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“. . . from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).

THERE ARE MANY REASONS WHY WE MIGHT STUDY THE SCRIPTURES, BUT FOR TODAY’S MEDITATION LET’S THINK ABOUT ONE PARTICULAR REASON. The Scriptures are able, Paul says, to make us “wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” Whether we ourselves study them or someone else teaches us (as was the case when Timothy’s mother and grandmother taught him the Scriptures in his childhood), it is through the Scriptures that the knowledge necessary for us to be saved is mediated to us. We don’t rely on the subjective feeling that God may be speaking to us in our hearts, nor do we depend on the mystical transmission of esoteric knowledge. It is by the simple process of reading, understanding, and obeying the Scriptures that we learn what God wants us to know.

Notice especially that Paul says it is “through faith in Christ Jesus” that we can be saved and that the Scriptures are our means of coming to know about Him. If Jesus is who He claimed to be, the One who can save us from our sins, it is critically important that we know what He taught and what we must do to receive His salvation. He was, after all, a historical figure, and historical figures must be learned about through the documents that contain information about them. Rather than debating feelings, opinions, and prejudices, we would do well to immerse ourselves in the actual documents — and on that basis make our decision about Jesus.

The Bereans in Acts 17 had the right idea. They listened eagerly as Paul argued that Jesus was the Messiah, but as they listened they were “examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (Acts 17:11). The Scriptures were their final arbiter.

But here is the point I hope you’ll get: it is not only at the beginning but also throughout our lives as Christians that we must study the Scriptures. We will never, in this life, outgrow our need to be more and more “wise for salvation.” So we keep studying. The treasure house of wisdom in the Scriptures is inexhaustible. When it comes to salvation, our need is great — and the resources are rich.

“Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years” (Charles Haddon Spurgeon).

Gary Henry — +

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