Is the Bible Necessary?


so we're gonna turn the page we're gonna

focus on what we have for this week

which is is the Bible necessary we're

three months into a devotion that Diane

and I wrote for you specifically for our

church based on the Word of God so how

are we doing without no condemnation

just how are we doing with that

how is it going immersing yourself daily

in the same Scripture every day do you

find by Thursday that you're like man

I'm starting to really own it it's

starting to really pick me apart a

little bit or our Thursday you're like

one of those people going man if I got

to read this verse one more time right

you know I mean how's that going for us

I really hope that you can answer these

questions with affirmation and not

excuses and deflection and if you

received a devotion and it's still the

binding on it is still firm because

you've got cracked it open I just invite

you to go home we purposely did not put

dates in it so that you could begin at

anytime right it was purposeful on our

part the truth is is in the modern

Christian Church most people treat

reading the Bible as an unnecessary part

of their spiritual journey it's the

thing that gets done if we can get

around to it and oftentimes we just

never get around to it it rarely feels

like the first thing that we are to seek

in the day it's just pollen

just pollen I asked has been my practice

since the beginning of the year we want

to start this morning sermon with the

Word of God so we're gonna hear a word

from Paul to you his young Protege

Timothy second Timothy chapter 3 it says

this in fact everyone who wants to live

a godly life in Christ Jesus will be

persecuted good news right persecuted

while evildoers and imposters will go

from bad to worse deceiving and being

deceived but as far as you continuing

what you've learned and have become

convinced of because of those whom you

learned it from and how from your

infancy you have known the Holy

Scriptures now just pause there that

could be infancy in your walk with


it could be emphasis since a childhood

right which you are able to make you

wise for the salvation through faith in

Christ Jesus all Scripture is

god-breathed and useful for teaching

rebuking correcting and training in

righteousness so that the servant of God

may be thoroughly equipped for every

good work this is the advice that Paul

gave do we actually believe this do we

actually believe that all Scripture is

god-breathed God inspired God ordained

and useful and not harmful to the life

that he wants for us one of it thank you

well just continue to talk back all day

it's welcome one of the joys of going to

Israel is that you get to watch

scriptures come alive right ladies I

looking like Israel ladies right there

you know and you get to watch people

have aha moments like I got to watch

glorious son Ron just have one ha ha

moment after another right and and as a

mom like watching her face when Ron was

baptized in the Jordan right I mean like

to get you know look hallelujah right

you know your mom you're like whoa I

mean like it's a but to get to see that

it's amazing what happens when you go to

the Holy Land is the Scriptures become

3d right they just really come alive you

literally can be standing in an ancient

synagogue and Magdala or Capernaum and

no my lord was here like right here you

could be on the Sea of Galilee and know

what it means when the Bible says and he

went to the other side you can be on the

Mount of Beatitudes or in the valley of

the Dubs

and feel what it must have been like to

walk with Jesus

where Jesus walked you can ghosts and

accessory of Phillipi and here

differently the power of the declaration

of Jesus that on this rock Peter I will

build my church and the gates of Hell

will not prevail as they looked at that

ancient pagan temple and what they

thought was the valley of hell and he

would stand in that place and he would

declare that about Peter and in that

place the Word of God comes alive for

all who went the book was no longer just

information it was inspiration and this

is what I want every Christ follower in

our church and beyond to know we do not

read the Bible for information we read

it for transformation and inspiration we

have got to stop reading the Bible

through our own personal filters to have

the Bible say what we needed to say in

order for us to feel good about who we

are where we are but to hear what God is

actually trying to tell us there's a

huge difference between literature and

Scripture in literature you can get lost

in the story but it's only in Scripture

that you become found in God's story the

American Christian devotional life has

become a spiritual discipline of

convenience and not generally one of

conviction and obedience I know this is

true because this is how I used to treat

the Bible right I used to treat it like

I used to cherry-pick passages for the

problem d'azur right you know whatever

the problem was in my early Christian

walk I'm not doing well in a class I'd

go to the concordance of the back and I

would look up failure and then I would

turn to and read a Patou that's what it

means about failure I mean literally was

cherry picking scriptures to solve the

problem of the day that's what my early

Christian walk life oh girl doesn't like

me let me see where that is right you

know rejected by many you know whatever

it is you know that's kind of how it was

I know what that's like

but I believe most of our culture's

ethical and moral confusion today occurs

at the crossroads of what we do or do

not believe about the Word of God sin is

the obvious prevalent posture of the day

and personal independence at the expense

is am of others is a modern lie that we

believe over the truth of God's Word

and little lies eventually become big

