Temple Baptist Church - 3-16-2014
2 Timothy 3:16
A. Inspiration or Expiration? When reading this verse, most look at the word “inspiration” and define it as “expiration.” Though God does use “expiration” when giving the original words of scripture; the word used is “inspiration!”
1. “Expiration” - exhalation of breath. I have seen on many bibles the words “God Breathed.” I have no problem with these words as long as the definition is right. God spoke or gave by “expiration” the very word of God. I believe that every word of God is pure. God spoke and it was and still is so! No mistakes in what God said as the word of God is very pure.
2. “Inspiration” – to infuse, to breath in, an inspiring or animating action or influence. “Inspiration” is something that is done to another or to something else. God breathed out the word of God but also infused the word of God into a physical form. The original autographs were actually the first act of preservation: holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost and those words were then preserved in writing. The word of God was written down in an act of preservation!
B. Once again, I want to look at the Book of Genesis for a minute to give a proper definition of what I said.
Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Here we find the “Breath of divine inspiration.” God literally breathed into Adam life and that life continues in every person born after Adam. God does not breath or re-inspire life into each of us; it is inherent through Adam. Thus it is with biblical inspiration: God gave the word by divine inspiration and that inspiration continues to give life through our bible today. It is not re-inspired; it is inspired through preservation.)
C. This evening, this will not be a complete biblical study but a single message so I will not go into great detail at this time. Everything is moving to the left: morally, politically and spiritually. The problem with the political shift is the same as the problem with the spiritual shift. As a matter of fact, the two are tied together. As the world turns from the bible and Christ, they progressively become more liberal. I want to take a look at a subject that is of vital importance to each of us in these last days of apostasy.
1. The subject of inspiration and preservation of the Scripture. It is a problem that has been around since the Garden of Eden when, soon after God said, “Thou shalt surely die,” Satan said, “Thou shalt not surely die.” The word of God has been under attack since that time.
2. Paul alluded to this same attack in 2 Thessalonians 2 when he said, “Letters as from us.” False manuscripts were already in circulation in the first century AD. This attack has continued to our day and has escalated over the past 130 years.
3. When I was a child, I was raised in a Baptist church and knew of no other version of the bible other than the King James. I was taught it; I memorized it; I believed it! While in Bible College, a friend of mine was preaching at a nursing home, mentioned the existence of other false “bibles” and one of the old ladies asked, “What other bibles?” She was “old school” and knew of only one bible, the King James.
4. Over the last 60 years, the controversy has grown as many “other bibles” have come into existence and been promoted by liberal seminaries, liberal preachers, and worldly “Christian” book stores. Therefore, I feel the necessity of preaching on the subject occasionally to a good King James Bible preaching church.
a) You and I, who still stand for the King James Bible, are the “Tea Party” in this world of religion!
b) We stand where our fathers stood 50-100 years ago. We have not moved, they have moved. We have not compromised, they have compromised and, yet, we have become the enemy (though they may not openly call us such) because—by standing in the Old Paths—we expose these moderates and liberals for what they are! We believe what our Fathers believed: that we have the very word of God in our hands: inerrant, infallible, preserved, and inspired! Yes, I said inspired! That is what our text just said.
c) Thus we who stand where our forefathers stood are now demonized by the liberal religious left. We are narrow-minded and full of hate and cruelty in their minds because we believe this blessed old book I hold in my hand this morning.
d) No, this is not a political lesson though we can learn from it. Hang on! I know where I am going with this message. Let us go back to the political world for a moment. What has destroyed our youth in America? Higher education! Colleges and universities are permeated with liberal progressives who stand against what our parents stood for and brainwash our youth. Now, the same thing is killing our churches and young Christians: higher education in so called Christian schools where the bible is taught as errant and fallible; where its preservation and inspiration are called into question. Liberal progressive bible teachers are destroying the faith of the next generation in the name of Christian education. Enough said!
D. Though we are a conservative Baptist church, we need to know not only what we believe about the bible but also why we believe what we believe about the bible.
1. It is important that we have a basis for our faith. The bible asks this question, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” The bible is the sole foundation for both faith and practice.
