God's Word is Enough

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Good morning church! It is so great to see you guys this morning!
If you are new here, we are pumped to have you worship with us! In fact, we have a gift we would love to give you! It’s waiting on you at Next Steps in the lobby. If you will fill out the card from the back of the seat in front of you, there should be a pen there also, and drop it by Next Steps on your way out today, our volunteers working there will hook you up with a free t shirt and a little info about our church.
Those cards can also be used to let us know about prayer requests and next steps we can help you make in your walk with God. Church, please use those as well!
So, last week, we started this series called The Book. This week, is kind of building on the ideas from last week. But, don’t worry, if you missed it, you won’t miss the point of this week, I promise.
Last week, we saw that God CHOSE to make himself known to us. He did this most generally through Creation. God built into all of his creation evidence of his own existence. When you look around at the cosmos or at the minute particles of matter and wonder what being could be behind all of this expanse, you are having that thought because God wants you to! He is REVEALING himself to mankind through creation. We call that general or natural revelation. It shows us THAT God is.
However, God also CHOSE to reveal himself in a more intimate way. He gave his word, the Bible, as a SPECIAL revelation of Himself to man. If natural revelation shows us THAT God is, SPECIAL revelation shows us WHO God is. We can know God’s desires, his will for the world, a long history of gracious acts towards humans even though they sin, and countless moments in which God intervened in human history in major ways, the pinnacle of which is him sending his son to die on the cross for the sins of all of us! All of these are things that looking at planets, trees, and DNA will never show me! I NEEDED God’s Word to show me that! You did too! And if you are not a believer, God’s Word stands ready to reveal those things to you as well!
This morning, I want to add another layer here, though. Turn to 2 Timothy 3. It’s towards the end of the NEW TESTAMENT.
It’s not just that the Bible reveals parts of Who God is. Little nuggets of his character and we are left searching elsewhere to fill in all the holes. It is our belief that ALL THAT WE CAN KNOW ABOUT GOD IS FOUND IN HIS WORD.
The Book is NEEDED, absolutely! But The Book is also ENOUGH!
Let me read this passage to you that will provide the outline of thought for us this morning...
2 Timothy 3:13–17 CSB
Evil people and impostors will become worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you, and you know that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Before we dive into the three points I have to share with you from this passage this morning, I want to share something with you that I didn’t know early in my faith.
The New Testament books could be broken down this way:
The Gospels - Matthew-John
History - Acts
Paul’s Letters - Romans-Philemon
General Letters - Hebrews-Jude
Prophecy - Revelation
And, yes, I have hand signals to help me remember that order!!
But 2 Timothy falls into the section we called Paul’s Letters. Timothy is believed to have been written by the Apostle Paul who was once a persecutor of Christians but had his life turned upside down by Jesus and became a follower!
Paul’s letters could be broken down into two sections: The Community Letters and the People Letters. Romans-2 Thessalonians are letters written to communities above people throughout the known world at the time. The People letters are 1 Timothy through Philemon. These are written to, you guessed it, unique people not necessarily individuals, though it would be quickly circulated to multiple places and regions.
The books within these sections are ordered in a very interesting and complicated way… By length..... Romans is the longest community letter, so it goes first. 1 and 2 Thessalonians are the smallest, so they go last. The same is true of the people letters. Philemon is the shortest.
If you will commit these strange facts I share with you to memory, it will help you navigate your Bible more effectively. You would know that Titus sounds like a name, so it’s not a community letter. Must be a people letter!
Paul is writing 2 Timothy as a letter to one of his disciples named Timothy. We don’t get an age on Timothy, but we know he was younger than Paul by a number of years, cause Paul mentions his youthfulness on occasion.
Timothy, at this time was serving as a pastor at the church of Ephesus. So Paul is giving him things to challenge him but also ways in which he can challenge and grow the people he is shepherding.
All of this that I read earlier is setting up for a charge to Timothy to “preach the word” in chapter 4. For Timothy to preach the Word, Paul believed he needed to first remind him of just how sufficient God’s Word really is!
We see three things in this passage…


2 Timothy 3:14–15 CSB
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed. You know those who taught you, and you know that from infancy you have known the sacred Scriptures, which are able to give you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
When I was younger, my great grandparents had an above ground pool and deck at their house. Me and my cousins were there nearly every summer day. We played a game in the pool we called school. Did y’all play that game?
