BIBLE-3 - Uses of the Bible

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Transcript

INSPIRATION & USE OF THE BIBLE

“I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto
salvation to all who believe,” Romans 1:16.

Welcome today to our study of the use and inspiration of God’s Holy
word.
How well are we really using the Bible in our lives? When we study
the Bible, listen to Gospel preaching, do you have your Bible handy to
check what you’re hearing?
Sometimes people will go to worship without bringing their Bible with
them.
The Bible is our guide, it’s our sole authority, and it’s our voice from
God on how to live. It’s the Christians, “sword of the spirit,” Ephesians 6:17.
In every area where religious matters are discussed, I need to bring my
Bible. I need to use it correctly to please God and make sure I am doing
what He wants me to do.
I’m reminded of that example in Acts 17:11. The Bible says of the
Bereans, “These were more fair-minded indeed than those in Thessalonica
in that they searched the, they received The Word with all readiness, and

they searched the scriptures daily to find out whether these things were
so.”
When somebody brought them a message from God, they had their
Bible handy. They heard that message. They listened carefully. They
wanted to know what the will of the Lord was. They didn’t take man’s word.
They used the Bible, the scriptures, to check what they were hearing.
Sometimes as we think about using our Bible, bringing our Bible,
having our Bible handy, sometimes we are not often doing that. One of the
things we think about is, if we aren’t using the Bible like we ought to- why
are we not?
Sometimes people will say, well I just forgot to bring my Bible. I didn’t
have it handy. We need to get in the habit of making sure we bring our
Bible and that we use it correctly.
You couldn’t start a better habit than taking your Bible with you
wherever you go.
Maybe somebody says, well I don’t have a Bible. You can sure get
one at a very low price. You can find one. If you’d like to have a Bible, we
can help you in getting one as well. That wouldn’t be hard to do at all.
There are various forms and formats and you can get a good Bible.
Sometimes we just don’t make it a priority. Maybe I was running late,
and I left it on the table. I didn’t have my Bible handy, or I was too busy.
Friend sometime we just have to slow down and think about what the real
priorities in this life are.
Jesus asked two rhetorical questions, in Mark 8:36-37. Jesus said,
“What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own
soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”
This book is the guide for the soul. This book tells me how my soul
can be right with God. This book tells me how to get to Heaven. I want to
treasure it. I want to take it with me. I don’t want to use excuses. I want to
let the word of God have its proper place and priority in my life.

As we think about the idea of using the Bible, having the Bible handy,
being ready when religious matters come up, having my Bible close so I
can use it- this is indeed a Biblical idea. Let me illustrate.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:21, the apostle Paul when writing to the Church
at Thessalonica said, “Prove all things hold fast that which is good.” Now
when matters come up religiously and maybe somebody is teaching one
thing, maybe somebody’s teaching another- or maybe I’m hearing
something and I’m wondering to myself: Is that really what God says? How
do you prove what God says? How do you prove and hold fast that which is
good? If I’m to prove all things, that suggest there is a, something I prove it
by, there is a standard that I use. It is the word of God.
How do I know this is the standard? Listen to the words of Jesus,
John 12:48, Jesus said, “He who rejects me and does not receive my
words, has that which judges him,” What is it Jesus? “The words that I have
spoken will judge him in the last day.” What’s the standard? It’s the words
of Christ.
A great judgement scene, Revelation 20:12-15, you’ve got the dead
small and great standing before God- books were open and another book
was open, which is the Book of Life. I’ll assure you compared with the Book
of Life is also the word of God. Those two harmonize, ought to harmonize,
for those who are trying to please the Almighty.
And so, I’ve got to prove all things. Nothing wrong with that, that’s
what God, wants me to do.
I’ll give you another passage that illustrates the idea that one using
the Bible and having it handy when religious matters are discussed. 2
Timothy 2:15 the apostle Paul said these words to young evangelist
Timothy. Paul said, “Study to show yourselves approved unto God, a
workman who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of
truth.”
Friend, if I’m going to know how to use the Bible, I’ve got to study it.
I’ve got to rightly divide it. I’ve got to give ample attention to it. When

