Breath: Vital for life to breathe healthy clean air.
Vital for spiritual life to breathe healthy, clean things.
Last week we saw that the Bible is actually "breathed out by God" ... "God breathed".
And for for many of us this means that the Bible is immensely valuable.
Not only is it valuable ... it is useful.
(It's possible for something to be very valuable, but not very useful--like a Faberge Egg—$33mil.)
"Profitable": useful, beneficial, advantageous Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W. (2000)
But we also need to ask the question, "Profitable for what?" "Useful for what?"
How is the Bible helpful to us?
A great source of history?
A help to Middle Eastern archaeologists?
An inspirational guide?
Main Idea: Why is Scripture profitable to us?
What do we gain from reading, knowing, and obeying God's word?
Paul uses 4 words to tell us how the Bible is useful to us: teaching, reproof, correction, equipping.
The first two deal with thinking.
The second two with living.
The Bible Teaches Us How to Think
When many people think about the Bible, what do they think of?
Do’s and Don’ts.
But Paul starts off with the heart, how we think/feel.
There are “rules” and laws in the Bible, but it is not a rule book.
Teaching--tells us what we need to know--what to think rightly
Ultimately teaching what? the Gospel .... how to be saved, to live with God, to serve God
That is the purpose of the Bible ... its not a science book.
It's purpose is for salvation and life.
But it is sufficient for that.
We do not need to add to it.
But it says "all Scripture" is “profitable for teaching.”
That is why the whole of both Testaments must be studied—not just Romans, not just the Old Testament, not just the Gospels.
All the didactic, poetic, narrative, apocalyptic, proverbial, and epical sections together are to make up the tapestry of our teaching.
Here at Vintage we are committed to giving a wide dose of God's word from throughout.
Just since we've launched I've preached from John, Daniel, Acts, Ruth, Philippians, Isaiah, and much more.
We have a schedule that attempts to give a steady healthy diet of Bible.
We must first have the right thoughts if we are going to do the right things
This doesn't just mean that we know more or change intellectually, it means that God's word is known and then begins to transform who we are.
The Pharisees knew the word of God, but Jesus continually charges them for not having read the word.
(see chap. 12 of Piper)
Reproof--Tells us where we're thinking wrongly
Because we are broken sinners, we by nature think wrongly.
This doesn't mean we never have good or correct thoughts.
It means that inherently our thoughts originate from the wrong place (ourselves).
Our thoughts are inherently corrupted by sin.
Or to put it another way, our thoughts need to be put under the submission of God's rule and reign.
We need "Kingdom" thoughts.
Example: Sermon on the Mount (I preached a series on that called "Invert: Living right side up in an upside down world) -- Jesus totally flips how we normally think about things.
The Bible Tells Us How to Live
Correction--tells us when we're going the wrong way
“Correction” comes from the Greek word for “straight,” which the New Living Translation helpfully renders, “It straightens us out.”
God’s Word is useful in a practical way.
Those who accept its reproof will begin to find their lives straightening out.
Illustration: stumbling in the dark without a light
Equipping for Righteousness--tell us the way to go
You can't just tell people what they are doing wrong.
Illustration: What Not to Wear They spend half the show showing them what they shouldn't wear, but if they leave them there, they will continue to dress poorly.
They have to show them what is right things to wear.
The righteousness that has come to the believer by faith is actualized by the training of God’s Word.
How Do We Use the Bible?
This is all important, because it shows us how to use scripture.
This is a big question.
How do we read God's word?
What am I trying to do?
Illustration: Bible roulette --I heard about a guy that did that.
He was depressed and wanted to know what to do with his life.
He closed his eyes, opened his Bible to a random page and put his finger on the page.
He opened his eyes and read: “Judas went out and hanged himself.”
The man was shaken to his very core.
He decided to try it again.
He repeated the procedure, opened his eyes and read: “Go thou and do likewise.”
This is not what he wanted or expected.
He decided to try one more time.
This time his finger pointed to: “Whatsoever you do, do it quickly.”
So when we come to a passage of Scripture we need to ask good questions:
What is the author saying?
2. What could this be teaching me?
3. How does this challenge how I normally think?
4. Does this passage expose any areas where I am in the wrong?
5. What is the right way to live/respond?