"The Breath of God"
You know truth. You know that difficult times come because of knowing the truth. But truth is the very breath of God, useful for equipping your daily life.
The Breath of God
(2 Tim. 3:10-17)
A. On the sixth day of creation, after God had created everything else, God formed man from the dust of ground. The pinnacle of creation, the reason for creation was that last part of creation – mankind. Fashioned, formed, put together: the image of a man from the very dust of the ground.
B. But it was just a body until God “breathed life” into man and made him a living being. The very breath of God entered into man. Some call that the spirit of man, but however you understand it, it was at that moment that man became a living being.
C. We find another amazing story that is difficult to understand in John 20. It was after the resurrection when Jesus came to his disciples. The Bible records that he “breathed on them” and said “receive the Holy Spirit.” A life force that helped bring about creation. The breath of God upon these men in that upper room and their lives were transformed as we see in Acts 2 on the day of Pentecost when the Spirit of God came upon them in power.
D. Then we come to our text. As Paul speaks about the trials of this life and how evil abounds, he takes Timothy back to earliest teachings, that from his mother and grandmother, teachings from scripture. When Paul takes Timothy back to scripture he describes scripture with a word that is only used in this passage. We translate that word as “inspired”, or we take the Greek and translate the word in the two part – God breathed. Scripture is and brings life. It is the source we go to in the time of trials and struggles.
E. The Hebrew writer put it this way (Heb. 4:12). Just as God breathed life into Adam, just as Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit onto the Apostle, all scripture is breathed out by God. The book you hold in your hand, the words you read on your electronic device is far more than just words – they are breath of God. It is with that idea that we come to this section of Timothy.
I. Paul’s Life In Action
A. Paul takes Timothy on a trip down memory lane. I can only imagine Timothy reading this letter and he began to smile he read these words (2 Tim. 3:10). He had been side by side with Paul. Timothy not only was a witness to the life of Paul, but participated in many of the events of Paul. So Paul reminds Timothy that he had followed Paul’s teaching, conduct, aim, faith, patience, love and steadfastness. Timothy saw how a Christian life is lived, not just taught in theory.
B. But Paul continues, and I am sure so does the memory of Timothy (2 Tim. 3:11). It was not all good times and church fellowship meals. There were days of pain and suffering. Life was put on the line and I would guess there were times when Timothy did not know if his mentor, and father in the faith, was alive or dead.
C. The summery of Paul is found in the next two verses (2 Tim. 3:12-13). It’s like the person that says, “Cheer up, things could always get worse.” So you cheer up and sure enough things get worse! Life is not fair. Bad things happen to good people. Sometimes it seems like evil wins and evil people prosper more than the righteous.
II. How You Can Live Like Paul
A. Paul’s trip down memory lane was for a purpose. He writes to Timothy reminding him of things he had already been taught. He tells Timothy about how godlessness can look like godliness but it will have no power. He reminds him of his calling and now beings to end this letter by telling him how he, Timothy, can live like Paul.
B. 2 Tim. 3:14-15. You know truth. You sitting here today know truth. Many of you have been raised in godly homes with godly parents. But even if you did not have that advantage, you now have come to know the truth of God. You have come to the know the truth that makes you wise unto salvation. You have chosen to walk a different pathway than those go from bad to worse. But why do you believe what you believe? Why do you live like you live? Why are you saved?
III. The Breath of God
A. 2 Tim. 3:16-17. That’s the answer. EVERY scripture that has God’s breath has God’s purpose. There are some things written that people call the Bible that is not the Bible. There are some who write their own bible leaving out parts and adding other parts. But they are not the breath of God. Only scripture breathed out by God can bring salvation to you and teach you how to live as a Christian.
B. Paul tells Timothy that all scripture is useful, profitable, for (1) teaching (2) reproof (3) correction and (4) training in righteousness. Simply put, the Bible is the pathway for life. It is the standard by which everything I do, think, and believe is measured. The Bible starts by teaching us about salvation, then it molds by the rebuking and correction of our sinful life, and continues to train us how to live a holy life. So I want to end this sermon, at the beginning of that process – teaching salvation.
A. The very place for me to begin hearing God through the Bible is to hear the good news of Jesus. Philip met an Ethiopian traveling home and reading the scriptures, the scroll of Isaiah, and asked him if he understood what he was reading. The man replied, “How can I unless someone explains it to me?” Beginning with that very scripture, Philip told him the good news of Jesus.
B. The Bible says that as they traveled along they came to some water and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water, why shouldn’t I be baptized?” (Acts 8:36) The very words of God led that man from simply reading the Bible to hearing God speak to him and lead him to a conviction that he needed to be baptized to be in a covenant relationship with God.
C. God speaks to us today the same way he spoke to that Ethiopian eunuch, through the Scripture. When we have trouble understanding scripture, God leads people into our path that will help explain it to us. But it is not their interpretation or thoughts that are important, but our hearing God speak His word that leads us to action.