“THE MINISTER AS COUNSELOR”
Second Timothy 3.16-17
1. My text for today is Second Timothy 3.16-17. Please turn to that passage, and when you have found the text I would like you to stand for the reading of God’s Word:
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
2. This is one of the most famous of all the passages in the Bible, cited almost every time the Bible preacher or teacher speaks to the subject of how we got the Word of God. We got the Bible from God. Amen?
3. The phrase “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” contains an extremely important Greek word, qeopnuestoV. Fritz Rienecker correctly observes that this word means “God-breathed, breathed into by God, inspired. The rabbinical teaching was that the Spirit of God rested on and in the prophets and spoke through them so that their words did not come from themselves, but from the mouth of God and they spoke and wrote in the Holy Spirit. The early church was in entire agreement with this view.” As am I.
4. In addition to focusing attention on the inspiration of the holy scriptures, this passage before us is used to show the scope of biblical authority. Being “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” the Word of God is the single authoritative directive from God to mankind.
5. There is no part of life and living that the Bible does not authoritatively speak to, comment on, or provide wisdom for, whether it be salvation for the sinner or service for the saint. Thus, the Baptist bromide that the Bible is our only rule of faith and practice. It is a good principle to live by. Would to God we always lived up to our credo. Amen?
6. There is a third portion of this passage which I have noticed over the course of my Christian life to be sorely overlooked, ignored, or misunderstood. It is the first phrase of verse 17, “man of God.” Though the phrase is found more than 70 times in the Bible, there is great confusion about its meaning.
7. Over the next few minutes I would like to clear up any confusion about the meaning of the phrase “man of God.”
1A. First, THIS PHRASE IS USED TO DESCRIBE MOSES
1B. Moses, of course, was the man God used to lead the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage. Moses was the man to whom God gave the Law. Moses, whose name appears more than 750 times in the Bible. And in Deuteronomy 43.10 we read these words about Moses: “And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,”
2B. It should be no surprise to anyone that Moses, then, is refer to as “man of God” six times.
ź Deuteronomy 33:1 And this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death.
ź Joshua 14:6 Then the children of Judah came unto Joshua in Gilgal: and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite said unto him, Thou knowest the thing that the LORD said unto Moses the man of God concerning me and thee in Kadeshbarnea.
ź First Chronicles 23:14 Now concerning Moses the man of God, his sons were named of the tribe of Levi.
ź Second Chronicles 30:16 And they stood in their place after their manner, according to the law of Moses the man of God: the priests sprinkled the blood, which they received of the hand of the Levites.
ź Ezra 3:2 Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God.
ź Psalm 90:1 A Prayer of Moses the man of God. Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.
2A. Next, THE TERM IS USED TO DESCRIBE THE ANGEL OF THE LORD
1B. The angel of the LORD, of course, is generally presumed to be the preincarnate Jesus Christ.
2B. He is twice referred to by the future parents of Samson as “man of God.”
ź Judges 13:6 Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name:
ź Judges 13:8 Then Manoah intreated the LORD, and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.
3A. Third, THE PHRASE IS USED TO DESCRIBE THE PROPHET SAMUEL
1B. Samuel was the prophet used by God to anoint the first two kings of Israel. He was promised to God by his mother, Deborah, and lived at the tabernacle where he served the high priest, Eli, from his childhood.
2B. He is referred to as “man of God” four times in the Bible.
ź First Samuel 9:6 And he said unto him, Behold now, there is in this city a man of God, and he is an honourable man; all that he saith cometh surely to pass: now let us go thither; peradventure he can shew us our way that we should go.
ź First Samuel 9:7 Then said Saul to his servant, But, behold, if we go, what shall we bring the man? for the bread is spent in our vessels, and there is not a present to bring to the man of God: what have we?
ź First Samuel 9:8 And the servant answered Saul again, and said, Behold, I have here at hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver: that will I give to the man of God, to tell us our way.
ź First Samuel 9:10 Then said Saul to his servant, Well said; come, let us go. So they went unto the city where the man of God was.
4A. Fourth, THE PHRASE IS USED TO DESCRIBE KING DAVID
1B. It surprises me that David was never referred to as a “man of God” during his lifetime.
2B. Centuries after his passing he was referred to as “man of God” in one verse by the writer of Chronicles, presumably the prophet Ezra, and twice by Nehemiah.
