Bible Sunday – Sermon 259

Last Sunday after Trinity

10am Holy Communion

25th October 2015

Bible Sunday

Bible References :

  • Add Text Link Here
  • Add Text Link Here
  • Add Text Link Here

 

Prayer to start

May the words of my lips and the thoughts of our hearts be graciously received for the Glory and Honour of our Lord Jesus Christ

 

AMEN

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Healthy eating is vital for our health and well-being- whatever our age –

 

And today – if you have access to laptops, I-pads and phones and TV programs such as the great British Bake-off – and others – there’s plenty of advice and information out there on how to cook and eat well

 

but what about our Spiritual nourishment – who and where do we turn to for that?

 

First Point  God and the Bible

 

Well our first port of call – must be God and the Bible –

 

God is our great nourisher and sustainer – and as Christians we consider the Bible to be – the most powerful life giving book ever written – we believe it to be a good read – and that when we read it – it will do us good

 

Nearly all that we know about God is in the Bible – – and it tells about our relationship with Him over the last 5000 years

 

Our OT reading is from the Book of Isaiah – which in itself is like a miniature Bible –

 

Isaiah has 66 chapters just like the Bible and – the first 39 of the chapters speak about law and judgement – just like the 39 books of the Old Testament –

 

The last 27 chapters of Isaiah are about comfort, restoration and mercy under the Messiah and the last 27 books of the New Testament speak of Jesus.

 

Isaiah too contains something of all that is found in the Bible – it covers just about every theme and doctrine that the Bible covers –

 

In our reading we are encouraged to hear God’s call – and to come and receive the food and drink that He offers – the food and drink that really does satisfy –

 

By feeding on God – through coming to faith – we can begin something that not even death can destroy –

 

When we drink the water that He provides – He will not only quench our thirst today – but become a constant source of refreshment throughout the whole of our lives –

 

We have a God who is beyond expression – yet who delights to hear our prayers – and wants to be our intimate friend –

 

We need to leave – a space for Him –for prayer – study and reflection – for absorbing His spiritual sustenance – to enable God to fill us – and open our eyes a fresh – to His greatness – and sovereignty – and purpose for each one of us –

 

God –nourishes us with His word – Feeds us with His Spirit – fill us with His love – Reading and studying about Him in the Bible – will increase our understanding – encourage and sustain our Christian faith – develop and strengthen our character and help us to come closer to Him –

 

Point 2        The Scriptures will bring life

 

“All Scripture”, says Paul, “is inspired by God – and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction and training in righteousness”

 

The early Christians believed that the reasons that the Scriptures were alive – was that God had ‘breathed’ them in the first place – and that the warmth and life of that creative breath was still present and powerful –

 

That the spirit who caused the Bible to be written –spoke to the different writers – in so many ways – is as powerful today – as ever – and that that power – through the written word – can transform and change lives – just as it did when it was first produced –

 

The Spirit through the Scriptures can make us wise – help us to think new patterns – see things that we hadn’t seen before –

 

The Bible holds up a mirror to life – it reflects the human condition – it’s about people without aeroplanes or computers – mobile phones – or cars – people who live their lives in very different circumstances to ours –

 

But – it deals with the constants in life – situations that make people laugh – cry – run away – cheat – kill – give their all for their beliefs – it talks about people – who are faithful in friendships and relationships  – who fall in love – give birth – fall ill – who die –

 

The Bible tells us how we can live together as people and as Christians – how we can carry each other’s burdens and bear each other’s weaknesses

 

The Bible – helps us understand ourselves – and other people – helps us understand about God and the world –

 

So that ultimately – we can find ourselves rescued – from the down-pull of sin – forgiven and transformed by God’s loving grace –

 

If we let Scripture have its way with us – all will be within our reach – our knowledge of God – will be so increased – that we will know – instinctively  – when something we are doing is out of line with His will

 

And through reading and studying the bible – we will begin to hear the voice of God – telling us which story applies to this or that – area of our lives – and that we need to pay attention to it –

 

Paul tells us too – that we must remain steadfast in the truth of what we have learned – and waste no time – in announcing God’s word – and proclaiming the message of the Kingdom – to others – so that they too can become part of His new creation –

 

Point 3        We must use Scripture correctly

 

Which leads us on to Jesus – and our Gospel reading – Jesus offers some clear advice on how we are to treat God’s word –

 

Jesus had just healed the crippled man at the pool of Bethesda – and the people had seen this man rise out of weakness and paralysis and start walking again – they had heard that Jesus casts out demons –controls violent storms with a command –teaches – on almost every area of life and death – in a way that penetrated – and provoked – and here He answers his critics by calling up a number of witnesses that testify for Him:

 

He names John the Baptist – who announced Jesus as the long-expected and long awaited Messiah –

 

The invisible witness of God in the many miracles and works that Jesus performs on His behalf – in fulfillment of God’s promise to rescue His people from themselves –

 

And the scriptures – that point to Him – even the writings of Moses himself – on which the Jews set all their hopes and confidence  – There are 322 different prophesies about Jesus in the OT – they predict His birthplace – His birth – His mission – His death – and they all fit together like a smooth fitting lock – with Jesus the key to it all –

 

The Jews were students of scripture – they spent their whole lives counting the words – memorizing large sections of it – because they thought it was all they needed for salvation,

 

but Jesus tells them that – they had lost the plot – yes they were looking at the right book –but no – they were reading it in the wrong way

 

Instead of using it to bring themselves and others to God – they were trying to impress each other- with their skill and knowledge of its contents –

 

Yes – studying and understanding the text of the bible is important if we want it to do us any good – and there are special notes –commentaries – dictionaries – daily reading plans – study aids –available to us to explain the background and intentions of the writers – to make sure we don’t miss any of the important parts

 

but knowing the book of the Lord – is only half the story –we also need to know the Lord of the Book

 

we need to read the book – in the light of Jesus’ teachings – and life – so we can learn from Him –and do as He does- recognize the things in our lives that can change – allow God to do something new in us – through His Son Jesus Christ – and turn us into people and instruments of His love.

 

the Jews rejected Jesus – not out of ignorance  – but because of pride – their standing in society came before their standing before God –

 

Jesus is the right way to do things – and the Lord and Saviour to follow – the one who matters most He can make a difference – to our lives – and keep us on the path to true righteousness and salvation. –

 

Conclusions

 

The Final of the Great British Bake-off was one of the most watched TV programs of 2015

 

The Bible is still the most read book in the world with over 3.9 Billion copies read in the last 50 years.

 

To follow Jesus’ example we will need all the nourishment and teaching that God can provide – so we can keep going under all circumstances –

 

Prayer and Bible reading are essential if we are going to succeed in living a life of self-sacrifice and love like Jesus –

 

The issues are black and white – we draw our strength from scripture – so that ultimately we can draw our strength from God –

 

And there can be no greater nourishment than that –

Closing prayer

 

AMEN