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Why Bother with the Bible? (Part 5 of 6)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
December 9, 2021 3:00 am

Why Bother with the Bible? (Part 5 of 6)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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December 9, 2021 3:00 am

The Bible leads unbelievers to saving faith and helps believers become more Christlike. But spiritual maturity doesn’t happen overnight. Find out why we need to read God’s Word regularly—and do what it says. That’s on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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The Bible is all about. It leads us to saving faith in him and makes us more like Christ.

But spiritual maturity isn't something that happens overnight.

Today on Truth for Life Alistair Begg emphasizes the importance of reading God's word regularly and listening to what it says here's Alastair to open today's program with we pray that as we study the Bible together.

We may meet with Christ. To this end, we ask for the help of the Holy Spirit praying in the strong and powerful name of Jesus. Amen.

I invite you to turn again to the portion of Scripture that was read some moments ago in two Timothy chapter 3, we are looking together at this section of the Bible for 1/3 and final time we noted last time in our consideration of the question, why bother with the Bible that the Bible is able to make men and women wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. The Bible itself does not save but it points to the Lord Jesus Christ to buy his atoning death is the Savior of all who believe we sought to summarize that last time by pointing out that in the Bible, we have essentially handbook for salvation and there were two questions which we said what inevitably auras. One was if the Bible is a handbook for salvation hasn't then brought me to saving faith in Jesus and if it has, then how is it teaching and training me to live as someone who has been brought to saving faith. It is to the second of those questions that we come now reminding one another of what we've said with frequency.

In the last years that salvation has three tendencies to it or we may helpfully reference these three aspects of what it means to be saved and if you're not familiar with this little trilogy you may want to make a note of it.

I think you'll find this very helpful in discovering just where you are if you are on the journey of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The believer is able to say I have been saved. Past tens from sin's penalty.

I have been saved from sin's penalty. Also, I will be saved from sin's presence going to go to heaven and in heaven there will be no sin, no temptation to sin, but I am presently being saved from sin's power have been saved from its penalty will be saved from its presence. Presently being saved from its power in the way in which that saving impact of God upon the life of his child takes place is in part described for us here in these verses that we been considering the Scripture is God breathed in verse 16.

It's useful, and then you will notice these four verbs for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, the new English Bible summarizes it dead that the Scripture has its use and he gives us. They give us two couplets for teaching the truth and refuting outer for reformation of manners and discipline in right living.

In other words, the Bible is sufficient for our creed and for our conduct is to the Bible that we look for when asking the question, what am I supposed to believe, and it is again to the Bible that we turn when were asking the question how am I supposed to be behaving that Lucas is said that in verse 16. What we have is not a verse that is there to tell us the Bible is inspired, although it does that, but it is here to tell us that no child of God will be equipped for their work unless they are thoroughly soaked in the Scriptures are quite wonderful major version of the idea being completely soaked as opposed to having just a little rainfall on you or a little water on your head. You know what it is at times to be thoroughly soaked. The emphasis of the Bible is that it is calling the child of God to be thoroughly soaked in it in the sense of the passages you will have determine by now, the sense of the passages that the Scripture has been given to enable the child of God, to meet the demands that God places upon them. Some months ago now. I pointed out to you the importance of what is referred to in theological terms as a means of grace. In other words, God brings us to faith and conforms us to the image of his son not in a vacuum, but he uses certain aspects of life in order to achieve his objective and we noted them in reverse order. They where suffering recognizing that God uses suffering in the lives of his children to accomplish purposes that are not accomplished when everything is going swimmingly well fellowship. The fellowship of God's people. A reminder to us that none of us is flying solo to heaven. Prayer died in prayer. We commune with God and we hear his voice, and we align our wills with his the sacraments, the importance of celebrating the Lord's supper together, and the importance of baptism, and then of course the Scriptures themselves.

I want to remind you this morning that the supreme instrument that God uses for renewing his people after the image of the Lord Jesus Christ is his word. The supreme instrument that he uses to make you and to make me increasingly like his son Jesus is the Bible. That's why it is important for us to be paying attention to what God is saying to eyes we said in our first study that what God is saying to us is more important than what we are saying to him. In other words would be given two years and one time that we might hear more and say less and in that listening God is working within us. Why is important to listen to the Bible when is it is expounded at hearing the pool put in from the front of this particular room where doing this because the Bible is the supreme instrument for making the people of God, like his son and that no local congregation will ever live above the level of its exposition, you will never find that a congregation rises above the level of the teaching it receives. There may be one or two individuals that chase on ahead, but the general tenor of a congregation will be marked by the level of instruction that it receives. Therefore, it is vital that we are in this context. In this big room it is equally vital that we are also under the instruction of the Bible in the classroom or in the smaller rooms because they are in the ability to interact and to tease out the Scriptures and to converse with one another.

