* Scriptures in the Bible a map to guide us

The psalmist said that he is a “foreigner here on earth,” and so he needed guidance.  Almost any long trip requires a map or guide.  As we travel through life, the Bible, Scriptures, should be our road map, pointing out safe routes, obstacles to avoid, and our final destination.  We must recognize ourselves as pilgrims, travelers here on earth who need to study God’s map, Scripture, to learn the way.  If we ignore the map, Scripture, we will wander aimlessly through life and risk missing our real destination. (NLT)

Psalm 119:19 – I am but a foreigner here on earth; I need the guidance of your commands.  Don’t hide them from me!

* To fulfill what the Bible says

Mark 14:49 – [Jesus said] “Why didn’t you arrest me in the Temple?  I was there teaching every day.  But these things are happening to fulfill what the Scriptures say about me.”

* The other parts of the Bible 

2 Peter 3:16 – speaking of these things in all of his letters.   Some of his comments are hard to understand, and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters around to mean something quite different from what he meant, just as they do the other parts of Scripture–and the result is disaster for them.

* Measuring the effectiveness of your Bible Scripture study time

Moses urged the people to think about God’s Word, the Scripture, and teach it to their children.  The Bible can sit on your bookshelf and gather dust, or you can make it a vital part of your life by regular setting aside time to study it.  When you discover the wisdom of God’s message, Scripture, you will want to apply it to your life and pass it on to your family and others. The Bible is not merely good reading–it’s real help for real life. (NLT)

Deuteronomy 32:46-47 – he added: “Take to heart all the words I have given you today.  Pass them on as a command to your children so they will obey every word of this law.  These instructions are not mere words–they are your life!  By obeying them you will enjoy a long life in the land you are crossing the Jordan River to occupy.”

* – It is important to listen to what God’s Word says, but it is much more important to obey it and to do what it says.  We can measure the effectiveness of our Bible study time by the effect it has on your behavior and attitudes.  Do you put into action what you have studied?

James 1:22-25 – And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to.  If you don’t obey, you are only fooling yourself.  For if you just listen and don’t obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance.  You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.  But if you keep looking steadily into God’s perfect law–the law that sets you free–and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

* Forcing the messages in the Bible to fit our desires

Evil King Ahaz copied pagan religious customs, changed the Temple services, and used the Temple altar for his personal benefit.  In so doing, he demonstrated a callous disregard for God’s commands.  We condemn Ahaz for his action, but we act the same way if we try to mold God’s message to fit our personal preferences.  We must worship God for who he is, not what we would selfishly like him to be. (NLT)

2 Kings 16:10-16 – King Ahaz then went to Damascus to meet with King Tiglath-pileser of Assyria.  While he was there, he noticed an unusual altar.  So he sent a model of the altar to Uriah the priest, along with its design in full detail.  Uriah built an altar just like it by following the king’s instructions, and it was ready for the king when he returned from Damascus.  When the king returned, he inspected the altar and made offerings on it.  The king presented a burnt offering and a grain offering, poured a drink offering over it, and sprinkled the blood of peace offerings on it.

Then King Ahaz removed the old bronze altar from the front of the Lord’s Temple, which had stood between the entrance and the new altar, and placed it on the north side of the new altar.  He said to Uriah the priest, “Use the new altar for the morning sacrifices of burnt offering, the evening grain offering, the king’s burnt offering and grain offering, and the offerings of the people, including their drink offerings.  The blood from the burnt offerings and sacrifices should be sprinkled over the new altar.  The old bronze altar will be only for my personal use.”  Uriah the priest did just as King Ahaz instructed him.

* The Bible should have immediate impact on us

When Josiah heard the law, he tore his clothes in grief.  He immediately instituted reforms.  With just one reading of God’s law, he changed the course of the nation.  Today many people own Bibles, but few are affected by the truths found in God’s Word.  The Word of God should cause us, like Josiah, to take action immediately to reform our lives and bring them into harmony with God’s will. (NLT)

2 Kings 22:11 – When the king heard what was written in the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes in despair.