matters come up of a religious nature, here’s the best question you could
ask: “Is there any word from the Lord?” Jeremiah 37:17. Paul repeated that
in Romans 4:3 when he asked, “What does the scripture say?”
And so as we think about using the Bible, that’s really what we’re
talking about. Is there any word from the Lord? What does the scripture
say? What’s God’s voice in the matter? What can I do to really make sure
I’m pleasing Him?
I remind you again of another example, in Acts 17:11, probably one of
the clearest to show these people knew it was a need. They had it ready,
and they were ready to use the Bible. Paul comes to the region of Beria,
and the Bereans are ‘more noble minded’ the Bible says, ‘than those in
Thessalonica.’ Here’s what happened, Paul comes to Berea. In essence
Paul knocks on the door. He says ‘I’ve got a message about Christ.’ They
didn’t slam the door in his face. They said ‘Paul come in, tell us about it.’
They received the word with all readiness. They were ready to hear it, and
so Paul began to preach to them about Jesus. He began to tell them about
how Christ is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. As they’re sitting
there, they’re listening. They’re taking notes, and they’re writing things
down. They listen closely.
Did they automatically except everything Paul said when he was
through? No. Here’s what they did. They said, ‘Paul you’ve said a lot of
interesting things today. We’ve heard what you had to say. We took notes,
now we are going to check it and see.’ They searched the scriptures daily
to see if these things were so. What if those people weren’t familiar? What
if they didn’t even have a Bible? What if it wasn’t handy? It might have
been a whole different scenario, but they were ready to search and to
prove and to see these things were indeed true from the Almighty.
Now we want to give today some encouragements, some positive
reasons, to have your Bible handy to be ready to use it. Each of these will
only benefit you as a child of God, as you have your Bible ready to use.
The first is this: You want to be ready to use your Bible, because the
Bible is, “our sword of the spirit.” Ephesians 6:17. “As I do battle against the

evil one,” Ephesians 6:10-17. “As I contend earnestly for the faith,” Jude
verse 3. As I fight the inward struggles that we all fight, I need to be armed.
I need to be equipped. The Bible is our sword. It’s our weapon. It’s our tool.
It’s our defense. It’s that which helps us to ward off the temptations and the
on-slot of the evil one.
Not only is it your sword of the spirit, the Bible is your mirror of the
soul. James 1:21-25, the scripture says that no one who looks into a mirror
walks from it and immediately forgets who he was. Then he says we look
into the perfect law of liberty, we can see ourselves. We can see what God
really wants us to see.
How’s the Bible like a mirror? Think about this, you wake up in the
morning and you go to the bathroom, and you look into the mirror, things
aren’t quite like you want them to be for the day. Maybe there is hair out of
the place, maybe you need to clean your face, and maybe you need to
touch things up. What do you do in a mirror? You notice things that are out
of place. You notice maybe things that are not right. You look at that, you
compare it to the way that you want it to be and you make adjustments.
Now you think about that in the spiritual sense. If this book, the Bible,
is the mirror of my soul, who I am spiritually- I can look into it. I can read it. I
can study it, and I can know what I look like in a spiritual sense.
I can assure you some people weren’t doing that in Jesus’ day. Here
is how you know. In Matthew 23, Jesus said to the Jewish hypocrites who
thought they were everything spiritually but weren’t- Jesus said, “You’re like
whitewashed tombs beautiful and ornate on the outside, but inside
spiritually you are full of dead man’s bones.”
Not only is this book our sword, not only is it our mirror to the soul,
this book is where the power is. Hebrews 4:12, listen to this, “The word of
God is living, powerful, sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to
the division of soul and spirit of joints and marrow, it’s a discerner of the
thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Remember Romans 1:16, “I’m not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ,”
Why not Paul? “It’s the power of God unto salvation.”
You could find no more powerful book than the word of God. It has
the power to save, the power to heal, the power to help those that are
spiritually hurting and in need.
Let me offer this reason. Why do you want to have your Bible handy
and ready to use? This book is spiritual soul food. Matthew 4:4 Jesus said,
“Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the
mouth of God.” Matthew 5:6 Jesus said,” Blessed are those who hunger
and thirst after righteousness.” Spiritual soul food, this is what my soul
needs to survive, to grow, and to flourish.
If I’m going to be what God wants me to be, “I’ve got to grow in the
grace and knowledge of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,”2 Peter 3:2-3.
We’ve got to, as a newborn babe, desire the milk of the word that I may
grow, thereby, spiritual soul food.
Then we offer this, the Bible is such an important tool, because it’s
like a hammer. It has the ability to break that hard shell.
Have you ever gotten the milk out of a coconut before? You tap a
little hole in it and all the milk drains out. How are you going to get inside
that coconut to get the coconut itself out? Well there’s only one way to do
that. You’ve got to take a hammer, and you’ve got to break that open that
hard shell has to be cracked. It has to be broken, before you can get to that
which is good.
Friend when we talk about the Bible as a hammer, it has the ability to
break open the hard heart. Jeremiah 23:29, God says, “Is not my word like
a hammer and like a fire?” And so when I think about the word of God, it
has the power to pierce the heart. It has the power to break open that shell.
Think about these examples. The Bible is also our light. Psalm
119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light unto my path.” In a
world of darkness, evil, and wickedness John 3:17-19, I can have the light
of life through Jesus our Lord and Savior- who is the light, John 8:12.

