Featured Sermon

               GOD’S NEVER CHANGING WORD
                           FOR AN EVER-CHANGING WORLD 

      “…And that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”                                                                       2nd Timothy 3:15, 16.

       Those of us who have lived nearly as long,---or longer than the average lifespan can expect to have seen a lot of changes. 

      In the realm of styles of dress in my lifetime, we have seen girls go from pigtails and bobby socks with  saddle oxfords to micro mini skirts, “barely-there tops to show off their tattoos.  In my day, guys wore their hair in ducktails or flattops, the standard of dress was tee shirts, jeans and loafers.  It is beyond me to describe the dress of today’s average teen male. 

      In technology, some of us were a few years old when we saw our first light bulb.  Cars were started by a crank, and my first radio had a long wire antenna stretched across the roof and attached to a crystal.  My parents bought their first TV (black and white) when I was a sophomore in college.  Airplanes of my childhood were small high wing planes that my relatives called “puddle jumpers” and most of the people I grew up with had houses with four-rooms-and-a-path, instead of five-rooms-and-a-bath.  Today we have fluorescent lighting, recessed lighting, track lighting, halogen lighting;  we have entertainment centers---and it is not uncommon now to have complete home-theater room in our homes with HD and surround sound and tilt-back seating!  Add to that the internet, I-Pods, blackberrys and phones that include all of these---and more, and you get an idea how far we have come. 

      Our cars glide alone faster than speed limits allow and are equipped with every comfort.  The car I bought for my wife heats the seats, turns the lights on and off automatically, runs the sound equipment from the steering wheel, tells her how many miles she can drive before running out of gas (her favorite) and even tells her when to add oil!.  Need I mention the “puddle jumpers” have become commercial, fighters, stealth bombers, space shuttles and space satellites.  It is impossible to keep up with it. 

      In the realm of morality, the changes have been just as dramatic.  People my age all over this country have fond memories of childhood days when crime was something that happened in New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles.  Like most people, we never locked our doors, and the worst offense in school was to shoot someone with a spit-wad.  There were teens who were sexually immoral, but they were a minority.  Pre-marital sex and divorce was frowned on and abortion was a crime in most states.  

      Today, we expect anything to be stolen that is not locked up or fastened down.  Recreational sex is considered the norm.  Most schools find it necessary to station metal detectors at the doors and police in the hallways to protect from assaults with intent to kill. 

      Among many abortion is simply the ultimate birth control and marriage for life is dismissed as old fashioned.  It seems now the world is permeated by nudity, profanity, and sexually explicit images,---much of it brought directly into our living room through TV sitcoms, DVDs and movies.  Any of us could add many things to this list, but it is depressing enough already.

       There have been some good changes.  It has been good that segregation was outlawed and that women and minorities have rights of equal opportunity in the job market.  A lot of people have a long way to go in working on their personal prejudice, but it is good that the laws of our land and the attitude of many have improved.  I also think it is a good  thing that many churches and Christian organizations are utilizing advancements in technology to spread the gospel around the world and relieve the physical sufferings of untold millions. 

      Time fails us to speak of the changes in the nations and governments, the numerous physical and circumstantial changes in our lifestyles.  It can be an extremely overwhelming feeling of “where is this all going to end!”  Is there a way we can be fortified with inner strength and courage to face the challenges and uncertainties of a changing World?  There is, because God, in His love and wisdom has given us His Never Changing Word.  

      God’s Word Was Inspired To Meet The Needs of Mankind 

      …You have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
                                                                                                  2nd Timothy 3:15, 16.

      All Scripture is inspired by God 

      In Paul’s first epistle to Timothy (5:18) he quoted Moses (Deuteronomy 25:4) and Luke (10:4) in the same verse and defined them as “Scripture”.  In doing so he identified the writings of the Old Testament and the writings of the New Testament as “Scripture”.  The apostle Peter made the same designation in 2nd Peter 3:2, 15, 16,  The word “inspired” has the literal meaning of “God breathed”.  The Holy Spirit flowed forth from God the Father as His breath into chosen men.  Although the Scriptures were written by human hands, they were the product of God right down to the smallest letters and stroke of pen. 
       “…Until Heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all be accomplished.”                                                            Matthew 5:18. 

      God’s Purposes For His Word Will Be Accomplished. 

      Our text refers to five purposes God has for His inspired word:

      1).  God’s Word produces the faith that brings salvation.
      …You have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”  (3:15) 

      Timothy received faith to trust Jesus for his salvation from the promises of God’s word.  This is also true of every person who receives the salvation from Jesus Christ.  Paul stated this emphatically in Romans 10:17,
       “So then faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of Christ”.  Jesus put it this way, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death to life.”  John 5:24.
      This will be as true for you as it ever has been for anyone else. 

