The Written Word of God

God tells us in 2 Timothy 2:15 to “rightly handle the word of truth.” There are some basic guidelines which equip the student of the Bible so as to fulfill the God?s desire that we deal correctly with his Word. God?s word tells us of its divine origin:
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
All true Bible study must begin with this fact. We must begin our study by accepting this truth in faith. Jesus and his apostles teach us to receive Scripture as God?s word ? accurate and dependable in every detail.
Faithful Christians should follow their Lord and his authoritative spokesmen in reverence for the Bible.
Faithful Christians also must pray for wisdom in understanding the Scriptures. God’s Word tells us if we need wisdom to ask for it, because God will give it to us without restraint. (James 1:5) Fervent prayer for correct knowledge and judgment will be answered because it is clearly within God’s will. ?And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.? (1 John 5:14)
Penitent faith, the desire to turn to God is also vital in forming a correct understanding of God?s truth. Jesus said ?if anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God ?? (John 7:17) If Bible study is simply an intellectual pursuit and not a relationship with the living God, then the learning gained will be deficient and distorted.
There is a great knowledge to be obtained from the Bible as we “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.? (2 Pet 3:14-18) We grow in faith as we “hear” God’s Word through the Scriptures (Rom 10:17). God’s Word provides essential guidance because it is His Word which is truth (John 17:17). With knowledge of God?s Word, we can practice the truth in the name of the Lord Jesus (Col 3:16-17) and make it known to a forlorn and failing world.
The Bible is not simply another book. Without it man cannot know the absolute standard of righteousness and the need for grace in his life.
The Bible is established by faith and confirmed by history. The Bible is God?s word and is therefore true, for God neither lies nor does he make mistakes. There are no inconsistencies in Scripture, for God is accurate and truthful. He is not the author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33). The Bible is the product of one ultimate source, the Living God. Rather than looking at one or two passages, we must consider all that the Bible says on any subject. ?The sum of your word is truth,? Psalm 119:160 tells us, ?and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.?
Conflicts pertaining to interpretations of Scripture are a human problem. Sometimes careful study will remove the apparent difficulty. But, some things we will never understand clearly or completely until we see the Lord face to face (1 Cor 13:12).
There are, however, no real contradictions found in God’s Word. Our task is always to walk by faith (Heb 11:6; Col 2:6), trusting God to make things clear in his time.

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Greg Tidwell

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