Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost
October 21, 2007
More of God’s Word
II Timothy 3:14-4:5

Henrietta Mears relates an incident in the ministry of Dr. Louis Evans, former pastor of Hollywood Presbyterian Church, under whom Bill Bright was converted in the 1940s.  On one occasion he was preaching on the virgin birth.  He looked at his congregation and said, “If you did not believe in the virgin birth you should just go ahead and tear it out of the Bible.”  Before a stunned congregation he literally tore out the pages of his Bible and threw the pages over the pulpit. 

He proceeded by saying, If you don’t believe in the raising of Lazarus from the dead, then tear that out, too.”  So he literally tore the pages right out and crumpled them and threw them over the pulpit.  On the heels of that statement he continued, “And if you don’t believe in the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ then you need to tear that out.”  And he did! 

He then said, “What do you have left?  All you have left is the Sermon on the Mount, and it’s not worth anything unless a divine Christ preached it!”  He then said, “Let’s bow for the benediction.” 

Mears writes, “As soon as he bowed his head, in that sedate, vast congregation, a man stood up and said, ‘No! No! We want more! More!’  Then another fellow said, ‘Yeah, we want more!’  So Evans picked up his Bible and preached for another fifty minutes.  And then gave the benediction.”[1]

The Word of God that Christians call the Bible is still in the business of convicting men and women of sin, and giving them new life setting them on a purity journey.  We need more of God’s Word engrained in our lives!

I. God’s Word brings us to the value of salvation.

The Bible pointedly says that salvation comes only through Jesus Christ who offers His own sinless life as a substitute for the guilty.  Jesus died on a cruel cross so that those who accept his offer of salvation may live eternally.  The writer of the Beacon Dictionary of Theology writes, “The idea of a sinner, treated as though he had never sinned because his guilt is borne by the Son of God himself, is central and most distinctive feature of the Christian religion.”

Salvation from personal sin includes the removal of guilt and the sentence of death.  On a positive note it allows the believer to become an adopted child of God joint heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17, I Pet. 3:7).  It is an instantaneous experience and it is an on going process as we grow in his grace and mercy along with our knowledge of him.

As a young child of eight I experienced what theologians have expressed in volumes of words.  I didn’t know what all of those words meant.  I only knew that as my pastor preached from the Bible I became spiritually aware of a need for Jesus to come into my heart.  There was conviction in my heart and mind from the Holy Spirit that I was a sinner and that Jesus loved me so much that if I gave Christ that sin, he would take it from me.  An amazing thing happened, and now I have been on this incredible journey for over fifty years! 

II. God’s Word brings us a desire to be taught the principles of truth.

William Barclay wrote a powerful prayer prose that reminds us of the need of God’s Word that teaches truth.

“O God, we thank you for all those in whose words and in whose writings your truth has come to us.

For historians, the psalmists and the prophets, who wrote the Old Testament;

For those who wrote the Gospels and the Letters of the New Testament;

For all who in every generation have taught and explained and expounded and preached the word of Scripture…

O God, our Father, establish us immovably in the truth.

Give us minds which can see at once the difference between true and false…

Give us such a love of truth, that no false thing may ever be able to lure us fro it.”[2]

So why be taught the truth?  The reason is that we may live our lives knowing, loving, and living the truth of Jesus Christ.  This ultimate truth stretches, convicts, and directs us through life’s journey.

This pledge to the Bible was taught in Vacation Bible School: “I pledge allegiance to the Bible, God’s Holy Word.  I will make it a light unto my path and a lamp unto my feet.  I will hide its Word in my heart so that I might not sin against God.”  Though we are not Bible worshippers, the truth is still relevant!

III. God’s Word will equip us to share about Jesus to a lost world.

If the Bible will lead me to Jesus it will also lead others to Christ. My task is to study and make myself available to God.  It is not to save my own soul, but to help save souls and have compassion on others lives.  The Word will ignite a fire under us to see others saved and on their way to heaven.  The Bible is filled with of evangelism to the world. 

Who has God laid on your heart to share His Word and your testimony?   (Derl G. Keefer)

[1] Charles Swindoll, The Tale of the Tardy Oxcart (Nashville:  Word Publishing, 1998),52-53.

[2] Reuben P. Job and Norman Shawchuck, Guide to Prayer (Nashville:  The Upper Room, 1983), 75-76.

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