      2)  God’s Word is profitable for teaching. 

      The word of God gives to the mind of God.  It is only from the mind of God that we receive pure truth about God, man, the spirit realm, the purpose of life and what the future holds.  On every hand we are besieged by teachings produced by the reasoning of man or by darker sources from the spirit world.  We can only be certain we are being taught pure truth when we are being truthfully taught the word of God. 

      3)  God’s Word is profitable for reproof. 

      The word of God is the perfect standard by which all other teachings are tested.   We live in a day when many teachings

      Contrary to God’s word have been embraced by millions.  This includes the origin of the universe and man.  It includes the sanctity of life and marriage.  It also includes people’s attitude about the Bible, prayer, and the Christian’s responsibility to be a witness of Christ.  We will stand on a firm foundation when we reject all teachings that rise in defiance of what God has revealed as His truth. 

      4)     God’s Word is profitable for correction. 

      Reproof has to do with bad teachings.  Correction has to do with bad behavior.  As much as we hate to admit it, the most honorable and consistent Christians still have a fallen nature in their flesh.  Even though God has provided everything we need to live a victorious Christian life there are times when we are lax in strapping on our spiritual armor and picking up our spiritual sword which is the Word of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).  Satan and his evil hordes quickly take advantage and fire their flaming arrows of temptation.  Our fleshly nature responds and we fall into behavior that grieves our God and breaks our fellowship with Him.  It is when we read or hear God’s Word that we understand how profitable the Word of God is in correcting us.  It produces inward remorse over our sin and leads us to repentance and a return to good behavior. 

      5).  God’s Word is profitable “for training in righteousness” 

      God’s ultimate goal for every one of His children is “to be conformed to the image of His Son” Romans 8:29.  The process by which this is accomplished is by allowing God’s Holy Spirit to make the words of Scripture God’s living truth to us.  (See 2nd Corinthians 3:12-18).  This gives us spiritual eyes to see the glory of our God and His Christ.  We are almost unconscious of how this “training” is cleaning away the negative things in our life that are contrary to godliness and shaping our character more and more into the nature of God. 

      All of this underscores the tremendous importance of the Word of God in the life of every Christian.  Each of us needs to read it; memorize it; meditate on it; and preach it.  Jesus was quoting God’s word through Moses when He said to Satan, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”  Matthew 4:4. 

      God’s Word Never Changes 
      There are several reasons why this is true: 

      God’s Word never changes because God never changes.

      For I, the LORD, do not change…”  Malachi 3:6. 
      God is perfect in every way and any change would bring imperfection.  His word is the expression of His perfection.

      God’s Word never changes because it was finalized in its completeness in heaven.  God inspired the Psalmist to write,
      Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.”  Psalm 119:89.  God inspired Isaiah to write
      The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.”  Isaiah 40:8. 

      God’s Word never changes because God has decreed that His word will accomplish His purposes. 
      The Gideons, a Christian layman’s organization, gives out hundreds of millions of copies of the Word of God every year.  They have chosen Isaiah 55:11 as the justification of their existence, “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth.  It will not return to Me empty without accomplishing what I desire and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”  It is an awesome thought to realize that when we hold a Bible in our hands we are holding the words by which God will ultimately accomplish His every purpose. 

      As a young preacher I was concerned about what kind of person I ought to be.  I found the answer for that in God’s word.  I was equally concerned about what I should preach.  One day I was reading how a great host of people came to hear Jesus and then my eyes rested on these words, “…And He preached the word unto them”.  Mark 2:2.  I had no doubts about the knowledge of Jesus.  I knew He could have dazzled the minds of His hearers with His knowledge of all things from the smallest particles of matter to every galaxy in the universe.  And, yet, He chose to speak not one word of these.  He preached the word that God had given to man in this book we call the Bible.  And so, for some 54 years, I have aspired to be nothing more than a preacher of God’s word. 

      Jesus taught that
      He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day.”  John 12:48. 
      Christians will be judged to determine what their rewards will be.  The unsaved will be judged to determine what the degree of their eternal punishment will be.  You have in your Bible the words upon which the judgment will be made. 

      Are you satisfied you are adequately prepared?  If not, the Word of God tells you how you can be.             
      Copyright © 2008  Thomas E Berry
      Scripture quotations from NKJV unless otherwise noted


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