ź Second Chronicles 8:14 And he appointed, according to the order of David his father, the courses of the priests to their service, and the Levites to their charges, to praise and minister before the priests, as the duty of every day required: the porters also by their courses at every gate: for so had David the man of God commanded.
ź Nehemiah 12:24 And the chief of the Levites: Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brethren over against them, to praise and to give thanks, according to the commandment of David the man of God, ward over against ward.
ź Nehemiah 12:36 And his brethren, Shemaiah, and Azarael, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethaneel, and Judah, Hanani, with the musical instruments of David the man of God, and Ezra the scribe before them.
5A. Fifth, A PROPHET NAMED SHEMAIAH IS DESCRIBED USING THE PHRASE
1B. We know almost nothing of this prophet, but for his dealings with wicked Rehoboam, the son of Solomon.
2B. He is identified twice in scripture as a “man of God.”
ź First Kings 12:22 But the word of God came unto Shemaiah the man of God, saying,
ź Second Chronicles 11:2 But the word of the LORD came to Shemaiah the man of God, saying,
6A. Sixth, THE PROPHET ELIJAH, AS ONE WOULD EXPECT, IS DESCRIBED IN THIS WAY
1B. Elijah the Tishbite was a prophet sent to the northern kingdom of Israel after the division of the kingdom following the death of Solomon. He was the man who slew the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel and who contended with wicked Ahab and the notorious Jezebel.
2B. He is referred to as a “man of God” eight times in the Bible:
ź First Kings 17:18 And she said unto Elijah, What have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?
ź First Kings 17:24 And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth.
ź First Kings 20:28 And there came a man of God, and spake unto the king of Israel, and said, Thus saith the LORD, Because the Syrians have said, The LORD is God of the hills, but he is not God of the valleys, therefore will I deliver all this great multitude into thine hand, and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
ź Second Kings 1:9 Then the king sent unto him a captain of fifty with his fifty. And he went up to him: and, behold, he sat on the top of an hill. And he spake unto him, Thou man of God, the king hath said, Come down.
ź Second Kings 1:10 And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.
ź Second Kings 1:11 Again also he sent unto him another captain of fifty with his fifty. And he answered and said unto him, O man of God, thus hath the king said, Come down quickly.
ź Second Kings 1:12 And Elijah answered and said unto them, If I be a man of God, let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.
ź Second Kings 1:13 And he sent again a captain of the third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and besought him, and said unto him, O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight.
7A. Seventh, ELISHA IS ALSO DESCRIBED USING THIS PHRASE
1B. Elisha, of course, was Elijah’s successor, who asked for and received a double portion of God’s Spirit. Not only did Elisha perform twice the number of miracles as are recorded for Elijah, but he is renown for the cleansing of the leprous Naaman, captain of the host of Syria.
2B. Twenty seven times in the Bible we find Elisha designated “man of God.”
ź Second Kings 4:7 Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.
ź Second Kings 4:9 And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually.
ź Second Kings 4:16 And he said, About this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son. And she said, Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine handmaid.
ź Second Kings 4:21 And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door upon him, and went out.
ź Second Kings 4:22 And she called unto her husband, and said, Send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, and come again.
ź Second Kings 4:25 So she went and came unto the man of God to mount Carmel. And it came to pass, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, yonder is that Shunammite:
ź Second Kings 4:27 And when she came to the man of God to the hill, she caught him by the feet: but Gehazi came near to thrust her away. And the man of God said, Let her alone; for her soul is vexed within her: and the LORD hath hid it from me, and hath not told me.
ź Second Kings 4:40 So they poured out for the men to eat. And it came to pass, as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out, and said, O thou man of God, there is death in the pot. And they could not eat thereof.
ź Second Kings 4:42 And there came a man from Baalshalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley, and full ears of corn in the husk thereof. And he said, Give unto the people, that they may eat.
ź Second Kings 5:8 And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.
ź Second Kings 5:14 Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
ź Second Kings 5:15 And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant.
ź Second Kings 5:20 But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him.
ź Second Kings 6:6 And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim.
ź Second Kings 6:9 And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down.
ź Second Kings 6:10 And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice.
ź Second Kings 6:15 And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, an host compassed the city both with horses and chariots. And his servant said unto him, Alas, my master! how shall we do?
ź Second Kings 7:2 Then a lord on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God, and said, Behold, if the LORD would make windows in heaven, might this thing be? And he said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.
