Formations lesson for Feb. 29: Clinging to Scripture : Saturday, Feb. 7, 2004
February 7 2004 by Jimmy Allen

Formations lesson for Feb. 29: Clinging to Scripture : Saturday, Feb. 7, 2004
Saturday, Feb. 7, 2004

Formations lesson for Feb. 29: Clinging to Scripture

By Jimmy Allen
Focal passage: Luke 4:1-13

For the past 25 years, the nature of biblical authority has been a focus of controversy in Baptist life.

Words ranging from "inerrant" to "dynamic" have been used to describe scripture.

The contention can be summarized by a significant change in the Baptist Faith & Message. The 1963 version written by a team of 24 chaired by Herschel Hobbs includes the phrase that "the Bible is the record of God's revelation of Himself to man." In essence, Jesus is the revelation, and the Bible tells the story of Jesus.

The 2000 version written by a group headed by Adrian Rogers, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, deletes three words from the above phrase. It states the Bible "is God's revelation of Himself to man." In that case, the Bible would seem to be on the same level as Jesus.

The best description of scripture comes from the Bible. The second letter to Timothy states: "All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work" (3:16-17).

In essence, scripture is inspired or God-breathed, and it is useful. Jesus showed how useful scripture could be when He was tempted in the wilderness for 40 days.

Keeping Physical Needs in Check

Luke 4:1-4

The first temptation was about the physical need for food. Jesus was hungry. He hadn't eaten for 40 days when the devil tempted Him to turn a stone into a loaf of bread.

Before we discount the level of temptation by saying that Jesus was perfect, we need to remember that He was also a man. A hungry man can do extreme things to get food.

I heard a man plead guilty in district court for breaking into a store. He didn't take money. He took food. When the judge asked why he broke into the store, the man replied: "Because I was hungry." To satisfy his desire for food, the man was willing to risk the loss of freedom.

The human side of Jesus had to be tempted to compromise, to ask, "What harm would it do to eat a loaf of bread?" But Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit, and He was able to quote scripture. "It is written, 'One does not live by bread alone.'" He quoted from the law found in Deut. 8:3.

The Desire for Power

Luke 4:5-8

The Gospel according to John describes Satan as the "ruler of this world." And the devil offered Jesus instant power and control of kingdoms of the world. People would put His face on coins. They would bow to Him. They would allow Him to live in luxury. The devil's last sentence puts a huge condition on that offer, though. "If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours," the devil said.

Jesus knew His purpose on earth. "Worship the Lord your God and serve only Him." This time, Jesus quoted from Deut. 6:13 and 10:20.

Temptation of Pride

Luke 4:9-13

The devil got trickier with the last of the three temptations. Pride often drives humans. The pride of knowledge drove Adam to eat the forbidden fruit. The pride of manhood can drive a man to fight when he otherwise wouldn't. The pride of glory can drive a team to play with determination, especially after a coach or opposing player belittles the team's abilities.

Not only did the devil invoke pride; he used scripture to make the temptation hit deeper. "He will command His angels concerning you, to protect you," he quoted from Ps. 91:11-12. The devil manipulated scripture as a weapon instead of a tool for teaching, correction, reproof and training in righteousness.

Jesus again quoted from the law, this time from Deut. 6:16. "It is said, 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

Spirit and Scripture

Jesus withstood the temptations He faced because He was full of the Holy Spirit and He knew scripture. We face temptations today and will face them tomorrow. To prepare ourselves we need to follow the model of Jesus. We need to be full of the Holy Spirit. And we need to have scripture written on our hearts.

2/7/2004 12:00:00 AM by Jimmy Allen | with 0 comments

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