Our Values: Faithful Service
With what happened last year anyone know
we have now been at two services for one full year that went by really fast so so it's good to see. I don't know if it's good that time goes by fast but I guess in one way it is well last week you know I got up here and I made a rookie mistake I can't believe I did this I said I thought summer was going to be over what a fool want to end this soon as you think you know it's going to happen and so if the weather forecast said it was going to be in the ninety's you know here in Phoenix you're excited when he gets out of the hundreds and then we're really excited when he gets out of the ninety's eventually but you know I'm eating my words and that's that's the danger of speaking in public right soon as you say something you can't take it back and you can be proved wrong and insured that's pretty significant So I'm very careful with what I say I'm glad that we're not under the law we're under grace because you know what happens to false prophets of the Old Testament you stone them to death so. We're not going to do that when we are in a series about church and we've been talking about our mission statement our values our mission statement here the reason why we exist is to help people become committed followers of Christ through the teaching and preaching of God's word and we've talked about what a follower of Christ does a follower of Christ fulfills the two greatest commandment some might be the best and easiest way to describe what a follower of Christ does that means we love the Lord our God with all of our heart and soul and strength and we love our neighbor as yourself and so we've been talking about that healthy relationships these past three weeks and the phrase that we're borrowing from another church says that we want to see people develop intimacy with God community with insiders and influence with outsiders next week we're going to look at another value of ours faithful service and we're doing that in conjunction with our ministry Farrah's So there's kind of a methodology it's madness and so we'll talk about faithful service how God has made us to serve him in some special way and then you can have an opportunity possibly to think about how you. Get involved in our church but today we're going to talk about our most important value as a church and that is the foundation upon which we do everything at our church and that value is Bible centered cheating in preaching and so why is the Bible so important why do we call ourselves Grace Bible Church so this morning we're going to look at three main passages that the Bible teaches us about the Bible itself and I want you to open your Bibles for the first point to second Peter chapter one.
Second Peter chapter one.
And this is the first reason why we value Bible center teaching and preaching and the reason is this the first reason is because God wrote this. We value the Bible because God wrote the Bible so first Peter second Peter virtue after one beginning in verse nineteen.
It says and we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place until the day dawns in the morning star rises in your hearts knowing this first of all that no prophecy of scripture comes from someone's own interpretation for no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit and so we have here in the Bible are the words of God as he spoke through men in the Holy Spirit you know we live in a in an age an interesting age and it seems like the last maybe fifteen twenty years that this is really become true we live in the age of information overload. Anyone who has an opinion about anything has multiple ways to share their opinion with the world we have Instagram Twitter Facebook. You Tube and there's probably another twenty five ways for people to to let the world know their opinions and honestly part of that's really good some people have some really good ideas and it's great that they have all these these platforms in these ways to to let the world know also there's also a bad side to that there's a lot of misinformation out there and people can be spreading that and if you want to you can read about people's opinions all day long every day and you'll never get your if your fill of it you know something going to kind of goes through my mind when it comes to us and our own our own ideas and our own thoughts as human beings we are finite and we're very limited in or understanding of what's going on in the world we see things every one of us sees things through our own lens all of us live in a specific time. And a location and we are all a specific gender specific age and so we all have these these limitations. That's why God's word is so important because God spoke to us and his voice is three of human limitations he is the creator and so he knows how things are supposed to be so when we read His word we're getting the most pure form of wisdom on earth you know I'm very encouraged whenever we have someone visit the church and they make a comment like this you know it's so nice or strange to go to a church that actually teaches the Bible and I'm shocked that we actually get those comments I think you know what are the other judges doing my of my opinions are probably as good as really nothing that's why I don't come up here and talk to you about my opinions that's why when we go to Sunday School classes we say OK open your Bible so this page God wrote his word and so that's why we value Bible center teaching and preach and so that's the first reason why that's our most important value because God wrote it the second reason is because the Bible is a spiritual book. The Bible is a spiritual book. You know there's a lot of good books out there I didn't really like reading when I was younger and when I got into college and especially after I love books and I love reading good books and I'm sure many of you probably have a list of your favorite books your favorite all time books you know I went on and I was kind of curious you know one of the best selling books of all time and so I googled it because you know how it's where all the information is and I think this was on with a P.D. and I can't verify how accurate this is but it came up with the top ten books of all time and so I'm going to give them to you OK and executing the Bible because you know spoiler alert it's by far the popular most popular seller of all time but can anyone tell me what you think according to the source either and don't google it get off your phones right now. Anyone tell me what they believe is the number one selling book of all time I'll be shocked if you know this it was written in sixteen or five.
