Essentials- God’s Word (audio file for Download)
Today begins a new series for us. We will be looking at the basics of the Christian Faith. Somewhat of a Christianity 101. My hope is this, that those who have not been Christians for long, or if you are new to Emmaus and thinking about joining you will know the basics of what we and the majority of “orthodox” Christians believe, and if you have been a believer for a while that you will be impassioned and amazed once again at the awesome gift of new life in Christ. That God will return to all of us the “joy of our salvation.” There is a great deal of tension here that I feel. I want this to be a sermon, not a lecture. I want to give you as much depth of knowledge as I do passion. So, while we go through this series, if you have questions, or you feel that I am not being as in depth as I could, you are right. I want to touch on these things, and give you enough to have a basis of knowledge of where we are, but I just wont be able to give every detail of the topic for that message. If you do want to get more details, please see me. Also, a guy named Wayne Grudem has a book called Systematic Theology that I draw on as I prepare. if you have been in the Sunday School you are familiar with it since they have been going through that book since before I got here.
I estimate this series taking about 6 weeks. Now, I am a contractor, so that is an estimate, not a quote. You know what that means. If we need to revisit, or dwell on one aspect, we will. With the exception of this message, we will be looking at the affirmation of faith that we read every Sunday in our services. It is found in Ephesians 1:3-10. I will say as an aside that starting next week we will be reading through verse 10 since verse 8 stops in mid sentence.
Before we get into the Ephesians passage though I want to establish why we are looking to scripture for the basis of our beliefs.
So the question I want to answer for us today is this: Why the Bible?
Before we do that, lets read the text for today:
2 Timothy 3:16-17
Before we really look at the text I want to point out one thing to you. All of us in here have a highest court of appeals. Its either science, or culture, or your own feelings. Some of us have two, we have a theoretical authority, and a functional authority…
So the question becomes, What is your authority, and is it trustworthy?
We live in a culture where increasingly we are told that we are our own authority; you should follow your heart, and be true to yourself. To not listen to anyone else, and do what makes you happy. At the root of that is the belief that we are the authority on what will make us happy in life. So, my point is that even if it is your own subjective feelings at any given moment, you are placing yourself under an authority. Now again, is your authority trustworthy?
The big idea of this text is this, The Bible is God’s word. It is our highest authority as Christians.
Breathed out by God:
All the words of scripture are God’s words: How do we know this?
- God’s Word says it. In the OT there are a multitude of verses that are quoted from Prophets that said, “this is the word of the Lord,” When this is said in the scripture, the words are known to be the exact words of God. THis pattern continues through the new testament as well.
- The Spirit Confirms it
- Other evidence supports it
God’ words are meant to benefit us by revealing His plans to us so that we might know if His son, and line our lives up with his plan for living.
- Training in Righteousness
So that we may be competent, equipped for Every good work.
How often do we take for granted that the God of the universe has spoken…to US! He has given his words that we might be made new in His son Jesus! How incredible it is that the one who designed you, and knit you together in your mother’s womb spoke to you through His word. And when you read it, His Spirit makes it alive to our hearts. Just as when he breathed into Adam’s lungs and life began on earth, so he breaths on us through His word and brings new life to dead hearts. it is all through His word. True fulfillment will never be found in seeking our own happiness based on our assessment of what will make us happy.