* Acts not condemned in the Bible aren’t necessarily okay

These verses list Shaharaim’s children by Hodesh after he had divorced his first two wives, Hushim and Baara.  Divorce and polygamy are sometimes recorded in the Old Testament without critical comments.  This does not mean that God takes divorce lightly.  Malachi 2:15, 16 says to “remain loyal to the wife of your youth.  ‘For I hate divorce!’ says the Lord, the God of Israel.”  Jesus explained that although divorce was allowed it was not God’s will: “Moses permitted divorce as a concession to your hard-hearted wickedness, but it was not what God had originally intended.”  Don’t assume that God approves of an act because it isn’t vigorously condemned in every related Bible reference. (NLT)

1 Chronicles 8:8-10 – After Shaharaim divorced his wives Hushim and Baara, he had children in the land of Moab.  Hodesh, his new wife, gave birth to Jobab, Zibia, Mesha, Malcam, Jeuz, Sakia, and Mirmiah.  These sons all became the leaders of clans.

* The Bible teaches us difference between right and wrong

Part of what Eliphaz said is true, and part is false.  It is true that those who promote sin and trouble eventually will be punished; it is false that anyone who is good and innocent will never suffer.

All the material recorded and quoted in the Bible is there by God’s choice.  Some is a record of what people said and did but is not an example to follow.  The sins, the defeats, the evil thoughts, and misconceptions about God are all recorded in God’s divinely inspired Word, but we should not follow those wrong examples just because they are in the Bible.  The Bible gives us teachings and examples of what we should do as well as what we should not do.  Eliphaz’s comments are an example of what we should try to avoid–making false assumptions about others based on our own experiences. (NLT)

Job 4:7-8 – “Stop and think!”  Does the innocent person perish?  When has the upright person been destroyed?  My experience shows that those who plant trouble and cultivate evil will harvest the same.

* Reliability of the Bible

All God’s Words are true and trustworthy.  The Bible is reliable because, unlike people, God does not lie, forget, change his words, or leave his promises unfulfilled.  We can trust the Bible because it contains the words of a holy, trustworthy, and unchangeable God. (NLT)

Psalm 33:4 – For the word of the Lord holds true, and everything he does is worthy of our trust.

* – We often pray for God’s guidance as we struggle with decisions.  What we need is both a map that gives us directions and a constant companion who has an intimate knowledge of the way and will make sure we interpret the map correctly.  The Bible is such a map, and the Holy Spirit is our  constant companion and guide.  As you make your way through life, use both the map and your Guide. (NLT)

Psalm 48:14 – For that is what God is like.  He is our God forever and ever, and he will be our guide until we die.

* – Many have tried to dismiss this miraculous event as fiction, but the Bible does not describe it as a dream or a legend.  We should not explain away this miracle as if we could pick and choose which of the miracles in the Bible we believe and which ones we don’t.  That kind of attitude would allow us to question any part of the Bible and cause us to lose our trust in the Bible as God’s true and reliable Word.  Jonah’s experience was used by Christ himself as an illustration of his death and resurrection. (NLT)

Jonah 1:17 – Now the Lord had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah.  And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights.

* The Bible helps us find wisdom

God’s Word makes us wise–wiser than our enemies and wiser than any teachers who ignore it.  True wisdom goes beyond amassing knowledge; it is applying knowledge in a life-changing way.  Intelligent or experienced people are not necessarily wise.  Wisdom comes from allowing God’s teachings to guide us. (NLT)

Psalm 119:97-104 – Oh, how I love your law!  I think about it all day long.  Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for your commands are my constant guide.  Yes, I have more insight than my teachers, for I am always thinking of your decrees.  I am even wiser than my elders, for I have kept your commandments.  I have refused to walk on any path of evil, that I may remain obedient to your word.  I haven’t turned away from your laws, for you have taught me well.  How sweet are your words to my taste; they are sweeter than honey.  Your commandments give me understanding; no wonder I hate every false way of life.

* The Bible as a light

To walk safely in the woods at night we need a light so we don’t trip over tree roots or fall into holes.  In this life, we walk through a dark forest of evil.  But the Bible can be our light to show us the way ahead so we won’t stumble as we walk.  It reveals the entangling roots of false values and philosophies.  Study the Bible so you will be able to see your way clear enough to stay on the right path. (NLT)

Psalm 119:105 – Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.