Then we mention this, you want to have your Bible handy, you want
to have it ready, because as a tool it has truth. It is the truth. Do you
remember the words of Jesus in John 8:32? Jesus said, “You shall know
the truth and the truth will make you free.” What do you mean truth?
“Sanctify them by your truth, your word is truth,” John 17:17.
This book is what God wants us to know. It’s the truth about how I
got here. It’s the truth about what I ought to do while I’m here. Ultimately it
is the one and only true way to get to Heaven.
Now, we’ve talked a lot about different tools and uses of the Bible
and here is how I often think about it. One of the things I like to do is collect
knives. I have a whole bunch of knives, different shapes, different sizes,
some hold sentimental value, and some are useful. I’ve got everyday
pocket knives. I’ve got skinning knives. I’ve got a whole bunch of different
knives, but the one knife that the Bible reminds me of- and I hope you’ll
understand the way I’m saying this- is the multi-tool.
You can take a multi-tool and on the end it is liable to be a needle
nose plier. It may have 8 or 10 pieces inside of it, and as you open it up, it
will have a screwdriver. It’ll have a flat head. It’ll have a Philips, and it’ll
have a can opener. A multi-tool is a marvelous invention, when it comes to
the knife.
Friend, the Bible is your spiritual multi-tool. It has so much value that
you can hardly begin to understand how much it affects one’s life.
Why else should a person have their Bible handy and ready to use?
Here’s why friend, because we live in a day and age when we are blessed
to have the word of God in portable form. Here’s what I mean by that. You
go back centuries and you go back in time and you go back in the ages
maybe a few generations, maybe 500 years from now. Did everybody have
a copy of the Bible like you and I have? Hasn’t always been the case. In
fact, history reveals for us the Bible most people had would actually be
chained to a pulpit or might be in a cathedral somewhere. You can image if
there were one in the region and everybody had to go there for it. That
would create problems! How less access people would have. If somebody

came and said something from the Bible, they may not have it handy and
ready to check. It’s a wonderful privilege today to have the word of God in
bound form.
Do we really realize what a blessing it is? I can hold within my hand
the word of God. You know we have the Bible in some many forms today.
You’ve got little New Testaments; you’ve got little Bibles that contain both
the Old and New Testaments. You’ve got beautiful bindings of it in various
forms. You can have it; you can listen to it on audio. You can even get
forms of it where you can have it on your phone and on your tablet. There
are apps for that. You can think of a way that the Bible is available for
download, and you can associate the Bible with that.
We are living in a day and age where there has never been more
access to the word of God. And yet friend, I want you to listen real carefully,
in the book of Amos, God said, “there’s a drought in the land. There’s a
famine in the land, not for food and not of water, but of hearing the word of
the Lord.” With a day and age where there’s so much availability to the
Bible, isn’t it amazing that there is also a lack of understanding by a lot of
folks about the Bible? People just take what they hear and sometimes trust

what others say. You want to trust people, and you want to believe them-
but listen carefully- this is your soul we are talking about.

You need to take advantage of the fact that we do have ready access
to the Bible. You need to use that for which God wants you to use it for.
We also mention that the Bible is such a wonderful tool to have handy
and ready for this reason: The Bible allows you to make up your own mind
for yourself.
Part of the problem that occurred throughout history is that people
were told what to believe. Some may have been told back in the early
centuries of the era now that we’re living in that you know, the Pope might
have stood up and said this is what you’re to believe. People just lock stock
and barrel bought into that. Come down the history of time and great
religious leaders told people, you believe this, and people just buy into it.

I’ll give you an example. Today Billy Graham has gone around the
country and told people just to say the sinner’s prayer and everything will
be ok.
Did you know you can’t find that prayer anywhere in your own Bible?
Not like he says it. You don’t find that in the Bible. Where’s that at?
Friend, the reason we encourage people to have their Bible handy,
to be ready to check things. If I’ve got my Bible ready, then it allows me to
make up my mind for myself. Here’s why that’s important. Did you know
that really and ultimately you’re the only person who will be accountable for
your soul?
Romans 14:12 says, “So then each of us shall give an account of
himself to God.” If I’m going to be accountable for my soul, if I’m going to
have to stand there and give an account for what I believe and how I’ve
lived. I for sure want to let the Bible, not somebody else, make up my mind
for me.
I love the example of Saul of Tarsus. Acts 9:4-6, Saul is traveling
down the road to Damascus. Now, he has intentions, and he has been
wreaking havoc in the church. He has intentions of dragging men and
woman to prison, snuffing out this idea of Jesus and Christianity, and along
the way Christ appears to him. Saul realizes this is not something he can
take lightly, and so he asks this question. He heard the voice of Jesus and
he says, “Lord what would you have me to do?”
Can you find a better question than that? What would the Lord have
you to do? You know the only way to answer that is for you and for me to
get out our own Bibles and to make up our mind for ourselves. Isn’t that
what the questions of Jeremiah 37:17 and Romans 4 are teaching us? “Is
there any word from the Lord?”
How do I know if there is? I’ve got to check it. What does the scripture
say? Well how do I know what the scripture says? I’ve got to check it for
myself and you know what’s great is? When I read the Bible for myself,
when I see what God teaches me, and I what God wants me to do- I don’t

