SCRIPTURAL INSPIRATION

Reading: 2 Timothy 3:1-17

INTRODUCTION

[a] I wonder have you met someone  like  the  young gentleman I had on my doorstep who introduced himself as a monk, and offered me a book.

I knew with a glance at  the  cover,  that  it was a New-Age publication, promoting one of the eastern religions.

[b] I told the  chap  that  I  knew  what  his  game  was,  and I was not interested in his ‘godless religion’.

[c] He asked me why  I  said  it  was  godless,  and  I told him that his religion did not  accept  Jesus  Christ,  and  therefore  as far as I was concerned, was godless!

[d] He was most indignant, and  said,  “You  mean that because a religion does not accept Jesus Christ it is godless?”

[e] I told him that as the Bible said Jesus is the ONLY way of Salvation, then without Him, a religion is indeed godless!

[f] I was then informed, that the Bible was only one book, and that there were other holy books.

[g] Before he left, I enlightened  him,   that  I  didn’t need any of his other holy books, because, through the Bible,  I  have  found  the living Jesus, and have therefore found Salvation.

[h] He was obviously English, and told me that he had heard that Scotland was bigoted, but he didn’t believe it until he met me!!

I didn’t have the heart to tell him, I came from Ireland.

[i] He also felt that because  his  own  insistence was rebuffed, and his arrogance was tackled, that I was ignorant  to him, because I refuted his stance, and would give no place to his false doctrine.

FRIENDS, THE ANGELS OF THE DEVIL  DO  NOT  NEED TO BE DEALT WITH, WEARING KID GLOVES!

Be so very careful,  the  devil  and  his  followers,  so often appear as angels of light.

POINT 1 IMPOSSIBILITY OF COMPROMISE

(a)        One of the big problems  today  is that many professing Christians do not  believe  completely   in   either   the   power   or   authority  of Scripture!!

[b] Sometimes, they use it as  little  more  than a textbook,  which they edit and change at  will.  How  many  times   have   we   heard  the idea expressed, “Well yes, I know the Bible  says  that, but we live in a more enlightened age today.”

(c)In  meetings which I attended some years ago, with representatives of other churches on the subject “WHAT IS THE CHURCH”, we started looking at some  of  the  things which separate  us,  it was stated  to  be  BIGOTED AND  NARROW  to believe in PERSONAL SALVATION AND CONVERSION !!

(H) In fact one of the ministers said to me that he felt it was a SIN  OF PRESUMPTION for anyone to say THEY WERE SAVED. After  all,  no-one  could know until this life was finished. The last time someone said that  to  me was on the streets of London’s Soho  over 30  years ago. It was at an open-air meeting, in amongst the strip clubs  and  houses of prostitution,  when I gave my testimony and had the audacity to  say I was saved!

I reminded them of some  verses  of Scripture: e.g. “Believe  on the  Lord Jesus Christ and thou  shalt  be  saved,”  and “By grace are ye saved  through faith.”

They said “But how can churches come together  if  they  do  not compromise!!”

I said, “We cannot compromise what we see God’s Word to  teach!,  and  we cannot compromise when we believe that it means  the  difference  between Heaven and Hell for people’s souls!!”

(I)        In  so  many  instances  today,  there  is  the  effort   to   bring ‘togetherness’ at any price, with any compromise!!, and let me  be  quite honest with you THE TRUTH OF GOD IS BEING SOLD DOWN THE RIVER!!

(J) Our Salvation Army  Doctrines  state  very   clearly  concerning  the Scriptures,  that “THEY  ONLY  CONSTITUTE  THE  DIVINE  RULE OF CHRISTIAN FAITH AND PRACTICE.”

That means quite simply, that WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY  TO  CHANGE  WHAT  THE SCRIPTURES TEACH US. WE HAVE NO AUTHORITY TO COMPROMISE WITH WHAT WE KNOW TO BE AGAINST IT’S TEACHING!!

The General,  the  Territorial  Commander, the Divisional Commander, even the Corps Officer can say what they   will, our tradition and history can speak loudly, BUT IN THE END, IT IS  WHAT  THE ETERNAL WORD OF GOD HAS TO SAY THAT IS ALL IMPORTANT!!

POINT 2      MODERN BELIEFS

(A)       It is often stated today - sometimes as a play on words  to  confuse, that “The Scriptures CONTAIN the Word of God”!!

THE SCRIPTURES DO NOT CONTAIN THE WORD OF GOD !

THEY ARE THE WORD OF GOD !!

(B)       To say that the Scripture CONTAINS the Word of God, has the inherent suggestion that there are parts which are not the Word of God.

The logical conclusion of this is of course that we end  up  not  knowing which parts we can accept with authority and which we can’t!!

WE  END  UP WITH NO CERTAINTY OF FAITH!!

GOD HAS NOT LEFT US WITH UNCERTAINTY - HE LEAVES US IN NO DOUBT,  FOR  IN OUR TEXT IN 2 TIM.3:16 HE SAYS,

“ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD, AND IS PROFITABLE FOR DOCTRINE, FOR CORRECTION,FOR INSTRUCTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS.”