2. Without the bible, we have nothing to base our salvation or blessed hope on; we have nothing with which to teach sound doctrine; we have no basis for holiness and sanctification; there is no right or wrong and every man can do that which is right in his own eyes. Therefore, I am not “majoring on a minor” as some would have you believe. I am majoring on the MAJOR! The word of God is the foundation upon which we base all that we believe.
E. It has often been said, “A text taken out of context becomes a pretext.” Context and pretext defined:
1. Context - the parts of a written or spoken statement that precede or follow a specific word or passage, usually influencing its meaning or effect:
2. Pretext - a reason that you give to hide your real reason for doing something.
F. Two mentions of the word “inspiration” in the bible:
1. In the Old Testament, Job 32:8 which speaks of the inspiration from God of a man’s spirit that gives understanding: “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.”
2. In the New Testament, 2 Timothy 3:16 speaks of the inspiration of the scripture which is given by God: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
G. Now, let us look at our text in its biblical context. If you are going to interpret a verse, do it within its context. It does not matter what I think; it does not matter what you think; it does not matter what a school, church, or pastor thinks; it does not matter what a Greek or Hebrew scholar thinks; it only matters what the bible says!
1. What was the Book of 2 Timothy written for? 2 Timothy is one of the Pastoral Epistles. In 1st Timothy, 2nd Timothy, and Titus, the Apostle Paul is writing young pastors instructing them in the work of the ministry and the operation of the local church.
a. 1st Timothy’s key verse is 1 Timothy 3:15: “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” It is a doctrinal book that explains the operation and regulation of the local curch.
b. 2nd Timothy’s key verse is 2 Timothy 2:15: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2nd Timothy is a foundational book that explains how to refute false doctrine through rightly dividing the word of truth. In order to refute error, one must have truth!
c. Titus’ key verse is Titus 1:5: “For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee.” It is a corrective book that sets in order the things that were wanting in the local church.
2. What is the context of our verse: 2 Timothy 3:16? In order to properly interpret the verse, we need to look at the verses both before and after it.
a. Verse 13 speaks of spiritual deception through evil men (false prophets, grievous wolves).
2 Peter 2:1-3 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (2) And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. (3) And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
b. Verse 14 speaks of biblical succession. Continue, learned, assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them.
2 Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
c. Verse 15 speaks of the holy scriptures that Timothy was saved under and that continued to give him wisdom. These were not original manuscripts! To make them such is to willfully twist the scriptures in order to make them fit your particular doctrinal error.
Psalms 19:7-11 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. (8) The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. (9) The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. (10) More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. (11) Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
d. Verse 17 speaks of the perfecting and furnishing the man of God. This refers to Timothy and the rest of God’s called men, not the prophets who wrote the original manuscripts. You cannot be perfected or throughly furnished by scriptures that you do not have!
Psalms 119:98-100 Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. (99) I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. (100) I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.
3. Now that we have seen that the context deals with the preparation of God’s man to deal with apostasy through scripture, let us look at verse 16, which is in the middle of the context.
a. All scripture speaks of the present day manuscripts that Timothy had in his day, not the original autographs. It is not double inspiration but rather one act of inspiration couple with a continual preservation that keeps the inspiration intact. Ignorant scholars always apply verse 16 to the originals only when the originals are not mentioned in the context. These manuscripts that are being referred to are the ones that brought Timothy to Christ and what were to throughly furnished him for the ministry.
b. To maintain the perfection of the original manuscripts (which I do believe that they were) does absolutely nothing for us today! It is a pretext! It has no present value! They are gone! You cannot reference them!
c. Paul called Timothy’s scripture “holy scripture” and verse 16 is speaking of them! Notice that they are now profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness! The inspired, holy scriptures are something that must be available to us today! I do not preach out of manuscripts, I preach out of a bible. I do not learn my doctrine from manuscripts or Greek-Hebrew scholars; I learn it from my bible. I thank God that He gave us His eternal word and I hold in my hand.
Conclusion: Most doctrinal statements find inerrancy and infallibility, and inspiration in the original manuscripts only. That is not what God said in these verses! 2 Timothy 3:16 says that what Timothy had was inspired, holy scriptures. We have the inerrant, infallible, preserved, and inspired word of God today and it is the Authorized King James Bible! The King James Bible is not just the best translation off of the best manuscripts, it is God’s Word!