Don Quixote five hundred million copies I remember learning about Don Quixote when I was in Spanish class and all I remember is he was a crazy guy that attacked a windmill That's all I remember about Don Quixote second leading again according to the source Charles Dickens book from eight hundred fifty nine A Tale of Two Cities two hundred million books Jr Tolkien he wrote a couple books in the top five both of them Lord Of The Rings and then also the Hobbit hundred fifty in the one hundred million French book the little princesses number four never heard of that and number five a very recent book series Harry Potter that's in the top five of all time you know these books are popular for good reasons their own imaginative their They're full of the drama they're very inspiring you know they're kind of captivating but they can't do what the number one selling book of all time can do it cannot transform someone from spiritually dead to a lie.
This book has. Words of Life and in fact speaking of how many books or how many copies of the Bible there are a one source said that between the years eight hundred fifteen and one nine hundred seventy five over two point five billion copies were printed. That's just those years and since then about an additional five billion copies have been printed and in this day and age of think it's almost impossible because everyone now they have it on your phone you have it on your i Pad and all of those and how many of you here have at least one the Bible for every person in your house in your house most of almost every single person I was in my office and I was counting all the bibles they have in one of my bookshelves I have twelve Bibles in my bookshelf right there plus this in plus the ones at home and so we have we have so many Bible so many so much access to the Word of God I want you to turn in your Bibles to Hebrews Chapter four.
Hebrews Chapter four beginning in verse twelve.
And this is probably my favorite verse in the Bible about the Bible Hebrews Chapter four beginning in verse twelve this is I think the verse it's printed on your bulletins this is what the Bible says about itself.
Says for the Word of God is living an active sharper than a two edged sword piercing to the division of soul and of spirit of joints and to morrow. In discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart and no creature is hidden from his sight but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. You know the Bible it says it is so true you read this and how many times have you read the Word of God and it just kind of pierced you to the heart it exposes your wrong thoughts sometimes even your wrong actions but more importantly it can motivate us and it can give us hope and why is that it's because it's true God gave us the word of God and it's true and it's a spiritual book and so we can base our entire lives on the truthfulness and the timelessness of God's word so that's why we as a church value Bible center teaching in preaching and the third reason is we're going to spend the most time on this the third reason why we value Bible is we have this valuable center teaching preaching is because the Bible is useful it works when you read it and you put it into practice it makes a difference in your life if God wrote it in a spiritual then it has to be useful if it didn't work people would read it and it wouldn't be the most widely read book of all time when you open your Bibles to second Timothy Chapter three.