(C)       There is a heresy abroad today, that suggests that all  of  Scripture is not equally inspired!! This is just a watered down version of  the same.

[e] Such people teach what they would term to be THE MIND OF SCRIPTURE. Don’t be fooled by it,  for  it  quite  simply  means that if you present them  with  a  Bible  verse   that  proves their theories incorrect, they turn around and state that in their estimations it does not fit in with the overall message  of  the  Bible and by that token, must be lacking in inspiration at that part.  Therefore they need not accept it!!

POINT 3         “ALL”

(A)       When we look at our text, we find that THE  SCRIPTURE  IS  ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN IN THE WITNESS IT GIVES OF ITSELF!!

(B)       When it uses the word “ALL” it’s translated from a Greek word - “PAS” meaning “ANY AND EVERY!”

SO MUCH FOR THE THOSE WHO THINK THAT ALL OF  IT IS NOT EQUALLY INSPIRED!

[c] It means we can RELY ON EVERY PROMISE!!

It means EVERY COMMAND MUST BE OBEYED!!

It means EVERY BIBLICAL THREAT WILL BE CARRIED OUT!!

It means that THE BIBLE ACCOUNT OF CREATION IS TRUE!!

It means that EVERY RECORDED MIRACLE HAPPENED!!

It means that EVERY PROPHESY WILL COME TO PASS!!

It means JESUS IS COMING BACK IN POWER AND GLORY!!

It Means WE MUST ACCEPT SCRIPTURE AS A WHOLE AND  CANNOT  LEAVE  OUT  ANY PARTS BECAUSE THEY HURT!!

It means we CANNOT TAKE ANY PART IN CHEAP JOKES ABOUT HOLY WRIT; WE MUST SHOW RESPECT FOR THE WORD OF GOD!!

POINT 4      INSPIRATION

[a] Isn’t it good to remind ourselves that the word INSPIRATION in this verse, is  a  tailor  made word (THEOPNEUSTOS) in the original Greek,  the ONLY TIME IT IS USED in the whole of Scripture!!

(B)       Obviously it  means  something  VERY  IMPORTANT,  and should be taken special note of!!

(C)       It means, quite literally GOD BREATHED.

FROM THE VERY LIPS OF GOD HIMSELF.

(D)       In other words, when you read the Scriptures, you are not just reading the words of Isaiah, Matthew, Paul or any of the other writers, rather - YOU ARE READING THE WORD OF GOD COMING THROUGH THEM!!

IT HAS THE STAMP OF GOD’S AUTHORITY!!

(E)       When we QUOTE THE WORD OF GOD, WE TRULY  SPEAK  AS  HIS  AMBASSADORS, WITH HIS AUTHORITY!!

I WOULDN’T DARE STAND UP HERE TODAY, IF I DIDN’T BELIEVE IT!!

(F)       I was speaking to a man in the pub one week as I sold the War Crys. AS WE SPOKE ABOUT HIS SOUL and the way of Salvation. He said to me -

What do you think?

I said, “WHAT I THINK IS OF NO IMPORTANCE, IT IS WHAT  GOD  SAYS  IN  HIS WORD THAT IS ALL IMPORTANT!!!” and   I   went   on  to  explain  the  way of Salvation to him, as it is found in Scripture!!

(G)       Unfortunately, all too often we are inclined  to  have  a  simplistic SECOND HAND VIEW of our faith, based on what an officer or  someone  else preaches or says, without checking it out to see if it’s true!!

(H)       In the book of Acts, it says that they SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES  DAILY to see if these things were so. If we want a solid dependable faith, then we must be willing to do the same, OR WE WILL END UP WITH A FAITH THAT IS PAST IT’S SELL-BY DATE!!

CONCLUSION

[A] In some of our appointments some of the young people  of  the  corps,  would go off to Youth Councils, and return apparently having made a good impression on some members of the opposite sex. There was often certain correspondence  floating around afterwards.

[B] I’m sure each letter sent  and  received  was urgently read with excitement and expectation. Whilst it’s not why Youth Councils exists, it’s a natural  and essential part of growing up!

(C) If we truly love our Lord, we will want to hear Him speak to  us,  by reading His Word for  ourselves.  It  should  be  a precious and exciting letter from Him!

(D)       We can TRUST HIS WORD ABSOLUTELY AND COMPLETELY!

(E)       Let us remember that the miracle working God  of  Scripture  IS,  AND ALWAYS WILL BE THE SAME - HE IS UNCHANGEABLE!! HE IS DEPENDABLE!!

He says, “I AM THE LORD, I CHANGE NOT!”

The whole of our CHRISTIAN WITNESS is dependant upon  the  VISION  OF HIM WE SEE IN HIS WORD!

 

SONG            TUNE

757                 797

PRAYER CHORUS 80

CHORUSES 130 & 145

653                 569

862                 248