Text: 2 Timothy 3:10-17
True discipleship, discipleship that encourages us to live a victorious Christian life, is discipleship based on the Word of God. The Bible is central to the church and central to our lives.
In Paul’s second letter to Timothy chapter 3 and verse 16 Paul says; “all scripture is God breathed…” we believe that this means that all scripture is fully inspired by the Holy Spirit. Humanly speaking, the Bible was written by approximately 40 men of diverse backgrounds over the course of 1500 years. Despite being penned by different authors over 15 centuries, the Bible does not contradict itself. The authors all present different perspectives, but they all proclaim the same one true God, and the same one way of salvation—Jesus Christ.
The purpose of Bible study is not just to understand doctrines or to be able to defend the faith, as important as these things are. The ultimate purpose is the equipping of the believers who read it. It is the Word of God that equips God’s people to do the work of God.
The Bible is our authority. The Word of God needs to be the authority we turn to when we are faced with difficult decisions and challenges. Without this foundational authority the church has no relevance and is simply another social club or community gathering.
So since this series is about the church – the 4 foundational pillars of the church, how do we allow the Bible – the Word of God to define our purpose and give us direction? What does the Bible say about the local church?
Here are some basic questions that every church should ask themselves, and the answer each time is found in the Bible.
- What shall we do? – A major function of the church is the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). These are the instructions Jesus gave to the disciples as he was about to ascend into heaven. This still applies to us today, Jesus never said – “build big buildings” no he said, God and tell. If we are to be a church following Jesus the head of the church, we will be a church on mission.
- What shall we believe? – God has revealed the truth about him and us in the Bible. (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
There is no other Gospel (good news) anyone who teaches anything other than the true Gospel message is preaching a false doctrine.
- How shall we worship? – God tells us how to approach him in public worship. The true God spoke and told people how to approach him, when the veil was torn, we were given access to the throne of God. (John 4:22-24)
- How shall we live together in our local church? God created the church, therefore the author is in authority and how it should function is in the Bible. The Apostle Paul spends a lot of time writing to churches in Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Thessalonica, Colossae, and throughout these letters we see him correcting abuse, restoring order and giving instructions for church order. God gave us a written manual. It is a manual for our personal lives and it is a manual for the church.
That is the Word of God for the Church, but what about you and me as individuals? What does the Bible say about the pressing issues of life?
Let’s look at some examples that apply to our personal lives.
- What does the Bible say about our finances and worrying? Look what Jesus said in Matthew 6:25-27.
- What does the Bible say about amassing wealth? Read Matthew 6:19-21
- What does the Bible say about the poor? Read what Jesus said to his followers in Matthew 25:37-40.
- What does the Bible say about praying for the sick? Read what James wrote in James 5:14-15.
- What does the Bible say about caring for the elderly and widows and orphans; see James 1:27
- What does the Bible say about giving to the ministry of the Lords church? Read Malachi 3:10.
- What does the Bible say about being a part of a local church? Read what the writer says in Hebrews 10:24 and 25.
- What does the Bible say about sin? Look at Romans 3:23; and in Romans 6:23, we are all sinners.
- What does the Bible say about eternal life? Romans 6:23 goes on to say; “..but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Read the Bible, study and meditate on the Word. Let God speak to you as you read and the Holy Spirit will reveal truth to you.
This Bible contains your Heavenly Father’s love letter to you, He wrote it for you, it is your daily bread, it is your sword of the spirit and it is the truth that gives light to your path.
The Bible is no ordinary collection of pages and ink; it is supernatural in its authoring, it is supernatural in its reading and it is supernatural in its application.
Let us become people of the Word, people who know and apply the Word of God to all situations in our lives.