Second some of the chapters three in all these passages that we're looking at today or are fairly well known in common and I'm sure that there are some Awana kids or former WANT TO kids are like yeah I memorize this verse I know this verse I have it memorized second simile chapter three verse sixteen and seven. This is why we value the Bible same time of the three sixteen seventeen says All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching for reproof for correction for training in righteousness that the man of God may be complete and quick for every good work and so the Bible is described as many things in this verse so let's take a look at them in the first thing it says is the Bible is profitable and this word means that it's serviceable it's helpful it's advantageous and this means more than just the fact that it is true and it has correct information in it it's actually helpful to us like a guess an example of the difference between truth and truth that is helpful in this day and age we no longer pull the maps out of our glove compartment right now you know you we have G.P.S. and if you want to know where you're going to try to go you can put on your phone you can look up on the computer and you can say this location I'm trying to get to it's it's at this point in this location on the earth that is a truth. Sometimes the truth is not very beneficial but the G.P.S. will actually say not only is this the location but this is how to get there and how that's beneficial it will say this is the fastest route that you can take or this is how long it's going to take you to get to that route and if you make a wrong turn it will know reroute you and so there's a difference between just how the truth the truth that is helpful and the Bible gives us truth that is helpful in the benefits us you know this word for beneficial it's used a couple other places in the Bible one is in first Timothy I'll read this for you first of the four verses seven through nine and it says have nothing to do with irreverent silly myths but rather train yourselves for godliness for while bodily training is of some value Godliness is of value in every way as it holds promise for the present life and also for the. Life to come the saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance so this teaches us that when you put into practice what God's word says it values it benefits us in every possible way so this is the reason why we value the Bible it's true it's timeless the teachings and here they work and they work in a way that is profitable or beneficial to us and also to the four ways that Paul says we can benefit from them look again a verse sixteen that says All Scripture is breathed out by God and it's profitable for let's take a look at all for these for teaching for reproof for correction and for training in righteousness now the word here for teaching is the Greek word.
And it kind of has the idea of teaching or giving instruction or precepts or doctrine and so maybe a good way to think about this is this is this is talking about more than just facts it gives us truth and it's important for us to recognize the difference between that a fact can be temporary.
A truth is timeless and it's eternal life for instance the fact is that you at this moment in time way very specific weight right but Thanksgiving's coming that fact is probably going to change right or right now the fact is that the Dow Jones Industrial Average is a twenty two thousand eight hundred seventy one points that fact is going to change as soon as the market opens on Monday morning so a truth is something that is based on how God designed life to work and specifically truth about relationships our relationship with God our relationship with other others and so truths are timeless and when we turn to God's word so we can learn about these timeless truths and so the world is rejecting the idea that there are truths in God's Word that are timeless because what do we always hear people say well Times change times are changing so that no longer applies you know what you. Used to be true at a certain time but it's no longer true today are we dealing with facts are we dealing with truth God's principles don't change and so if truth not facts but if truth changes over time then what does it tell us about the Bible it's not useful it's not profitable it's not beneficial at all but the opposite is true and this is what we believe if truth does not change because truth is given to us by an all powerful creator then it is in the Bible and by reading and believing the truth it will benefit us so what are some truths that the Bible teaches us there's obviously many but I'm going to give you one verse that has maybe the two most important truths in the entire Word of God and Romans three twenty three and twenty four you can turn there if you like Romans three twenty three and twenty four but in this verse we have two truths that are.
Of eternal significance the first truth is Romans three twenty three for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God That is a truth every single human being born into the world because they were born through a man and a woman they are sinners and they fall short of God's glory and that's a problem that truth should cause us to say Oh so what are we supposed to do when the very next verse it gives us another truth verse twenty four and we are justified by his grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus whom God put forward as a propane by His blood to be received by faith and so those are two truths that we cannot save ourselves we are sinners but the God saved us through the death and resurrection of his son so when it comes to truth the Bible is useful for that so where do you turn to for truth you know you know we always go online and there's T.V. shows. And there's all different things that we can look to but there is a Creator and God is given us he's made life to work in a certain way and he is filled the Word of God with truth and so the Bible is profitable for teaching or learning truth this verse also tells us that it is also profitable for reproof or rebuking and what this word means is something that by which a thing is proved or tested All right so reproof means if something is true you'll be able to prove that it's true if something is bad ish there should be proof and evidence that it's bad if something is good there should be proof and evidence that is good or some of the truth of the Bible gives us a sense do not lie do not steal do not give false testimony do not cover it. Has anyone in your life ever done any of those things to you.
Probably so and how did you feel about it in her it probably heard it kind of affected your relationship.