* The Bible is our responsibility to pass it on

Because some people faithfully passed on these words from generation to generation, we have the book of Isaiah today.  Each of us needs to accept the responsibility to pass on God’s Word to our children and grandchildren, encouraging them to love the Bible, read it, and learn from it.  Then they will faithfully pass it on to their children and grandchildren. (NLT)

Isaiah 8:16 – I will write down all these things as a testimony of what the Lord will do.  I will entrust it to my disciples, who will pass it down to future generations.

* The Bible must be put into practice

True prophets and false prophets are as different as chaff and wheat.  Chaff is useless for food and cannot compare to nourishing wheat.  To share the gospel is a great responsibility because they way we present it and live it will encourage people either to accept it or reject it.  Whether we speak from a pulpit, teach in a class, or share with friends, we must accurately communicate and live out God’s Word.  As you share God’s Word with friends and neighbors, they will look for its effectiveness in your life.  Unless it has changed you, why should they let it change them?  If you preach it, make sure you live it! (NLT)

Jeremiah 23:28 – Let these false prophets tell their dreams, but let my true messengers faithfully proclaim my every word.  There is a difference between chaff and wheat!

* Don’t ignore the parts of the Bible that make you uncomfortable

God reminded Jeremiah that he wanted his entire message given–”include every word.”  Jeremiah may have been tempted to leave out the parts that would turn his audience against him, sound too harsh, or make him sound like a traitor.  But by God’s command, he was not to delete parts of God’s message to suit himself, his audience, or the circumstances in which he found himself.  Like Jeremiah, we must never ignore or exclude important parts of God’s Word to please someone. (NLT)

Jeremiah 26:2 – The Lord said, “Stand out in front of the Temple of the Lord, and make an announcement to the people who have come there to worship from all over Judah.  Give them my entire message; include every word.

* Pastors & leaders must not be ignorant of Scriptures in the Bible 

Malachi was angry at the priests because, although they were to be God’s messengers, they did not know God’s will.  And this lack of knowledge caused them to lead God’s people astray.  Their ignorance was willful and inexcusable.  Pastors and leaders of God‘s people must know God’s Word–what it says, what it means, and how it applies to daily life.  How much time do you spend in God’s Word? (NLT)

Malachi 2:7-8 – “The priests’ lips should guard knowledge, and people should go to them for instruction, for the priests are the messengers of the Lord Almighty.  But not you!  You have left God’s paths.  Your ‘guidance’ has caused many to stumble into sin.  You have corrupted the covenant I made with the Levites,” says the Lord Almighty.

* Using the Bible to combat temptation

Jesus was able to resist all of the Devil’s temptations because he not only knew Scripture, but he also obeyed it.  God’s Word is a sword to use in spiritual combat.  Knowing Bible verses is an important step in helping us resist the Devil’s attacks, but we must also obey the Bible.  Note that Satan had memorized Scripture, but he failed to obey it.  Knowing and obeying the Bible helps us follow God’s desires rather than the Devil’s. (NLT)

Matthew 4:3-4 – Then the Devil came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, change these stones into loaves of bread.”  But Jesus told him, “No!  The Scriptures say, ‘People need more than bread for their life; they must feed on every word of God.’”

* – Jesus left the crowds and went into the wilderness, where he was tempted by Satan.  Temptation is bad for us only when we give in.  We should not hate or resent times of inner testing, because through them God can strengthen our character and teach us valuable lessons.  When you face Satan and must deal with his temptations and the turmoil he brings, remember Jesus.  He used God’s Word against Satan and won.  You do the same.

To identify fully with human beings, Jesus had to endure Satan’s temptations.  Although Jesus is God, he is also man.  And as fully human, he was not exempt from Satan’s attacks.  Because Jesus faced temptations and overcame them, he can assist us in two important ways: (1) as an example of how to face temptation without sinning, and (2) as a helper who knows just what we need because he went through the same experience. (NLT)

Mark 1:12-13 – Immediately the Holy Spirit compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness.  He was there for forty days, being tempted by Satan.  He was out among the wild animals, and angels took care of him.

