Grace to You Resources
Grace to You - Resource

As you know, we are looking at the Word of God together Sunday after Sunday, with conversations with Jesus as our focus. And there are so many incredible portions of Scripture in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John that we would love to get to, that give us insights into our Lord, unique insights, that we have been picking them one week at a time, and we’ll continue to do that. But one of my favorite conversations with Jesus is found in the fifth chapter of Matthew, fifth chapter of Matthew, and it’s a passage that’s embedded in the Sermon on the Mount, famous Sermon on the Mount that occupies Matthew 5, 6 and 7. And it’s to that that I wish to turn. In Matthew chapter 5, verse 17, we’ll read down to verse 20. And I’ve titled this “Jesus’ View of Scripture” because it’s exactly what it is.

He said in verse 17, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Profound words.

Jesus begins by saying, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law.” It’s as if He were saying, “I know what you’re thinking, I know what you’re thinking; you’re thinking that I came to nullify the Law.” What does He mean by “the Law” and “the Prophets”? The Old Testament. The people of Israel, He assumes and knows, are considering Him anti-Old Testament. That’s not possible, however, He says, “because I am the fulfillment of the Old Testament.”

In recent years, some evangelical pastors have advocated unhitching from the Old Testament because the Old Testament is too offensive to our contemporary culture. That is a disastrous idea, as this text will make clear. In no way do we want to disconnect from the Old Testament. Since Jesus Himself is the fulfillment of all of it, we want to know it well and see that connection.

So for the thirty years of His life—the first thirty years of His life, He’s walking on earth, He’s living in private, He’s in Nazareth with His family, and seems to have attracted virtually no attention, except when He was twelve and went to the Temple and was talking to some of the leaders there. We don’t really have any public ministry with Jesus until He gets into His thirtieth year, and He’s baptized by John the Baptist, and He steps into public ministry. And we all know that it didn’t take long before the people of Israel wanted to kill Him—the leaders in particular.

He came with meekness and humility. He came preaching the kingdom of God. He came confronting false religion, unmasking hypocrisy, and He came, in particular, attacking false religion. And the form of Judaism existing at the time of His life and ministry was an apostate form. It had long strayed from the true religion of the Old Testament. It had misunderstood God, misrepresented God, misrepresented His Word and His law, piled on top of the law of God endless traditions which usurped the primary place from the law of God. And so Jesus, in bringing the good news, had to attack the status quo.

And the question must have been arising in the hearts of people: “Is He anti-Old Testament?” because that’s the only Scripture they had. “Is He against the Bible? Is He against God’s Word? What is His attitude toward Scripture, toward what Moses wrote, the first five books, and the rest of the Old Testament which falls under the title ‘The Prophets’?” He certainly didn’t accept the current form of Judaism. He did not affirm the prevailing theology of the day. He never identified Himself with anybody who was significant in Judaism. None of His disciples were Pharisees, Sadducees, scribes, rabbis, none of them; they were just the plain working men.

“What was His problem? Was He against the Old Testament?” because obviously they believed that their religion was framed and shaped by the Old Testament, and therefore true to that. And His preaching was so different, they were inclined to think that He was trying to subvert Judaism, trying to subvert the current religion, trying to subvert the authority therefore of the Bible, the Old Testament, and substitute His own ideas. And He despised the traditions of men; and He denounced extraneous, external, legalistic rules. And on top of that, not only did He not make friends with the religious leaders, but He made friends with the riffraff. He was a friend of publicans, tax collectors, sinners, prostitutes; and rather than being a proclaimer of the law of God, He seemed to be a proclaimer of grace, a proclaimer of mercy.

“What were His absolutes? Was this all new? What was His attitude toward the Old Testament? Was He tearing down the foundations of Judaism?” Those questions are circling in their minds. And the leadership is convinced that that’s exactly what He’s doing; and they already hate Him, and they already want to eliminate Him. They want to see Him dead. He is dealing devastating blows to their religion, which they believe is predicated completely on the Old Testament Scripture. So He is not only anti-God, He is anti-Scripture.

