30 Sept 2014 by Adeline Lum CM-
On 21st of September, Pastor Chin Choon Meow shared about pursuing godliness by obeying Scriptures in Petaling Jaya Evangelical Free Church (PJEFC), based on the bible passage 2 Tim 3:14-17.
14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching,rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(2 Tim 3:14-17)
It is easy to begin a thing, but to continue with it is much more difficult. For example, it is easy to begin running a marathon race but to continue and finish the race can be very challenging to some, especially when there has been no training.
The same is true with one’s spiritual life. This is because as our times worsen, our Christian faith will be increasingly challenged by the godless people in this world.
Paul told Timothy to continue on in the Scriptures in v 14, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of…” This is because Scriptures play a very important role in continuing one’s spiritual journey.
Pr Chin shared four things about obeying Scriptures: know the teachers, know the Source, know the purpose, and know the goal of Scriptures.
OBEY SCRIPTURES: KNOW THE TEACHERS
Paul instructed Timothy in v 14-15a:
14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures.” (NIV)
Timothy’s teachers were his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice who had instructed him in the Christian faith from his infancy (2 Tim. 1:5), and also Paul himself, whose teaching he had sought to follow.
Timothy’s initial exposure to the Scriptures was during infancy. Pr Chin emphasized the importance of parents’ role in imparting God’s Word in their children lives, and should not relegate such role to the ministry leaders in church.
“Don’t underestimate children’s learning ability or rather don’t underestimate the effect of God’s Word in young lives. Heb 4:12 says, ‘For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart,’” added Pr Chin.
OBEY SCRIPTURES: KNOW THE SOURCE OF THE BIBLE
“All Scripture is God-breathed” (2 Tim 3:16a). That means the Bible owes its origin and its contents to the guidance and leading of the Holy Spirit. As Peter put it:
No prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20)
Pr Chin pointed out that the internal evidence in the Bible indicates that “All Scripture” seems to mean more than just the Old Testament. Some examples: Paul has instructed his letters be read to the whole church as instructions probably alongside the OT (Col 4:16; 1Thess 5:27). Also, a number of times, Paul claims that he speaks in the Name and with the authority of Christ (2 Cor 2:17; 13:3; Gal 4:14) and calls his message “the word of God” (1 Thess 2:13). And Peter regards Paul’s letters as written “with the wisdom that God gave him,” and as Scriptures, because Peter refers to the OT as “the other Scriptures.”
Pr Chin went on to talk about the practical significance of the Bible:
- Its unity, which is the hallmark of its divine inspiration. The Bible is not just one book. It is a collection of thirty-nine books in the OT and twenty-seven in the New Testament. These were written over a period of about 1,500 years by more than 40 authors all of whom were different, including kings (David, Solomon), philosophers (Ecclesiastes), poets (Psalms), farmers (Amos), statesmen (Daniel), priests (Ezekiel, Ezra), prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah), fishermen (Peter, John) and scholars like Paul. One would think that with so many authors who wrote in different times over a long period, the Bible would be a mixed bag of ideas and inconsistencies. Instead, the Bible has a wonderful unity from Genesis to Revelation with one single theme: God’s plan of redemption.
- Its survival. All through history, the Bible has been a hated book because of its claim to be God’s Word. Many attempts had been made to destroy it by governments via burning, confiscation, and the imprisonment and persecution of those who read it and preach it, but such attempts had not stamp out the Bible. The Bible is still the best seller in the world.
- It transforms lives for those who believe in It – read It and practise what It says. It transforms lives simply because Its source is God Himself. It is God’s Word to us.
OBEY SCRIPTURES: KNOW THE PURPOSE
Paul showed the usefulness and purpose of the Scriptures for the Christian in v 15b-17.
It is “able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (v 15b). It teaches about God’s truth, and enables discernment between truth and falsehood so that one will not fall for everything that one read or hear even though if it comes from a bishop, theologian or pastor.
It is good for rebuking one’s wayward conduct, and correcting any wrong thinking, attitude, and action. It is good for training in the way of righteousness, the right path to follow in godliness ,and holiness of life.
The Bible lays down broad principles that apply to different aspects of life for godly living which include the use of time, family life, the use of money, the rearing of children, marriage, sexual relations, etc.
OBEY SCRIPTURES: KNOW THE GOAL
“so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (v 17)
The expression ‘man of God’ means a man or woman who has been trained and is growing in Christian maturity. And as a Christian matures, he or she is able to teach and lead God’s people. The Christian is able to do many good works because he or she is being thoroughly equipped in knowledge, faith and holiness to do God’s work.
Pr Chin concluded with two questions:
“How much do we cherish God’s Word in our lives? … If we say we want to grow in our Christian lives, serve God more fervently, and encounter God, we must read and study the Word of God. If we don’t, we are contradicting ourselves. We are not walking our talk because reading God’s Words requires effort. We must make time to read God’s Word and apply It in our lives.
“Is God’s Word divorced from godliness? Paul makes sure his life is consistent with what he taught… We may be diligent in studying God’s Word but if we don’t obey It, It doesn’t change our life. We need to not only read or study God’s Word, we must also obey It,” said Pr Chin. For therein, lies the secret of godliness.
 The Holy Bible: New International Version. 1984 (2 Ti 3:17). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
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