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Foundations

 

(2 Timothy 3:16 KJV)  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

 

Let me begin by building a foundation. I believe that we are in the middle of a series about the end times. Although I do not believe that I have mentioned much about the end times since I have begun this series, and really don’t expect to again today. It is more my objective to look upward and forward then to look at some finite moment or series of events. For me the truth of the end times is that there is no end, only a new beginning.

 

Behold all things have become new. Death where is thy sting, grave where is thy victory? So for me to really paint the picture of the end times I need to let you know that on an eternal plane there is no end, but there is judgment…… OUCH. I really don’t like that word, it is so…. How did Nate put it? It is so right wing?.....

 

I spoke this past Wednesday night about the translation of the Hebrew word:

 

 משׁפּט

mishpâṭ

 

Which is translated in The King James  as Judgment. It is used 421 times in the Old Testament, and with it comes a strong feeling of condemnation. I suggest that the word would be better translated justice. In most of the uses of the word Mistpat, it is used in the context of a decision of what is the just or right thing to do. It brings justice to a world that at times is so unfair.

 

Now if we go over to the New Testament the Greek word that is translated judgment is:

 

κρίμα

krima

kree'-mah  (sounds real close to karma doesn’t it?)

 

 (Matthew 7:2 KJV)  For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

 

Here we see judgment being used in more of a way that we understand it to be in the case of a judgment on someone… condemning them, labeling them, being unjustly judgmental. 

 

The main reason I bring this up is because I want to talk about some foundations of faith today. When it comes right down to it, when everything else is taken away, what remains is our personal values and our principles.

 

Values and Principles.

 

(Matthew 12:35 KJV)  A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

 

It may seem as if I am starting all over again, but stay with me and hopefully we will be able to tie all of this together. I have been thinking about values and principles a lot of late. I used this verse above to demonstrate a couple of things. One, is that what you truly values is at the center of your being, ‘the treasure of the heart. The second reason is the fact that whatever you really value will be the things in life that actually come out in your life. So if you value truth you will seek the truth, if you value love you will demonstrate love. If you value honesty, you will be honest and on and on.

 

So in other words what you value will become your principles which will determine your actions.

 

I wanted to give you a definition or two, or 9, of principle. This is from dictionary.com:

 

prin⋅ci⋅ple

–noun

1.

an accepted or professed rule of action or conduct: a person of good moral principles.

 

2.

a fundamental, primary, or general law or truth from which others are derived: the principles of modern physics.

 

3.

a fundamental doctrine or tenet; a distinctive ruling opinion: the principles of the Stoics.

 

4.

principles, a personal or specific basis of conduct or management: to adhere to one's principles; a kindergarten run on modern principles.

 

5.

guiding sense of the requirements and obligations of right conduct: a person of principle.

 

6.

an adopted rule or method for application in action: a working principle for general use.

 

7.

a rule or law exemplified in natural phenomena, the construction or operation of a machine, the working of a system, or the like: the principle of capillary attraction.

 

8.

the method of formation, operation, or procedure exhibited in a given case: a community organized on the patriarchal principle.

 

9.

a determining characteristic of something; essential quality.

 

So where our values give us somewhat of a hierarchy of what things our worth to us, our principles take those things and organize them into a working system of conduct.

 

I believe that what I am trying to get each of us to do, what I am doing within myself is really to take, or taking a good look at what my values are and the principles that I am using to guide me into the future.

 

So I am going to go back to the verse that I opened up with and talk about one of the main values in my life. I realize that the things that I value may not be the same things that you value, and that does not mean that my values are any better or worse than yours. So All I am asking for today is a little bit of tolerance and in that we both might gain a little more respect for what each of us value.

 

I opened with the passage of scripture that talks about the value of scripture.

 

(2 Timothy 3:16 KJV)  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

 

Let me first put this in context for us then I will dissect it and finally bring it all back together explaining the value it is for me and how it guides my fundamental principles… OK? Ok!

 

Right here at the beginning of this 3rd chapter we read about the end times….

 

(2 Timothy 3:1-5 KJV)

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

 

Wow..sounds a lot like the way things are today… But let’s not dwell on any of that end times nonsense… Look the stock market is coming back and the weather is beautiful; no global warming here… Let’s read on…

 

Paul is reminding Timothy and us of all, of the things that he has gone through for what he values most, his faith.

 

(2 Timothy 3:10-11 KJV)

But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

 

Then he encourages us to do the same…. KEEP THE FAITH!

 

(2 Timothy 3:14-17 KJV)

But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 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.

 

So now to dissect our verse.

 

 

(2 Timothy 3:16 KJV)  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

 

Let’s start with the statement “all scripture.” When I was first beginning my quest for truth I took this idea of “all scripture” to be all spiritual writings. So I incorporated the Bhagavad-Gita, which can be considered the Hindu bible. I Took the idea of all scripture to mean Buddhist writings, the Kabala, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,  Carlos Castaneda, Richard Bach, why not even throw in there a little Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy…. You name it, it was scripture, right? (Who’s to say what is scripture?) 

 

There came a point in my study that I had to come to terms with that one word which continues to drive me from fantasy and every imagination of the mind to the reality ever present around us. That word which I have come to value so much is truth.

 

The scripture that Paul is reminding Timothy about is not some imagination of any man’s mind but, it is exactly how it is expressed in the original language, it is G_D breathed. I understand that there is no way that I could give you the data that some would need to demonstrate the truth of G-D’s word. But I urge you to search out the truth for yourself.

 

But what it really comes down to is taking this value and turning it into a principle. That is exactly what Paul is telling us in this passage. The Bible that I hold so dearly can not simply be something that I read through, but it needs to be something that directs my path. He tells us that it’s value is for teaching and for changing our lives. It is the evidence of our faith and the instrument for our destiny. 

 

Do you really want to know what it comes down to for me? What turned me into a card carrying, sold out Christian? For me it is all about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He rose from the grave and reveled Himself, not only to those first 500 or so people, most of whom, gave their lives for what they saw with their own eyes. But He has been revealing His resurrection power to billions of men and women, boys and girls all around the world for the last 2000 years. It is the truth of His love, of His sacrifice, of His word that has set me free…. And it is the truth of His resurrection that I pray you will discover in your life.

 

My values have changed over the years and my principles continue to be reestablished, but the direction is constantly towards the truth. Some people value, money, some value beauty… me…. I value Love and the Bible tells me that G-D is love…. If anything let that be your guiding principle. It above all things will lead you to the truth. AMEN!

 

                            

 

      

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