We are reinforcing its truth in our line and is equally important. The Bible is central in our family rooms so that in our holdings.

The Bible is not a closed, but rather an open book that it is the point of reference for father and mother to turn doing with their children in the questions of life and in the journey of faith.

The Bible is equally at work in our bedrooms or in the private rooms of our line because the Bible is the supreme instrument for the renewing of his people.

Charles Hodge in an old book called the way of life is a wonderful paragraph on this one. Read it all to you but I want you to listen very carefully to what he says it is most unreasonable to expect to be conformed to the image of God unless the truth concerning God be made to operate often and continuously upon the mind.

How can a heart that is filled with the thoughts and cares of the world, and especially one which is often moved to evil by the thoughts or sites of sin expect that the affections which answer to the holiness goodness or greatness of God should gather strength within how can the love of Christ increase in the bosoms of those who hardly ever think of him or of his work.

This cannot be without a change in the very nature of things and therefore we cannot make progress in holiness.

Unless we devote much time to the reading hearing and meditating upon the word of God which is the truth whereby we are sanctified, the more this truth is brought before the mind, the more we commune with it entering into its import, applying it to our own case, appropriating its principles appreciating its motives rejoicing and its promises trembling at its threatenings rising by its influence from what is seen and temporal to what is unseen and eternal. The more we may expect to be transformed by the renewing of our mind so as to approve and love, whatever is holy, just, and good people distinguish further piety have always been people of meditation as well as people of prayer people accustomed to withdraw the money and from the influence of the world with its thousand joys and sorrows and to bring it under the influence of the doctrines presets and promises of the word of God. I want to go to read the whole paragraph, but I got reading it is so good.

I deleted all the way to the end is absolutely fantastic and incidentally this is not a form of legalism when I say to you that I encourage you to be done with the local newspaper on the Lord's day what you needed for on a Sunday, you need to withdraw your mind from the influence of the world with its thousand joys and sorrows and bring it under the influence of the doctrines, presets and promises of the Bible. How are you going to do that.

1 Practical Way to do it is just not to take a Sunday paper. Do as you please. But it helps me and you know what an aficionado ion of newspapers and how much I love newspapers and how I gather them around me as friends. As I travel and cut pieces out of them and stuff them everywhere. It is a significant commitment on my part to get about one of these five dollar beauty. I do as you please ask yourself if there is to be any sense in which we withdraw our minds from the thousand joys and sorrows of the world to bring them under the instruction of the precepts principles of the Bible. Surely, of all days on the Lord's day, there is the prime opportunity to do that. So, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. There is a reason why people in an earlier generation lived as they live as they sought a life of piety. They were not a bunch of weirdos.

They were not strapped in straitjackets of religious formalism.

They were conformed to an internal piety which it touched our hearts and change their mind and the instruction of the Bible is not to give us fatheads in our minds are to be stored, but our hearts are to be touch and for myself the thousand joys and sorrows, which attract me and draw me out are so alluring that unless I make my own little framework of existence to work for myself than I will be overwhelmed by it all. So that in passing not in the notes but I thought I'd mention it in any case now is this description, the man of God. In verse 17 a specific reference to Timothy is a pastor and to all like him. After all, it's only used twice in the New Testament here and didn't verse 11 of chapter 6 where he says what you owe man of God, flee from all of this nonsense. After all, it is an express title of respect for Moses and for David and for Elijah and for others in the Old Testament is Paul then giving express instructions to Timothy in his responsibility as a pastor teacher to ensure that under the authority of Scripture. Those who are in his care are being taught and rebuked are being corrected, and trained will certainly he must be saying that.

But is it legitimate for us to restricted in that way. I think not, because after all, a letter written to Timothy was for the general consumption of the people of God and the principle of watching your life and doctrine closely is not a principal just for the one who leaves but as a principal for all who along with the one who leads follow the Lord Jesus Christ, that would be if I were able to secure that is the only legitimate exposition to take all of you immediately off the hook and to suggest that this was only instruction for those who'd been called to the task of pastoring and bleeding surely means more than that, I think probably verse 17 we can get out by translating it so that the person who belongs to God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. You belong to God. That's the question you see do you belong to God by grace through faith that if you belong to God, then what are you to believe he answers, and how are you to behave. He answers. First of all, in terms of belief positive and then negative all of the Bible all Scripture is God breathed and is useful. First of all, for teaching. That is why Jesus came teaching a wonderful teacher able to explain things so powerfully and so life-changing.

That's why the apostles when they stepped onto the stage of history after Pentecost were proclaiming the word of God. Barnabas sending for Paul in acts chapter 11 because he recognized that these enthusiastic new believers needed to be taught the Bible. And so Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people and the disciples were called Christians first identity Paul doing the same thing everywhere he went.

