Faithful to Biblical Teaching

Jeremiah 31:27-34 NRSV: The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will
sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of humans and the seed
of animals. (28) And just as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to
overthrow, destroy, and bring evil, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says
the LORD. (29) In those days they shall no longer say: "The parents have eaten sour
grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge." (30) But all shall die for their own
sins; the teeth of everyone who eats sour grapes shall be set on edge. (31) The days
are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of
Israel and the house of Judah. (32) It will not be like the covenant that I made with
their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a
covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the LORD. (33) But this is
the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD:
I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people. (34) No longer shall they teach one another, or say to
each other, "Know the LORD," for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the
greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no
more.

Luke 18:1-8 NRSV: Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always
and not to lose heart. (2) He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither
feared God nor had respect for people. (3) In that city there was a widow who kept
coming to him and saying, 'Grant me justice against my opponent.' (4) For a while he
refused; but later he said to himself, 'Though I have no fear of God and no respect for
anyone, (5) yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so
that she may not wear me out by continually coming.'" (6) And the Lord said, "Listen
to what the unjust judge says. (7) And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones
who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? (8) I tell you, he will
quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on
earth?"

2 Timothy 3:14-17 NRSV: But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly
believed, knowing from whom you learned it, (15) and how from childhood you have
known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in
Christ Jesus. (16) All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for
reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, (17) so that everyone who
belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 4:1-5 NRSV: In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the
living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge
you: (2) proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or
unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in
teaching. (3) For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine,
but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own
desires, (4) and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to
myths. (5) As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist,
carry out your ministry fully.

Timothy 3:14-4:5 “Faithful to Biblical Teaching”
You hear Scripture every Sunday. Many hear at different levels.
1) Some hear the Scripture as a good book with stories, history, prose, poetry and
myths.
2) Some hear the Scripture the same as the first group but also believe that this is a
Holy Book. Some verses are good and some do not apply.
3) Some hear the Scripture, believe the Scripture and unconsciously choose which
Scriptures apply.
4) Some hear the Scripture, and try to apply and fail.
5) Some hear the Scripture with heart felt prayer with the desire to change and ask
God’s help to be able to change and miracles happen.
Be careful on how you handle the word of God. Do you read the Bible only to chastise
someone else? Do you read the Bible to support your ideas?
How does this verse cause you to treat the Bible?
Deu 6:5: You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul,
and with all your might.

What about these Scriptures?
Deu 13:3: You must not heed the words of those prophets or those who divine by
dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you, to know whether you indeed love the
LORD your God with all your heart and soul.

Deu 30:6: Moreover, the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of
your descendants, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with
all your soul, in order that you may live.

How did Jesus feel about Holy Scripture or called the Septuagint at the time?
Mat 5:18: For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one
stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.

John Wesley writes,
O give me that book! At any price, give me the book of God! I have it: here is
knowledge enough for me. Let me be homo unius libri. (man of one book) is a Latin
phrase attributed to Thomas Aquinas,) Here then I am, far from the busy ways of men.
I sit down alone; only God is here. In His presence I open, I read His book; for this end,
to find the way to heaven. Is there a doubt concerning the meaning of what I read?
Does anything appear dark or intricate? I lift up my heart to the Father of Lights: —
“Lord, is it not Thy word, ‘if any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God?’

In our church history, we considered Scripture as inspired of God. Only in the past
century has Scripture become second place to OUR wants and wishes.
When we do this, we put ourselves above Scripture to judge which content applies and
which does not. Scripture has been passed down through the ages as “The Inspired
Word of God”
How are we supposed to read Scripture?
First ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you read. Read the Scripture as if the words
are life and death. They truly are.
Do not read one verse and make doctrine from that one verse?
God has given us the power to reason.
Isaiah 1:18 KJV: Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your
sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson,
they shall be as wool.

We also use our tradition as we read the Scripture. Through the ages God has lead
the Church through trials and tribulations. With this we have, as a church believe that
God has ordained certain teachings. We as a church have had heretics. They taught
doctrine that was not excepted by the whole church. So we made creeds to establish
the teaching of the church, such as the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed that we
used this morning.
Our experience is taken into our interpretation. We can’t help this. Anything we read is
colored by our own experiences. Experience that is personal and collective causes us
to read the Scripture through rose-colored lens.
We use reason, tradition and experience as a lens to help us understand Scripture.
Scripture is always primary. Reason, tradition and experience never trumps what the
Scriptures says.
Today theologians and philosophers are taking Scripture apart by their reason and
experience and negating what the Scriptures says. Our response to God is reasoned
out with our justification not God’s. We forget what God says about our understanding.
Isaiah 55:6-11 NRSV: Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is
near; (7) let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them
return to the LORD, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will
abundantly pardon. (8) For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my
ways, says the LORD. (9) For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my
ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (10) For as the rain
and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered
the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the
eater, (11) so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me
empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I
sent it.

So, what kind of authority belongs to Scripture? The orthodox protestant viewpoint is
that the Bible alone is our final authority for faith and practice.
Concerning the mind or reason, it must be subservient to the word of God. If the mind
is thinking in terms which are contrary to the Scriptures, it is not the mind that judges
the Scriptures, but the Scriptures judge the thoughts of the mind.
Concerning the experience of Mysticism, the Bible is the final judge of experience, and
experience cannot determine the truth of Scripture.
The church does not trump Scripture. The church has in the past brought doctrines that
were contrary to Scripture. The Bible determines the proper place of the Church and
not the church determining the proper place of the Bible.
There are some who say they have had a special revelation or knowledge from the
God. Many cults have been started from this thought throughout the ages. Some of
these cults have been deadly. Protestants historically have held that the 66 books of
the Bible were given us by God. When we hold the Bible in our hands we hold a
miracle. The Bible through the ages has had many attempts to destroy it. Most
attempts to destroy the Bible have been attacks from within the church by the
introducing false teaching. Satan has his own ministers.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15: For such boasters are false apostles, deceitful workers,
disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. (14) And no wonder! Even Satan
disguises himself as an angel of light. (15) So it is not strange if his ministers also
disguise themselves as ministers of righteousness. Their end will match their deeds.

