"Is There An Answer"
There are many questions in life today, and many answers to those questions. But how does one really know what the right answer is for questions of today?
Is There An Answer?
(2 Tim. 3:14-17)
A. We live in a world that has many questions about many things. We have questions about moral issues – Is it wrong for a person to transgender? We have questions about ethical issues – Is it wrong to assist someone in dying who is terminally ill? We have questions about legal issues – Can I sue the business when their employee wrongs me while at work? These are not questions that are dismissed lightly. They are questions that have deep emotional connections behind them and cause them to have real value to the one who genuinely asks them.
B. People turn to many places to find help when their questions keep nagging at them. Some turn the legal system, others turn to medical profession, and others turn to their friends and family members who care about them.
C. But where does God fit in to the answers to the questions people have in society? The church is often the last place to have a discussion around hot topics of the day. When we do, the church often comes across as dismissing the emotion behind the question, or giving such a quick answer, the one asking may feel like they were never heard.
D. Is there a godly answer to the questions people ask today and if so, how does a person find the answer?
E. To tell you that in the next 20 minutes you will hear something new, probably is not accurate. But what I want to do is to look at the tool God has given us to help us know His answer to our questions.
I. Paul’s Advice
A. Paul is one the most well-known figures in the NT. He is a leading figure in the book Acts. His letters to churches and people make up about half of the NT book.
B. When Paul wrote his letters to Timothy and Titus he was helping them to become the next generation of leaders in the early church. His words cause me to ponder.
C. He tells Timothy that in the last days people will be so filled with self they cannot find truth. After giving a list of those types of people he says this (READ 2 Tim. 3:6-7).
D. Look with me for a moment at the passage. In verse 7 Paul says these women are always learning but never able to arrive at a knowledge of truth. The fact is, there is an answer to the questions of life. There is a truth that can set a person free from their own bondage. But seeking truth in the wrong places or being guided by the wrong people will never give you the answer that is truth.
E. To this, Paul reminds Timothy of his upbringing. And it’s this passage that we find a tool to help us answers the questions of today – the same tool that would help Timothy. Listen to Paul’s advice (READ 2 Tim. 3:14-15).
F. Paul wants Timothy to find the answers to life’s questions in the place that is truth – God’s communication to people. This is not in contrast to science, this is not setting aside physics and empirical testing. This is stating that while man’s answers can have elements in which error can distort facts or centuries later find the earlier facts wrong or inconclusive. It is not saying don’t study math and science. God is in both by the way. What Paul is telling Timothy is always learning and never arriving at the knowledge of truth is because we don’t start with the source of truth – God.
II. The Best Tool
A. I am not seeking to give a trite theological answer to deep question a person has about their moral being. I am telling you, turn to the source of your being to find the right answer. Yes, you can get any answer you want – in a church, by a doctor, from a family member or friend – but if that answer is contrary to one who gave you life, then it won’t be the right answer you are seeking deep within you.
B. You came to worship God today. Maybe you are here and you wrestle with questions that don’t have easy answers. Maybe you think just being in a church building is better than being in a place that brings demons into your life. Listen to me for just a few more minutes.
C. The next words Paul tells Timothy stop me in my tracts (READ 2 Tim. 3:16a). The written word, scripture, has at its power, God. Paul uses a very specific word that gets translated “inspired” but the literal word means – God breathed. Let that sink in for just a moment. God’s breath makes scripture have true life.
D. In five days God created the entire universe as we know it. But it was the sixth day, the last day of his creation that was the pinnacle of everything. God created man. He took dirt from the ground and created a mass, a form, but that being was lifeless until something happened – God breathed life into man. God’s breath, God’s Spirit, took flesh and created life. The same power that allows you to live is the same power behind scripture. When I need an answer to life, I have to look to the life breather – God.
E. I will be the first to tell you people took God’s law the Jews and messed them up. That people took God’s new law, a law based upon grace, and messed that up. But I will defend the Bible as God’s voice to my dying day. I can give you a gospel that twists God’s message, but if I do that it won’t give you the right answer. It will give you AN answer, but not THE answer.
F. Listen to the rest of Paul’s statement (vs 16b-17). If I want to be what my creator intended me to be, then everything I need to figure out life has been given to me. The Bible challenges my emotions and feelings. Sometimes the Bible tells me my thinking is wrong, but all the time the Bible is training me to live a life that has the right answers.
A. I won’t tell you there are not errors in translations, there are. But God, in spite of the errors people make in translating, allows me to know the truth to my questions. It is the greatest tool, the best source, the first and last place I need to go to, to find out how I should live in relationship to my creator and in relationship to you.
B. May God’s breath give life to your questions. If we can help you seek God first, then come as we stand and sing.
Because of Jesus,
Jeffrey Dillinger, minister