2 TIMOTHY 4:1-4 – I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
THEME OF THE DAY. EXAM TIME. Imagine starting right now, we have no access to a Bible – not in print form, not electronically, not on our phones. The only Bible we have is what is already written in our hearts and renewed in our minds. At this moment, and for the rest of our lives, we will no longer be able to read God’s Word. Now don’t think this is impossible. There are places in the world where Christians are being persecuted, the Bible forbidden, and what access there may be is limited or non-existent But for the sake of today’s lesson, imagine our Bibles are gone. Should we really think about this, as we go throughout our days, we don’t walk around carrying Bibles. In the intensity of spiritual conflicts with our flesh, the devil, and the world, we don’t run to a Bible. The battle is too quick. We only fight spiritual warfare with the Word of God already in us – our hearts and minds. Battles against spiritual forces are fought and won or lost in the moment and that demands truth ready to be retrieved from within us at a moment.
So, with this introduction, let’s take a little exam. It is not open book but open heart and mind We are going to test ourselves for the presence or absence of God’s truth in us. And take this seriously because if the Word is absent, we are daily being defeated on the battlegrounds of spiritual warfare. The words from the Puritan theologian/pastor John Owen ring loud and true, “If the truth of God’s Word does not dwell within us, it will not come forth with power from us.” Now exam time and here are the rules. We must answer only by scripture. Only Bible truth allowed. Oh, for the sake of grace, I am going to provide “reference answers” in case you were unable to recall them on your own so that after today, you may. I am also going to use the word “defend” to start each question to emphasize this is about spiritual warfare, even spiritual survival.
Question One – Defend the deity and humanity of Jesus Christ (be able to articulate that Jesus is 100 % God and 100 % man) – John 1:1-14; Colossians 1:15-19; Hebrews 1:1-3.
Question Two – Defend the authority, inspiration, and inerrancy of the Bible (be able to articulate the Bible is the Word of God) – 2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20-21.
Question Three – Defend the doctrine of the Trinity (be able to articulate God is one yet three distinct Persons; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) – Matthew 3:16-17; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 1:3-14.
Question Four – Defend justification by faith alone through grace alone (be able to articulate salvation is all of God’s grace through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, the Lord Jesus) – Romans 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; Ephesians 2:8-9.
Well, how did we do? I hope well. I hope we so love the Word of God that it is already being written in our hearts and minds and the exam was a “piece of cake.” But if we struggled with blank answers, don’t be discouraged. There is no failing grade. We may start today putting divine truth in our lives so that should our Bibles literally be removed, we would still have one – written in our hearts and minds and able to fight successful spiritual warfare daily.
PRAYER: “Father, help me do the good work of putting Your Word in my heart and mind so as to live a discerning life.”
QUOTE: “The Spirit of God promised to bring truth to our minds but He will not do the work of putting truth in our minds.”