believe it because somebody told me. I believe it, because I have a
personal vested interest and ownership in that. I opened my own Bible,
and I saw it. I read it. I know this is from God. God said it, and I believe
God. I now have a personal investment and attachment and ownership to
that idea. How wonderful it is when someone can make the truth their own
and live their life by it every day.
Another reason we mention that you want to bring your Bible, and
especially when it comes to things like going to Worship or wherever it may
be, going to hear a gospel meeting, going to hear someone preach, or
going to worship- You want to bring your Bible, because it allows you to
participate in Worship.
Think of the words of Jesus in John 4:24, “God is a spirit and those
who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
How does God want me to worship? In spirit and in truth. I not only
want to have my heart, my emotion, my mind engaged. I’ve got to let the
truth guide what we do. If God’s word is truth, and it is, John 17:17, I need
to bring my Bible so that I can participate in worship. If you just sit there like
the proverbial lump on a log, how do you think God feels about that? If
when the Bible is read, your mind is somewhere else, if during the
preaching you’re just kind of off in another land, if when things are taught
you don’t know whether it’s true or not, and you just take it at lock stock
and barrel. Is that what God wants me to do? No, God wants me to
participate. Part of participating is, I’m going to bring my Bible, and I’m
going to for myself. I’m going to make sure that’s right.
Now friend, we mention this last point, and I know we have kind of
talked around this. I really want to drive this home. Listen carefully please.
When religious matters are discussed and things are brought up, especially
wherever it may be when one is going to worship or wherever- Take your
Bible with you to check it. Listen very carefully. The Bible says that there
are a host of false teachers out there, and I have a responsibility to make
sure what I’m being taught is true.

The Bible says in 1 John 4:1-4, “test the spirits to see whether they
are from God, for “Listen now, “for false prophets have gone out into the
world.” We’re not condemning everybody as a false prophet. That’s not the
idea. That’s not even the point here. The point here is you have to check
for yourself. You have to make sure, is this person teaching truth? Is what
their, listen to this; is what they’re saying about salvation coming from this
book? Or is it just an emotional tug on your heart? Or what we’re doing in
worship is that authorized by the Bible? Or is that what man throughout the
centuries has taught? Remember only the Bible can be our real guide in
what we say and do.
When moral issues arise, whether it is abortion, homosexuality,
whatever moral issue, am I listening to the Bible? Am I checking it by the
truth of God’s word? Remember God wants us to search the scriptures
daily to see if these things are true to the will of God and pleasing to the
Almighty.
As we think today about using our Bible, we’re simply trying to
encourage people to go back to the Bible. Let Jesus really have all
authority, Matthew 28:18. To do as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 4:6. If it is not
written, we’re not going to believe that and to not add to or take away from
the word of God. We make this passionate appeal, because so many folks
are being lead down the spiritual rad to destruction. All they’ve got to do is
get out their Bible and check it for themselves.
Here’s the challenge we make: Next time you go somewhere to
worship, next time there’s a religious discussion, be sure and bring your
Bible. When someone says something, and they don’t say here’s where
that is in the Bible and when they do say you can’t find that. You say wait a
minute. Where are you teaching that from in scripture? You say, hold on
now, you’ve said this. Show me in the Bible where that is right. And if that
can’t be produced, friend, you need to make some changes in who you’re
following and what you believe, because we only want to follow our Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ.

If you’ve never obeyed the gospel, if you’ve never become a
Christian, friend we encourage you today.
If you’ve heard the word, you believe in Jesus, you’re willing to repent
of sin and confess his name before men. Jesus said, “He that believes and
is baptized will be saved.”
We encourage you, check your Bible, see if that’s not true.

Study Questions for:

“Inspiration & Uses of the Bible Lesson 3: Uses of the Bible”

1. According to Romans 1:16, what is the power of God?

2. According to Ephesians 6:17, what is the sword of the spirit?

3. Why were the Bereans considered more fair-minded and noble
according to Acts 17:11?

4. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 tells us to what all things?

5. According to John 12:48, what will judge us?

6. According to 2 Timothy 2:15, what should we do to show ourselves
approved unto God?

7. In Jeremiah 37:17, what crucial question is asked?

8. According to James 1:22-25, how is the Bible like a mirror?

9. In Hebrews 4:12, what does it say about the word of God, the Bible?

10. What must we have to live according to Matthew 4:4?