2 Timothy 3: 16-17
(Christian Education/ Sarah Enstad Install)
“The Word is the Only Tool You Need”
Begin a school year and teachers look for all the stuff: lesson plans, books, projects, bulletin board cut outs …” Christian teachers make certain of the one thing needful: the Words of Jesus! As one of my former professors said often, “A Christian going to class without his Bible is like a soldier going to war without his rifle.” It is hunting season and all the big outfitters are blasting their invitations to get all the gear. Paul reminds us that we are “fully equipped” (completely outfitted) for everything when we carry the one tool necessary for all things: the God-breathed Words of Christ and salvation.
Today we highlight the fact that a Christian Education is important; But why? And who does this task? Paul had made it clear in the verses right before and after that world stands ready to educate your kids. The world stands ready and willing to saturate them all kinds of ant-Christian rhetoric and pure evil “lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy … lovers of pleasure rather lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness but denying its power ….” (3: 2-7ff). Paul said the time would come when they would not want sound teachings but traded it for things their sinful ears liked to hear. And they will love to share it with your families.
Paul was encouraging the younger Pastor Timothy to continue in the teachings he had learned from Paul and going all the way back to when he was a toddler learning from his mom and grandmother. It is easy for the world to teach your kids what they want them to know. His ears and heart needed a continual flooding of the Word of Christ and his congregation did too.
Teaching Christ and his Word takes work. A little splash here and there is not enough. We need to be constantly saturate with the way God speaks. “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus : preach the word in season and out of season, with great patience and gentle instruction!” (4:1-2).
Paul writes: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” God’s Word equips with the task fits all tool that teaches Christ:
- When our sin makes us lazy or indifferent, God’s Word rebukes and corrects us. Through his truth we become conscious of our sin. Like us, our children need rebuke and correction. They are sinners with us.
- When false teachings trouble the souls of the Church, the Word rebukes and corrects them “with great patience and gentle instruction” (2 Timothy 4: 2). When the Word rebukes and corrects those who would harm the children of God, we protect them from that harm.
- When we feel the pain of guilt, God’s Word announces “the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
- When others confess the pain of guilt to us, we have the good news of God’s Word, which alone will lift them up: “He is the atoning sacrifice not only for our sins but for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 1-2).
- When we are weak in faith and need strength for the tasks in our walk of faith, God’s Word thoroughly equips us for every good work. We are: “God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.” (Eph. 2:10).
- When we ache over the crosses we carry, the Word speaks volumes of comfort, and provides the needed strength of Christ Jesus, who lifts us up beneath those crosses.
- When we are confused over troubling circumstances and need his guiding hand: “God’s Word is Lamp to our feet and a Light for our path” (Psalm 119: 105). The Word is the one and only useful tool for the life we live under God and the cross.
- When the canopy of death looms dark over our heads, the Word speaks to us of an open tomb where the “Resurrection and the Life” “once was dead but is bow alive” and sits at the right hand of God welcoming his believers home.
Aside to Sarah Enstad: You also have been fully equipped. Your training your whole life through and the years of experience has already been a blessing to our ministry and our kids. God be with you, and continue to fill your ears and heart. Let the peace and word of Christ dwell richly in you.
For my last birthday my children bought me one of those “Leatherman” tool things. It has really been a handy thing to have. I have to be honest and say that I have not used every function nor to I fully grasp its usefulness. It will take time. It will require some learning and experience. Some the tools will come be better understood when the need for them arises. God’s Word is like that. We are glad it is there. We know that it is useful. We know there places in that we have only begun learn about. Where shall we begin let this one thing needful function?
“From infancy you have know the Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for Salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” From Infancy ... Timothy learned the Word of God from Lois and Eunice. Before he could mutter the word “mom” they spoke and sang of Jesus to him. By the power of that Word and God’s Grace the Spirit made him an eternal child of heaven.
That is why we train parents in the Word. That is why we have Sunday schools. That is why we do Christian Education. That is why we install teachers. That is why we train called workers. That is why we build buildings that have worship spaces with pulpits and baptism fonts. That is why we build classrooms with crosses and pictures of our Savior. We fill those rooms with the audible sounds of the way God speaks. We want those rooms to be filled with ears which definitely need to hear what the Spirit says the churches (Revelation letters).
Continue in what you have learned. What part of your day, what element of your life does not need the Word’s of Jesus governing over it! The one who puts away your sin and guilt on Calvary is the one who clears the path for his voice pardon and grace. The Word of Christ is all the tool you need. By all means take all of its usefulness and learn handle it with care and power. By all means breath the God breathed Word of Jesus.
Consider Hymn 509: 1, 4, 5 as a close. Amen.