Listen - Study Controls the Volume Part 2 (Study the Textbook)
Sermon Summary
This message gives seven reasons for studying God’s textbook for life, the Bible. One of the most important reasons to study God’s Word is that it brings us knowledge of salvation. It gives us the meaning of salvation and the way we can experience salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. When studying the Bible we actually have the opportunity to experience it’s author! God’s Word teaches us truth, tells us when we are involved in behaviors that could hurt us, corrects us when we are off course, trains us in the ways of righteousness and equips us to live lives filled with good works!

Community Group Discussion Guide

1. About how many printed copies of the Bible do you have in your home? Now add your digital copies. Don’t answer this part out loud! How many times did you open one of these copies this week? What are some of the reasons we neglect the study of God’s Word?

2. Scripture is God-breathed!! You will experience the author of the textbook in the pages of the Bible! You may be a new believer and have only begun to experience the power of experiencing God in His Word or you may be a long-timer. Share an experience you’ve had with God through your study of the Bible.
Psa 119:15  I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.
Psa 119:16  I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.
Psa 119:17  Do good to your servant, and I will live; I will obey your word.
Psa 119:18  Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.

3. Study of God’s Word teaches us the truth of God and helps us to recognize the lies of the world! The following verses share one of the benefits of studying the textbook. What is that benefit and how have you experienced that benefit by studying God’s Word?
John 8:31  To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
John 8:32  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

4. Sometimes God’s Word will seem more like a rebuke or a correction rather than an encouragement. However, if we are wise and listen to His instructions the rebuke or correction will turn out to be a good thing! Why?
Psa 119:33  Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end.
Psa 119:34  Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart.
Psa 119:35  Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.
Psa 119:36  Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.
Psa 119:37  Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.

5. Bonus Question
Studying God’s Word trains us spiritually! What are we training for?
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.


FULL SERMON NOTES
Study the Textbook

"You have made me new, now life begins with you" Such beautiful and meaningful lyrics. Once you allow Jesus Christ to make you new, a whole new world opens for you and that world includes a new ability and desire to understand God's Word, the Bible, our textbook! This book has the power to change the course and direction of your life, if! If you will allow it by studying it!

I remember a story about a young man going off to college. He asked his Dad to help him buy a car. The dad made a deal with him. He said you'll be living in the dorm on campus so you can get around ok. But I tell you what. Here's a Bible and a reading plan. Follow this plan and I'll buy you a car! The boy came home at the semester break and asked again about a car. The Dad said when you do the readings, I'll buy the car. The son was frustrated. Many semesters went by and the same thing. Finally, somewhere near the end of his time at college, he decided to flip through the Bible his dad had given him. He was surprised to find an envelope stuck in one of the chapters his dad had asked him to read. He opened it up and there was a signed check for enough money to buy a really good used car. Today I'm going to encourage you to study God's textbook, because there are treasures contained in that book that are far more valuable than a really good used car! It contains God's wisdom for life! Let's pray!

Father God, I thank you for giving us the Bible, the textbook for life! What a privilege to have such wisdom available 24/7! And thank You for speaking to our hearts through Your written word and for allowing Your Holy Spirit to help us understand the things we read. I humbly ask that Your Holy Spirit teach us today through Your Word and that lives will be transformed as a result! I pray also for our children's teachers, and leaders in the new ministry area. Speak Your truth to our children and grandchildren so they can discover how much more awesome life is when lived according to Your amazing textbook for life! Thank You for hearing this prayer, In Jesus Name we trust and believe! Amen!

If you want to read our text with me today, you can turn in your Bibles to 2 Timothy 3:14.
As you are turning there, I want to take care of a little house keeping! Here's a brain teaser…Today is part two of a three part sermon that is fifth in the series entitled "Listen!" Today we're going to talk about why we should study the textbook.  

Next week we're going to talk about how to study the textbook. One of my favorite Bible scholars is Dr. Gordon Fee. He wrote a wonderful book called, "How to Read the Bible for All It's Worth!" Jay bought several copies and put them in our Harbor Shop in the cafe' if you would like to do some additional study! On last housekeeping thing.