ź Second Kings 7:17 And the king appointed the lord on whose hand he leaned to have the charge of the gate: and the people trode upon him in the gate, and he died, as the man of God had said, who spake when the king came down to him.
ź Second Kings 7:18 And it came to pass as the man of God had spoken to the king, saying, Two measures of barley for a shekel, and a measure of fine flour for a shekel, shall be to morrow about this time in the gate of Samaria:
ź Second Kings 7:19 And that lord answered the man of God, and said, Now, behold, if the LORD should make windows in heaven, might such a thing be? And he said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof.
ź Second Kings 8:2 And the woman arose, and did after the saying of the man of God: and she went with her household, and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years.
ź Second Kings 8:4 And the king talked with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, Tell me, I pray thee, all the great things that Elisha hath done.
ź Second Kings 8:7 And Elisha came to Damascus; and Benhadad the king of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, The man of God is come hither.
ź Second Kings 8:8 And the king said unto Hazael, Take a present in thine hand, and go, meet the man of God, and enquire of the LORD by him, saying, Shall I recover of this disease?
ź Second Kings 8:11 And he settled his countenance stedfastly, until he was ashamed: and the man of God wept.
ź Second Kings 13:19 And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice.
8A. Eighth, VARIOUS UNNAMED HEBREW PROPHETS ARE DESIGNATED “MAN OF GOD”
1B. There are eighteen different verses in the Hebrew scriptures in which the phrase “man of God” is used in connection with these unnamed men.
2B. By my reckoning, these verses refer to two, or at most three, different unnamed prophets of God.
ź First Samuel 2:27 And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Did I plainly appear unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh’s house?
ź First Kings 13:1 And, behold, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Bethel: and Jeroboam stood by the altar to burn incense.
ź First Kings 13:4 And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Bethel, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Lay hold on him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again to him.
ź First Kings 13:5 The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD.
ź First Kings 13:6 And the king answered and said unto the man of God, Intreat now the face of the LORD thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored me again. And the man of God besought the LORD, and the king’s hand was restored him again, and became as it was before.
ź First Kings 13:7 And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward.
ź First Kings 13:8 And the man of God said unto the king, If thou wilt give me half thine house, I will not go in with thee, neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this place:
ź First Kings 13:11 Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel; and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Bethel: the words which he had spoken unto the king, them they told also to their father.
ź First Kings 13:12 And their father said unto them, What way went he? For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which came from Judah.
ź First Kings 13:14 And went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, Art thou the man of God that camest from Judah? And he said, I am.
ź First Kings 13:21 And he cried unto the man of God that came from Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Forasmuch as thou hast disobeyed the mouth of the LORD, and hast not kept the commandment which the LORD thy God commanded thee,
ź First Kings 13:26 And when the prophet that brought him back from the way heard thereof, he said, It is the man of God, who was disobedient unto the word of the LORD: therefore the LORD hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain him, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake unto him.
ź First Kings 13:29 And the prophet took up the carcase of the man of God, and laid it upon the ass, and brought it back: and the old prophet came to the city, to mourn and to bury him.
ź First Kings 13:31 And it came to pass, after he had buried him, that he spake to his sons, saying, When I am dead, then bury me in the sepulchre wherein the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones:
ź Second Kings 23:16 And as Josiah turned himself, he spied the sepulchres that were there in the mount, and sent, and took the bones out of the sepulchres, and burned them upon the altar, and polluted it, according to the word of the LORD which the man of God proclaimed, who proclaimed these words.
ź Second Kings 23:17 Then he said, What title is that that I see? And the men of the city told him, It is the sepulchre of the man of God, which came from Judah, and proclaimed these things that thou hast done against the altar of Bethel.
ź Second Chronicles 25:7 But there came a man of God to him, saying, O king, let not the army of Israel go with thee; for the LORD is not with Israel, to wit, with all the children of Ephraim.
ź Second Chronicles 25:9 And Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? And the man of God answered, The LORD is able to give thee much more than this.
9A. Finally, PAUL APPLIES THE DESIGNATION TO YOUNG TIMOTHY
1B. Timothy, of course, was the young man taken and trained by Paul on his second missionary journey. Timothy was the fellow Paul exhorted to “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity,” in First Timothy 4.12.
2B. Timothy was identified by Paul in First Timothy 6.11 as a “man of God.” And in Second Timothy 3.17 he refers to Timothy, as well as others, using the phrase “man of God.”