Do you think people two or three thousand years ago if someone lie or they stole from them do you think that they were affected the same way that we are affected today when it happens absolutely it's because truth can be proven and so that's one way that we can look at the Word of God and say it's good for reproof it will prove that it is true it is a kind of house and self-evidence another way that the Bible is used for reproof to confirm something not just the moral aspects of the Word of God but the prophecy you know last week I stood up and I prophesied that were done with summer and I was wrong right well you know how many times in the Word of God God said I will do this and you can turn the page and you can see he did exactly what he said he was going to do and so through the prophecies we see that the prophecy the Word of God is good for reproof in fact I'm going to give you some approximate numbers there are approximately two thousand five hundred prophecies in the Word of God. Twenty five hundred and about two thousand of them have already been fulfilled exactly like God said they would and so there's about five hundred that have yet to be fulfilled and so if about two thousand of them have been fulfilled just like God said that they would. How should we look at the other five hundred they're going to be fulfilled exactly like God said they would and so we can use the word of God in the prophecies for reproof and so God's the Word of God is profitable for that the fulfilled prophecy show us the accuracy of God's word God's moral law reveals that humans were designed to live in a certain way and when we do that we benefit and when we don't we obviously we suffer also in this verse that says The third way that the Bible is profitable it's profitable for correction and correction isn't so much replacing wrong information with right information this idea is to restore something to an upright or the right state and so the bible is good for correction sort of like a cast is good for correcting a broken bone or braces are good for correcting the crooked teeth and the purpose for the Word of God correcting us is never to humiliate us or to degrade us it's always to do just the opposite it's always about correction about improvement you know in English and six one it tells us that we are to help correct each other using the word of God says brothers if any of you is caught in any transgression you who are spiritual should research store him in the spirit of gentleness keep watch on yourself lest you to be tempted Well if someone is caught in the scent how do we know it's a sin Well that's where we go to the Word of God and usually people know that they're caught up in sin because their life isn't working the right way and then we can take God's word and we can say this is how we should change the way that we're thinking or acting so that so that we are restored to that correct position in another way talking about a correction so important and how many of you have a swimming pool. We have a swimming pool thing almost every house every other house has a swimming pool maybe not many of you well we're discovering we've we've lived in our current house for about three and a half years and our pool is our fourth child it requires constant attention and constant maintenance and a pool has it's kind of like life it dabs to its surroundings it's always changing and adapting well we're having some issues with our pool and everyone eventually gets some issues with the pool and so last I think it was last week maybe even on Sunday or Saturday I think Saturday I took a bottle of water imputed out and I filled it full of our pool water and I brought it into Leslie's pool supply and I said Soames wrong you know so they did the test analysis they go yeah you got some you got some issues here's what to do they told me exactly what to do and they said go buy these chemicals and pour them into the pool and so I left school supply and I had one of two options I could ignore what they told me to do and I could hope that on its own the pool would resort and self to the perfect human condition how many of you think I did that.
Good I'm glad you could raise your hand or I could do exactly what they told me to do and I did and so hopefully our pool is in much better shape you know this is what the Bible does for our lives. Have you ever experienced the corrective benefit of the Bible and I know there's the obvious when you're doing something and it's a sin you're OK It's obvious you sent by think more of the correcting. Application of the benefits that I've experienced or maybe some of you have experienced is sometimes our stinking gets off track and we start thinking about life or relationships a certain way and then you read the Word of God in the Word of God says no that's not how things are supposed to work and so when you align your thinking with what the Bible says then life just starts to work better again when we look at the Word of God and we base our thinking and our lives on the Word of God then we're experiencing the corrective nature of the Word of God So the Bible is. Profitable for teaching for reproof for correction and then also for training in righteousness and this is dealing kind of with like disciplinary correction and sometimes maybe even like instruction or even kind like a nurture maybe one way that we can look at the Word of God as the Bible is kind of like the shepherd staff and the shepherd uses his staff to keep the sheep safe and together in and out of trouble sometimes and in kind of moving in the one direction moving forward want you to turn your Bibles to Heber Schefter twelve.
