jump to navigation

First in a two month series on the Word of God July 1, 2007

Posted by roberttalley in Bible, Inspiration, Second Timothy, Sermons.
trackback

CONFIDENCE IN GOD’S WORD

2 Timothy 3:10-4:8

Although the Internet is a wonderful and useful invention, it has the effect of altering our confidence in what is true. When you surf the Internet, you will find that “(e)very kook and genius has a slot there…Bootleg Playboy pictures are as easy to find as Calvin’s commentaries…all thoughts are reduced to the same level, all equally accessible and equally valid. If you don’t like surfing up Calvinism, alternatives are available; a chaos cult, an atheist circle, or a radical Darwinist clique is easy to find…” from Christians in a .com World by Gene Edward Veith, Jr. and Christopher Stamper.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO HAVE CONFIDENCE IN ANYTHING?

In such a culture, it is hard to have confidence that anything is true. Many believe that truth is determined by how they feel about a subject. Their confidence is in their ability to discern whether something is true or not. In other words, your confidence can be affected by sickness, both mental and physical; by the stresses of life; by a learning disability; by the inability to get all the information you need; by a host of factors over which you have limited control and which can skewer your confidence in yourself to discern the truth. The Bible says that you do not have to look inside your imperfect self to find truth. You can have confidence in God’s Word.      

I.      Confidence in God’s Word is necessary because of the times we live in (3:13; 4:3-4).

THE TIMES WE LIVE IN ARE CHARACTERIZED BY TWO THINGS.         

The leaders are wicked and deceptive (3:13). The word “imposters” comes from a word that can refer to professional mourners. There is no sincerity in their message. Yet they somehow come to believe their own message. We see this in politics both Republican and Democrat. As Al Gore proclaims his message of environmental friendliness, he pollutes the air with the same modern conveniences that we do. Richard Nixon did not believe he was a crook and Ronald Reagan never believed he had “traded” arms for hostages.       

The people themselves generally cannot endure sound doctrine (4:3-4). It is a heavy load on their shoulders. They feel persecuted by the Word of God. We have to be careful as we think about this and not overreact and take on a martyr complex. There is a reason, though, why the age in which we live is called the post-Christian age. This age in which we live does not want to hear about sin nor do they want to hear about a Christ who demands total faith in and allegiance to Himself alone. They feel that the truth of the Word of God is a weight on their shoulders. Sometimes that is because of the way that Christians behave themselves but often it is because they do not want to hear the truth. They want their ears tickled.   

 WHY DO PEOPLE HAVE CONFIDENCE IN GOD’S WORD?

There are specific reasons why we can have confidence in God’s Word. For example, we can have confidence in God’s Word because of those who taught it to us (3:14b-15a). When we compare this passage to other passages that mention Timothy’s family, it is obvious Paul is referring to Timothy’s mother and grandmother, Lois and Eunice. We know nothing about these women except they had a spiritual impact on him by the way they taught him Scripture.       

We can have confidence in God’s Word because all of it is inspired, i.e. God-breathed (3:16). This is a hard concept to explain because none of us have ever been inspired of God. In fact, no one has been inspired of God in the sense written here by Paul. Paul does not say that the writers of Scripture were inspired but that Scripture itself is inspired, i.e. God breathed.

BALLOONS AND AIR 

I would like to illustrate this by taking two balloons. I am going to blow both of these balloons up. If Andrea was at the organ, we would have some balloon blowing music but since I did not warn her, you will have to watch in silence as I attempt to blow up a couple of balloons. These two balloons have a different shape, a different size, a different color, they may even be made of slightly different materials but what makes them of worth is not their shape or size or color or material but the air that I breathed into them. The air is my air. The balloons have no air of their own. They have shape and color and material and even size limitations before one bit of breath is breathed into them but it is my breath that gives them worth as balloons. That is what inspiration means. God breathes in His Word into man. It is God’s Word, not man’s. The man may determine the style and language and personality of the written word but God gives them the Word.

SCRIPTURE IS NOT ONLY INSPIRED BUT ALSO SUFFICIENT.

