In this second half of his interview with Dr. Michael Horton, Gary discusses what it means to be a Christian nation.
The Bible is the standard of truth. The Bible presents a specific view of the world, of man, of God, and of authority. Anything that is not consistent with the biblical worldview is not true. The Bible is also the Christian’s ethical standard. It teaches us to distinguish between right and wrong, and the commandments of God present us with our ethical duty. If we “walk in the law of the LORD,” our ways will be “blameless” (Psalm 119:1).
Second Timothy 3:16-17 is one of the places where Scripture talks about itself as the final authority, the place where we are to take our stand. Paul tells his young protégé, Timothy, to
continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them; and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired of God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:14-17).
Several things should be noted from this passage of Scripture. First, Paul says that all Scripture is profitable. When he wrote this, there was no written New Testament. The “sacred writings” Paul had in mind were the Old Testament. Christians shouldn’t read only the New Testament. We shouldn’t think that only the New Testament is helpful to us as Christians. Paul says that all Scripture is profitable. We should therefore make every effort to become thoroughly acquainted with the whole Bible, not just with our favorite books. In fact, it is impossible to understand and apply the teaching of the New Testament without understanding the content and context of the Old Testament (Luke 24:27, 44–45).
What profit do we gain from knowing Scripture? Paul mentions several: wisdom that leads to salvation, training in righteousness, correction, reproof, and rebuke. Scripture confronts our sin, and leads us to Christ. Scripture reveals God’s character to us. This must always be the center of our interest when we study Scripture: to know God. Scripture is first of all God’s means of giving us new life in Him.
Second, Paul gives the reason why Scripture is profitable; it is the highest possible reason. Scripture is profitable because it is “inspired of God.” Actually, the Greek word here really means “expired of God,” or “God-breathed.” Scripture, the written Bible, is the product of God’s breath. God breathed the very words of the Bible.
Elsewhere, of course, we learn that God used men to write the Bible, and these men had different gifts, temperaments, writing styles, and emphases. The Bible didn’t fall from the sky. But these men were “carried” by the Holy Spirit of God, so that the words that they wrote were the very words of God (2 Peter 1:21).
Thinking Straight in a Crooked World
The nursery rhyme ‘There Was a Crooked Man’ is an appropriate description of how sin affects us and our world. We live in a crooked world of ideas evaluated by crooked people. Left to our crooked nature, we can never fully understand what God has planned for us and His world. God has not left us without a corrective solution. He has given us a reliable reference point in the Bible so we can identify the crookedness and straighten it.Buy Now
In this second half of his interview with Dr. Michael Horton, Gary discusses what it means to be a Christian nation. There is much common ground between groups in America and many actually want Christian morality without Christ. This is nothing new. Christians must know biblical history as well as world history and be prepared to show how Christianity is the foundation of a proper and just civilization.