Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Knowing Scripture

Knowledge of Holy Scripture is the most important thing in this life?  Why? Because it has everything necessary for our salvation, and salvation is the difference between everlasting life and everlasting death.  Jesus said in his upper-room discourse: "And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent (John 17:3)." The Bible contains everything we need to know God. First John 5:9 says, "this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son." So knowing God is the same as knowing Jesus. Finally, the Bible also contains how we are to respond to this knowledge.

They who reject this knowledge, who detest it, are those who have been absorbed into the world. Much like a man who knows nothing but fast food will reject a gourmet meal when it is served to him. The fast food has spoiled his taste, and it will eventually kill him, whereas the nutritional meal will keep him alive.  When we are sick, even the most delicious meal tastes foul.  It's not because the food is bad, but the sickness in us taints the taste.  So God's word tastes horrible to the unbelieving soul, not because it is false, but because the soul who hears it is unregenerate. Unrepentant sin is a sickness of the soul that will dwell within us forever unless the Holy Spirit takes it away.

Jesus himself said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).’ So, let us look to scripture for salvation, both Old and New Testaments, and not to the world, not to traditions, not to the imaginations of others. Only Holy Scripture shows us what to embrace and what to reject, what to love and what to hate. We see the trinity in full view. We see ourselves truthfully exposed as wretched sinners, and we see God presented as holy, righteous, and good.  We see how he takes us out of the first covenant that leads to death and moves us to the new covenant in Christ that leads us to life.

The uneducated child can find the beautiful gospel in its pages, and the ivory tower scholar can read the Bible cover to cover, never discover the good news, and think it's not there at all. The dead soul can hear the words of Holy Scripture and be made alive. Hard hearts are softened. The poor in spirit are comforted. Those rejected by this world are accepted in the next one. The Bible teaches truth and exposes false doctrine. It rebukes vice and commends virtue. The scriptures feed the soul and gives it life.