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TodayImcontinuingaLentensermonseriescalledTreasureChest.

TheAIMofthis
seriesistogiveallofuskeystounlockingtheTreasureChestthatwecalltheBible.Isowant
everyoneconnectedtoChainofLakestoreadtheBible,tounderstanditsprincipalmessage,to
beconfidentinthewayweinterpretit,andtoopenitexpectingtoreceiveaWordfromGodfor
ourlivestoday.
ThisseriescorrespondswiththesmallgroupsthataremeetinginLent.Eachofour
groupsislookingatthevideoseries,MakingsenseoftheBible.Thisserieswillbea
continuationofthevideofromthepastweek.AndeachSundayIwilladdressaquestionthat
wasaskedinthesmallgroups.
ThesymbolforthisseriesistheTreasureChest.ThisonewaslenttousbyDwightand
PauletteZvorak.TheirTreasureChestwasbroughtoverbyDwightsgreatgrandfather
(echeckout).SomeofushadancestorswhobroughtthisTreasureChestoverwiththemwhen
theycametotheUnitedStates.TheTreasureChestcontainedwhatwasmostimportanttotheir
family.Familieswouldputtheirlettersanddiaries,photosandothersignificantinformation.If
ourhousewasonfirewewouldwanttomakesurewewouldsecurethematerialsinsideofthe
TreasureChest.
HeresthethingaboutTreasureChests?Howoftendoweopenthem?Doweputthe
TreasureChestinaplacewhereotherswhocometoourhosuecanseeit,butdowegetinsideof
theTreasureChest.DoweknowhowtoopentheTreasureChest?ThisTreasureChesthasa
lockandifourTreasureChestwaslockedwouldwestillhavethekeysothatwecouldgetinside
ofit.Doweknowwherethekeyis?DoweevenknowhowtounlocktheTreasureChestwith
ourkey?

InthisseriesImsharingwithyoukeysthatwillhelpyouunlocktheTreasureChestthat
istheBible.Imgivingyouallsortsofinformationinthisseries.Iwanttoinviteyoutogetout
thisbrochurethatisinthebulletin.OnewaytogetintotheTreasureChestthatistheBibleisto
readtheBible.WearereadingachapterofMatthewadaythroughouttherestofLent.Thispast
weekwereadchapters___to___.Thisweekwewillreadthroughchapter____.Ifyouhavent
startedreadingMatthew,youcangetcaughtupquickly.Thedevotioninthisbrochurewillgive
youaresourcetohelpyouwithadailyreadingplan.
Alsointhisseries,ImsharingquestionseachSundayabouttheBible.LastSundayI
sharedbasicquestionsabouttheNewTestament.TodayImsharingbasicquestionsabout
Matthew.
FinallyIwanttoencourageyoutotakenotesduringthissermon.Imgoingtogiveyoua
lotofcontentinformationtodayaboutanimportantidearegardingtheBiblethathastragically
separatedpeopleintodifferentcamps.
Todaywerelookingatthequestionofinspiration.Whatdoesitmeantosaythatthe
bibleisinspired?DoestheBiblehaveanymistakesandifsowouldthatdiminishtheinspiration
oftheBibleforme?
FirstofallIwanttosharethattheBibleismyfavoritebookintheworld.IfIwas
strandedonadesertislandandcouldonlyhaveonebooktotakewithmeIwouldwanttohave
myNRSVstudyBibleHarpersEdition.IreadtheBibleeveryday.Igotoittoreceivea
wordfromtheLord.IvereadthroughtheBiblemanytimes.Ireallyenjoyedreadingthrough
thefirstsevenchaptersofMatthewthisweek.TheBibleinspiresme.
TheBibleinspiresusinanuniqueway.Itinspiresuslikegreatliteratureanditinspires
usinadifferentwaythangreatliterature.

LetslookathowtheBiblewouldinspireuslikeagreatpieceofliterature.Forexample,
letstakeaShakespeareplay.RomeoandJulietforexample.WhohasreadthestoryofRomeo
andJuliet?Maybesomeofushaveseenthemovie?
LetmegiveyouthecliffnotesversionofRomeoandJuliet.Therewasafeudbetween
twofamiliestheMontaguesandtheCapulots.Theyhatedeachother.
SLIDE

RomeowasaMontaguethisisapictureofRomeointhemove____.Hewas

(age)
SLIDE

JulietwasaCapulotthisisapictureofJulietinthemovie____Shewas(age)

