Hello, I am Jon Evans and I am a curate in the parish of Lye and Stambermill.
Our readings speak about the purpose and importance of the scriptures. Now the Bible is something different to your favourite work of fiction, your go to reference book when you study or the inspiring biography that encourages you. The Bible is something foundational to faith and holds a greater significance than maybe you realise.
In our readings, Jesus speaks about how the scriptures testify about him. When you study the scriptures, what should be found is the testimony of Jesus Christ. From the very beginning until the end, Jesus and his works of redemption can be found. Yet, as Jesus says, people can miss this very truth about scripture. If you are reading the bible and not finding Jesus in the passage that you are reading, then you are missing the vital message that the scripture is trying to bring. Even those hard passages which you may struggle with, are passages that point to Jesus. The Bible, every time you read it, should bring you closer to Jesus and into praise of him as it testifies to him and his saving grace that is for you and me.
The things of this world may fail us but the word of God never will. The world may continuously turn to evil, but the scriptures direct us to the One who is good and faithful and who will bring an end to all suffering and evil.
Then in the letter Paul wrote to Timothy, you can see that the scripture not only testifies about Jesus and makes you wise for salvation but that it is God-breathed and equips the servants of God. The scriptures are God-breathed. It is God’s breath that gives you life, he breathed his Spirit into humanity. God’s breath is involved in creation. It is also the breath of God that brings judgement. This breath is powerful and awe-inspiring. This statement that scripture is god-breathed is not a soft, gentle statement. If God breathed it, then it is according to God’s will and it is his almighty word. It’s not just some collective human wisdom found in a reference book but it is something God-breathed and testifies to Jesus and his saving grace through all time.
Timothy, in response to knowing the scriptures is charged to preach the word, be prepared, to correct, rebuke, encourage. And this is because there will be a time where people will not put up with sound doctrine but instead listen to teachers who suit their own desires. They will turn from the truth and turn aside to myths.
Whilst this charge to Timothy is for him going into ministry it is a charge also for you. All Christians are ministers of reconciliation, all Christians are part of the royal priesthood. So, you are also called to take this charge. You are to learn and know the scripture so that you can be ready to fulfil this. Knowledge of scripture, allows you to hold to sound doctrine, to know when teachers are leading you astray.
It allows you to preach his word, which ultimately is preaching the good news of Jesus as it all testifies to him. It allows you to correct, rebuke and encourage. Ultimately, being people of God’s word, enables and equips you for every good work.
Finally, the Bible should equip you to be faithful servants of God and it should also bring you into a greater worship of God, the one who breathed all scripture for it testifies to his saving grace which is for you by faith. No matter what the world may throw at you, stay true to the faith found in scripture and know that by Jesus you have been forgiven and that evil and death have been defeated.
- How could you use scripture to enhance your worship of God and to personally fulfil the charge given to Timothy in 4:2-4?
- As you read your Bible this week ask yourself: Where is Jesus and his saving grace in this passage?