sins and we can say things like this

it's just some harmless flirting I only

drink a little smoke a little take a

little it all only happened this one

time it won't hurt anyone but me oh they

won't miss it we tell her so they won't

miss it

hey or I did it for their own good or

I'm gonna buy more toilet paper than I

need and my neighbor will never have any

what is wrong with us you know if you

told me that there was a run on Kleenex

in this world I'd go I get that I get

that toilet paper I do not get I you

know you know yeah I could anyway all

right so all of these little lies

lead to big sins and bigger consequences

right I got a comeback - why would you

deny your put neighbor toilet paper

right I just envisioned here in about

three weeks as you drive through Merida

only people will have tables in their

front yard selling toilet paper like you

would Girl Scout cookies right I mean

seriously right I mean like what are you

gonna do with all this say like a

lifetime supply

I don't listen seriously this is why

this book is so important no one sends

no one sends out of duty or discipline

they send because they believe a lie

yeah they believe a lie we trust our own

judgment over the Word of God the Bible

is the only antidote to fight these

untruths that attach themselves to us as

we move through life it's literally they

literally are like barnacles that attach

themselves to us people frequently visit

me in my office and asked me this same

question how can I know the will of God

for my life and I always answer that

question with another question tell me

about how much time you're spending in

this book much time are you in this book

because the two are really inseparable

you cannot know the will of God from

apart from the Word of God in fact I

would tell you this morning that if you

have wrestled with that question there

are only two ways for you to know the

will of God the first is through the

Holy Spirit driven revelation in prayer


gonna be on your knees and secondly is

to the consumption of his word by

immersion in the scriptures apart from

these two practices we are like a blind

man in a dark room searching for a black

cat we are eventually flying spiritually

blind listen you might eventually trip

over the will of God you might

accidentally fall over the will of God

but it's likely done happen without the

intentionality what the Bible calls

seeking and knocking the thing is for my

life I cannot imagine doing a day apart

from the Word of God I can't imagine the

day where I do not read the Word of God

and if you look at Jesus neither could

he we see it over and over again

sadly Bible study in America has become

an attempt to find an interpretation of

the Bible that affirms one's opinion

desires are some sense about our culture

it's become more about having our

beliefs affirmed than actually

discovering the will of God so want us

to look at psalm 119 and it's my vision

janus knows this vision mine my goal is

one Sunday that we're gonna read the

entire psalm 119 it's really really long

so I've got a vision for doing that so

know that it's coming but today we're

just gonna take an excerpt out of it go

to verse 105 if that tells you how long

it is 105 psalm 119 says this your word

is a lamp for my feet a light on my path

I have taken an oath and confirmed it

that I will follow your righteous laws I

have suffered much preserve my life Lord

according to your word may your lips


run some accept Lord the Willing praise

of my mouth and teach me your laws

though I constantly take my life in my

hands I will not forget your law the

wicked have set a snare for me but I

have not strayed from your precepts your

statutes are my heritage forever they

are the joy of my heart my heart is set

on keeping your decrees to the very end

churches I read this God is not so much

asking us to do something he's calling

us to beat someone someone who is deeply

surrendered to him someone who trusts in

the Lord with all their heart and leans

not on their own understanding and who

acknowledged them him in all their ways

so he can direct their paths

I don't know if you've noticed this in

the first book in the in Genesis the

very first words God speaks is let there

be light and the next four words are

even better it says and there was light

God said let there be light

and then BAM there is light right I mean

these this is the pattern of our God he

speaks and it comes into being his word

accomplishes the purpose for which it

was been sent the book of John says

Jesus was the light of all mankind and

then it says and God sent him the

psalmist understand stirred that

humanity was desperate for the light in

the darkness and declares that God's

Word is the light unto our feet and a

guide unto our path and then he reflects

on an age-old problem that all of

humanity has had it's that we wrestle

with God for control of our life we say

we give it to him and then we take it

back right I mean I have these moments I

like God I'm gonna trust you with this

and then you get a few days into it

you're gonna take it back you're not

moving fast enough I'm gonna trust you

with this Lord but oh wait wait I don't

like how your hold it let me take it

back right don't you find yourself I

mean I find my own ly one who finds ways

I mean this is I mean it's a pattern of

life right we give it and we take it

back we give it and we take it back it's

what the psalmist is say there's this

tension of wrestling with God over

Authority right here's what's

interesting to me I think at the heart

of this battle for control is an issue

of authority we naturally rebel against

all authority it's house in first shows

up in the Bible even amidst darkness

even amidst darkness

we sometimes resist the lights the devil

we know for some reason always feels