And they may have felt a little bit justified in that, because there was a prevailing view that when Messiah came, He would introduce something new. He would introduce radical changes. He would overthrow the corrupt orders of religion—and they knew there was corruption there—and He would bring in, as Jeremiah 31:31, said, “a new covenant.”

“So is that it? Is this a replacement of the Old Testament? So what does He believe about Scripture? What does He believe about Moses’s writings (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), and all the other thirty-four books, which come into the title ‘The Prophets’? He doesn’t identify with the scribes, the current theologians; and He breaks a lot of our traditions. And He even seems to violate the commandments,” in particular, the Sabbath, as they interpreted it. He criticizes the official teaching of Judaism to such a degree that, again, they want Him dead. He’s a threat.

Well, Jesus answers the queries in their minds in the passage I just read you, because here He declares His view of Scripture; and it’s an amazing, amazing brief section. They’re thinking that He’s lowering the standard of the Old Testament, but what the truth is, is He’s raising it. The amazing reality is that they lowered the standard. They lowered the standard by making it into some kind of externalism, and then compounding on top of it a whole bunch of manmade rules and laws that numbered in the hundreds. And all the stacking up of manmade laws obscured the law of God and pushed it down into a secondary place.

He did the opposite. He elevated the Scripture, and He makes that clear right here in these words. He, by the way, has a greater commitment to Scripture, to the law of God, than the most scrupulous scribes and Pharisees. He proceeds here to set Himself above them in His commitment to the Old Testament. It wasn’t Christ who was tampering with the Old Testament, it wasn’t Him who was lowering the standard, it was them. Jesus is elevating it, and He elevates it to the highest level with what He says.

And just to simply break it down from verses 17 to 20, He affirms the preeminence of the law of God, Scripture; He affirms the permanence of the law of God; and He affirms the importance of the law of God, and He does it in a way that makes crystal clear how He affirms Scripture as the Word of God. His view of Scripture, by the way, is the most crucial one. I suppose you could reduce it to this: Whatever Jesus thought about the Bible, that’s what I want to think about it, right?

This is what Jesus thought about Scripture. And of course, when He was here, there was only one set of Scriptures: the Old Testament; that was the Scripture. But His view of Scripture also applies to the New Testament, which He said is the Scripture. Even the epistles are Scripture, as Peter says about Paul, that Paul wrote Scripture, 2 Peter 3. So this is Christ’s view.

Let’s begin with the preeminence of the law, the preeminence of it, verse 17: “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” “You’re thinking wrong. I did not come to abolish the Law. I did not come to set it aside. I do not disregard the Law,” is what He’s saying. But they’re trying to process that because He’s so ruthlessly swept away their traditions, which points out the reality that they didn’t know where the line between the law of God and the law of men was. That’s why in the fifteenth chapter of Matthew, Jesus says directly to them that “you have substituted your traditions for the law of God.” They saw Jesus says making an all-out attack on the law of God.

He disregarded the oral law. He interpreted the written law of the Old Testament in very different ways than the scribes did. And He never quoted a rabbi, He never quoted a scribe; He said things as if He was the authority. He spoke with a kind of authority that they had never heard before. He has to be revolting against the Old Testament. But the truth of the matter is, He is upholding the validity of the Old Testament, and denouncing misinterpretations, additions and subtractions, and particularly, hypocrisy on the part of the leaders of Judaism.

In verse 20, which I read a moment ago, He directly says, “Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” So whatever the scribes and Pharisees, the leaders, think is righteousness that allows you to go to heaven, is not.

Now look, religion really only has one ultimate goal: to get you to heaven, right? I mean, that is the promise of every religion: That religion is going to get you to heaven. And our Lord says in that verse that if your righteousness is that taught by the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter heaven. So this is a very dangerous and deadly religion. This is a far cry from affirming the Old Testament in their minds. He must have come to undermine the law.