Hebrews Chapter twelve.
This is a passage of Scripture the talks about how God will correct us. Or train us to share in His Holiness because he's a loving God and he uses his word to do this sometimes Hebrews Chapter twelve beginning in verse five.
He was twelve beginning of verse five says my son. Do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord nor be weary when reproved by him for the Lord disciplines the ones he loves and chastises every son whom he receives the giver seven it is for discipline the Jew have to endure God is treating you as sons for what son is there whom his father does not discipline if you are left without discipline in which we all participated then you are illegitimate children and not sons Besides this we have had earthly fathers who just won us and we respected them shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live for they disciplined us for a short time as that seem best to them but he disciplines us for our good that we may share his holiness for the moment all discipline seems painful rouses than pleasant but later evil to the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it and so that's that same word the training of the Word of God How true is this how many have been disciplined for any reason if you look back on it you say I didn't like you have the time but I'm so glad that that happened it took place you know besides this word of training in righteousness always carries with it a very positive meaning it means that the continual training will get you to the place that you want to go if you want to become a certain person in life you have to go through strict training if you want to be a doctor you have to go to medical school you have to be trained if you want to be a chef get to go to colon area school you have to be trained if you if you want to be anything in life you have to go through the training the Bible gives us is given to us to train us so that we can be shaped into the image of Christ and so looking at these verses I know that we looked at three main verses and some other verses you see the Bible tells us how important it is in a think it proves itself to us there is no other source of information. On earth that does what the Bible does and that's why we value Bible central teaching and preaching so much and our church what I want to do is I want to close by looking at one more passage I want you to turn in your bible says second sympathy chapter four.
Second Timothy Chapter four and this is a verse that I take very seriously as a pastor and one of the verses I think I'm the kind of motivated me to go into ministry just because I believe that the Word of God is is God's work for us and that we need to hold fast to it one second to the chapter for this passage teaches us just how true it is and how Porton it is to follow. So let's read this passage and then we'll close second Timothy Chapter four beginning in verse one
Paul says I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus who is to judge the living in the dead and by his appearing in his kingdom preach the Word be ready in season and out of season reprove rebuke and exhort with complete patience in teaching for the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching but having inching years they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. You know this is been happening for decades in for centuries and for millennia people are wandering away from the truth and what I hope will happen on an individual basis is when people wander away from the truth and they wonder to something that they think is going to be give them happiness that they will eventually realize that it's not what they were hoping it was going to be sort of like the prodigal son he thought he was going to find happiness somewhere else he got there he said this is not it and so my hope is that the body of Christ got to use the body of Christ and specifically us here Grace about what church of Phoenix now we will be so committed to being followers of Christ in fulfilling the greatest commandment that when people come in contact with us they will see that our lives they work not that they're perfect but that they work and they work because we are basing our lives on the Word of God and that's when we can share with them the foundation upon which we are building our lives which is God's word. So let's thank God for giving us his word and ask him for the courage and the wisdom for us to put into practice this break.
Your father we thank you so much.
We humbly come before you and we thank you for giving us truth in the form of your word and you wrote it down so that we wouldn't have to guess what you told us and Lord I'm as we sit here in the year two thousand and seventeen we can see how your trews are timeless and in the person of year all the trees that are in here the truth about how we're supposed to relate to you and to each other lord they're timeless and so it gives us this firm foundation upon which we can build our lives Lord I pray that as a church as we make this are our most important value the value upon which we build everything else in our ministry and that we will reap the benefits this harvest of righteousness if we are very committed to being trained by your holy word so Lord I just pray your blessing upon our ministry that as we hold fast to your word and as we teach it that it will yield the results that you desire from us Lord we love you and we give ourselves to you for your service with this we pray in Christ's name Amen.