This is from the introduction to my sermon on 1 Timothy 1:8-11. I hope it encourages you in your study of the Word.
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How many of you have heard that the Bible is a book of answers?
That’s a pretty common idea among Christians, right?
Did you realize that the Bible is also a book of questions?
What I mean is that the Bible is a book of answers… for the right questions.
The Bible assumes that its readers will be asking certain questions. We take it that these questions which the Bible assumes are the questions that we should be asking – even if we aren’t.
Let me explain:
1. There are some questions the Bible indicates aren’t legitimate.
For example “Is there a God?”
- The Bible clearly assumes there is a God – it opens with “In the beginning, God…”
- Romans 1:18-21 tells us that all men know there is a God.
- Therefore we conclude that the Bible says we shouldn’t be asking “Is there a God” but rather something akin to “What is God like?”
2. There are some questions that the Bible indicates aren’t asked properly.
For example: “Should I marry my girlfriend.”
- On the one hand, the Bible doesn’t say “Thou shalt marry thy girlfriend!” On the other, it does have much to say about marriage.
- Therefore we conclude that the information desired isn’t a problem, rather the way the question is shaped presents the problem.
- The question that the Bible answers in this regard is “What kind of person should I marry?” You are then free to evaluate your current relationship in light of those standards and make the decision.
3. There are some questions the Bible says we should be asking (even if we aren’t).
- Scripture says of itself that it is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness… (2 Timothy 3:16).
- Thus we conclude that what Scripture reveals is actually what we need; as a result we say that the questions it answers are the ones we should be asking.
Our text today is an example of this last kind of question – the questions that we should be asking. It likely that very few of us came into the sanctuary today with a burning desire to know the answer to the question our text today assumes.
That is alright. Part of growing in grace, in being sanctified, in maturing as a believer is learning to ask the right questions. It is a discipline to be cultivated and today we will strive toward that end.