better than the god we can't see we are

hell-bent towards an authority that we

can manipulate we like authorities that

we can manipulate to our own will

right and God is never that guy here's

my thing if we could do life without the

light of mankind and without the

guardrails of Scripture this world would

already be a better place to live in it

would not be the trainwreck toxics

presence of evil hyper and stereo fear

and anxiety driven world that you and I

are living in this more

so so Nathan did a really great job I

thought last week with some biblical

history so I thought I would share some

history about the book can we have some

history about the book I'm gonna do it

anyway you should be enthusiastic about

it so about a year ago thank you thank

you about a year ago my all my

accountability partners we all get

invited to go study at Oxford England be

gone or ight and so we were all gonna go

to Oxford we're gonna spend ten days or

so studying and touring and blah blah

blah blah blah I stayed home and did a

wedding so just know so you know where

my commitment was I already had a

wedding of the books I didn't go but

when they went they went to a place in

do we have this vision here this is

what's called the martyrs cross it's

it's right in the middle of the street

in Oxford Broad Street actually in

Oxford England it turns out that martyrs

cross marks a spot where in 1555 three

of the top leaders of the Church of

England Hugh Latimer who was the arch of

the Bishop of Warsaw

Sir Thomas Kramer II was the Archbishop

of Canterbury and Nicholas Ridley who

was the Bishop of London were all burned

at the stake right there on that spot

literally cross marks the spot they were

executed by Queen Mary as or as she has

become known throughout history as

Bloody Mary right at the very beginning

of what we now know was the English

Reformation all because they refused to

recant what the church declared was

heretical teaching which was actually

biblical orthodox teaching that they got

from reading the bible they all took a

stance against the papal tradition of

limited access by the common man to the

Word of God

these men were willing to suffer acute

pain and to die for what the Scriptures

had to say they were also inspired by

the life's work and death of another

martyr a few decades before a name you

might recognize William Tyndale for

which we have a huge publishing house

named after again if you're not into

history Tyndale was a linguist it was a

professor at Cambridge University

without a doubt one of the great minds

not only of his time but of all of

Western civilization as the linguist he

became so fluent in both Greek and

Hebrew that after reading the Bible in

its original languages which was very

rare even in that

for even a priest to be able to do that

in the priest of that day in that time

could not have identified where the Ten

Commandments were in Scripture they

could not have identified like where the

Beatitudes are those Sermon on the Mount

was in scriptures they had been trained

in Latin liturgy they had been trained

to perform the practices of church on

behalf of ignorant people that did not

know the Latin liturgies right only

person scriptural interpretation was

only available for the Pope your local

pastor and priest at a local church in

the 1800s would have never known how to

work their way through this book but

after reading the Bible Tyndall came to

two very simple conclusions that we take

for granted this day and her age age old

but radical in his day first he said

that the Bible should function is the

source of authority for all mankind or a

better way to put it it was the access

point to our spiritual reality it was

not the Pope it was not extra biblical

Church activities or traditions and

secondly that every follower of Jesus

should be able to read the Bible in his

or her own language it should this would

have been heretical in its day now again

it's a no-brainer for us we live in a

post Tyndale post-reformation world but

in his day and age it was actually

illegal in england under the law of 1408

that prohibited the bible to be used in

common language other than latin the law

was written specifically to censor John

Wyclef's attempt a century before to

translate the Bible into middle English

so tendo here's a calling from God and

escaped to Germany where a German

reformation leader and was in full force

a guy named Martin Luther Wright was

just 95 theses on the door Luther that

guy and there he translated the first

ever English version of the New

Testament he then smuggled 18,000 Bibles

across the English Channel in England

followers of Jesus in the internet they

would literally meet

in quiet places and they would read the

water of God in hushed and quiet tones

out of fear of being caught or somebody

ratting them out they would whisper the

word of the Lord it's hard for us to

imagine that anybody has to do this or

that it happens anywhere else in the

world most of them were hearing the

Bible read out loud in their language

for the first time ever in their life

middle-aged theologians called it the

second Pentecost where the Word of God

came alive for the common man all the

people knew prior to that time was the

mass which was in Latin which no one

understood and they learned the Bible

from stained-glass windows not from the

Bible being preached not from people

sharing the Word of God they learned the

Bible from stained-glass windows now he

bought here's what you need to

understand was also a guy named King

Henry the eighth familiar with sky lots

of wives big hypocrite right can we say

that right it's a big hypocrite he gets

angry in fact he gets enraged and he

buys up six thousand copies through a

nefarious source and then he has them

burned on the steps of st. Paul's