* – Knowing and obeying God’s Word is an effective weapon against temptation, the only offensive weapon provided in the Christian’s “armor.”  Jesus used Scripture to counter Satan’s attacks, and you can, too.  But to use it effectively, you must have faith in God’s promises, because Satan also knows Scripture and is adept at twisting it to suit his purposes.  Obeying the Scriptures is more important than simply having a verse to quote, so read them daily and apply them to your life.  Then your “sword” will always be sharp. (NLT)

Luke 4:1-13 – Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan River.  He was led by the Spirit to go out into the wilderness, where the Devil tempted him for forty days.  He ate nothing all that time and was very hungry.

Then the Devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, change this stone into a loaf of bread.”  But Jesus told him, “No!  The Scriptures say, ‘People need more than bread for their life.”

Then the Devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.  The Devil told him, “I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them–because they are mine to give to anyone I please.  I will give it all to you if you will bow down and worship me.”

Jesus replied, “The Scriptures say, ‘You must worship the Lord your God; serve only him.’”  Then the Devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off!  For the Scriptures say, ‘He orders his angels to protect and guard you.  And they will hold you with their hands to keep you from striking your foot on a stone.’”  Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘Do not test the Lord your God.’”

When the Devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.

* Using the Bible wrongly to support sinful desires

The Devil used Scripture to try to convince Jesus to sin!  Sometimes friends or associates will present attractive and convincing reasons why you should try something you know is wrong.  They may even find Bible verses that seem to support their viewpoint.  Study the Bible carefully, especially the broader contexts of specific verses, so that you understand God’s principles for living and what he wants for your life.  Only if you really understand what the whole Bible says will you be able to recognize errors of interpretation when people take verses out of context and twist them to say what they want them to say. (NLT)

Matthew 4:6 – and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off!  For the Scriptures say, ‘He orders his angels to protect you.  And they will hold you with their hands to keep you from striking your foot on a stone.’”

* Keeping God’s laws but missing true intent of the Bible

When Jesus said, “But I say,” he was not doing away with the law or adding his own beliefs.  Rather, he was giving a fuller understanding of why God made that law in the first place.  For example, Moses said, “Do not murder”.  Jesus taught that we should not even become angry enough to murder, for then we have already committed murder in our heart.  The Pharisees read this law and, not having literally murdered anyone, felt that they had obeyed it.  Yet they were angry enough with Jesus that they would soon plot his death, though they would not do the dirty work themselves.  We miss the intent of God’s Word when we read his rules for living without trying to understand why he made them.  When do you keep God’s rules but close your eyes to his intent? (NLT)

Matthew 5:21-22 – [Jesus said] “You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not murder.  If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’  But I say, if you are angry with someone, you are subject to judgment!  If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the high council.  And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.”

* Knowing the Bible but not living it

Jesus again exposed the hypocritical attitudes of the religious leaders.  They knew the Scriptures but did not live by them.  They didn’t care about being holy–just looking holy in order to receive people’s admiration and praise.  Today, like the Pharisees, many people say they know the Bible but do not let it change their lives.  They say they follow Jesus, but they don’t live by his standards of love.  We must make sure that our actions match our beliefs. (NLT)

Matthew 23:5-7 – [Jesus said] “Everything they do is for show.  On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear extra long tassels on their robes.  And how they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the most prominent seats in the synagogue?  They enjoy the attention they get on the streets, and they enjoy being called ‘Rabbi.’

The Bible Scriptures are truths that never change

In Jesus’ day the world seemed concrete, dependable, and permanent.  These days many people fear its destruction by nuclear war.  Jesus tells us, however, that even if the earth passes away, the truth of his words will never be changed or abolished.  God and his Word provide the only stability in our unstable world.  How shortsighted people are who spend all their time and energy learning about this temporary world and accumulating its possessions, while neglecting the Bible and its eternal truths! (NLT)

Mark 13:31 – [Jesus said] “Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will remain forever.”

