The world’s best-selling, least-read book? More than a book, it’s a collection of writings, a library, about 1500 pages long, written by around 40 very different people over a 1500 year period. What does it say about itself? That is, what do Moses, David, Peter, Paul and Jesus (and the others) say about it?
First check out 2 Timothy 3:15-17 (it says a lot about the Bible)
2 Timothy 3:15-17
• Holy, special, unique; these are the only holy writings. Able to make you wise for salvation, our wisdom for salvation, it tells us where to find salvation, where to go for salvation, who to go to
• God-breathed, breathed out by God, God-given, God’s word/speech
• Useful, the supremely useful book, it does not merely tell you how to cook or how to do maths, it tells you how to be saved for evermore
• For teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 positives enclose 2 negatives so overall impact is positive)
• Able to equip you for every good work
• Thoroughly/fully equip – it’s the complete equipment (a full set of clubs for the round of life! – the sufficiency of Scripture
•’every good work’ – comprehensive – its literary variety and content can make us fully-rounded people of God
2 Peter 1:19-21
• Light shining in a dark place (cf. Psalm 119:105)
• Driven by God; the HS is the driving force behind the Bible (behind the 40 or so human writers over 1500 year period); driven like the ship in Acts 27:15
• The word for Spirit (in OT and NT) is also the word for ‘wind’ or ‘breath’; HS like a driving wind
• It cannot be broken – its authority stands firm, it always carries the very authority of God – according to Jesus
• It is trustworthy and true – always great to find car mechanic/dentist/politician (!) you can trust; reliability is a great quality to find in a person – or in a book! We can have complete confidence in the Bible
• It is not only true but ‘truth’, ultimate and essential truth about God, ourselves, world etc.
John 5:39, Luke 24:25-27
• This takes us to what the Bible is about – Jesus
• The Bible is Christ-centred, Christ-focussed
• The OT looks forward (full of promise of Jesus)
• The NT looks back – and forward to his return
• Christ is the centre, heart and goal of the Bible
• All the promises of God are yes in him (2 Cor 1:20)
•More precious than gold (most precious thing on earth)
•Sweeter than honey (sweetest thing known – no chocolate then!) – Bible can be enjoyed!
•A lamp to our feet and a light to our path – showing us the way of righteousness, peace and life
•A fire and a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces
•Bible can burn and purify like fire
•It can destroy (wrong ideas etc.) like a hammer
•Word of God is like a seed planted in the ground, bearing fruit
•A double-edged sword, living and active, it cuts deep (‘cut to the heart’ Acts 2), penetrates to the deepest level, cuts through our pretensions, opens us up
•A mirror that shows us what we really look like
•And also what we now are in Christ – children of God etc.
•A mirror is something we use regularly to check ourselves out
1 Peter 2:2
•Pure spiritual milk for the new born
•Crave it like a baby craves milk!
1 Thessalonians 2:13
•At work in you who believe
•Dynamic, alive, not a dusty old book on the shelf
•Busy, powerful, influential, coming to mind
•Fill your mind with it then let it go to work in you
•It protects us against temptation and our own sinful hearts, makes us strong to resist when hidden, stored up deeply in our hearts/minds
Psalm 119:18, 1 Corinthians 2:12
•We need God’s help to understand it
•You don’t need a PhD, you need the Holy Spirit
•So pray for his help – open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your word!