What a blessing to live in a time and culture that provides the written Word of God. We’ve seen tears in 2nd and 3rd world areas when a Bible is delivered in their language. At times, all these saints have is a page, and they share it. We should be ashamed if we have the written Word and let it gather dust.
Like the early body of believers who were mostly oral learners, the estimates are that 4.5 billion people today are oral learners. Back then, they didn’t carry 66 scrolls around, even if they possessed them! From some could read and pass on the mind and heart of God.
We all know the Scriptures, the word of God, tell God’s story, not ours. It’s the story of His kingdom, His King, and the active love He shows for His creatures and creation, and both the loving obedience and gross rebellion to Him from His creatures.
Why All The Controversy?
Unfortunately, there’s a lot – and we mean a lot – of controversy and mean spirit over what is the proper role of the Bible.
There’s the folks who basically neglect the written Word where available saying it’s only about a revelation in our spirit by the Spirit. And we’d agree that in cultures where the written Word is missing, the revealed Word, the Lord Jesus, the Word itself, is more than enough.
At the other end of the continuum are the folks who say any inner witness of the Spirit and His leadings is heresy, even when the written Word does exist. This is the Martin Luther crowd…where Luther and his colleagues were so furious with saints like the Anabaptists they ordered the murder of them by the thousands.
We here at Walk Worthy enjoy both: God’s precious presence in our living spirit, both guiding and directing, and the written Word confirming and revealing new aspects of God through His body, the saints!
Then we have those who declare with zeal that nothing in the Old Testament applies today, since the dawning of the New Covenant. Interestingly enough, and rather ironic, is the fact that the word “Scripture” never appears in the Old Testament…yet that is the very New Testament word used to describe the Old Testament!
The “word of God” phrase is used several times in the Old Testament, but is primarily a New Testament address. And we know that The Word of God, the crown of the Father’s kingdom word is His Son.
Revelation 19:13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.
God Himself wrote His Commandments down in stone for His people, being His work. That should give us a vital clue about the importance of any written Word from our Lord, whether tablets or entire Scripture containing the tablets of laws.
Exodus 31:18 When (God) had finished speaking with (Moses) upon Mount Sinai, He gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God.
Exodus 32:16 The tablets were God’s work, and the writing was God’s writing engraved on the tablets.
Of course, today when most refer to the “Scriptures,” they only mean the New Testament and not the Old. But we know in 2 Peter as the apostle warns of distorted teachings and that Paul’s writings were considered inspired along with “the rest of the Scriptures.”
And when we discover history behind the written Word undertaken by God’s dedicated servants…the arduous methods, labor, and murderous opposition by Satan, then we again see a clue of its importance in His kingdom strategy.
The Written Word Itself Speaks
But what does the written Word, what most of us call the Holy Bible, say about itself? Let’s take a closer look:
- The Old Testament, being God’s work, are “sacred writings” deserving devotion according to the apostle Paul, and is still profitable for instruction these current days, to give wisdom leading to salvation, to teach us, rebuke us, correct us, to become trained in holiness, and building hope through perseverance and en-courage-ment. Sure sounds like the OT has value today, no? This piece is not in the least dealing with the Law and the OT.
2 Timothy 3:14-15 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture (the Old Testament ‘sacred writings’ primarily in this context) is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness…
Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times (Old Testament) was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
- Jesus Christ must explain and reveal Himself and the Father to us through His Spirit, and that produces fire in the true child of God
Luke 24:27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
Luke 24:45 Then He opened their minds (revealed Himself) to understand the Scriptures…
Luke 24:32 They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?”
John 20:9 For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.
- Jesus Christ fully expects His kingdom subjects, especially His leaders, to search and understand the written Scriptures based on His revelation to them.
John 5:39 “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me;
Matthew 21:42 Jesus *said to them, “Did you never read (understand) in the Scriptures, ‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone; THIS CAME ABOUT FROM THE LORD, AND IT IS MARVELOUS IN OUR EYES’?
Matthew 22:29 But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God.
Prophets and Prophesy Fulfilled
- The prophets had prophesied in the Scriptures so that people could be prepared and know their God.