* The Bible reveals a living God

The two angels (appearing as “two men . . . clothed in dazzling robes”) asked the women why they were looking in a tomb for someone who was alive.  Often we run into people who are looking for God among the dead.  They study the Bible as a mere historical document and go to church as if going to a memorial service.  But Jesus is not among the dead–he lives!  He reigns in the hearts of Christians, and he is the head of his church.  Do you look for Jesus among the living?  Do you expect him to be active in the world and in the church?  Look for signs of his power–they are all around you. (NLT)

Luke 24:1-9 – But very early on Sunday morning the women came to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared.  They found that the stone covering the entrance had been rolled aside.  So they went in, but they couldn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus.  They were puzzled, trying to think what could have happened to it.  Suddenly, two men appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes.  The women were terrified and bowed low before them.  Then the men asked, “Why are you looking in a tomb for someone who is alive?  He isn’t here!  He has risen from the dead!  Don’t you remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again the third day?”

Then they remembered that he had said this.  So they rushed back to tell his eleven disciples–and everyone else–what had happened.

* The Bible offers help for our problems

After the two followers had explained their sadness and confusion, Jesus responded by going to Scripture and applying it to this ministry.  When we are puzzled by questions or problems, we, too, can go to Scripture and find authoritative help.  If we, like these two, do not understand what the Bible means, we can turn to other believers who know the Bible and have the wisdom to apply it to our situation. (NLT)

Luke 24:25-27 – Then Jesus said to them, “You are such foolish people!  You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures.  Wasn’t it clearly predicted by the prophets that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his time of glory?”

Then Jesus quoted passages from the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining what all the Scriptures said about himself.

* Holy Spirit helps us understand the Bible

Jesus opened these people’s minds to understand the Scriptures.  The Holy Spirit still does this in our life today when we study the Bible.  Have you ever wondered how to understand a difficult Bible passage?  Besides reading surrounding passages, asking other people, and consulting reference works, pray that the Holy Spirit will open your mind to understand, giving you the needed insight to put God’s Word into action in your life. (NLT)

Luke 24:45 – Then he opened their minds to understand these many Scriptures.

* Ask others to help you understand the Bible 

The eunuch asked Philip to explain a passage of Scripture that he did not understand.  When we have trouble understanding the Bible, we should ask others to help us.  We must never let our insecurity or pride get in the way of understanding God’s Word. (NLT)

Acts 8:30-31 – Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah; so he asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”

The man replied, “How can I, when there is no one to instruct me?”  And he begged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him.

* Don’t accept only certain parts of the Bible 

God had promised throughout Scripture that he would reach the nations.  This began with his general promise to Abraham and became very specific in Malachi’s statement: “But my name is honored by people of other nations from morning till night.”  But this was an extremely difficult truth for Jews, even Jewish believers, to accept.  The Jewish believers understood how certain prophecies were fulfilled in Christ, but they overlooked other Old Testament teachings.  Too often we are inclined to accept only the parts of God’s Word that appeal to us and support our own agendas, ignoring the teachings we don’t like.  We must accept all of God’s Word as absolute truth. (NLT)

Acts 11:8 – “‘Never, Lord,’ I replied.  ‘I have never eaten anything forbidden by our Jewish laws.’

* Some of the Judaizers were emphasizing circumcision as proof of holiness–but ignoring the other Jewish laws.  People often choose a certain principle or prohibition and make it the measure of faith.  Some may abhor drunkenness but ignore gluttony.  Others may despise promiscuity but tolerate prejudice.  The Bible in its entirety is our rule of faith and practice.  We cannot pick and choose the mandates we will follow. (NLT)

Galatians 6:13 – And even those who advocate circumcision don’t really keep the whole law.  They only want you to be circumcised so they can brag about it and claim you as their disciples.

* Compare what you hear with the truths of the Bible

How do you evaluate sermons and teachings?  The people in Berea searched the Scriptures for themselves to verify the message they heard.  Always compare what you hear with what the Bible says.  A preacher or teacher who gives God’s true message will never contradict or explain away anything that is found in God’s Word. (NLT)

Acts 17:11 – And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message.  They searched the Scriptures day after day to check up on Paul and Silas, to see if they were really teaching the truth.

* What to do when Bible Scripture is silent on an issue

We try to steer clear of actions forbidden by Scripture, of course, but sometimes Scripture is silent.  Then we should follow our consciences.  “If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning” means that to go against a conviction will leave a person with a guilty or uneasy conscience.  When God shows us that something is wrong for us, we should avoid it.  But we should not look down on other Christians who exercise their freedom in those areas. (NLT)

Romans 14:23 – But if people have doubts about whether they should eat something, they shouldn’t eat it. They would be condemned for not acting in faith before God.  If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.