One person would be the teacher and they would start by standing in the water with their legs apart as wide as possible. Everyone else then took turns swimming under their legs. This was kindergarten. If you could swim under there without touching the teacher, you passed and went to the next grade. If you touched, you had to repeat that grade before moving on. Two failed grades and you were expelled from the game. With each new grade, the teacher would slide their feet a little closer together. You had to make it all the way through high school.
Christianity almost has this feel to some people. That there are gateways that are hindering a person from leveling up in their faith. For some people this is a certain level of obedience, things they do. But for some this involves some sort of hidden knowledge that I can find in the Bible and when I do BOOM! I get to level up in my walk with God. I enjoy that for a while, but then I’ve got to find some new hidden thing again. It’s a never ending search for biblical secrets. Like Nicolas Gage looking at the back of the Declaration of Independence with special glasses on!
Listen Church, God’s not sitting back waiting on you to learn something new or discover a secret in his word so he can give you some sort of a higher ranking! We act like God is giving us patches for some spiritual vest for the weird things we think we can find in the Bible!
This has led to things like The Davinci Code and tons of other wrong ideas from the Bible. We have people reading God’s Word today and “discovering new things” in the Bible. That’s scary y’all! If believers for 2000 years have read the same text you just read and we have no evidence that anyone before has interpreted it the same way you are.... That’s scary. If you are listening to a preacher who is claiming a fresh and new word from the Bible, I would be cautious. OK?
Notice in the text that when Paul mentions there are people being led astray and trying to lead other’s astray, he doesn’t challenge Timothy to find a new word from the Scriptures. His focus is on what Timothy already knows! Do you see that? “continue in what you have learned and firmly believe.”
So often, we think that we need some new revelation to tickle our mind or ears to keep us focused on God and graduate to something deeper, when in reality, we often need to rest in what we have already studied and believe!
I’m not saying we don’t need to study more, but we don’t need to study more, just to be studying more. If you haven’t applied any of the texts you have read or studied in the past year, is it really beneficial for you to move on to the next study?
This is why Bible Studies today are a million dollar industry while actually reading the Bible is arguably really low! Instead of actually applying what we already know from Scripture and continuing in that obedience, instead we want to keep moving on, moving on, the next study.
One of my seminary professors made the comment that Baptists snort Bible studies like cocaine. We find a good one, suck it down as quick as we can, then we ride that high for a very short time and then we are looking for the next high, the next study. Did you see David Platt’s new Study? OOOOOHHHHH. Yes, as soon as I finish Beth Moore’s new one, I’m doing it!
What we need to acknowledge is that God’s Word itself is ENOUGH!
The reason I can say that is because the next thing Paul drives home is...


2 Timothy 3:16 CSB
All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness,
The word “inspired” here is a made up compound word in the Greek. Paul made a word that literally means “god breathed.” Meaning that all of Scripture is spoken or breathed out by God himself.
The Bible that you hold in your hands or are scrolling through on your phone can be viewed as the very words of God!!!!!!! You see that right How quickly I have been in the past to read devotions, books written by Christians, or read Bible study books INSTEAD of reading the Bible itself. Here’s the problem with that… None of those other things are spoken by God himself! Can they be helpful? Absolutely! Should we read them? Probably good for us spiritually if we did. But should those things take away from our Bible reading? ABSOLUTELY NOT!
We have got to begin to view those things in a proper light. I read this week a good way to think of those other books: “A good Christian book is a guide not a Lord.” We don’t read those things as if they are binding on the Christian. As if the words of Max Lucado become the very words of God by the work of the Spirit. The only power those books have are the places in which they rely on Scripture. It may be helpful. It may be encouraging. It may even be INSPIRING. But it is not INSPIRED. That is reserved for Scripture alone!
We saw last week that God’s Word is NEEDED if we are to know God, but it is important to acknowledge this week that God’s word is ENOUGH for us to know God too! There is no truth about God that you could ever find in another book that was not already revealed in the Bible. If you do, I would be skeptical of it.
The Shack was a good example of this. Y’all remember this book? Super controversial when it was released. It’s a person’s interaction with God the Father, the Son and the Spirit. Each one of them is personified as someone different.
Now, I don’t know the heart of the author. But there were some people who read this almost as if it was a new book of the Bible! Taking way too much of it to heart and letting it greatly affect their view of God. I didn’t read it, and I’m not saying you are a sinner if you did! But a good way to read a book like this is by reading it in your left hand and a Bible in your right!