Satan has tried to discredit the Scriptures by the how some Christians believe that the
earth is only 6,000 years old. This has only come about in the past 100 years starting
with Henry Morris (1918-2006). Basically, saying that you cannot believe the Bible
unless you believe in a young earth. They hold firm to that notion and the world looks
at them and shakes their head, “Those ignorant Christians.” Folks, nowhere in the
Bible does it say that the Bible is only that old. In fact, there is no definite date where it
does it say when the earth was created. All that we know for sure is that God created
the heavens and the earth.
And through persecution scriptures have been denied and even destroyed.
The Bible has been translated into Latin at a time when Latin like Chinese and English
today was the predominant language. How many people speak Latin today? Latin for
many centuries kept Scriptures out of the hands of the masses. The thinking was that
the common person would not have the intelligence to read and interpret Scripture.
Today, we have a war with those who are King James only. Don’t get me wrong I have
a high respect for the King James Version (KJV). But how many of you speak in old
English? In fact, the KJV has gone through many revisions. Even the original
translators of the KJV had to make corrections in many places. Then they came out
with new editions, in 1613 and 1629. Some people would accuse me of blasphemy if I
point out errors in the KJV. Also, people condemn the NASB or the NIV for revising and
correcting, just like the KJV translators did. Every translation of the Bible has errors.
Some of the Greek words cannot be translated since there is not an equivalent English
word. Also, the science and practice of translation is evolving. The Codex was not
discovered in until 1859. This little bit of archaeology revolutionized translation. The
dead sea scrolls were not discovered until 1946. Without these discoveries, some
words were not understood well enough to be translated correctly. Let me give you an
example of just one word of many. The KJV word for grove.
Gen 21:33: And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name
of the LORD, the everlasting God.

Gen 21:33: Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beer-sheba, and called there on the
name of the LORD, the Everlasting God.

Deu 16:21: Thou shalt not plant thee a grove of any trees near unto the altar of the
LORD thy God, which thou shalt make thee.

Deu 16:21: You shall not plant any tree as a sacred pole beside the altar that you make
for the LORD your God;

We understand now that the grove was basically an Asterah pole.
This is just one example. We have the Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic scriptures. We find
that the discovery of the Dead sea scrolls show that the Scriptures have come down
almost exactly as we have today. Modern translations have notes about some of the
differences between the older books vs the newer books. For example, the Lord’s
Prayer, there are two examples in our Bible. Matthew 6:5-13 is the longer form and the
shorter form in Luke 11:1-4. The difference being the addition of “For yours is the
kingdom, the power, and glory forever, Amen.” The newer translation does not have
this and puts in their notes that the ancient manuscripts do not have this. They are
trying to faithful to the translation of the work per new discoveries.
How was it added to the newer books? There are two predominant theories, one is
that a scribe got so excited that he put this in the margins and through the years
became part of the Scripture. The other is that as the church started to use this prayer
in its liturgy this phrase was used. Does this knowledge destroy the prayer?
Emphatically No! Personally, I will keep using that phrase.
Also, in Mark in the last chapter, the more ancient manuscripts stop at vs 8.
So, what do you do if you are not an Ancient language scholar? Don’t rely on just one
translation for Bible study and when you do find differences this sends up a flare,
“Hmmm, there must be a hard word to translate.” This where you do word studies.
So what Bible would you use?
I would not use a paraphrase Bible for Bible study. This is not a translation but the
author or authors view of what that Scripture is trying to say. Paraphrases include the
“Good News Bible”, “Today’s English Version”, “The Living Bible”, and “The Message”.
These Bibles can shed light on Scripture but are not translations.
For just devotional reading, get a Bible that you can easily understand and speaks to
you. This may include a paraphrased Bible. I have several. They sometimes say
things a different way and speaks to my soul. The Holy Spirit can use all Bibles. For
the Bible is not just a book, but like it says in the “Common English Bible”. “Because
God’s word is living, active, and sharper than any two-edged sword. It penetrates to
the point that it separates the soul from the spirit and the joints from the marrow. It’s
able to judge the heart’s thoughts and intentions. No creature is hidden from it, but
rather everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of the one to whom we have to
give an answer.”
Hebrews 4:12-15
When I read God’s Word, the Holy Spirit goes into my darkest regions of my life and
brings them to light. What do you think motivates me to lose weight? Do you think that
came from within me? No, the Holy Spirit through God’s word kicked my behind!!
We are to read God’s word as authoritative. Do not justify our actions. Do not say you
are stuck In your sin. We let the light of God’s word shine on our actions. I have found
that even when I am doing good things that God even questions my motives and
brings me in-line with Him.
Some may say, “I don’t understand what I read.” I heard a response from Mark Twain
on that. “It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the
parts that I do understand.”
One last thing, if you do not read and study the Bible how can it change you. Most do
not read but plan to do so. A French author in his book “Winter is coming “wrote this
when translated from French, “Hell is full of good intentions or desires”. This is where
we get the saying “The road to Hell is paved with Good intentions” Do you intend to
read the Bible more or are you going to do it. If so, will you allow the Holy Spirit to
change you? In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit I pray that we all allow the
Holy Spirit to align our heart, mind and soul.