* The Bible not for information but transformation

Whenever Paul went, he preached the Good News–to gentile audiences, to hostile Jewish leaders, and even to his Roman guards.  Whenever people believed in the message that Paul spoke, they were changed.  God’s Word is not just for our information, it is for our transformation!  Becoming a Christian means beginning a whole new relationship with God, not just turning over a new leaf or determining to do right.  New believers have a changed purpose, direction, attitude, and behavior.  They are no longer seeking to serve themselves, but they are bearing fruit for God.  How is the Good News reaching others through your life? (NLT)

Colossians 1:6 – This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world.  It is changing lives everywhere, just as it changed yours that very first day you heard and understood the truth about God’s great kindness to sinners.

* Don’t miss main point for the details of the Bible

Arguing about details of the Bible can send us off on interesting but irrelevant tangents and cause us to miss the intent of God’s message.  The false teachers at Ephesus constructed vast speculative systems and then argued about the minor details of their wholly imaginary ideas.  We should allow nothing to distract us from the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ, the main point of Scripture.  We should know what the Bible says, apply it to our life daily, and teach it to others.  When we do this, we will be able to evaluate all teachings in light of the central truth about Jesus.  Don’t focus on the minute details of the Bible to the exclusion of the main point God is teaching you. (NLT)

1 Timothy 1:6 – But some teachers have missed this whole point.  They have turned away from these things and spend their time arguing and talking foolishness.

* Ignoring the Bible is neglecting God

Because God will examine what kind of workers we have been for him, we should build our life on his Word and build his Word into our life.  It alone tells us how to live for him and serve him.  Believers who ignore the Bible will certainly be ashamed at the judgment.  Consistent and diligent study of God’s Word is vital, otherwise we will be lulled into neglecting God and our true purpose for living. (NLT)

2 Timothy 2:15 – Work hard so God can approve you.  Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.

* The entire Bible is inspired by God

The Bible is not a collection of stories, fables, myths, or merely human ideas about God.  It is not a human book.  Through the Holy Spirit, God revealed his person and plan to certain believers, who wrote down his message for his people.  This process is known as inspiration.  The writers wrote from their own personal, historical, and cultural contexts.  Although they used their own minds, talents, language, and style, they wrotewhat God wanted them to write.  Scripture is completely trustworthy because God was in control of its writing.  Its words are entirely authoritative for our faith and life.  The Bible is “God-breathed.”  Read it, and use its teachings to guide your conduct. (NLT)

2 Timothy 3:16 – All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.  It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right.

* – This section is a strong statement on the inspiration of Scripture.  Peter affirms that the Old Testament prophets wrote God’s messages.  He puts himself and the other apostles in the same category because they also proclaim God’s truth,  The Bible is not a collection of fables or human ideas about God.  It is God’s very words given through people to people.  Peter emphasized his authority as an eyewitness as well as the God-inspired authority of Scripture to prepare the way for his harsh words against the false teachers.  If these wicked men were contradicting the apostles and the Bible, their message could not be from God. (NLT)

2 Peter 1:16-21 – For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the power of our Lord Jesus Christ and his coming again.  We have seen his majestic splendor with our own eyes.  And he received honor and glory from God the Father when God’s glorious, majestic voice called down from heaven, “This is my beloved Son; I am fully pleased with him.”  We ourselves heard the voice when we were there with him on the holy mountain.

Because of that, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets.  Pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a light shining in a dark place–until the day Christ appears and his brilliant light shines in your hearts.  Above all, you must understand that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophets themselves or because they wanted to prophesy.  It was the Holy Spirit who moved the prophets to speak from God.

