It's Primary Objective
March 11, 2023
The American Dairy Association used to have an ad that said: "You never outgrow your need for milk." Not a bad slogan for the Bible. Maybe a motto for Sunday School should be "You never outgrow your need for God's Word!" Paul says to Timothy: "Continue" (Present and Future) "in what you have learned (Past). Note the first part of verse 15: "...and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures..." Paul is writing to a young man, but he makes reference to the Scriptures in the lives of older people: "...because you know those from whom you have learned it" (the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. Paul, Timothy's grandmother and Timothy's mother all had a positive spiritual impact on Timothy's life.
Paul writes: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God." When I was working in Youth for Christ several years ago there was a popular book among teens, particularly girls, that they found very inspiring. The title of the book was "Love Story" and it was later made into a major motion picture. It was an inspiring book, and maybe an inspired book, but not in the way Paul uses the word here.
I really like poetry, and one of my favorite poets is Robert Frost. I find his poetry very inspiring, and Frost was inspired by many things from woodpiles to two roads diverging in a yellow wood, but that's not the kind of inspiration Paul is talking about here.
Paul writes that the Holy Scriptures are "inspired by God." The Bible is a God-breathed book. The breath of life of God acted upon the lives of people to communicate His Word to the world. The Bible literally is the WORD of God.
What is the purpose (or purposes) of the Bible in our lives? (11 Timothy 3:15-17) says that the Bible makes us "wise for salvation." That is we discover God's salvation through Jesus Christ in its pages. (It's primary objective). It teaches us how to live our lives pleasing to God.
J.B. Phillips translated 11 Timothy 3:16 this way: "All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the faith and correcting error, for re-setting the direction of a man's life and training him in good living."
It teaches us how to live our lives in relationship to others. It takes us out of ourselves and helps us to develop a "brother's keeper" perspective on life.
The Bible is the most important book in the Christian's life. The Bible is the Word of God from cover to cover, given by inspiration through the Holy Spirit. Through the Bible we discover salvation and direction on how to live lives pleasing to God. The Bible is a book for all ages. I would like to challenge you to make the Bible a part of your daily living, and to take the time and effort to be a part of a Sunday School class this year.
The Road Not Taken by: Robert Frost – 1874-1963
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Until next time:
Pastor Joe (1940-2021)