I need to let you know that when I encourage you to bring your Bibles and read with me, I know there's no way you could look up all the passages I use in a given sermon. I can't find verses that fast either. The best thing is to turn to the main text passage and stay there. Jot down the other Scripture references in your notes and look them up later for a closer reading. And if you miss a reference, don't worry...… I post the entire sermon notes to our web-site along with the community group discussion guide before the service on Sunday, so you can even print a copy and bring it with you to church if you would like. It's usually available by 7:30am on Sunday mornings. And if you can't do that, you can request a copy from Don Ray in the back. He stands by the stairs in the back and hands out headphones and notes to those who have hearing difficulties. You don't have to have a hearing difficulty to request a copy. And if you have a smart phone or an i-pad, you can access the notes that way! Go to Northshorechurch.net, resource tab, sermon notes, then click on the top message.

Now let's see how we can turn up the volume of God's voice in our lives by studying the text book. Today we will discover why studying the Bible turns up the volume as we look at the reasons we should study the textbook.

Let's read our text…2 Timothy 3:14-17...

2 Timothy 3:14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,
15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Such an awesome passage. From these four verses come seven compelling reasons to study our textbook, the Bible! Let's look at them…The first reason to study the Bible is it helps us understand Salvation!

To Understand Salvation!

2 Timothy 3:15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

From infancy probably refers to Timothy's childhood. Paul had already reminded Timothy to remember the things his grandmother and mother had taught him about Jesus! Paul reminds Timothy that Holy Scriptures, and he would have been talking about the Old Testament writings because they didn't have the new testament yet, he reminded him that Old Testament prophecies pointed to the salvation Jesus would bring to the world!

Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall.
3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.
4 One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.
6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me;  
at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD.
7 Hear my voice when I call, O LORD; be merciful to me and answer me.
8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face! ” Your face, LORD, I will seek.

Even in The Old Testament, King David knew he couldn't save himself! He knew he couldn't defeat his enemies without God's help, and he realized that unless God was merciful and heard his cries for help, there was no hope! So salvation was by grace back then and it still is today. The people of the Old Testament had faith looking forward that God would provide for their salvation and we have faith looking back, that God did provide for our salvation in Jesus Christ!

Ephesians 2:1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions —it is by grace you have been saved.
6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.

And this leads us to another powerful reason to study God's word...

To Experience Its Author

Look at what Paul told Timothy in our text 2 Timothy 3:16…

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed ...

Scripture is God-breathed!! You will experience the author of the textbook in the pages of the Bible! God's Word is an extension of God. John wrote this in his gospel...

John1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 He was with God in the beginning.
3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men.

So the truth of God, the word of God, the principles of God, the precepts of God, the values of God are an extension of God. And why did John talk about the Word of God as if it were a person? Because the Scriptures are God's written revelation, but Jesus, God's Son, He was the living revelation, the living embodiment of God in the flesh. John went on to say this in verses 9-14...

John 1:9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.
11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.
12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God —
13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory,  
the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

So when you're reading the Bible you are reading the the principles, precepts, laws, teachings, values, and truth that Jesus came to show us in person! Listen to Jesus' words about this...

Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

And then in John's gospel...

John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.

So when you study the Bible, you are in essence listening to the very voice of God! So turn up the volume of God's voice by taking the time to read His precious word!!! Let Him talk to you through the textbook!! It's God-breathed!!!
And if that's not reason enough to study the textbook there's more! Study the book to discover truth!

To Discover Truth!

Paul told Timothy in our text...

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching...

Teaching what? Truth! There's a lot of books out there in our world. Millions have been written, but only God's textbook contains the purest truth known to humankind. We already know that Jesus said, He was the way, the truth and the life! Jesus confirmed that the law of God was truth. If you want to be taught the truth and if you want to teach truth, you must begin with Holy Scripture.

It should be your foundation for learning and for teaching! Paul had said this just a few paragraphs before our text in 2 Timothy 2:15-17...

2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.
17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene...

Truth really matters! Here's the way The King James version translates verse 15...

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

And here's one of the greatest reasons to discover truth in God's word...

John 8:31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

And one of ways truth sets you free can be seen in the next reason we study the textbook...

To Find the Safety of No!

 Paul told Timothy in our text...

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking...