Cathedral in London so imagine you if

you will that the church the church is

burning Bibles on its steps it's not

burning like the the Nazi proclamation

of life they're burning Scripture on the

steps of st. Paul's Cathedral do you

remember what I said in January when I

said we were going to do this the book

of Nehemiah reminds us that only the

people of God could lose the Word of God

in the house of God they were burning

the Bible on the steps of the church

that's how far gone it was these men all

paid with their lives to get this book

into the hands of the people it was

written for these men Wycliffe Latimer

Ridley Cramer Tyndale Luther these are

the Hebrews 11 kind of men who lived by

faith and trusted a better resurrection

they died for this book so if I asked

American Christians if they would be

willing to die for this book the level

of limit

faith and cowardice would be

astronomical in the American Church

you see it's inconceivable in our

culture that you might have to die for

this book that someone would actually

one day mark the spot where you took a

stand and died for the beliefs in this

book this is 20/20 nobody dies for this

book anymore really I mean right I mean

people don't actually die for their

faith anymore right except I invite you

to go to Nigeria and ask Nigerian

Christians what it's like to live next

door to Boko Haram because they die

every week for this book again because

of our American bubble it's unimaginable

to us that some of the greatest

luminaries of Western civilization we're

willing to suffer and die just to make

this book available to you and I to read

what if I told you today that there are

still people being persecuted and killed

for being unwilling to give up this book

places like Iran Saudi Arabia South

Korea and don't miss this this is that

some of the most powerful leaders in

history we're willing to torture and

maim and kill just to keep this book out

of your hands one day now if you knew

this book really well none of this would

shock or surprise you because that's

what happened throughout the book of

Acts every place Paul went to preach the

gospel he got run out of town in one

place he got stoned right the bad kind

not the good kind the bad kind right

right not the good kind you shouldn't

hear that

you think we're in Colorado

listen Christians all throughout the

first century died refusing to recant

their faith and their trust in the Word

of God

it's what filled the Colosseum's why is

it that almost all the gradient pyres of

history from the Roman and part of the

bloody marys King Henry's of England to

Hitler's Nazi Germany to Soviet Russia

to South Korea and Iran have all put at

least a censorship on the ban or ban on

the Bible and its teachings and made it

fully illegal in some places what are

they so afraid of well they're afraid of

the power of the gospel to change the

human heart what they're afraid of what

is it about this library of 66 books

that is such a threat to the status quo

and yet is so compelling to so many to

read it that they would die for it I

think it's because they understand that

it's necessary for living maybe we would

appreciate it better if tomorrow the

governor told us that in order to fight

kovat 19 we just have got to quit

reading the Bible maybe it would make us

appreciate what we have a little bit

more right I think what these people

understand is they understand what's

been taught for 2,000 years to live as

Christ to die as gain in this day when

the Orthodox Christianity is being

challenged both by culture and a

progressive Church driven to minimize

the Word of God what are we willing to

do and sacrifice so that our children

and grandchildren have the full truth of

the gospel and not some watered-down

version or interpretation of it Paul and

his farewell address to the church in

Ephesians in acts 20 argued that the

greatest fear for the young church was

not that people would lose their faith

that leave the community Paul knew that

false teachers and bad doctrine were far

more dangerous to the life of the church

than the lukewarm commitment of its

members he feared that false teachers

would worm their way into the community

by giving people what their itching

years wanted to hear and Paul called

them savage wolves masquerading his

sheep for Paul false teaching did not

present itself as a pack of wolves but

as posers who mingled in among the

as an imitation and then wreak havoc and

confusion from within Paul warned them

so fiercely because he knew that they

would not see it coming and he knew that

it would leave nothing but carnage in

its wake if you allowed these wolves in

it brings me no pleasure to say this to

us today but we face a similar moment

today in history as we are rapidly

moving into an era of false teaching

across the landscape of the church

it centers largely around our theology

or lack of theology about this book

about our spiritual identities about

human sexuality and about biblical

values for Paul sound doctrine and

teaching were not mere matters of right

and wrong

they were matters of life and death not

about winning or losing in an argument a

bit about the real souls of real people

could it be that the Word of God needs

less defense and more offense more clear

articulation by you and I as well as

compassionate application so I want to

close with something this morning about

10 words about 20 years ago wrecked my

life everyone saw read a part of

scripture just wrecks my life I hope

that happens to you I really do I saw I

read these words in it the mystery of

God unfolded for me in this story and

these 10 words were this the bush was on

fire it did not burn up 10 words the

bush was on fire it did not burn up it's

one of the famous stories in Scripture

Moses is encountered with the burning