* Purpose of the Bible 

In our zeal for the truth of Scripture, we must never forget its purpose–to equip us to do good.  We should not study God’s Word simply to increase our knowledge or to prepare us to win arguments.  We should study the Bible so that we will know how to do Christ’s work in the world.  Our knowledge of God’s Word is not useful unless it strengthens our faith and leads us to do good. (NLT)

2 Timothy 3:17 – It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.

* Cannot shape Scripture doctrines to match your opinions

The false teachers were denying the resurrection of the body.  They believed that when a person became a Christian, he or she was spiritually reborn, and that was the only resurrection there would ever be.  To them, resurrection was symbolic and spiritual, not physical.  Paul clearly taught, however, that believers will be resurrected after they die, and that their bodies as well as their souls will live eternally with Christ.  We cannot shape the doctrines of Scripture to match our opinions.  If we do, we are putting ourselves above God.  Instead, our beliefs should be consistent with God’s Word. (NLT)

2 Timothy 2:18 – They have left the path of truth, preaching the lie that the resurrection of  the dead has already occurred; and they have undermined the faith of some.

* Ignorance of the Bible makes us vulnerable to deception

Because of their cultural background, women in the Ephesian church had had no formal religious training.  They enjoyed their new freedom to study Christian truths, but their eagerness to learn made them a target for false teachers.  Paul warned Timothy to watch out for men who would take advantage of these women.  New believers need to grow in their knowledge of the Word, because ignorance can make them vulnerable to deception. (NLT)

2 Timothy 3:6-7 – They are the kind who work their way into people’s homes and win the confidence of vulnerable women who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by many desires.  Such women are forever following new teachings, but they never understand the truth.

* Many first-century false teachers were teaching that Christians could do whatever they liked without fear of God’s punishment.  they had a light view of God’s holiness and his justice.  Even today, some Christians minimize the sinfulness of sin, believing that how they live has little to do with their faith.  But what a person truly believes will show up in how he or she acts.  Those who truly have faith will show it by their deep respect for God and their sincere desire to live according to the principles in his Word. (NLT)

Jude 1:4 – I say this because some godless people have wormed their way in among you, saying that God’s forgiveness allows us to live immoral lives.  The fate of such people was determined long ago, for they have turned against our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

* The Bible reveals who we are & what we are not

The Word of God is not simply a collection of words from God, a vehicle for communicating ideas; it is living, life-changing, and dynamic as it works in us.  With the incisiveness of a surgeon’s knife, God’s Word reveals who we are and what we are not.  It penetrates the core of our moral and spiritual life.  It discerns what is within us, both good and evil.  The demons of God’s Word require decision.  We must not only listen to the Word; we must also let it shape our life. (NLT)

Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is full of living power.  It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires.  It exposes us for what we really are.

* The Bible is relevant to all ages

John was writing to believers of all ages, his “dear children” who had experienced forgiveness through Jesus.  Those who were mature in the faith had a long-standing relationship with Christ.  The “young” had struggled with Satan’s temptations and had won.  The children had learned about Christ and were just beginning their spiritual journey.  Each stage of life in the Christian pilgrimage builds upon the other.  As children learn about Christ, they grow in their ability to win battles with temptation.  As young adults move from victory to victory, they grow in their relationship with Christ.  Older adults, having known Christ for years, have developed the wisdom needed to teach young people and start the cycle all over again.  Has your Christian growth reached the maturity level appropriate for your stage in life? (NLT)

1 John 2:12-14 – I am writing to you, my dear children, because your sins have been forgiven because of Jesus.

I am writing to you who are mature because you know Christ, the one who is from the beginning.

I am writing to you who are young because you have won your battle with Satan.

I have written to you, children, because you have known the Father.

I have written to you who are mature because you know Christ, the one who is from the beginning.

I have written to you who are young because you are strong with God’s word living in your hearts, and you have won your battle with Satan.

* Don’t distort the message of the Scriptures in the Bible

This warning is given to those who might purposefully distort the message in this book.  We, too, must handle the Bible with care and great respect so that we do not distort its message, even unintentionally.  We should be quick to put it s principles into practice in our life.  No human explanation or interpretation of God’s Word should be elevated to the same authority as the text itself. (NLT)

Revelations 22:18-19 – And I solemnly declare to everyone who hears the prophetic words of this book: If anyone adds anything to what is written here, God will add to that person the plagues described in this book.  And if anyone removes any of the words of this prophetic book, God will remove that person’s share in the tree of life and in the holy city that are described in this book.

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems: ; ;;

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