This blog will be adding to the foundation laid in my first post. If you haven’t read it, you can do so here.
I remember listening to a Stand to Reason Podcast (start listening at the 01:00:12 mark) hosted by Greg Koukl where he asked: “What is the most important skill that needs to be developed in order to be an effective Christian?” He did not give the answer immediately, but gave hints in an effort to encourage the listener to realise the obvious conclusion. To recognise that as Christians we assume this skill, and are (hopefully) already incorporating it.
What is this skill? Put plainly in the words of the Apostle Paul: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15, Emphasis added). Since God’s word is our authority to think of any other answer presupposes our capability in sufficiently understanding the Bible.
It follows that since we are to depend on God’s breathed out word for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness, we must strive to ensure our ability to handle His word is sound. Our goal is to obtain the very thing the authors were communicating. Because it is God’s word, as it is rightfully understood, that is sufficient to make us complete, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Consider the numerous times we are reminded of the truth within Scripture with the proclamation “It is written…” (See Romans 15:4). The very deity of Christ was authenticated through what had been written (Isaiah 43:10 cf. John 13:19). The work of Christ which we depend on for our justification has been declared through what is written ( Isaiah 53:12 cf. Luke 22:37; 1 Corinthians 15:3-5; Hebrews 1:1-4). And our work going forth is assigned and validated through what is written. (Psalm 37:31; 40:8; 119:11, Jeremiah 15:16, Colossians 3:16, 1 Peter 2:2).
Be rest assured that our striving to understand and glean from Scripture in no way corrupts and nullifies the work of the Holy Spirit, nor His ability to work through us. To say someone is too focused on Scripture that they forget the Holy Spirit is a misnomer. To be sold out, agonising over the truths of what God has spoken that we continuously and consciously long to align ourselves with it is evidence of the Holy Spirit’s powerful and redeeming work within our lives (1 John 4:6).
As Christians we are to recognise the responsibility we have to test everything and hold fast to what is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21). This is done by comparing everything to and standing firm on God’s written truths (2 Timothy 3:16-17; Philippians 4:1). Because, it is correctly understanding God’s word that gives us the accurate revelation of Himself, what He has done and what He desires to do.
Be encouraged, go forth and devour the mysteries He has revealed to us.
Yours in Christ – Bevin