ź First Timothy 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
ź Second Timothy 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
1. What are we to conclude from our consideration of the phrase “man of God” as it is used in the Bible, 71 times in the Hebrew scriptures and twice in the New Testament? What are we to surmise about this phrase when we allow the scriptures to dictate the meanings of phrases by the ways in which they are used?
2. Two things: First, the phrase “man of God” is never used in the Bible simply to refer to someone who is godly. There are many godly individuals mentioned in the Bible, but only seven men are mentioned by name and labeled “man of God.” At the very most, three other unnamed men are so identified. There is something in addition to godliness that the phrase “man of God” signifies.
3. It is not until we come to the very end of Paul’s writings, Second Timothy, that the phrase “man of God” is used to refer to a larger circle of individuals than those specifically referred to in the verses that contain it. Thus, from its use throughout the Bible, and from its final use in Second Timothy by the apostle Paul, it is clear that the phrase “man of God” is a technical term that refers to a spiritual leader, a prophet, or a pastor.
4. There are godly men. There are godly women. But such are not referred to as “man of God” in the Bible. That phrase is reserved as a description of men sent by God on a specific mission, to perform a certain task, or to provide spiritual leadership. Let there be no more confusion about the meaning of “man of God.”
5. Brother Isenberger comes at this time as we sing before the sermon is delivered by the “man of God.”
1. Have you ever had a problem? Of course you have. Everyone has problems. One of the certainties of life are the problems we must deal with in life.
2. When you are faced with a problem, do you want to solve the problem, or not? You may think my question is silly or trivial, but I assure you that most people, judging by their behavior, do not want to solve the problems they are faced with.
3. Let me give you an example: Say you have a problem with transportation and you need to buy a used car. What do you do? You would be surprised at the number of people who will just go buy a car without asking any of the men in this church who have real expertise about such things.
4. Some woman who buys a used automobile without asking for input and advice from some of the men in this church who are professionals, or who have professional expertise, is a woman who does not want to solve her transportation problem.
5. How about someone with a light switch problem? I had a problem with a light switch that I thought I knew how to solve. I tried my solution and quickly discovered that I did not know how to solve my problem. So, what did I do? I asked Louie Flores, the electrician, for advice and with his help I was able to solve my problem.
6. At our Christian school we seek Kevin Scott’s professional expertise concerning computer and networking problems that arise from time to time. Had I a serious tax problem to solve I would seek David Guerrero’s advice and counsel. Had I a telephone problem I would seek Ken Corum’s or Gary Isenberger’s help.
7. This morning I am not going to speak to you about car problems. I will not speak to you about telephone or computer problems. There will be no mention of real estate or financing problems. Those are really only incidental to the real problem that each of you faces; life.
8. When you have an electrical problem you seek the counsel of an electrician. When you have a plumbing problem you seek the counsel of a plumber. When you have a tax problem you seek the counsel of a tax advisor. But what do you do when you have a problem with life?
9. Do you suppose God’s plan for your life when you face a life problem is just to muddle through and make due as best you can? Such a view of God borders on blasphemous. My friends, the passage before us shows that God has provided answers to your life’s problems, but in a way most people are not too clear about.
10. Let me take just a couple of minutes to show you what is clearly established in our text:
1A. First, GOD HAS PROVIDED SCRIPTURE
1B. As I mentioned during the exposition this morning, Second Timothy 3.16 speaks directly to how we got the Bible. By the use of some 40 different men over the course of 1600 years God has given the Bible to us by inspiration, and this passage shows us how we got the Bible from God’s perspective.
As a result of God giving the Bible to us we have a reliable Bible.
The Lord Jesus Christ attested that God’s Word is “truth.” In
this passage before us the apostle Paul asserts that God’s Word is
3B. So, this Book which I hold in my hand, which is a book of sixty six books, is what God has given to us. In this Book we are told about God Himself, His Son Jesus Christ, and many other things that are needful.
2A. Second, THE BIBLE IS AUTHORITATIVE
1B. Look at the scope of Biblical authority. The Bible is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” That is, when it comes to teaching you how you should live, showing you where you have gone wrong, pointing out how to get back on the right track, and then showing you how to stay on the right track, the Bible is the book with all the answers.
2B. My friend, the Bible does not tell you how to balance your check book or prepare your taxes, just how to live your life. The Bible does not speak to everything there is to know, just everything there is to know that is needful to living your life.