By the time he leaves the disciples behind and emphasis in acts chapter 20 he says you know I haven't hesitated to preach anything that would be helpful to you, but I've taught you publicly and from house to house. In other words, I what he said in the public discourse he reinforced in personal conversation and he encourage those under his care to be taught in many of your teachers, what a noble calling to be a teacher to have the hand, have the minds and the lives of youngsters and in some cases, university students under your tutelage of that is an immense responsibility in the high call in the question for any teacher and I class myself among them NET any of us as teachers put our heads on the pillow at night and we asked the question, are my students learning anything, are they learning. I know people say well you should. Here's Alexander easy is this her is that I I don't care.

I ultimately don't care whether you like it when they are stirred by and removed by I have a genuine concern that we are learning together what God has given to us in the Bible in order that we might be conformed to the image of his son and each of us, who teaches will be judged first, not by the effectiveness of our teaching, but we will be judged for the motives of our teaching you learning anything correcting teaching, rebuking, rebuking, some people don't like the verb rebuking dirty rebuking is important, isn't it. I've been with a lot of dogs this week. It just so happens, walking in the street.

I met a perennial mountain dog that weighed hundred and 65 pounds and was very lovely looking, but I would like to bump into it on a dark night, I met a number of dog during the weekend and one or two of them are just hopeless things, hopeless creatures. What is this jumping creature doing rebuked the thing rebuking or live with the implications of the absence of review standing like a clown in the middle of the street. While this thing goes all over the place in your Starbucks coffee goes everywhere in the dog's slavering all over everything. That's all getting out looks good.

I was a problem the same problem. The producers, the two-year-old tyrannize in the grocery store writing in the chariot data here. I'll give you something she would we live in a culture where in the teaching deal. Everything is so bent towards positive reinforcement and affirmation that the notion of review is regarded immediately as some intrusion into person's life and is viewed almost immediately negatively, but in point of fact, it is vital in the teaching task to point out what is true and also to point out what is not true to refute what is wrong and to rebuke what is wrong so that people may then in embracing truth turn away from here you have it in first Thessalonians 1 where Paul is able to commend the church in Thessalonica is assessed. You are commended amongst the communities because you turned away from idols to serve the living God. In other words, there was the turning from because there was a turning to. There was a positive discovery of who Jesus was.

There was the rebuking of everything that went against that this morning in the Murray McShane readings and I hope many of you use this machine reading through the year. I know that many of you do just the plug is ongoing presence.

Were talking about the Bible. Some of you have read through the year. Some of you like me things about two years to achieve it because of how many times I I failed but anyway I get through the end and today some of your red first Kings chapter 22 and you will agree with me now how the Bible ties in when our hearts and minds are open to it.

I can go through it. It's got tons of verses 50 or 60 verses but the kings of Judah and Israel are coming together to decide whether they should engage in a battle and so they bring together the prophets and the prophets, some 400 men are asked the question. Shall we go to war against RAM of Gilead, or shall I refrain, the answer is, let's go for Jehoshaphat says no. I wonder whether this is just right. He says, is there not a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire so that all these prophets telling them what to do is number prophet of the Lord. Interesting distinction is because so many cousins as a prophet is made them a prophet, the king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat. There is still one man through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad.

He is Michalak's son-in-law, even going reinforced Kings 22 is that of the plain dealer and you will discover, you will discover the amazing all unfolding of the story, which has to do with the necessity of review 400 Fallis said yes yes yes one guy in the most unpopular position, said he that of course was the task given to Michalak from this is Truth for Life listing to a message from Alistair Begg titled why bother with the Bible are series this week explains why reading God's word is so important not just for adults but for children as well. Today we have a collection of storybooks. We want to tell you about that will help introduce preschoolers to stories from the Bible.

So if you have young children or grandchildren or friends with a young family. This three book bundle will make a great Christmas gift. The bundle includes an Old Testament seek and find board book is also a book titled the Christmas promised the teachers why Jesus came, and the bundle includes a book about Jesus and the forgiveness he offers the collection of three books, along with 1/4 bonus book is available from Truth for Life today for just $10. As we approach the close of our financial year would be grateful if you could add a generous donation at checkout when you buy your books sure to place your order soon to ensure that the books arrive before Christmas find them and when you donate. We want to invite you to request a book for you to read as well is our way of saying thanks for your support book is titled Spurgeon on the power of Scripture contains seven sermons preached by the well-known 19th-century preacher Charles Spurgeon.

The book is a great supplement to Alistair's current series. Spurgeon's sermons explain how God's word keeps us from sin and how it helps us become more like Christ. Look for the book on our about Lapine. God wants us to be thoroughly equipped as believers find out tomorrow. Why you'll never outgrow your dependence on the Bible Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life is

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