Over in chapter 6 and verse 16, He condemns them again for hypocrisy: “[When] you fast, do not put on a gloomy face as the hypocrites do.” “You’re just hypocrites.” Matthew 23, a whole chapter: “You hypocrites. You whited sepulchers full of dead men’s bones.” It was an all-out attack on superficial, external legalism and hypocrisy. Their hearts had never been changed. They thought they could earn their way to heaven.

He had not come to undermine the law of God, He had not come to undermine true religion, He had come to overthrow the hypocrisy of false religion, masquerading as if it were true. So He says, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law.” “Abolish,” very intense word, in the Greek. It means to nullify, to destroy. Strong word.

“I did not come to destroy the Law,” which is what they were accusing Him of doing. It’s a very strong word. Used in the physical sense, it would describe something pulled to pieces, something completely destroyed. No, He says, “I did not come to destroy the law, I came to fulfill it.” He would not set the law aside, just the opposite; He was there to fulfill it.

It’s preeminent in His life. He has come for the purpose of fulfilling the law. The law, as He knows and they know, was authored by God. You go back to Exodus 20, where you have the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20 begins by saying, “Then God spoke.” And everything that was given to Moses in the law was from the voice of God.

Our Lord knew that the law was spoken by God, that Scripture was God-breathed. And He knew the Lord doesn’t change: “I am the Lord, I change not.” God’s standards don’t change. So this is where we have to start. God is still alive; He’s still on the throne. He’s the only true God. His nature is unchanged. His laws are extensions of that nature, His commands are extensions of that nature, He speaks only the truth. And when Jesus says here “the Law,” He means the whole revelation of God, the law of Yahweh.

All of it was authored by God, and nothing will ever replace it; it is preeminent. And it was affirmed by the prophets. The very mention, in verse 17, of “the Prophets” reminds us that the prophets, the rest of the books after you get through the Pentateuch, comment on the truths found in the law. The prophets reiterated, reinforced, taught, demonstrated the truth of God’s law—unchanging, the law. In fact, in Deuteronomy 30 there’s a good summation of the appropriate attitude toward the law. As the children of Israel are about to embark upon life in the new land, verse 15 of Deuteronomy 30, the Lord says, “See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments.” That sums up the entire revelation.

“I command you . . . love the Lord your God, walk in His ways, keep His commandments, statutes, judgments, that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you will surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you’re crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and [cursing]. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants.” How do you do that?—“by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which I have sworn to give to your fathers.” Obedience is going to bring you into blessing. This is an affirmation that God expects the people to obey His Word.

The prophets were the mouthpiece of that, and they repeatedly were calling on the people to be obedient, even in the midst of their disobedience. And the prophets were powerful, powerful purveyors of divine revelation. Jesus tells a story in Luke 16 about a rich man who went to hell, and who wanted to have some mercy, wanted someone to dip their finger in water and to cool his tongue. And then he wanted someone to go tell his brothers because he didn’t want them to come to hell, in this imaginary story that Jesus had put together. “Please, can I go back just long enough to tell my brothers not to come here?” And do you remember what Jesus said? He said, “No. Let them believe Moses and the Prophets. If they don’t believe Moses and the Prophets, they will not believe though one raises from the dead.” The power—it’s not only that the Old Testament is true, but it carries divine power, power to save.

The law is preeminent because God is the source; the prophets are the ones who affirmed it, proclaimed it. But particularly, is it preeminent because Christ fulfilled it. Look at the end of verse 17: He did not come to set aside the law. “You’re absolutely wrong.” He did not come to abrogate the law, nullify the law, He came “to fulfill” the law, to fulfill it.

Over in John’s gospel in chapter 5, really a very powerful verse 39, Jesus says this: “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.” “This is your problem: You’re looking at the Scriptures, and you’re looking to find eternal life, and the Scripture is pointing you to Me. But you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have the very life you seek.” Jesus says in those words that “the Old Testament is pointing to Me.” He fulfills the Old Testament. Well, let’s think that through for a few minutes.

What exactly does that encompass? Some have said, “Well, He fulfilled it in the sense that He filled out the teaching that was in the Old Testament. He sort of completed the full revelation. God, as Hebrews says, spoke in times past by the fathers and the prophets, has now spoken in His Son. So this is filling out revelation.” That is true. That is true. But that’s not the point here.