How many of you like being rebuked? Rebuke is sharp disapproval or criticism because of behavior or action! When someone rebukes you they are in essence saying, "no, you can't act like that!" "You can't do that!" Sometimes people will rebuke you because they care for you and sometimes it may be for wrong or selfish reasons.

But 100% of the time when  God's Word rebukes you it is for your good! You may not like it, but it is for your good! You must be willing to study God's Word even when it brings rebuke, even when it says no! The more you study God's textbook the more you will find the safety of God's "NO!" When God says no to a behavior or a direction in life it's always for your good. Proverbs 3:11-12 says..

Proverbs 3:11 My son, do not despise the LORD’S discipline and do not resent his rebuke,
12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

To ignore God's rebuke is to invite disaster into your life! You might remember we talked a few weeks ago about the voice of wisdom in the book of Proverbs. Here's what wisdom has to say about rebuke...

Proverbs 1:29 Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD,
30 since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke,
31 they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.
32 For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them;
33 but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.”

When God says no or rebukes you it's because He really cares for you! Listen to Him. Turn up the volume of God's voice by finding the safety when God says No! He's not trying to keep you from having fun, He's trying to keep you from serious pain and heart ache!!

Now sometimes we are heading in the right direction but we just need a little course correction! We need to study God's Word to allow for correction!

To Allow for Correction!

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting...

Sometimes we are not being disobedient or rebellious, but we maybe veering of course and need to allow God to redirect us, to correct us! It's not an all out rebuke, it's just very friendly advice. But if we ignore that corrective advice we could end up in crashing!  Here's what the writer of proverbs had to say about this…

Proverbs 5:12 You will say, “How I hated discipline! How my heart spurned correction!
13 I would not obey my teachers or listen to my instructors.
14 I have come to the brink of utter ruin in the midst of the whole assembly.”

And then in Proverbs 15:5

Proverbs 15:5 A fool spurns his father’s discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.

And then Proverbs 15:32-33

Proverbs 15:32 He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.
33 The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.

I don't know about you, but if I'm heading in the wrong direction, I want somebody to tell me!! And the beautiful things about going to God's Word is you can be assured His motive is always for what's truly best for you in the long run! Many times I talk to people who are struggling with making good choices, and temptations seem to have overwhelming power! They feel powerless to change course! What is the answer? Part of the answer is to turn up the volume of God's voice by studying the text book to become trained in righteousness!

To Become Trained in Righteousness!

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

The Bible is God's training manual for life! If we aren't reading it, studying it, and obeying it then we won't have the proper training to fall back on when temptation comes our way! Almost any discipline in life requires training. Living a truly godly and righteous life in this world requires serious training. How many of you have heard of Crossfit Physical training or insanity workouts?

Well, let me just say this, I think it's good that people are willing to go to some extremes to get into good physical shape. But you know what grieves my heart? While Physical Fitness has soared in our nation, Spiritual Fitness has plummeted! But this is not a new phenomenon. Paul had this to say to young Timothy in his first letter to him…back in the day…1 Timothy 4:7-8

1 Timothy 4:7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.

8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things,  
holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

Godliness has value in all things. It will help you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually! When you constantly study the textbook you'll be sharpening your spiritual senses! You'll begin to hear the voice of God more clearly, you'll be able to see the truth of God with greater clarity, and you'll even welcome the rebuke of God, and desire the correction of God.

You'll begin to train your spiritual muscles to become stronger so you can overcome temptation and defeat discouragement! You'll begin to reprogram the negative, hurtful, selfish, and destructive habits to positive, helpful, selfless, and constructive actions! In fact the word of God will begin to transform you into a new person with new perspective and new goals.

In fact this takes us to the last reason Paul gave Timothy in our text for studying the textbook...

To Be Equipped to Do Good!

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

I don't know about you, but I want to be thoroughly equipped for every good work! I guess you could say I want to be spiritually ripped for God!! Amen! I want to be strong enough spiritually to help others carry their burdens! I want to be strong enough spiritually to say no to temptations that would destroy my witness and my life.

I want to be able so spiritually trained that I can immediately recognize and hear clearly the voice of God when He seeks to speak into my life, and I want to be spiritually able to recognize the best and most effective way to share God's love with a lost and hurting world! How about you?  
Let's pray!!