Formations Lesson for January 2- God-s Word is Inspired
December 14 2010 by John Pond, associational missionary, West Chowan Baptist Association

Focal Passage: 2 Timothy 3:10-17

The story is told of Martin Luther’s early days as a young student for the priesthood in the year 1503. He was around 20 years old and involved in his studies at the University of Erfut. While doing research in the library he came across a Bible. This incident moved him deeply because it was the first time in his life he had ever handled a copy of the scriptures and the Bible was chained. Because of the possibility of someone stealing the holy book, it was chained. Robison James writes, “‘The Chained Bible’ captures something important. It is not that the Bible was so terribly neglected, though there were some of that. And it is not that the Bible was forbidden, for it was not … No, the Bible which young Luther encountered was ‘chained’ in the sense that it was hemmed in by certain preconceptions.”

It would take Luther many years of passionate study before it would break free and transform his life. The late French philosopher, Jacques Derrida once stated in an interview that “every translation is a transformation.” Paul’s words to his young friend and associate, Timothy, express this reality so vividly: “you have known (to consider for thoughtful understanding) the sacred writings that are able (to empower) to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” It is through the thoughtful considering and translating of those scriptures that one is transformed — “that the messenger of God may be proficient (competent), equipped for every good work;” i.e., “for resetting the direction of a man’s life and training him in good living” (J.B. Phillips). For Timothy, the sacred writings had been liberated and allowed to breathe and thus, inspiring and breathing into him the Lord’s very “spirit of power and love and self-control” (1:7).

In today’s text, Paul challenges Timothy to remember and continue. He reminds him of his own journey of faith “my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings …” (3:10-11). Further, he reminds Timothy of Timothy’s own journey of faith — “what you have learned, firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it” (3:14). For Timothy, this journey began through the modeling of the “pure, sincere faith” (in the encounter of God’s breathed Word) of his grandmother and mother and the sound, life-giving words of Paul. Through the translation of God’s Word into the lives of those closest to him, Timothy has been transformed. And now through that same dynamic word Timothy translates it into his life and transforms his world.  
12/14/2010 3:33:00 PM by John Pond, associational missionary, West Chowan Baptist Association | with 0 comments

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