seems that the more famous the story is

the more we think we've got it in

reality it never seems to be that we get

close enough to examine it the mystery

of this story is not the burning part

it's the not burning up part and this is

what excites me and this is no pun

intended what fires me up really is that

the bush was on fire it did not burn up

burning bushes are phenomenal nature

they actually do happen but burning

bushes not burning up that's clearly

supernatural ordinary bush extraordinary

fire a metaphor I believe for followers

of Jesus Christ the bush was on fire did

not burn up I see this text is a

profound sign of the calling of every

Christian to be on fire but not consumed

our lives should be a public declaration

come watch me burn brightly for

Lord the bush was on fire it did not

burn up in Luke chapter 3 verse 16 John

answered them all i baptize you with

water but one who was coming more

powerful than I hand the straps of whose

sandals I am not worthy to untie and he

will baptize you with fire in the Holy

Spirit the bush was on fire and it did

not burn up in John 1:14 the word became

flesh and made his dwelling among us and

we have seen his glory the glory of the

one and only son who came from the

father full of grace and truth the bush

was on fire it did not burn up in John

chapter 14 verse 12 very truly I tell

you whoever believes in Me will do the

works I've been doing and they will do

even greater things than these because I

am going to the Father the blush was on

fire and it did not burn up in acts 1:8

it says what you will receive power when

the Holy Spirit comes on you and you

will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in

all Judea and Samaria the ends of the

earth the bush was on fire and it did

not burn up in Acts chapter 2 verse 1

through 3 it says when the day of

Pentecost came they were all together in

one place suddenly a sound like a

blowing violent wind came from heaven

and filled the whole house and they were

where they were sitting and they saw

what seemed like tongues of flames

that separated and came to rest on each

of them oh my god the bush was on fire

and it did not burn up in Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ I no

longer live but Christ lives in me the

life I live in my body I live by faith

in the Son of God who loved me and gave

himself for me the bush was on fire it

did not burn up in second Corinthians 4

67 it says for God who said let their

light shine in the darkness made his

light shine in our hearts to give us the

light of knowledge of God's glory

displayed in the face of Christ but we

have this treasure in Jars of play that

this all surpassing power of God who is

not from us but from him the bush was on

fire it did not burn up in Daniel 3 a

story Nathan told Nebuchadnezzar ordered

the furnace heated seven times hotter

than usual and commanded some of the

strongest soldiers in his army to tie up

Shadrach Meshach and Abednego and throw

them in the blazing furnace furnace the

king's command was so urgent and the

furnace so hot that the flames of the

fire killed the soldiers do them in then

King Nebuchadnezzar left to his feet in

amazement and asked his advisors weren't

there three men that we tied up and

threw in the fire he said look now I see

four men walking

around in the fire unbound and I'm harm

and the force looks like the Son of God

the bush was on fire and it did not burn

up this is the Word of God for the

people of God that it burns with passion

inside of men and women who take it to

heart and we are not consumed I see this

burning bush is the great mystery of

holiness ordinary human beings filled

with supernatural fire of the Holy

Spirit and what fuels this fire the Word

of God you want the passion of Christ to

burning you open this book and it will

come ablaze Daisy y'all can really come

now the word of the Lord is flawless

there is nothing in his word that

returns void men may lie but Jesus is

truth men may deceive but Jesus

enlightens men may flatter but the Lord

edifice men may boast but Jesus gives

all the glory to God

words have the power to build up or

destroy Jesus is the Word of God made

flesh to dwell among us to light the way

for us to walk and to strengthen us for

the battle ahead I want to be crystal

clear this morning that God's Word does

not need more help his words have

survived the ravishing of faithfulness

liberalism and loveless legalism for

2,000 years the Bible has been burned

and belittled and ignored and yet here

it is standing today is a timeless truth

against all sin and darkness do you

think the Bible is necessary oh heck

yeah it is priceless for us sadly many

Christians are not engaged in the battle

for their soul this oblivion helps the

enemy hold them captive with fear and

doubt and anxiety and despair oh if you

can't see that happening right now in

our country you are blind American

Christianity has dismissed the value of

the Word of God as the primary weapon

against the enemy of God and we have

been caught poorly prepared

God gave us his word so that we would

have the courage to face the world of

uncertainty knowing that his promises

never failed the Word of God is the

armor of God the Bible is the only book

for the transformation of the human soul

that has had a ripple effect in that

millions of read had been changed by the

power of the Holy Spirit and that have

become agents of influence of light in a


dark and sinful world no other book has

done that and no one has ever been able

to stop it it is gonna take a mandate

from the governor for me not to be

standing in this pulpit next Sunday so I

tell you I tell you do you believe that

the Bible is necessary I hope so

your eternity is counting on it

this word this word is all you have in a

dark and broken world