Others have suggested that He fulfilled the law by perfectly obeying it His whole life. Yes, He did complete the law in revelation, but He also lived it in perfection—holy, harmless, undefiled. He would “fulfill all righteousness,” He said in Matthew 3:15, all righteousness. So He did fulfill the law in that sense that He lived a sinless life.

There’s truth in that. There’s truth in that. But that’s not the point. You say, “What is the point?” The point is this: He is the fulfillment of the law. Those things are true. He did fulfill the law in His perfect life. He was without sin. He did speak divine Scripture. He did add to the body of revelation that we know as Scripture. But the point He’s saying here is, “I am the fulfillment of the law.” This is His great summation statement: “You can look at the Old Testament, and no matter where you look, it’s going to drive you to Me.”

He didn’t come just to rescue the law from rabbinical corruption. He didn’t just come to add more revelation. He didn’t come merely to be a model of righteousness and live out, demonstrably, perfection. He came to be the fulfillment of the law. He’s saying to them, “You have so totally missed it that you are missing the very purpose of the entire Old Testament. The whole purpose was to point to Me. I’m here, and you are unwilling to come to Me.” I think about that frequently.

Judaism is such a sad religion. They’re still waiting for the Messiah. They’ve rejected Christ; they’re waiting for the Messiah. And how they suffer. That’s a cruel religion; never resolves. They’re still waiting for their Deliverer.

Well, He came. He came, and it’s obvious. In Malachi, there’s a prophecy of His forerunner, John the Baptist. In Micah, there’s the identification of His birthplace, Bethlehem. In Isaiah, the very words of Messiah that He comes to the poor, prisoners, blind, and oppressed. From Isaiah 61 is exactly the speech He gave in Luke 4 in Nazareth. Psalm 118 predicts the triumphal entry, when He went into Jerusalem. Isaiah 56 and Jeremiah 7 prophesy that He would cleanse the Temple. Psalm 118 says He would be the rejected cornerstone. Isaiah 53 says He would be numbered with the transgressors in His death and buried with a rich man in His grave. Psalm 22 says the Messiah will give up His garments to those who gamble for them, casting lots. In Psalm 16 it says He’ll rise from the dead. In Deuteronomy 18 it says He’ll be a prophet like Moses. Isaiah 53, He’ll be a sheep led to slaughter. Psalm 2, He’ll be resurrected, begotten from the dead. Isaiah 49, He’ll be a light for the Gentiles. He fulfilled every prophecy of Messiah, and thus fulfilled every salvation promise.

No, He did not come to nullify the Old Testament, He came to fulfill it, in the sense that Scripture says, “All the promises of God in Him are yes and amen.” How can they miss this? “You’re searching the Scriptures,” John 5:39, “and they’re telling you about Me, and you’re unwilling to believe.” No, He affirms the preeminence of Scripture. And you can validate the authenticity of Scripture simply by comparing, as I did for those few brief minutes, the Old Testament prophecies and their fulfillment in Christ.

And then there’s a second point to make. Not only is the Scripture preeminent, but it is permanent. Look at verse 18. That’s not going to change; it’s not going to change. Verse 18, “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”

Now heaven and earth will pass away; they definitely will pass away. Psalm 102, Isaiah 34, Isaiah 51: Heaven and earth will pass away. Revelation 6, Revelation 21, 2 Peter chapter 3, Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” Yeah, this is a disposable planet. We can’t save it. It’s going to disintegrate in an implosion of unparalleled power, something this earth has never seen. It’s going to be obliterated; and not only the earth, but the heavens. The entire creation goes out of existence and is replaced by a new heaven and a new earth. But until then, not one part of this Word of God will pass away until everything is fulfilled, everything.

All the prophecy, all the pre-written history has to be fulfilled; and not one single letter, smallest letter; or small stroke, a little hook that goes over the top of a Hebrew letter, or a dot on an “i,” down to the minutia—none of it is going to pass away. Every word, every letter, authored by God, affirmed by the prophets, accomplished through Jesus Christ, will come to pass.