3B. The Bible tells you how to get ready for marriage and who to marry when you are ready for marriage. Then, after you are married, the Bible shows you where there is a marital problem, how to fix the marital problem, and how to avoid that same marital problem in the future.
4B. The Bible tells you how to get ready for not being married and how to be prepared for a single life. And as you are living your single life, the Bible shows you where there is a single life problem, how to fix the single life problem, and how to avoid that single life problem in the future.
5B. Say you are a parent. God’s Word shows how you should approach the subject of parenting, where you are in error in your parenting, how to fix your mistakes in parenting, and how to avoid future mistakes in child rearing.
6B. Say you are a kid. God’s Word shows how you should approach the subject of being a kid, where you are in error in being a kid, how to fix your mistakes as a kid, and how to avoid future mistakes as a kid.
7B. Folks, since God made you, and since He knows all about each and every one of you, and since no one knows as much about you as He does, does it not make sense that the solutions to each and every one of your problems would be found in God’s Book? Of course, it does.
8B. Further, you can count on the fact that anyone who does not make use of God’s Book cannot possibly have the solutions to the problems you face. So, God has given to us His Book, and His Book has all the answers to all the problems that you face.
3A. Finally, HOW IS THE BIBLE BEST USED?
1B. This is the point of my whole sermon. This is the very simple truth that is so oftentimes overlooked or ignored. If verse 16 tells us about the Bible, how we got it and what areas of life it governs, then verse 17 shows its best intended use: “That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
2B. Please understand that I am not saying you should not read your Bible. You should read your Bible. Please understand that I am not saying you should not study your Bible. Of course, you should study your Bible. Throughout my ministry I have encouraged and directed people to read and study the Bible. Christians who do not read and study their Bibles are anemic and live weak Christian lives.
3B. But this verse clearly shows that the best intended use of the Bible, given to us by God and having authority over every area of life, is its use by the “man of God.” “That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
4B. The Bible was given by God so that the “man of God” would be properly equipped to conduct his ministry, properly equipped to do his job, furnished with everything he needs to accomplish the task. And what is the task the “man of God” is to perform? You can read about it over the next four verses, but it boils down to ministering the Word of God to you. That is my job.
1. To state the matter succinctly: God gave the Bible, with wide scope and authority, to be used for people’s benefit by the “man of God.”
2. Say you have a problem that you think may be electrical. Call Louie and ask him to look at it. He says, “The problem is not in the wiring or the switch. Your problem is at the pole.” So you call Peter Hilling.
3. Say you have a problem that you think is a network problem. Call Kevin Scott and ask him to look at it. He says, “The problem is not in the network. Your problem is with your service provider.”
4. Do you see the pattern emerging? You always allow the professional, or the one with expertise, to tell you whether the problem is one that he can address, whether the problem is one that his expertise can provide a solution for.
5. But do you do that with the problems of life? Consider that the source of all solutions to the problems of life is the Bible. Only the Bible has all the solutions to all the problems of living. Is that not wonderful?
6. But what good is a Bible to you when it sets on the mantle unopened? And what good is your Bible to you when it is not correctly understood? Remember the eunuch’s answer to Philip’s question? “Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me?”
7. Beloved, it is unwise for you to make a decision about electrical matters that are best made by consulting an electrician, if you really want to solve the problem. It is unwise for you to make a decision about computer networking matters that are best made by consulting a networking professional, if you really want to solve the problem.
8. Church is the ultimate democracy. You vote with your feet every service. No one can actually make you do anything you do not want to do. But when you are approaching the problems of life, and you really want to solve those problems of life, keep in mind that the Bible was given to solve the problems of life as it is ministered to you by the “man of God.”
9. If the Bible does not speak to an issue you want to address I will tell you. If you need the advice of someone other than a pastor I will tell you. But the first stop to solving the problems of life, to finding out what the Bible says about the issue you are concerned about, or the issue you should be concerned about, is me.
10. A psychiatrist? No. A clinical psychologist? No. A social worker? No. A Christian counselor? No. A priest? No. A rabbi? No. A juvenile officer on the police force? No.
11. The apostle Paul very clearly pointed out to Timothy that the Bible was given for him, the “man of God,” to use in his ministry for the benefit of God’s people.
12. You are free to do anything you want to do. But remember that God has provided blessings for His people by the use of various means. And our text declares that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
13. God’s means of using His Word to bless your life is through the ministry of the “man of God.” So, consider making use of the minister of the gospel as your counselor.