Family Bible Study lesson for Feb. 16: The Bible - Its Purpose
January 31 2003 by John S. Pond Jr. , Psalm 19:7-14; 2 Timothy 3:14-17

Family Bible Study lesson for Feb. 16: The Bible - Its Purpose | Friday, Jan. 31, 2003

Friday, Jan. 31, 2003

Family Bible Study lesson for Feb. 16: The Bible - Its Purpose

By John S. Pond Jr. Psalm 19:7-14; 2 Timothy 3:14-17

In his classic Life Together, Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote: "What we call our life, our troubles and our guilt is by no means the whole of reality; our life, our need, our guilt and our deliverance are there in the scriptures. Because it pleased God to act for us there, it is only there that we will be helped. Only in the Holy Scriptures do we get to know our own story."

It is through an encounter with the scriptures that we are able to discover our veracious purpose, regardless of the cultural malaise that permeates our lives. Thus, rather than relying upon our innumerable arguments from life and from experiences to justify our most crucial decisions, we must speak out of the abundance of God's word.

Perfect standard

Psalm 19:7-11

As David celebrated the reality of God, he moved from the word of creation to the word of redemption - from God's general revelation to His special revelation. In the spirit of the psalmist, Kant, the great philosopher, once observed: "Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe ... the starry heavens above and the moral law within."

David proceeded with an account similar to Psalm 119 in illuminating the significance and diversity of God's Word. It is torah, testimony, commandments and precepts. It is the criterion by which reality is defined. Verse 7 states that it is the perfect standard and "meeting-place" for God and His covenant people. It is trustworthy. As a perfect standard it is right (morally straight), pure, clean and sure.

It is life-giving, reviving the soul, making one wise, rejoicing the heart, and enlightening the eyes. It is the fear of the Lord. David stated that the very basis for what we designate as religion is living before the Lord in a proper sense of awe, reverence and obedience. By the word we are warned and encouraged. Each of us experiences the words spoken to Abraham: "I am your exceeding great reward" (Gen. 15:1)!

Standard to reveal sin

Psalm 19:12-14

The word of God is the word of redemption. It is in our experience of God's word that we encounter Him. We discover "our story" with its imperfections, its errors and secret faults. Our story is incomplete. Before God and His perfect standard, we are deficient; we are guilty of hidden and presumptuous sins. On our own we cannot always identify these faults, but His word strips away the fa�ade of self-righteousness.

Fortunately, the word not only identifies and displays those errors; it provides redemption - it discloses and delivers. Thus, our response should be simple, childlike candor and confidence. It is offering my words, the fruit of my lips (Hosea 14:2) and my thoughts, the meditations of my heart.

Standard for salvation

2 Timothy 3:14-15

Like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new and old treasures (Matt. 13:52), so we handle God's word. It is a standard and a treasure of great value.

Encouraging and challenging his son in the faith, Paul instructs Timothy to remain firmly grounded and assured in the things he has learned, recognizing their origin and significance.

Everything he had learned had its source in the holy scriptures. His life and service were a consequence of faithful people instructing him in the scriptures. It is these scriptures that make one wise for salvation "through faith which is in Christ Jesus." They are relevant for the present.

Standard for Christian growth

2 Timothy 3:16-17

Although the Bible is a work that dates back several thousand years, it is a relevant work. Its relevance is due to its origin. Paul stated that it is "God-breathed" - the result of God breathing out His word. This term paints a picture of God graciously exhaling His redemptive will into the panorama of human history.

It is relevant because it is useful. It is the standard for spiritual growth. Paul lists four tasks that it accomplishes: teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

These terms are positive, not negative. In a world of doctrinal errors and false teachings leading to erroneous actions, the scriptures build up, fill in and set straight the "man of God."

It is relevant because it is sufficient. Phillip Towner has written, "Constant study of God's word (1 Thess. 4:6-16) equips one to do all that God requires, because it contains the knowledge of God's will." It is enough to furnish and equip every believer for every good work.

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1/31/2003 12:00:00 AM by John S. Pond Jr. , Psalm 19:7-14; 2 Timothy 3:14-17 | with 0 comments
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