Our Lord here is obviously firmly saying that every word of God is pure, all Scripture is God-breathed. And some of the Old Testament had already been fulfilled in His birth, His incarnation. Other parts were being fulfilled in His prophetic ministry. And soon prophecies of His death and resurrection would be fulfilled. And eventually in the future, even the final glory of Christ and all those prophecies will be fulfilled. In the new heaven and the new earth we won’t need the Scripture because we’ll know everything. But until then, the Scripture will prevail. It is permanent.

So Jesus is saying, “I wouldn’t set aside that which is permanent.” That’s Jesus’ view of Scripture. “Scripture,” He said, “cannot be broken.” You can’t find a crack in it. Sixty-four times He referred to the Old Testament as authoritative. And as I mentioned a moment ago, in Matthew 24:35, He said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words will not pass away.” Here He says, “Scripture, the Law of God, will not pass away,” equating His words with the law, with the Scripture. If “the Law” means the Scripture in the Old Testament, and Jesus’ words are Scripture, that’s the words that He spoke in the gospels. Now the gospels are inspired from Him. And 2 Peter says Paul spoke Scripture. You have the New Testament affirmed as Scripture. It’s not going to go anywhere until the whole universe disintegrates.

Our Lord was very direct. In Matthew 19 He affirmed the Genesis account of creation. In Luke 11 He affirmed the murder of Abel. In Matthew 24 He affirmed the Flood, Noah. In John 8 He spoke of the faith of Abraham. In Luke 17 He looked back to Sodom and Lot and the destruction there. In John 6 He talks about the manna. In John 3 He talks about the serpent in the wilderness; He establishes the sufficiency of Scripture to save: “Let them hear Moses and the Prophets.” In Mark 12:24 He said, “You don’t understand the Resurrection because you don’t understand the Scripture.” He said, “Scripture would make you free from bad theology, error.” When He was tempted in Matthew 4, He answered all three temptations with a quote of a passage from the book of Deuteronomy. He affirmed Scripture every way possible. When He attacked the Temple in Mark 11, He tied it into Isaiah’s prophecy and Jeremiah’s.

The point is this: If you reject the Bible, you reject Jesus; you reject Him. If you reject the Bible as authoritative, you reject the claim that Christ made that it was true. And more than that, look at Luke 24. Luke 24, verse 25, our Lord says, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all the prophets have spoken!” You’re to believe it all; you’re a fool if you don’t. “Was it not necessary for the Christ”—the Messiah—“to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” There were disciples questioning, “Why did He have to die?” and He is saying, “Don’t you believe the prophets? They showed you that Christ the Messiah had to die before He could enter His glory.” And then to make it clearer, “beginning with Moses”—Genesis—“and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” He basically says, “I am the theme of the Old Testament. I am the theme of the Old Testament.”

Down in verse 44, He did it again when He said to His gathered disciples, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Notice the “all”: “all things.” And back in verse 27, “Beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” The Scripture is filled with truth about Him. There’s no way it would ever be nullified or abrogated. And He’s indicting them at the same time by saying, “I’m here, and you’re unwilling to believe in Me.”

Now what is the importance of this? Look at verse 19: “Whoever annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, He shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” It’s a lot at stake. How you handle the Scripture will determine whether you’re least or whether you’re great in the kingdom of heaven. In other words, it determines your eternal reward.

He’s talking about believers who are in the kingdom, who will be in heaven; but their eternal reward is connected to how they handled Scripture. If you decide in your life that you’re going to ignore some of the commands that you think are minor, it’ll affect your eternal reward; and your eternal reward will be forever, whatever appropriately should be, based on your faithfulness. And if you teach others to have a cavalier approach to Scripture and pick and choose what they want, you’re going to compound the loss of your eternal reward. You’re not going to lose your salvation; it’s going to affect where you are in terms of usefulness and responsibility and heavenly reward when we see the Lord. “But whoever keeps [these commandments]”—you live them, you love them, you obey them, and you teach them properly—“shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

You know, it’s an amazing thing, because we know so well what a grace humility is, that the Lord would say to us, “If you want to be great in heaven, obey My commands, and teach others to do that.” That’s Jesus saying that. You can be humble here, but you don’t need to try to pursue humility forever. Humility now, and exaltation forever, to the honor of Christ.

I mean it comes down to this: What you do with the Word of God will determine your eternal reward. It will. And just to make sure nobody is confused, in verse 20 He says, “I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Now He’s not talking about those who are in the kingdom and their eternal reward. He adds this final comment that if your righteousness is not beyond the scribes and Pharisees, you won’t even be in the kingdom, because He wants to make that final footnote.

By the way, when we talk about obedience and we talk about commandments, and you obey them and you teach them to others and you’ll be great, it does not mean that you earn your way to heaven. That’s the lie of the Pharisee. To even get there, you have to have a greater righteousness than they have.

Well, how righteous do I have to be? Over in verse 48 of chapter 5, “You are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Oh, that puts an end to any works system. No, you have to be perfect. You can’t do that, but you can receive the righteousness of God by faith in Christ.

So what was Jesus’ view of Scripture? Well, He believed in its preeminence, its permanence, and its definitive importance to determine eternal reward; and He believed every bit of it was true, down to every dot and marking. Still, people say this: “Well, certainly there are errors in Scripture.” Really? This poses a devastating problem. If there are errors in Scripture, if there are errors in Scripture, then Jesus didn’t know that; He didn’t know that because He said, “Down to the dots and the squiggles, not one marking is anything other than divine revelation to be consummated and fulfilled.” He didn’t know that. He was mistaken. You have a mistake in Jesus, Christianity collapses. If you have a mistake in Jesus, then He is a liar, He’s not God, because God wouldn’t make that mistake; God wouldn’t be ignorant. God knows everything.

So if you minimize the veracity of Scripture, you have just struck a death blow against the deity of Christ. You say, “Well no, I don’t want to do that. So do I have another option?” Yeah. You can say, “He did know it, and He knew it wasn’t true, but He said it was.” Either He knew, or He didn’t know; those are the only two options. So if He doesn’t know, then He’s not God; if He does know that it’s not true, flipping it, and says it’s true, He’s a liar. So take your choice. That’s the liar/lunatic option. So there are errors, and Christ didn’t know it; there are errors, and Christ did know it, but He lied; or what’s the third possibility? There are no errors, and then everything stays intact.

So as I said at the beginning, I don’t need to make the decision about Scripture, I just want to sign on to Jesus. I believe what He said about it. The implications of that brief passage are massive, because now you have just declared this entire Book is inspired by God for us, that we might know Him, honor Him, worship Him, serve Him, obey Him, proclaim Him; and one day, by virtue of that faithfulness, receive an eternal reward.

Your view of Scripture is everything. You can’t have an infallible, omniscient Son of God if He’s wrong about something, especially something like Scripture. He was adamant. He’s either wrong or dishonest, or He’s telling us the absolute truth.

I want to close with a text that’s familiar to us, 2 Timothy 4—2 Timothy 3 actually, the end of the third chapter, verse 16: “All Scripture is inspired by God. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be perfect”—or—“adequate, equipped for every good work.” Do you understand the power of Scripture in those two verses? You want to be equipped for every good work? You want to be mature? Then you need to be taught, reproved, corrected, and trained in righteousness; and the Scripture does that, the Scripture does that. I would think we wouldn’t want anything less, that we might be useful for every good work and enjoy a special eternal reward. Let’s pray together.

Whenever we handle the Word, Father, we understand that we have an obligation to proclaim its truths faithfully, accurately, correctly, and we have a responsibility to obey them joyfully and with gratitude. And it comes down to this in our Christian lives: What does the Word of God mean to you? That’ll determine your spiritual maturity. It’ll determine how useful you are for every good work. And it will also determine whether when we get to heaven we’re the least or the greatest—all to Your glory. Amen.

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