Just as some people left the faith or at least left a normal orthodoxy view of God because of the book, there were others who allowed the book to stir their imagination but they grounded that imagination in truth by going to God’s Word periodically to see what God has said about himself! These people might even say that the book was a good book for their faith!
Anytime you are reading a Christian book or a book that is pushing what you believe and think, make sure that you are letting it drive you back to the word! If so, it will be good for you!
I don’t mind reading people that I totally disagree with. I can almost always learn something from them, but I recognize that they don’t define truth. That’s already defined in the BOOK! Amen?
I am not saying that everything about God has been revealed in the Bible. You can read it from beginning to end one thousand times and you may still have some questions for God. However, in his Word and through creation, God has given us all that we CAN know about him.
Paul continues the letter to Timothy by talking about growth from God’s Word...


2 Timothy 3:16–17 CSB
All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
As we are learning about who God is from his Word, a natural outflow of that will be growth. Spiritual growth.
Paul says here that the Book is profitable for TEACHING. The idea here is that God’s Word should be taught in such a way that people learn how to live for God, what he expects of those who follow him!
Then he says Rebuking. This is a more blatant calling out of your sin by someone else. This happens shotgun style through the preaching of God’s Word on Sundays. I will say hard things that speak to many in the building. But it should be happening in our personal relationships as a rifle. When we see one another heading down the wrong path, we need to be willing to call that out in loving conversation! And we need to be man enough to take it! Amen?
THen Paul says CORRECTING. This is going to look more like an ongoing, everyday discipleship. Conversations over lunch that help one another see their blind spots and the mistakes we are making that could get out of hand in the future. We all should be doing this for one another.
Lastly Paul says Training in Righteousness. Training could be thought of as the positive side of the correcting. It’s still an ongoing, personal relationship but it is the prepping, not correcting.
All of these things need to be happening among us here at East. We need to get closer and more honest with one another. When we do, Paul says something will happen...
2 Timothy 3:17 CSB
so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Don’t you want to be spiritually complete!? Of course you do! God wants to make you that way, and he’s going to use God’s Word in your hands and the hands of your church family to make you that way! God’s word is not only needed for this to happen, it is SUFFICIENT, it’s enough for it to happen! Get it in it, get around others who are in it and let them speak into your life, and watch as God equips you for every good work!
This is the importance of the book you hold in your hand. The book that most of us don’t read regularly. We don’t seem to really care about. We must change that, church!
I read a great statement based on these verses from another pastor this week. Listen to this...
“We are a people of the Book. We know God through the Book. We meet Christ in the Book. We see the cross in the Book. Our faith and love are kindled by the glorious truths of the Book. We have tasted the divine majesty of the Word and are persuaded that the Book is God's inspired and infallible written revelation. Therefore, what the Book teaches matters.”
I believe we would all say YES AND AMEN up til the last sentence! THEREFORE, because all this stuff we just said is true, THEREFORE, what the book teaches matters.
We will unapologetically be a people of the Book here at East. The Bible will frame how I preach, how we worship, how we teach kids and students, how we do missions, how we train leaders, how we do everything we do!
Today, I have to ask, is your life characterized by the sufficiency of Scripture? Meaning, are you living your life like God’s Word is ENOUGH? That in these pages are the very words of the creator of everything and they are there so that you can I can KNOW HIM and in turn we can become more like HIM! Do people see that in you? Would they say that you love the BOOK!?
Let’s get back into the Word.
For others, are you finding yourself always discontent with learning things about the Bible? Are you so busy trying to learn something “NEW” that you don’t actually apply the Bible’s truths? If so, take the reminder from Paul to Timothy, CONTINUE IN WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNED AND FIRMLY BELIEVE!
Also, if you feel led to pray for the leadership of this church to be centered on God’s Word and continue to lead East to be a people of the Book, we would welcome that!!!!!
And if you would honestly say to me that you are not a believer in Jesus that you have never trusted in Jesus as your Savior, please know that God’s Word is needed and enough to show you how to be saved! The Bible says you need to REPENT and BELIEVE.
We are going to have a time or response. This is a time for you to talk with God about whatever he is dealing with you on this morning. You can do that by singing this last song along with the worship team as a response of worship to the reading of God’s Word today. You can respond by talking with me about some next step you need to take like becoming a believer, coming forward for baptism like Lauren did this morning, or you can respond through prayer right where you are or come down front to pray for yourself or bring the burdens of someone else here. Nothing magical about these steps, but when you come forward, the People of East see you and are praying with you!
I am going to pray, the worship team will begin to play, and we will respond after I say amen.
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