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2 Timothy 3:16-17

'All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realise what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God's way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.' (NLT)

So you're reading your Bible and you reach Leviticus. For those of you who haven't read it, this is how it goes.... '..when the priest goes into the house, if there is mildew on the walls that is green or red and goes up the wall, then the priest must close up the house for 7 days..' (Leviticus 14.37) And yet the Bible says that all Scripture is useful..?!

Here's 2 stories if you're sitting comfortably..

Derek Prince (a Bible teacher) recalls hearing how a person had become a Christian through hearing endless lists of people and their ancestors - like for example through Genesis. The man was convinced because someone had recorded so many names so accurately.

The other story is of how a tribe became Christians. They make medicine by spitting on their hands and using mud. In John 9.1-12, Jesus heals a blind man by spitting on the floor and rubbing wet mud on the man's eyes. The tribe were so amazed that this Jesus healed that they were saved.

2 Timothy 3.16 in Practice

The things that Paul writes to Timothy in this passage are written in light of the whole of chapter 3 of 2 Timothy. The chapter is about the 'last days' when there will be much trouble, selfishness, evil and ungodliness. Paul is warning Timothy and us that we must know and follow the Bible if we are to stand against these troubles. So how can we do this..

1. Believe the Bible is the Word of God and therefore powerful - Hebrews 4.12 says the Word of God is sharper than a double-edged sword. There is real power in speaking the Bible out loud.

2. We must let the Bible teach us - in Matthew 7.29 we see Jesus teaching with authority to the amazement of his captivated audience. We need to let God's Word have this effect in our lives.

3. The Bible shows us what is wrong in our lives. Psalm 119.105 says God's Word is like a lamp for our feet and light for our path. Make sure you live a life walking only in the light of the Bible. Don't step outside if you can - it's there for our good.

4. The Bible is also there to correct us - in Galatians 2.11-14, Paul recounts how he challenged Peter (the leader of the Apostles). The Bible is there to challenge us and set us back on the right way. Our job is to listen and obey.

5. The Bible is there to encourage us - many people have favourite Bible verses. One God has continually encouraged me with is Galatians 6.9 - don't get tired of doing good for if you keep going and don't give up, you will reap a harvest of eternal life in due time.

The application of this

1. How well do you know your Bible?
(Learn 2 Tim 3:16-17)

2. Do you know how to read and use The Bible?
(What do you read? How does God speak? Where do you go for help?)

3. Do you know what it means to let the Bible encourage you?
(Read Joshua 1:9. Read Hebrews 13:5. Read Matthew 6:33).

4. Do you listen to The Bible and let it correct you? Do you put it into practice?
(Hebrews 12, Romans 12, Romans 8).

5. If you don't know your Bible, God won't be able to use you as he could...
How can you change this? (Open up for discussion).

Some questions to look at

How well do you know your Bible?

Do you know how to read and use The Bible?

Do you know what it means to let the Bible encourage you?

Do you listen to The Bible and let it correct you?

Do you put it into practice?

If you don't know your Bible, God won't be able to use you as he could. How to change this?

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