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The Scriptures or Bible are the holy writings of the Christian faith. The Old Testament Scriptures are spoken of by Peter as: "a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts." (2 Peter 1.19) They are sure because they are written down. It is easy to forget what was said in a telephone conversation with a friend but if we have a letter from our friend we can go back to the letter and read it again. The message will not be lost. God's Word written is similarly of greater advantage in this point than God's word spoken from heaven. When Jesus was on the Mount of Transfiguration a voice came out of the cloud and said: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." (Matthew 17.5) We today know that this happened and what was said because it has been recorded in the New Testament.
The Scriptures are very important. They are able to make us wise unto salvation. God's "Book of Nature" teaches us his wisdom, power and goodness but does not make known how sinners can be reconciled to God. Books written by men about the way to heaven and the path of life cannot be relied upon if they do not follow the Bible. Only the Bible is sufficient to make us truly wise. It contains all that is necessary in order to a life of communion with God. This is what the Apostle Paul had to say to Timothy: "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." (2 Timothy 3.15) From his infancy Timothy had been instructed in the truths of the Old Testament Scriptures and Paul was satisfied that no other source of knowledge was needed beyond God's Word. There were of course many Jews in Paul's day that had the scriptures but were not saved. Paul in mentions them in Romans: "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved." (Romans 10.1) They were not saved because they had not believed and the Bible only makes us wise to salvation "through faith." The Bible is, therefore, a very precious book; in fact it is the most precious book in existence. When we read it in faith we see Christ and when we see and trust him we know the salvation of God.
The Scriptures are: "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3.16) This helps us to understand how we are to read the Bible and for what purpose. The Bible might just be read as a history book or as a book of exciting stories because there are many exciting historical accounts recorded in the Bible. The Bible has not, however, been given for that purpose but as the rule for a good and holy life. We are to read the Bible to learn how to live. People who learn "First Aid" to help those in physical need are usually expected to carefully read their First Aid manual. The book tells them what they should do in the different circumstances. The trainees are given their rulebook to learn and to follow. The Bible has been given for a similar purpose in spiritual things. It is for training "in righteousness". It is to be read so that the reader can know God and live a changed life through faith in Jesus Christ. We need not only to know what is the right way to live but we need to be corrected when what we do is wrong. In these things the Scripture is an unfailing guide. This is what the Psalm's writer found: "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Psalm 119.105)
"The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple." (Psalm 19.7)
Similarly, transfiguration, reconciled, communion, exciting, trainees
1. Why are the Scriptures spoken of as "sure"?
2. Why are the Scriptures very important?
3. What is God's "Book of Nature"? (See Psalm 19.1 and Romans 1.20)
4. Why are we to seek true wisdom in the Bible?
5. Why were the Jews of Paul's days not saved even though they had the Old Testament?
6. Complete the following sentence: The Scriptures are profitable for _______, for _______, for _______, for ________ in righteousness.
7. Why has the Bible been given to us?
8. In what ways does the Bible help us to live a good life?
Write the names of the books of the Bible in the order in which they appear in our English Bibles.
Write the names of the books of the Bible in the order in which they appear in the Hebrew Bible.
Compare the differences between the order of the books in the English Bible and in the Hebrew Bible.
The Bible is the supreme rule of the Christian faith. Other faiths follow other writings. Find out for yourself different books that have been used by non-Christian religions.
Things that I like about the Bible
Things that I have learned from the Bible
Teach me, O Lord, the perfect way
of thy precepts divine,
And to observe it to the end
I shall my heart incline.
Give understanding unto me,
so keep thy law shall I;
Yea, ev'n with my whole heart I shall
observe it carefully.
In thy law's path make me to go;
for I delight therein.
My heart unto thy testimonies,
and not to greed, incline.
Turn thou away my sight and eyes
from viewing vanity;
And in thy good and holy way
be pleas'd to quicken me.
Confirm to me thy gracious word,
which I did gladly hear,
Ev'n to thy servant, Lord, who is
devoted to thy fear.
Turn thou away my fear'd reproach;
for good thy judgments be.
Lo, for thy precepts I have long'd;
in thy truth quicken me.