II Timothy 3:14-17 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
When I went in the Navy Mom and Dad gave me a Bible.
--They had prayer with me, said, "Read this daily."
--We had Bible reading at home; grace, and prayers.
--They wanted me to continue that practice. I did.
--I say to you - all youth - it's a useful habit.
--Let it be the Word of life, for you, for others!
Of all books, what is the best to know, and live by?
--I've read, and owned, many. Given most all away.
--For me, the best and greatest is the Bible.
--It is God's Word - inspired, invaluable for life.
--Its message, changeless; yet it changes lives.
--This Holy Book is God's written Word of life.
--About Jesus, God's Living Word, called "The Word."
--"In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1:1).
It takes a trinity, we see, to express any one word.
--First comes a thought - each thought takes a word.
--Without a word to convey it, a thought is unknown.
--God, our Father in heaven, I liken to a thought.
--To know a thought, we must have a word - as Jesus!
--He is "The Word," revealing the thought, "His name The Word of God" (Rev. 19:13). Jesus is God.
--What does it take to speak the Word that expresses the Thought? It takes breath - The Holy Spirit!
--Jesus came, God, as Man - in love, Word and deed.
--We need the Holy Trinity! And the Holy Bible!
Why read, teach, preach, and seek to live this Word?
--Because "All Scripture is given by inspiration..."
--Not some, as liberals say, but "all Scripture."
--If only some was inspired, who would know which?
--"All Scripture, by inspiration of God" (2 Tim 3:16).
--If God makes a diamond, it's all diamond.
--When the Lord saves us, He saves the whole person!
In II Timothy 3 Paul extols the Bible's place to us.
--He writes young Timothy, "continue in the things."
--What things? "Things you have learned" of God!
--Why? "Knowing from whom you have learned them."
--"The Holy Scriptures, for salvation, through Jesus."
I've found the Bible profitable. Got me a Testament.
--I kept it with me in uniform. A copy in a pocket.
--To redeem the time, I read, learn, share the Word.
Friend, the Word is "profitable for doctrine."
--"Doctrine" means teaching. It teaches us well.
--It is "for reproof, for correction."
--It sets us right, and all who will read it.
--It has "instruction in righteousness." That helps.
--This book, unlike some others, won't lead astray!
--It only leads us "in righteousness." To Jesus.
--How we all need that, to overcome the world.
--Most of us are easily misled, without God's Word.
I need this Bible daily. I don't know about you.
--But I do. It shows me what's wrong, to correct it.
--It shows me what's right, to practice it.
--It shows me how to please God. To be a light.
--To live to point the way of the lost to Jesus.
--Helps me grow in wisdom and ways of the Lord.
--It is by this Word we are "born again" (I Pet 1:23).
You ask, How do I know the Bible is God's Word?
I. GOD DECLARES, JESUS PROVED, IT IS GOD'S WORD.
--Not the mere words of mere men, the "Lord God."
--"Thus says the Lord," found over 3800 times!
--"Holy men of old" - over 40 - penned it, for us.
--But the Eternal, Creator, Redeemer God, wrote it!
--I used to dictate letters to a secretary - my own letters, she only typed them up - I made them up.
I love books. I have read many great works to know.
--But the book I love and read most, is God's own.
--It will do a person more good, than all others!
There are books that discredit, seek to disprove or denigrate God and His Word - don't believe them!
--Do you think some man - no matter who - knows any more than Almighty God? That's laughable!
--Some think they do - but in time proven wrong.
--God won't lie. Take God's Word rather than man's.
II. IT IS GOD'S WORD, PROVEN BY HISTORY, AND TIME.
--The genuine lasts forever. That's God's Word.
--The Bible began in the beginning to a chosen people.
--Generation after generation have lived by it.
--Blessed by believing it. Found joy, peace, in it.
It is the foundation of our nation's Constitution.
--The Book, and faith, that brought many to America.
--Our forefather's gave their lives for God's Word!
--Most of our universities were founded on it!
--Formed to teach it! Early on, schools taught it!
--It enriches minds. Inspires obedience. Gives joy.
Many, like tyrants, have tried in vain to destroy it.
--They have confiscated, burned and banned the Bible.
--But it stands. Eternal. As Jesus said it would!
--No doubt, history proves, it is indeed God's Word.
III. COUNTLESS PROPHECIES FULFILLED CONFIRM THE BIBLE.
—Imagine, many foretelling the future so accurately.
--Hundreds of years before it ever came to pass.
--Like where Jesus should be born, "in Bethlehem."
--Born "of a virgin," exactly as He was, and lived.
--I know of over 233 prophecies Jesus alone filled!
--Who would think or believe, all were a coincidence?
We've been in Bethsaida, Chorazin, Tyre, and Sidon.
--All once thriving towns of the Bible. But not now.
--For their sin and unbelief, they have only ruins.
--Jesus predicted that! Disobeying God, has a price.
--And also the impending fate of all who are unsaved.
God said the Jews would never lose their identity.
--They have not .. for all these centuries, opposed.
--As He promised, they are now back in their land.
Archeologists dig, but not found one contradiction!
--Scientists, seeking the truth, find it in a Bible.
IV. PERHAPS THE GREATEST PROOF, ARE CHANGED LIVES.
--Saved and changed by Jesus, by the "Word of God."
--That's what Paul wrote young Timothy, and to us.
--God's Word is "that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (v 17).
--"Complete" means we have all we need in this Book.
--In Jesus, His Spirit, His Word, we may be maturing.
No other Savior, as Jesus, and no other Book, as the Word of God, has changed converts as this Gospel!
--It is all about Jesus - convincing multitudes.
--They follow Christ. Baptized. Active in church.
--I have yet to meet one disappointed in Jesus!
--History has so many examples.
--John Newton, a slave trader, became a believer.
--His life so changed, became a pastor and hymnwriter.
Also many are kept from Satan's ruin by this Book.
--The Spirit of God uses the Word of God, to bless.
--God's Word keeps one from sin, or sin keeps us from God's Word. Let the Lord and His Word change you!
V. NO OTHER BOOK COMFORTS PEOPLE AS DOES GOD'S WORD.
--It is in the Psalms, as the 23rd; or John 14; and so many other promises, people prefer at sad times.
--The Book for "born again" youth, who wish guidance.
--Help when in "the valley of the shadow of death."
--When overwhelmed with sorrow, and losses so dear.
--Or if emotionally hurt, the Bible soothes things.
--Or hope eludes us, and the world seems against us.
--Where better to find our way? Find peace and joy?
--To find forgiveness, understanding, or counsel.
It is here, more than any philosophies, man-made.
--No other religion compares with Jesus, God's Son.
--God "has in these last days spoken to us by His Son whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds" (Hebrews 1:2).
--Jesus is the Word, God's best and last word to man.
--Whose death on a cross, and resurrection, saves!
--He is "The God of all comfort, who comforts us."
--"God is our refuge and strength, a present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1). Let the Lord help you.
Jesus invites all, "Come to Me, I will rest you."
--Bibles come in all translations, prints, sizes.
--With the one, sublime meesage, and blessing to all.
Some day, before God, we'll be judged by this Book.
--I beg you, do not neglect God's Word, or Jesus!
--Peter told Jesus, "Lord, You have the words of eternal life" (John 6:68). It is true, and for you!
--Come, enjoy life!
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 129