and listen carefully want you all Paul is doing this little section is simply reminding Timothy of the impact of the word of God is had upon his life, and upon his family. We set a wonderful heritage has near godly grandmother and a godly mom. The two of them had a wonderful impact on onto these young life the way that many of you are having today. I applaud all godly grannies and I applaud all godly mom and commend to you the work of the gospel for right your need and by your tutelage you are instilling in those who are under your care volumes, principles, discoveries about the Bible and about who Jesus is and why he came, which will cause them in time under God to arise and bless you and to bless and to revere your memory even as I revere the memory of my own mother and my own grandmother as I speak to you. How can I quantify what their prayers have meant how can I understand what their nurturing in the gospel has meant how can I ever repay the debt I owe to them who taught the Bible to meet and under whose tutelage, I became convinced yes there were pastors and yes there was my father. And yes, there were multiple influences, but I have a sneaking suspicion that others along with me this morning. Enjoy this great and wonderful benefit and never minimize it, even when your children run away and when they tell you that they would have no interest in it and they hate coming to the service and they don't like their teacher and all those other things, know that at least one rap scallion goes out before them, namely myself. I know by personal testimony, those from whom I learned the Scriptures and have become. Can binged of these things. I know not how the spirit moves convincing man of sin, revealing Jesus through the word, and creating faith in him, but I know whom I have believed and uncommitted to that which he is made available to me against the day and that was Timothy's experience the place of his mind and thinking. The key is inserted the key of the mind inserted in the lock of Scripture. Opening the door way to salvation. The Bible is a Bible under which we calm, Jim Packer years ago, wrote a wonderful little book. I pulled off my shelves again this week, under God's word, but he makes the point. The Bible is not primarily a book for the speculative thinker. The scientific investigator or the literary critic, but it is rather for the individual who, having learned from the world around him and from his own heart. Something of God and of his own need now seeks to know God and to find salvation now why would that be the case will because the Scriptures have been given to make is wise for salvation. You'll notice is not the Bible that saves us, it's the Bible that makes as why these so that we might be saved. Read the acts of the apostles and you discover that when the apostles begin to proclaim the good news on the Jerusalem streets and beyond what they're essentially doing is simply taking the Old Testament Scriptures and saying this is him that this Messiah was to come is actually come in the person of Jesus and in the great decorative statement of Peter following Pentecost, and following the healing of the gay beautifully says salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.

The Scripture has been given to educators to tell us what we won't get anywhere else that let me go to confession for the last time this morning although the light of nature and the works of creation and providence do so far, manifest the goodness wisdom and power of God as to leave men inexcusable, yet they are not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and all of his will, which is necessary unto salvation. Therefore it please the Lord in various ways and at different times, quoting Hebrews 1 to reveal himself and to declare that his will unto his church and afterwards for the better. Preserving and propagating of the truth and furthermore sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh and the malice of Satan of the world to commit the same holy unto writing which makes the holy Scripture to be most necessary.

These former ways of God revealing his will unto his people being now ceased. Now that's a bit of an earful. They then work it out and in more bite-size chunks but actually it occurred to me that Sam 19 says this very thing that where does it begin the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows his handiwork. Day on the day after his speech, and night on Tonight Show with knowledge there is no speech or language where this voice is not have. You can know enough about God to be rendered without excuse all of creation points to the creator and leaves us without any excuse listing to Alister big this is true for life we heard today that we know God exists through his creation, but it's the Bible but is God's chosen tool to lead us to salvation, to instruct us and how are to live as followers of Jesus, God's word provides all we need to know for life and godliness. That's why we teach the Scriptures every day. On this program so unbelievers will become committed followers of Christ, and believers will be encouraged to live out their faith. If you don't have a Bible that helps you dive deeper into God's word or if you know someone who could benefit by receiving a Bible is a gift. We encourage you to purchase the ESV study Bible that's available at Truth for Life today. This is a complete study Bible. It includes thousands of notes hundreds of full-color maps and illustrations. It comes with a black leather cover. And best of all it's available to you today for our cost of only $25 and the shipping is free.

You can view the Bible and purchase it while you're on a website. Be sure to look for our book recommendation.

It's a book called Spurgeon on the power of Scripture. If you're not familiar with Charles Spurgeon. He is a well-known preacher from the 19th century is often referred to as the prince of preachers because his sermons were so powerful he preach God's word with great passion and he's influencing many passages throughout history, including Alister Kuester copy of the book. Spurgeon on the power of Scripture you donate to support the teaching you here on Truth for Life. Visit our website truth. The book image in the Truth for Life above Lapine the heavens declare the glory of God and that leaves every one of us without excuse. Join us tomorrow to find out why we'd be lost without the Bible the Bible teaching of Alister big is furnished by Truth for Life with the wording is for living

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