Romans 1:2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures…
2 Peter 1:20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation…
- The Scriptures are written and revealed so that they may be fulfilled, or completed, in order that King Jesus Christ be lifted up to the glory of the Father.
Matthew 26:54 “How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?”
Matthew 26:56 “But all this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures of the prophets.” Then all the disciples left Him and fled.
Mark 14:49 “Every day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize Me; but this has taken place to fulfill the Scriptures.”
Mark 15:28 [And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with transgressors.”]
Luke 4:21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
John 13:18 “I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘HE WHO EATS MY BREAD HAS LIFTED UP HIS HEEL AGAINST ME.’
John 17:12 “While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.
John 19:24 So they said to one another, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, to decide whose it shall be”; this was to fulfill the Scripture: “THEY DIVIDED MY OUTER GARMENTS AMONG THEM, AND FOR MY CLOTHING THEY CAST LOTS.”
John 19:28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, “I am thirsty.”
John 19:36 For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, “NOT A BONE OF HIM SHALL BE BROKEN.”
Acts 1:16 “Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.
James 2:23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “AND ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS,” and he was called the friend of God.
- When true disciples see the prophesy fulfilled, they believe the written Word, and faith in Christ grows exponentially.
John 2:22 So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.
The Power & Completeness of the Scripture
- The Scripture is to be quoted, that is, spoken aloud and the power of God is released.
John 7:38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'”
Revelation 1:2 (The apostle John) who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.
- The Scripture is complete as God’s Word and authority.
John 10:35 “If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken)…
- Reading, reasoning, and proclaiming the Scripture about God and His Son can induce the faith needed for initial salvation, and grow in the Lord.
Acts 8:32 Now the passage of Scripture which he was reading was this: “HE WAS LED AS A SHEEP TO SLAUGHTER; AND AS A LAMB BEFORE ITS SHEARER IS SILENT, SO HE DOES NOT OPEN HIS MOUTH.
Acts 8:35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him.
Acts 17:2 And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures…
Galatians 3:8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.”
1 Timothy 4:13 Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation and teaching.
10. Examining the Scriptures daily with eagerness can grow disciples beyond others who don’t and produce great fruit, even being mighty in the Scriptures, refuting skeptics, teaching the brethren, and looking out for those distorting the Word.
Acts 17:11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.
Acts 18:24 Now a Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures.
Acts 18:28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.
Romans 4:3 For what does the Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
Romans 9:17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “FOR THIS VERY PURPOSE I RAISED YOU UP, TO DEMONSTRATE MY POWER IN YOU, AND THAT MY NAME MIGHT BE PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH.”
Romans 10:11 For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”
Romans 11:2 God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel?
Romans 16:26 but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith;
1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
1 Corinthians 15:4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
Galatians 3:22 But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
Galatians 4:30 But what does the Scripture say? “CAST OUT THE BONDWOMAN AND HER SON, FOR THE SON OF THE BONDWOMAN SHALL NOT BE AN HEIR WITH THE SON OF THE FREE WOMAN.”
1 Timothy 5:18 For the Scripture says, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”
James 2:8 If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well.
James 4:5 Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”?
1 Peter 2:6 For this is contained in Scripture: “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”
2 Peter 3:16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.
Well, beloved, the Scriptures, the written Word, that which points to The Word Jesus, is rich in speaking of itself. Let us too use it as intended.
Have a high view of Scripture for God the Father certainly does.
Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.
And we know from history, the written testimony of the sacred writings, and our current lives that we’ll suffer greatly for proclaiming and living the Scriptures, the Word of God.
No longer ignored or gathering dust, we love God, His Scriptures, leading us to the obedience of faith. For we eagerly remember that:
All Scripture (the Old Testament primarily in this context) is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness…
Can we get an Amen on that?
Please comment on this post right below. Feel free to write and proclaim your leadings in the Spirit in an honorable fashion.
Your friend and brother in fighting the good fight,
Saints, we’re one day closer to Home, and Him! Love Him wholeheartedly!
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Please comment on this post right below. Feel free to write and proclaim your leadings in the Spirit in an honorable fashion.
Marc White, Director, Walk Worthy Ministries, www.WalkWorthy.org