The Importance and Value of Scripture

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Sermon given by Pastor Joe Getts on August 17, 2014

Psalm 119:105-112

Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path. I have sworn and I will confirm it, That I will keep Your righteous ordinances. I am exceedingly afflicted; Revive me, O LORD, according to Your word. O accept the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, And teach me Your ordinances. My life is continually in my hand, Yet I do not forget Your law. The wicked have laid a snare for me, Yet I have not gone astray from Your precepts. I have inherited Your testimonies forever, For they are the joy of my heart. I have inclined my heart to perform Your statutes Forever, even to the end.


1 Timothy 4:10-16

For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. Prescribe and teach these things. Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching. Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery. Take pains with these things; be absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all. Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.



There are two ways that non-Christians and Christians alike desecrate and diminish the value of the Holy Bible. The first way is to refute the accuracy of the textual transmission down through the last two thousand years. The popular illustration is that of the childhood game “Telephone”. This is where someone whispers sentence in to the ear of the person next to them. That person tells the person next to them. By the time it passes through the mind of a dozen people and gets back to the original person who started the chain, it sounds very little like what was originally said.

People who have little or no use for Scriptures use this comparison in the continual copying of Scriptural manuscripts down through the last two thousand years. In reality this comparison is simply an ignorant communication of historicity regarding the transmission of our Biblical text. 

The earliest extant Scriptural manuscripts we have date to the early second century. If someone is willing to go to the various locations throughout Europe and the Mediterranean region where these manuscripts are still located, you can actually see that that the generational copies of our Scriptural text have been copied with a 95% accuracy rate. The parts of the scriptural texts that vary are almost all punctuation, spelling or missing words that have absolutely no influence or effect on the theological message of the collective entire Bible. There is one story in the Gospels that has been moved around three different times in two different Gospels. However this process has had no bearing on the message or theological truth of the story or its position in the particular text it has shown up in.

There are in existence over 5000 actual known transcripts of the New Testament Scripture that has effectually been transmitted between the early second century and the mid 1600s at the time of the invention of the movable type printing press. Skeptics claim that there are thousands of errors in these manuscripts. They are correct. Let’s do the math. If there are 5000 manuscript copies and there are a minimum 100 errors in punctuation spelling and missing words in each manuscript, then there should be at least 500,000 errors in the text. Regardless of these numbers the message and theology of the New Testament text remains intact and remains integral to accepted orthodox Christian beliefs.       

The second way people denigrate Scriptures is to say that certain selected passages of the Bible (Old and/or New Testaments) are either no longer valid or do not apply to the current Church or society it exists in today. These selected passages are almost always connected to our current cultural or sociological issues that ultimately determine our moral obligations. The easy reply to those who indulge in this exercise is “Who has the authority to make those determinations and where does their authority end?” The classic answer to that question is “the individual reader” does. If that is indeed the case than the individual reader has more authority than God who inspired the Bible and ultimately authored it through the hearts and hands of men.

If someone were to take a book I have written, change the text to suit their needs or personal interpretation, and then re-publish it again under my name as the author, there would be a big problem to resolve between us. I have written the text of my book to say what I intended it to say, not what some interpreter wants it to say.

That is exactly what is happening to the Scriptures. Many people make attempts at either re-writing part of the Biblical text, or eliminating parts of it to suit their needs, ideals, preferences or lifestyle. People who take this position regarding the Bible have only to answer to God. He intended it to say what it says, not what anyone else wants it to say.       

So, why is the Bible so important to the life of the professing Christian? The Bible reveals God to us. It is also very historically accurate as it tells us what God has done. It also tells us how we can know God is present and working in our personal lives. Not only that, but it is not shy about telling us what we can expect of God in the future.

The Bible also clearly states how God has intended us to live. We see this most evident in the transforming love of the Gospel message of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. The life of Jesus Christ in the Scriptures teach us a Biblical pattern for morality and charity. The Scriptures also guide us in our personal relationships, showing us the importance of practicing grace, mercy and forgiveness in dealing with each other on an everyday basis.

The Bible isn’t just the “Good Book” as many well intended people call it. It is the Book of Books, because we believe that it is actually authored by God Himself. We believe the Bible was inspired by God in the hearts of those who actually wrote it down originally. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:17).

We also believe in the inerrancy of Scripture (its state of perfection without error) beyond human comprehension. If God is indeed the author, than it must be perfect in all ways. The reason I or we may not understand it or be able to comprehend this quality of Scripture is because we are not “God” – but simply His creation. From a totally logical philosophical standpoint we can know that the “creation” is never equal to the “Creator”. We also believe that the Scriptures are complete as we have them in the 66 book canon. The Bible contains everything we need to have a personal relationship with God through His only Son Jesus Christ.    

If we truly want to have a vibrant and healthy relationship with God through Jesus Christ, we need to spend time reading God’s Word, the Holy Bible. God wants His Word to be “imbedded” in our lifestyle which is indicated by our personal worldview and our personal morality.

The Bible should be “vitally” important to us. “Vitally” means it should be as important as life itself. It is within the pages of the Bible that we learn of our salvation in God’s only Son Jesus Christ, and how we can live forever in heaven with God when we leave this mortal realm. That is ultimately the most important choice we can ever make!   

So, what are we going to take home with us? First of all, the Bible is God’s Word “to” and “for” us. God cares for us and loves us so much that He was willing to communicate His love and plans for us in a very easy format for us to discern. The Bible is God’s instruction book for successful mortal (and moral) living. We really don’t need to try and second guess everything in the Scriptures. We just need to read it to see what God is saying.

For over thirty years this congregation has struggled off and on with our exact theological and spiritual identity before God, and also our ministry in this community. I believe that some of the people here at Trinity Church have made great progress in understanding and applying the Scriptures to their personal lives. It has been a great blessing to me to see God working in their hearts!

Whenever a group of Christians separate from another congregation or whenever a denomination splits and divides for one reason or another, it generally always boils down to one thing. There may be a discussion about agendas, governmental structures, finances or attitudinal differences. In reality those things are only just symptomatic of the causative agent. The causative agent is always what is considered to be valuable and important in the Bible and how it applies to the lives of both parties. The Bible is always the causative agent.

If you just treat the symptoms when you’re sick, the illness will return worse than it was originally. However, if you recognize the causative agent and deal with that you will get healthy and stay healthy.

When our congregation is collectively willing to read and listen intently to what God is saying through His Word – the Bible, we will then be able to fully recognize and/or apply our precise theological identity to the ministry God intends us to have in our community and around the world. It is then that we will be enabled to procure the vision that God has for us to accomplish in His Kingdom. I pray that our hearts will be open to God’s Word and that we will listen and apply it to our lives it in its entirety and not just discuss the symptomatic issues.