- Published: 11 June 2009
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Today God asks us to do very little compared to days gone by. He does not ask us to fight with metal swords nor to eat only specific foods or to observe feasts, oblations and offerings but He does ask us to study. We believe every one who names the Name of Christ Jesus our Lord needs to study and search out The Truth from God's Perfect Word and that The Holy Spirit is in the world to comfort and guide us as we study to show ourselves approved of God.
2 Timothy 3:16 tells us All Scripture is given by inspiration of God . . . In the Greek the last 5 words of this quote are expressed in only one word, Theopneustos. Literally it means, God-breathed.
This being true, it is very important that we pay close attention to every word. We cannot afford to read a passage and then just make a guess as to what is being said. A child in school may very hurriedly read a lesson and hope to get something of the gist of it so as to pass the exam. But one does not get the mind of God by skimming over what He has said. And the child may get some strange notions of the subject by using such a method of study but in God's Word every jot and tittle must stand.
There are many who subscribe to the Scriptures and claim them to be holy and inspired, yet at the same time they place something over and above them. It may be the traditions of their church, or even the church itself, some may even put human reasoning above the Scriptures.
The Jews put the Targums and Talmud above the Word of God and so made it of none effect by their traditions. Then too we have some sects and denominations who claim to have received further revelations from God which are over and above the Bible. They have another Bible of their own.
Many who profess themselves to be wise stand as judges over the Scriptures. They can tell God how He should have written His Book. And if they do not like The Book, then they have even gone so far as to declare the Author to be dead.
The Lord told the Jews to search the Scriptures. The noble Bereans truly searched the Scriptures. That is what we should be doing today. This means that we are to carefully inspect them, to trace them out, to track out every word. We are to take words, subjects, ideas, and track them through all the Bible to see what they may mean according to God. Likewise we are to check out what man writes about the Scriptures.
At Berea the result of the searching was that many of them believed. Faith still comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Too few search the Scriptures today, and so few believe what The Scriptures reveal. We apply this particularly to those who make a profession and belong to some organization that carries the name of Christ.
Thy Word is Truth (John 17:17). Once a man learns this great lesson he soon learns much more. He learns that he cannot by any searching out exhaust all the Word of God. Those who know the Author can testify that the words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth purified seven times (Psalms 12:6). Every word of God is pure. They are not the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth (1 Cor. 2:13). The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14).
Man's wisdom is set forth in long-winded discourses with plenty of footnotes, but real wisdom is where the teacher is able to say, Thus saith the Lord. No other foot-notes are needed.
2 Timothy 3:16,17 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.
PROFITABLE. They are worth looking into.
1. Doctrine. Doctrine is teaching. Much that we learn comes from teaching. That learning is good if it has been correctly taught. There can also be false doctrine, taught by liars and evil spirits. But the doctrine we find in The Book is good doctrine, the profitable kind.
2. Reproof. This is not comfortable but it is very profitable if we will but take it. The Bible reproves people of sin. That is why so many will not read it. It is a mirror in which we can see ourselves as we really are. It does not flatter.
3. Correction. We do not always like this either. We like to go our own way. But the Word is a corrective, turning us from our own ways and the crooked paths to the straight one. Our speech needs correction, our activities need guidance and correction, our worship and service need correction.
4. Instruction in righteousness. It seems that man's imagination is continually evil. It just comes naturally. When it comes to righteousness, or rather doing right, one needs instruction. The Word does just that. Things that the natural man might think to be right are not found right according to the standard of the Word. The first step in doing right is to learn to love. No step that is profitable can be made till this first one is made. Even the Ten Commanments for Israel demand love for God and for our fellow man.
THE GOAL. All the above leads up to something.
1. That the man of God may be perfect. Left to his own devices, man goes on a downward spiral. His progress has always been the opposite of evolution. The sons of Adam were highly civilized, but they soon went back and many lived in caves and used the crudest of tools and weapons. They killed and often even ate one another. But the measure of the perfection of man is the One who was the express image of God, Jesus Christ. Civilization does not make a man perfect that can only be attained by the inner work by The Spirit as we study and believe God's Word.
2. Throughly furnished unto all good works. We are reminded in Ephesians 2:10 that the man who is saved is created unto good works. Not only do we have to find what these good works are, but we have to be trained to do them. We also have to have the tools with which to work. All these things are furnished by the Scriptures. There is no other way to attain unto this goal then by a reading and study of the Scriptures. So what are we waiting for let's get busy!
John 5:39 when speaking of the Scriptures, our Lord said, They are they which testify of Me. And just where else can one find a testimony concerning Jesus Christ our Savior? We have given you just one reference, but think of the many thru-out The Book which say the same.
Now it is very important that we take facts right from the Word, and not mere inference in any study we may make. We do not need to stray from the Scriptures or to change them to find the answer to our quest, Where is He to be found?
Apart from the Bible, there is no other source to which we can turn for light amid the darkness, and nothing that can give life to the sinner, or shed abroad love in the 'heart and the peace that passeth understanding. Science is no help in this realm and education fails as a tool unless that education and science is from above (1 Timothy 6:20, Romans 1:22). God's Word alone is the one source of life, light, and peace and God manifest in the flesh was able to meet all the needs as He is the true and living way.
What is the difference between the Christian and the man of the world? The answer is very simple. The Christian believes what God has said in His Word, and the man of the world does not. So therein lies the difference between life and death. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life (1 John 5:12).