We can have confidence in God’s Word because it is sufficient for every need (3:17 – “may be complete” = “may be outfitted”). Confidence in God’s Word will guide you in every area of life (3:10-12).

There are two parts to following God’s Word.  First, there is understanding God’s Word (“my doctrine”). Verse 16 tells where Paul got his doctrine. From the Scriptures. This is more than understanding intellectually God’s Word. It is being convinced by it. Paul says in 4:7 that he kept the faith, that he guarded his confidence in Christ. How was he able to do this? Look at verse 15. Through the Holy Scriptures. If there is anything that I can impress on your hearts and lives it is this, without the Holy Scriptures you will go through life misguided. You may have a well thought out path that you are following but it will be the wrong path.

HE WHO HAS EARS TO HEAR, FOLLOW! 

Paul refers to knowing and being assured of the Scriptures but also speaks of following the manner of life that they lay out before you. He is saying, “This is what has been displayed in my life (purpose) and this will guide you. As you go down that path you will begin to show the fruit of the Spirit. You will be longsuffering and loving. In the middle of troubles and persecution you will learn to stand fast.” What kind of troubles? Paul reminds him and we find these troubles recounted for us in Acts 13-14. Then he points out that if you intend to live out what you know, you will suffer. Is that true today? Absolutely, yes.

CONFIDENCE COMES WITH STABILITY. 

Confidence in God’s Word will stabilize you in every situation (3:13-15). Do not follow the path of the imposters, of the deceivers! That is Paul’s message to Timothy. 

 There are some frightening implications in these three verses for us as parents. Paul is indicating that what he learned as a child is what will stabilize him for the future. What he learned as a child is what will keep him from being deceived.  What he learned as a child made him wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. I am afraid the reason many of our young people do not stay in the ways of Christ is because they do not learn from us parents the wisdom of God’s Word or they learn it from us and our examples are so rotten that they do not place any confidence in the truth which we try to instill in their hearts.

There is another implication in these verses that we need to recognize. Confidence in God’s Word will stabilize us in every situation but there is a specific situation that is mentioned in verse 15. It is the need for salvation. People who can help themselves spiritually do not need salvation or the Word of God. Proverbs 2:7 says that God “…stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;” He does this through His Word. If you want God to be a shield about you, you need the wisdom of God that comes from the Word.

Let me again remind of the main message of God’s Word. God became man and lived a sinless life so He could suffer the punishment of death that sinful man deserves. He, Jesus, rose again and lives as a guarantee that God will save everyone who comes to whom through faith in Christ alone. That simple message will make you wise to salvation. It will give you spiritual stability. It will be a shield about you for all eternity.  

If after a million years with Christ, Satan was somehow able to send up a message from the lake of fire demanding that Robert Talley be sent down to receive eternal punishment for his sins, Jesus would stand up. He would not say, “Robert Talley is not so bad. He does not deserve to go to the lake of fire.” No, He would stand up and say, “The penalty was paid by me on the cross of Calvary. Robert Talley has no sin to pay for.” I have an eternal confidence because of God’s Word. I have stability in every situation.

I will only mention the last two points not because they are less important but because there is not sufficient time to deal with them totally. Confidence in God’s Word will equip you for every work (3:16-17). How does the Word of God do this? 

·        It will give you understanding/doctrine (positive content).

·        It will show you who you are/reproof (negative content).

·        It will tell you what to do about yourself/correction.

·        It will train you in maturity/instruction in righteousness.

These four things will equip you to do good work for God.

Confidence in God’s Word will prepare you for every instant (4:1-8).

1.     The times are not always convenient (4:2).

2.     The people are not always listening (4:3-4).

3.     You, however, are not trying to please the times or the people (4:1 & 5-8).

Do you have confidence in the Word of God? This is not been a sermon on proving the Bible is God’s Word but rather that if it is God’s Word, then it is sufficient for every trial you may face. It is sufficient in every decision you may make. Are you going to make God’s Word your guide to follow and your rock to stand on in your life or are you going to follow the self-deceiving ways of the world? Your choice will determine whether you are ready for what lies ahead of you.

Advertisements

Comments»

1. Arthur Talley Jr. - July 7, 2007

Great woek


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: