What I Learned on my Sabbatical: Avoiding Being a Second Hander
2 Timothy 3:16-17
August 30, 2015
2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV:  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,  that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
BEING STILL HAS PRODUCED FOR ME:
More happiness than I have ever enjoyed.
Increased clarity about the future.
Significance of helping people read the Bible.
Importance of doing a better job of evangelizing and discipling our kids.
WHAT IS A SECOND HANDER?
"For most of my pastoral life, I heralded the wonders of what I saw in the Bible. I tried to do this in such a way that people could see that the wonders really did come from the Bible, and not from me. But I seldom focused on how I saw the spectacular truths of Scripture. My preaching and writing aimed mainly to bring people to a banquet, not take them to the kitchen.
When I think of the coming generations, I am not content to only leave them a deposit of books and sermons that celebrate the glories of God and the wonders of Christian Hedonism. A great teacher once told me to ignore the conclusions of commentaries, and only look for their arguments. I have tried to give good arguments. But underneath all the arguments is the Book. The Bible. If future generations only learn what we saw, and not how to see it for themselves, they will be second-handers. And second-handers cannot last. They grow bored and boring. Powerful, truth-preserving, God-glorifying, Christ-exalting, soul-ravishing, mission-advancing ministry is sustained by the power to see for yourself the glories of God’s word.
So I have a new and focused passion to help people really see the riches of God’s word for themselves, and that has new and exciting implications for me and for the ministry of Desiring God." --John Piper
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF BEING A SECOND HANDER?
- Not excited about reading the Bible.
- Feel guilty about not reading the Bible.
- Frustrated by past attempts to read the Bible.
- Intimidated by reading the Bible with others.
- See the Bible as too complicated to be understood.
- View professionals, or more devoted lay people, as only ones capable of reading Bible.
- Read Bible to check “Good Christian List.” (Obligation)
- Disinterested in group Bible Study, only leads to confusion and arguments.
- Not experiencing growing affections for God.
WHAT ARE THE LIABILITIES OF BEING A SECOND HANDER?
- Dependent on others to hear from God.
- A small, incomplete, fuzzy, potentially inaccurate view of God.
- Less direct experience of God.
- Diminished conviction about the truths of God revealed in Scripture.
- Less confidence in God in the trials of life.
- Less desire to share the truth of God’s love with others.
- Not very good at sharing God’s love with others.
- Less joy.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF NOT BEING A SECOND HANDER? (BEING A FIRST HANDER)
The opposite of all of the above.
WHAT KEEPS US BEING SECOND HANDERS?
- Lack of first Hand models who are happier than we are. (John Sailhamer, Wally Norling)
- Shortage of people willing and capable of helping us improve. Pastors.
Sermon on Romans 8:18-30
Piper’s “new” passion
- Contentment in letting others do the work. It requires effort.
- Fear of misinterpreting.
- Intimidated by lack of present ability to interpret the Bible.
- Other things are more important.
- Past Bible Study Groups have not been fun.
- Past Bible Study Groups have not been helpful.
WHAT WE DO TO BE FIRST HANDERS:
Our preaching – Show people the kitchen…
- Focus on the text
- Review, broader logic and flow.
- Calibrated illustrations.
Take Folks Into the Kitchen
CHARACTERISTICS OF FIRST HANDERS:
- Trust God really inspired the Bible to be read by all.
- Believe hearing from God more directly allows us to see Him more clearly, experience His love more fully.
- Desire to hear more clearly from God outweighs any fears of not looking knowledgeable.
- Read the Bible
- Devoted to growing in ability to read it better.
- Committed to reading, studying the Bible, to hearing from God directly with others. (Participate in a LIFE GROUP)