Ask, Answer, Act

Here is the first sermon in the "Words We Live By" series, by Joseph Barkley. It's an effort to get the church to actually read the bible and know what it means.

Just after I became a Christian, I was given a little booklet on how to get started strong in your Christian walk. It read that, every time you read the bible, you should ask for the Holy Spirit to show you things through what you're reading. I have to say that this concept and those prayers have helped a lot over the years. The Spirit of God is crucial to understanding the bible, and to neglect this Gift is like trying to dig to China with your bare hands. I'm not saying that everything suddenly makes sense because you prayed, but it makes a lot more sense than if you were trying to read it without God's help.

The sermon is based off of these scriptures:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 - "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."

James 1:22-24 - "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like."

  • "All scripture is God-breathed..."
    • The ideas of the bible are God's intellectual property
      • God never lies
  • "...useful for rebuking, ..."
    • It's easy to take out what we don't like
    • ALL of it is useful and you can't edit stuff out
    • Not one word is wasted
  • All, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped to do good in this world.
  • 3 ways we can access what God is saying through the bible
    • Ask
      • Ask God to help you learn whatever He has to teach you
      • Ask questions about what you read
    • Answer
      •  Our culture is very comfortable with open-ended questions, but less comfortable with answers, because there is fear of embarrassment or being wrong
    • Act
      • This is where the challenge is the greatest
        • It requires change and discomfort and being different
      • "Don't merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves, do what it says."