RomeoandJulietwereyoungandveryemotional.GuesswhathappenedbetweenRomeoand
Juliet.Theyfellinlove.Perhapssomeofuslearnedormemorizedthespeechorsolilioqyby
Juliet
Romeo,RomeowhereforeartthouRomeo
ItwasdangerousforaMontagueandaCapulottofallinlovewitheachother.
LetscomparetheBibleandRomeoandJulietintermsofinspiration
WhatsthepurposeoftheBible.Wetalkedaboutthislastweek.Ihadyoutalktoyourneighbor
aboutyourpurposes.IsharedthreepurposesoftheBible
1)
2)
3)
WhatisthepurposeofRomeoandJuliet.IsupposewecouldaskaSheakespeare
scholar,butIthinkonepurposeofRomeoandJulieistogodeepintounderstandingthelove
betweenthetwoandtounderstandhowthatlovecantranscendandbringtogetherpeoplefrom
warringfamilies.
DotheBibleandRomeoandJulieeachgiveuseternaltruthsaboutlife?

Yes

DotheBibleandRomeoandJulietellusaboutGod
TheBibletellsusaboutGod.RomeoandJuliethavereferencesintheirplayaboutGod,
butIdontthinkthatifsomeonewantedtolearnaboutGodtheywouldreadRomeoandJuliet.
ShakespearecertainlyhadopinionsaboutGod,butwewouldntlookathimasanauthorityto
teachusaboutGod.
WeretheBibleandRomeoandJulietinspiredbyGod?
ThewritersoftheBiblewereinspiredbyGodnoquestion.WasSheakespearinspired
byGod.Wellmaybe.Butagainwewouldhavetogobacktothe___centuryandlearnmore
aboutShakespeareandhismotivationforwritingthenovel.
OneofthequalitiesoftheBiblethatwefindsoimportantisthatwebelieveitisinspired.
WelearnaboutGodandJesusfromtheBibleinwaysthatwedontlearnfromanythingelse.
WhatgiveustherighttobelievetheBibleisinspired.
Someofusmightthinkthatthisisafoolishquestion.Ifafriendofourscameuptous
andaskedusiftheBiblewasinspiredbyGodweprobablywouldsay,Ofcourse.Thatsa
simplequestion.OfcoursethebibleisinspiredbyGod.Butifourfriendaskeduswhydowe
thinkthatwemightjustsay,ItstheBible.EveryoneknowsthattheBiblewasinspiredbyGod.
FormanypeopletosaytheBibleisinspiredbyGodbecauseitstheBibleisnotagood
enoughansweranymore.Peoplewanttoknowwhy.WhydowebelievetheBiblewasinspired
byGod.
TheScripturesteachusthattheBiblewasinspired.Manypeoplebelievethattheapostle
Paulwrotealetterthatwecall1Timothy.SomebelievethatitwaspseudographLetssay
thatPaulwrotetheletter.Whenhewrotethisletterhewasattheendofhislife,probablyin
prison,inRome,abandonedbyallbutafewofhisfriends,andfacingimminentdeath.Whenwe

readthepartsoftheNewTestamentcalledtheLettersrememberfromlastweekthatthereare
22lettersintheNewTestamentitsimportanttounderstandthecontextofthesituation.The
contextofthisletterislikealastletter.Paulwaspouringhisfinalthoughtsaboutlifeintothis
lettertoayoungpersoncalledTimothy.Hewrotethis:
SLIDE
AllscriptureisinspiredbyGodandisusefulforteaching,forreproof,for
correction,andfortraininginrighteousness,sothateveryonewhobelongstoGodmaybe
proficient,equippedforeverygoodwork.2Timothy3:1617
TheMessagewrittenbyEugenePetersonisoneofmyfavoriteparaphrasesofthe
Scripture.IvetaughtyoubeforethataparaphraseisthetranslationoftheBiblethatreflectsthe
philosophyoftheauthor.Wealwaysapproachaparaphrasewithalittlehesitation.Eugene
Petersontranslatedthispassagelikethis:
EverypartofScriptureisGodbreathedandusefulonewayoranothershowingustruth,
exposingourfebellion,correctingourmistakes,trainingustoliveGodsway.Throughthe
WordweareputtogetherandshapedupforthetasksGodhasforus
2Timothy3:1617Message
OnereasonwebelievethattheScriptureisinspiredisthatitisgodbreathed.JustasGod
breathedlifeintodustinthecreationstoryinGenesistocreatehumans,Godbreatheslifeinto
thewordsintheBibletohelpusexperiencelife.TheSpiritofGodbreatheslifeintotheBible
andmakesitinspiredforus.
ThisScripturefrom2Timothyhasbeenalightningrodinthelastcenturyinthechurch
abouthowwelookatthebible.SomepeoplehavelookedatthisScripturetosharethatevery
wordintheBibleistrue.TheBibleistrueandhasnomistakes.TheBibleistrueinsciencein
historyandmostdefinitelyinmorals,ethicsanditsteachingaboutJesus.
Thismightsoundfine,butwhathappenswhenacontradictionintheBiblecomesup.
Whatdowedowiththat?WhatisunfortunateisourfriendswhobelievethattheBibleistruein
everythingarealmostadamantthatnothingcanshakethisview.Evenifsomeoneshowsan

obviousmistakeintheBible,theywilljustignoreitbecausetheBibleistrue.Whathas
happenedisthedebateabouttheBiblebecomeswhethertheBibleistrue.
Idontknowifyouveseenarecentcommercialfor5hourenergy.
SLIDE

hereisapicturefromthecommercial.Inoneofthecommericalsthepersontakes

outthebottompartofthistriangleandguesswhathappens.Everythingfallsdown.Some
peoplelookattheBibleinthisway.Ifyoucanfindonemistakeinthebiblethenthatmistake
invalidateseverythinginthebible.Itseitheralltrueorwedonttakeanythingforit.
Somefolkshaveusedthisideaoftruthtopushanagendaaboutthebible.Inthiswayof
thinkingwedontneedtoeveninterprettheBiblebecausetheBibledoesntneedtobe
interpreted.JustreadtheBible.Haveyoueverheardthisphrase
SLIDE

TheBiblesaysitIbelieveitthatsettlesit.
Thismightmakeagoodbumpersticker,butwhatdowedowhenwereadinLevitiucsif

someoneblasphemestheyshouldbetakenoutsidethevillageandstonedtodeath.Orhowdo
wehandlethefactthatMoseswasamurderer,DavidcommittedadulteryandhadUriahkilled,
andPaulthegreatestnewchurchdevelopmentpastorwatchedasStephenwaskilled.Isit
reallyinthepurposeofGodforustokillaclassofpeopleordoesthismeanthatwehavetokill
someonetobecomegreatintheeyesofGod.Thatdoesntmakesense.
Ifyoufindallofthisconfusing,ImgladbecauseImtryingtocauseyoutothinkabout
whatmakestheBibletheinspiredwordofGod.Itsnotaneasyanswer.
AfewyearsagothePresbyterianchurchdidasurveyofpeoplesviewofINSPIRATION
(CHECKTHISOUT).Forthepurposeofthesurveytheycameupwithfivedifferentviews.
Theywerethis.

SLIDE1
View1
TheBible,thoughwrittenbyindividuals,hasbeenso
controlledbytheHolySpiritthatitiswithouterrorinallthatitteachesinmattersofscienceand
history,aswellasintheology
SLIDE
View2
TheBible,thoughwrittenbyindividualsandreflecting
theirpersonalitieshasbeensocontrolledbytheHolySpiritthatitistrustworthyinallthatit
teachesinmattersoftheologyandethics,butnotnecessarilyinmattersofscienceandhistory
SLIDE
View3
AlloftheBibleisboththeinspiredWordofGodandatthe
sametimeathoroughlyhumandocument
SLIDE
View4
PortionsoftheBible,includingsomeofitstheologicaland
ethicalpositions,maynotbetheinspiredWordofGod
SLIDE
View5
TheBibleismerelyarecordofthemoralandreligious
experiencesofHebrewsandChristians.
Oneofthepurposesofthisseriesistogetyoutothinkaboutwhatyoubelieveaboutthe
Bible.WehadconversationlastweekaboutthepurposeoftheBible.Iwouldliketohavesome
conversationaboutthisquestion.Iwouldliketotaketwominutesandhaveyoutalktoyour
neighboraboutwhichviewoftheBiblemostreflectsyourview.

AsPresbyterianswearenotaSubscriptionistchurch.WhatImeanispeopledonthave
tosubscribetoacertainsetofviewstobeconnectedtothechurch.Iwouldimaginethatwe
havefolkswhorepresenteachoftheseviews.Youdonthavetosubscribetoaparticularoneof
theseviewstobeconnectedhere.Butwhatisimportantisyouhavetobeabletoliveanddo
ministrywithsomeonewhohasadifferentviewoftheBiblethanyou.Ithinkourstrength
happensinourdiversity.Whoknowsmaybeapersonwhohasadifferentviewwillpersuade
youtochangeyourmind.
ForwhatitsworthImamixtureofview2andview3.Ihaveaveryhighviewof
Scripture.IbelievethattheBiblewasinspiredbyGodasitwaswrittenfromtheperspectiveof
humans.AndIbelievethattheHolySpiritbreatheslifeintotheScriptures.

AnimpedimentformanyingoingdeeperintotheBibleistheissueofwhethertheBible
hasmistakes.TheBibledoeshasmistakes.InDeuteronomywereadthatMosesbuilttheark
thatcarriedtheTenCommandments.InExoduswereadthatBezalelisthebuilder.Ifweread
thefouraccountsoftheresurrectionwewilldiscoverthedetailsaredifferentineach.In
Matthewtherewasanearthquake,inMarktherewasnoearthquake,butthedisciplesranaway
afraidandsayingnothingtoanyone,inLukethereweretwoangelsmentionedatthetomb,while
inJohntherewerenoangelsmentioned.Youwouldthinkthatthemostimportantstoryinthe
historyofChristianfaithwouldhavethedetailsright.Andinotherplacesthedetailswouldnot
contradicteachother.IfthesearemistakesandGodisperfectandwebelievetheBibleis
inspiredbyGod,thenhowcanwetrusttheBible?InthesmallgroupIledonWednesday
eveninganddidImentionthatthisisanawesomesmallgroupwetalkedabouttherelevance
oftheScripturesforourlife.
TogodeeperwegobackintoJesus.Despitewhatsomeofourfriendssay,Jesusnever
saidthathecameintotheworldsothewrittenrecordabouthimwouldbeinerror.Jesusnever
saidComeuntomeallyouthatbelieveeverywordintheBibleisperfectandcanbeverified.
WhenJesuswasaskedaquestionaboutwhatismostimportantabouttheScripturesofhisday,
hedidntsaythattheancientwordswereimportantbecausetheywerewithoutmistake.
InsteadJesussaidtheScripturesteachustoloveGodwithallofourheartandsouland
mindandloveourneighborasourselves.Whatsironicisthepeoplehewasmostcriticalof
werepeoplewhoknewtheScriptures.Despitethattheyknewtheseancienttextstheirhearts
werefarfromGod.
IbelievethattheBiblehasmistakes.IbelievetheBibleisnotperfectinmattersof
historyandscience.HoweverformetheBibleismyfavoritebooktheBibleistheinspired

recordofJesusChristtheBiblecontainsthewisdomoflife.Youmightask,howcanyousay
thisifithasmistakes.
Idontliketoansweraquestionwithaquestion.Butletmeasksomequestions.
DowebelievethattheBiblegivesanadequatedescriptionofGod?
DowebelievethattheBiblegivesanadequatedescriptionofJesus?
DowebelievethattheBibleteachesushowtoloveGodandtoloveourneighboras
ourselves?
DowebelievethattheBibleteachesushowtobeincommunitywitheachother?
Myresponsetoeachofthesequestionsisyes,yes,yes,andyes.
IdontneedtheBibletobeperfect.IdoneedittoteachmeaboutGod,humanity,
myself,thechurchandhowtolove.OntheseissuesIgiveitanA.
Onefinalpointaboutinspiration.HaveweeverlearnedaboutGodorhowtolove
throughanotherperson.Howmanyofushavelearnedaboutloveorhowtolovethrough
anotherperson?Iwouldguessthatallofushave.Heresthething.Thatpersonisnotperfect.
Thatpersonhassinnedandmademistakes.Godcancommunicatethedivinemessagethrough
vesselsthatarenotperfect.TothinkthatwecannotlearnfromtheBiblebecauseithasmistakes
istoquestionGodspower.
Xxx
John

Thistrunkwascommonlycalledadometop,camelbacktop,orsteamertrunk.
Thetoponthistrunkcurvesbothdirections.
Thisdesignwasfirstmadeintheearly1800sinEurope.
Thetopwasdesignedtopreventotherluggagefrombeingstackedatopthemwhenused
intravelingbyshiptoAmerica,onlythemostelitepeoplecouldaffordtobuyacamel
backtoptrunk.ThedesignwascontinuedinAmericabecausewhenthedometopwas
coveredwithtinitshedwaterwellwhentravelingbystagecoach.
Thisparticularoneiscoveredinherringboneembossedzinc,accentedwithscalloped
sheetsteeltrimalongthecorners.Mostoftheoriginaltrunksweremostlyconstructed
oftin,inanefforttomakethemlightweightfortravel.Oakslatsweresteamedand
formedinamoldtofitoverthetop.Castironrollers,fliplatchesandanornatebrass
lockcomplimentthedesign.Puttogetherwithsimpleslatcoversandclinchedtrunknails