The Text

2 Timothy 3:16 - 4:5 (CSB) All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus, who is going to judge the living and the dead, and because of his appearing and his kingdom: Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage with great patience and teaching. For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear what they want to hear. They will turn away from hearing the truth and will turn aside to myths. But as for you, exercise self-control in everything, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

The Article

Under the name of holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testament, which are these:

Of the Old Testament Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy Joshua Judges Ruth I Samuel II Samuel I Kings II Kings I Chronicles II Chronicles Ezra Nehemiah Esther Job Psalms Proverbs Ecclesiastes The Song of Songs Isaiah Jeremiah Lamentations Ezekiel Daniel Hosea Joel Amos Obadiah Jonah Micah Nahum Habakkuk Zephaniah Haggai Zechariah Malachi

Of the New Testament The Gospels according to Matthew Mark Luke John The Acts of the Apostles Paul's Epistles to the Romans Corinthians I Corinthians II Galatians Ephesians Philippians Colossians Thessalonians I Thessalonians II to Timothy I to Timothy II to Titus to Philemon The Epistle to the Hebrews The Epistle of James The First and Second Epistles of Peter The First, Second, and Third Epistles of John The Epistle of Jude The Revelation

All which are given by inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life.

The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the Canon of Scripture; and therefore are of no authority in the church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved, or made use of, than other human writings.

The Confession

Under the name of holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testament

How did the canonization of the 66 books of the Bible come to being?

Without going into a lengthy, detailed history lesson, let me put it simply: what did the ministers in the first few centuries of the church preach from? They preached from the 66 books of the Bible. If you take a stroll through a large bookstore chain, in around the Christian book section, you might find some book catch your eye like “The Lost Gospel of Thomas” or some such.

Let me encourage if you got the time and energy: go and read these suppose lost gospels or lost books of the Bible. But you better know your Bible well. If you know your Bible, what you will find is that these lost books will start to contradict and contrast the Bible, the minstry of Christ and the gospel of Christ. You will quickly see that they don’t belong there.

If you don’t know your Bible well, you might be tempted to think that there is better good news than the good news that Christ has: “repent of your sin, give it over to him because it is killing you, Christ will give you his righteousness, so you might live”. All you are going to get outside the Bible is do a bunch of back-breaking things, know the super secret so that you know you can really be saved. And that salvation is more dependent upon you rather that Christ–that is damnable.

And if you don’t know your Bible well, you might be tempted to dismiss this altogether by saying, “Well, the Bible contradict itself so what does it matter.” Let me consider that you, probably not a Biblical scholar, little to no knowledge of the ancient Biblical languages, are going to make such baseless claims not because you know (which you don’t) but rather, is it, are you afraid of what is in this Bible might be true. Because if it is true, then you have to decide–do you want to live or do you want to die?

John 6:63-69 (CSB) The Spirit is the one who gives life. The flesh doesn’t help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some among you who don’t believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning those who did not believe and the one who would betray him.) He said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted to him by the Father.”

From that moment many of his disciples turned back and no longer accompanied him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “You don’t want to go away too, do you?”

Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom will we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”

All which are given by inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life

2 Timothy 3:16 - 17 (CSB) All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Luke 16:29-31 (CSB) But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said. ‘But if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ “But he told him, ‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.’”

But there is one who returned from the dead, who breathed out the words of God by the power of the Holy Spirit from the sovereign grace and mercy of God our Father–that is, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Christ has returned from the dead. Will you repent of your sins? Will you trust and believe and live by the words of God? Will you obey the Son of God who is God for your life!

The Discussion

1. Have you ever read the Apocrypha?
2. Have you ever read any of the early church fathers like Augustine?
3. Give an example of an apparent contradiction at first glance.

Romans 4:3-4 (CSB) For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness. Now to the one who works, pay is not credited as a gift, but as something owed.

James 2:21-24 (CSB) Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by works in offering Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was active together with his works, and by works, faith was made complete, and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness, and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.

Ephesians 2:10 (CSB) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.

4. How was your time in the word today?

The Prayer

My Precious Savior
Speak to us. Your word is light unto my path of life that leads back to you.

Open our ears. Open our eyes. Change our minds. Exchange our hearts.

Dwell in us, God. We cannot understand your will unless you live in us.

Amen.

The Media

Today’s episode at The Study

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The Resources

Truths We Confess: A Systematic Exposition of the Westminster Confession of Faith.
Sproul, R. C.
Orlando: Reformation Trust, 2019.
Amazon


The Westminster Confession: The Confession of Faith, The Larger and Shorter Catechism.
Westminster Assembly.
The Directory for the Public Worship of God, with Associated Historical Documents. 2018.
Amazon


The Creedal Imperative.
Carl R. Trueman
Crossway, 2012.
Amazon