This is an on-going series that provide an “overflow” of information or application from my weekly preaching. A preacher cannot, nor should not, get everything into a sermon. These will be posts that give some direction and resources related to the sermon that will help people better understand and apply the passage.
Yesterday I preached on 2 Timothy 3:15-17 for Reformation Sunday. My focus was to see how Paul’s instructions to Timothy helped us understand the doctrine of sola Scriptura. In this letter, Paul is writing to Timothy, giving him instructions on how to serve as a pastor to the Church at Ephesus. But this was an open letter to Timothy. It was directed towards him but with an eye towards the entire congregation. Paul knows (even expects) that this letter will be read publically when the church is gathered for worship. Thus, Paul is not only instructing Timothy by the church on the nature of ministry for and the life of the people of God. Paul says that the life of God’s people is meant to be governed by the preaching of God’s Word. There is a great temptation today to let many other things guide us. To allow culture and philosophy—whether academic to homespun—to shape the church. But Paul makes clear that the greatest need of God’s people is God’s Word. From verses 15-17, I tried to demonstrate the necessity of the Scripture (we need it for saving faith in Christ), the authority of the Scripture (because it is the God-breathed Word is authoritative for our belief and behavior), and the sufficiency of the Scripture (in his Word, God has given us everything we need to be complete in life and ministry).
Scripture is meant to be read, understood, and applied as God’s abiding Word for his people today. Here are some practical resources to help you do just that:
- Stephen Nichols gives us a great questions to answer as we read from any passage in the Bible.
- The Resurgence Blog also provides a short, but helpful article on how we should read the whole Bible in light of Christ.
The backdrop for the sermon from 2 Timothy 3 was the Reformation doctrine of sola Scriptura. For more on that doctrine and the larger doctrine of Scripture, you cannot go wrong here:
- Albert Mohler’s talk on “Sola Scriptura” from the SOLA 13 conference [mp3 download or mp4 video]
- Michael Reeves’s four talks on the doctrine of Scripture [mp3: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4]
- If you looking for something quicker you can read (or listen) to this interview between Albert Mohler and Timothy George about the book Reading Scripture with the Reformers.
If you’re looking for more information on the Reformers themselves check out–
- The Reformation section at the Union website, which includes many print and audio resources.
- Also, be sure to check out more on Argula von Grumbach who was mentioned in the conclusion of the sermon. Below is the coverpage of the printed letter she sent to the professors of the University of Ingolstadt, challenging their decision to torture a student for believing Luther’s understanding of the Bible: