SCRIPTURE

MEDITATING ON SCRIPTURE

“…to pursue holiness with discipline, we must do more than hear, read, study or memorize Scripture.  We must meditate on it” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p99).

“One cannot stress too much the necessity of reading and meditating upon the Book…the Word of God is not like any merely human book.  There is a spiritual as well as an intellectual element in the apprehension of it….Therefore, we must always avoid mere knowledge for the sake of knowledge, but must allow the Spirit of God to make personal application of the Word to our own lives….God’s Word is intensely practical” Alfred Martin (ref#260, p123).

“Meditation of Scripture is a discipline” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p170).  “We must choose to meditate instead of thinking about other things, or listening to the radio, or watching television.  We simply have to decide which end of the influence continuum we want to live on and take steps accordingly” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p171).

“It is not necessary that we should discover new ideas in our meditation.  Often this only diverts us and feeds our vanity.  It is sufficient if the Word, as we read and understand it, penetrates and dwells within us” Dietrich Bonhoeffer (ref#28, p83).

“Can we ever know positively that our understanding of Scripture is entirely correct?…we cannot.  But we can know positively whether we are seeking God’s truth in a manner that glorifies Him” Carol J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p132).

“’Lord, my sweetest privilege is obedience to Thee; my highest freedom is wearing Thy yoke; my greatest rest is bearing Thy burden…” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Nov 22nd).

SCRIPTURE

SCRIPTURE STUDY

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly…” (Col 3:16 ESV).

“…when God originally created man, the reason, the emotions, and the will all worked in perfect harmony.  Reason led the way in understanding the will of God, the will consented to God’s will, and the emotions delighted in doing it.  But…” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p125).

FATHER, now that I sit in sin-nature my reason is the first to dodge obedience to You.  I easily read Scripture wrongly.

“We somehow feel that consent to the teaching of Scripture is equivalent to obedience” Jerry Bridges (ref#244, p72).  “The question is, do we really believe we are dependent upon the Holy Spirit to enlighten our understanding, or do we actually depend on our own intellectual ability in our study of Scripture?….What we are talking about here is not just acquiring more knowledge of biblical truth, but rather the development of Bible-based convictions by which we are to live”  Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p177).

“…our relation to the word of God must be based on simple obedience—on being hearers and doers—not on an analysis of the content of the word” Doug Newton (ref#166, p110).

“…we are more apt to…become proud over our ‘superior’ knowledge of biblical truth rather than humbled over our lack of obedience to what Scripture teaches” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p177). “Our tendency seems to be to equate knowledge of the truth, and even agreement with it, with obedience to it” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p182).

“…we should pray for knowledge of truth that will change our lives rather than simply inform our minds” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p178).

SCRIPTURE

THE BIBLE, GOD’S GIFT TO ME

“God’s Word has a claim…upon your attention because of its majesty and its condescension” Charles Spurgeon (ref#251, p47).

“Every word that God has given us in this Book claims our attention because of the infinite majesty of Him that spake it…God’s claim to be heard lies also in the condescension that has led Him to speak to us….Thou art so full of lovingkindness and tenderness that Thou wilt stoop out of heaven to converse with Thy sinful creatures” Charles Spurgeon (ref#251, p46-47).

FATHER, You did not speak Your Word to me just to increase my knowledge but that it move me to change my conduct. Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p187)

“…to make progress in all the good things that he gives us, we must have his Word so we may be built upon it and grow more and more through it.  To bring this about, we must be teachable.  From day to day , we must labor to seek help in the Word to strengthen our faith…” John Calvin (ref#164, Oct 12th).

“We don’t see ourselves with clarity, but we think we do, and we don’t know ourselves with accuracy, but we are convinced we do….” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, June 4th).  “…the mind was designed not to defend what we want, but to discover what is ultimately true….The purpose of the mind is not to rationalize subjective preferences, but to recognize objective reality and to help the heart revel in God” John Piper (ref#220, p261, underlining mine).  “Only when the Word of God is applied to a person’s life does he realize how deep and wide is his corruption” John Calvin (ref#164, Nov 13th).

FATHER, I am reminded again what a great gift Your Word is as the SPIRIT convicts me of utilizing my mind all too often to “rationalize subjective preferences.”  How refreshing it is to follow “objective reality” reading Your Scriptures, instead.

“…we all need help.  It comes to us in the gift of God’s Word…” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, June 4th).

SCRIPTURE

THE STORE HOUSE OF SCRIPTURE

“What informs your life?…We can allow a lot of things to supplant the proper role of scriptures in our lives…parents; friends; movies; music; media; scientific theories; teachers; professors” JD Blom (ref#276).

“…men and women, instead of taking the message as it is in the Bible, are imposing their own message upon it.  They are approaching it with their philosophies, their theories, their ideas, and their attempts to understand; and they are bypassing what is stated in this Book that is open before them in a language that all can understand” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, July 9th).

“The idea of much liberal theology is that Christian theology should be interpreted from the stand point of modern knowledge and experience.  Jesus is saying that this should absolutely NOT be the case.  The scriptures alone are the primary source for informing and guiding our lives” JD Blom (ref#276).

FATHER, I confess it is so easy to pluck up sensible facts from trusted friends and plant them in my personal doctrinal garden.  Trusting the Bible to inform me is hard work that I naturally don’t want to do.  Therefore, help me continue the habit of enlightening myself with Your Scriptures on a routine basis.

“…holy and sanctifying are the nature and the effect of divine truth….It brings down and lays low the high thoughts of man by revealing to him the character of God; it convinces him of his deep guilt and awful condemnation by exhibiting the divine law; it unfolds to him God’s hatred of sin and His justice in punishing and His mercy in pardoning it…it implants new principles, supplies new motives, gives a new end, begets new joys, and inspires new hopes—in a word, diffuses itself through the whole moral man, changes it into the same image, and transforms it into ‘an habitation of God through the Spirit’” Octavius Winslow (ref#135, Oct 22nd).

“Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces” (Jer 23:29 ESV)?  “God’s word shatters the sinful heart” ESV Study Bible (ref#125, p1417, [Jer 23:29]).

“We are never the same after listening to the truth; we may forget it, but we will meet it again….A man may not grasp all that is said, but something in him is intuitively held by it” Oswald Chambers (ref#8, April 3rd).

“…there is still an infinite storehouse of understanding of the mind of God waiting for us in Scripture” Jerry Bridges (ref#192, p175).

SCRIPTURE

NECESSITY OF SCRIPTURE

“..thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” (Ps 138:2 KJV).

“…let us become stronger in the Word that God has been pleased to communicate to us…so we might have much greater love for his holy Word and give ourselves wholly to it” John Calvin (ref#164, Dec 31st).

“…the works of creation…while they testify to ‘His power and Godhead’—thus leaving man inexcusable for his atheism—nowhere supply an answer to the momentous question, ‘What must I do to be saved?’…They tell of a fallen, but not of a restored humanity” Octavius Winslow (ref#248, p33).

“We do not read anywhere that God delights in the cloud-capped mountains or the sparkling stars, but we do read that…His delights are ‘with the sons of men.’ (Prov 8:31)” Charles Surgeon (ref#34, Sept 21st AM).

FATHER, nature displays Your creative beauty and tells me there is a great and powerful GOD, but Your written words informs me of Your love for me personally.

“As a revelation of the love of God, His Word is inexpressibly precious.  We want to know more than the mind of God.  We are sinners, and we want to read His heart—His loving, gracious, sin-forgiving heart.  We want to know, not only what His thoughts and purposes are, but what His [thoughts] towards us are….And when we approach the subject yet closer…what a transcendent, marvelous unfolding of His love is presented in the gift of His beloved Son” Octavius Winslow (ref#248, p36)!

“…There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus….” (2 Tim 3:14-17 MSG).

“Beloved, let this be the one and chief object in your study of the Bible: the knowledge of Jesus.  The Bible is not a history, a book of science, a poem—it is a record of Christ.  Study it to know more of Him, His nature, His love, His work” Octavius Winslow (ref#248, p37).

“Of these Scriptures, He is the…substance, the sweetness, the glory—the one, precious, absorbing theme” Octavius Winslow (ref#248, p37).  “Search the Scriptures, know the Scriptures, love the Scriptures, and live the Scriptures” John Calvin (ref#164, Dec 31st).

“Whatever you neglect, neglect not the Bible” Octavius Winslow (ref#248, p37).

SCRIPTURE

INSPIRATION OF THE BIBLE

“The Bible, at first sight, appears to be a collection of literature—mainly Jewish.  If we enquire into the circumstances under which the various Biblical documents were written, we find that they were written at intervals over a space of nearly 1400 years.  The writers wrote in various lands…not only separated from each other by hundreds of years and hundreds of miles, but belonging to the most diverse walks of life” Josh McDowell (ref#275, p17).

“…the Bible itself, fairly examined, is the best witness of its own inspiration” J.C. Ryle (ref#273, p4).  The 66 books contained in the Bible “…all tell the same story.  They all give one account of man,–one account of God,–one account of the way of salvation,–one account of the human heart” J.C. Ryle (ref#273, p9).

“The Bible alone gives a reasonable account of the beginning and end of the globe on which we live” J.C. Ryle (ref#273, p4).

“It boldly handles matters which are beyond the reach of man, when left to himself.  It treats of things which are mysterious and invisible,–the soul, the world to come, and eternity,–depths which man has no line to fathom” J.C. Ryle (ref#273, p4).

“It is the book of the world, because He inspired it who formed the world,–who made all nations of one blood,–and knows man’s common nature.  It is the book for every heart, because He dictated it who alone knows all hearts, and what all hearts require.  It is the book of God” J.C. Ryle (ref#273, p13).

“Biblical authors spoke on hundreds of controversial subjects with harmony and continuity from Genesis to Revelation.  There is one unfolding story: “God’s redemption of man” Josh McDowell (ref#275, p16).

SCRIPTURE

AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE OR AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH?

“If the Word derived its authority from the church, then we would have to hold the church in higher esteem than God Himself.  For whoever gives the credence and emphasis to someone’s words is superior to the person who speaks them.  God has no superior, and therefore no one is in a position to give authority to His words” Wilhelmus a Brakel (ref#247, p29).

Thus, we acknowledge the Word to have divine authority solely because God is the One Who speaks:…(Isa 1:2).  The Church merely functions as a herald” Wilhelmus a Brakel (ref#249, p29).

“If the Scriptures be not clear in themselves to all believers, but that all its perspicuity depends on the interpretation of the church, then our faith is to be ultimately resolved into the testimony of man.  But that cannot be, for human testimony is not infallible and authentic, and therefore cannot [establish] divine faith and an infallible persuasion” Thomas Boston (ref#245, p40).

“…no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of private opinion.  And why?  Because it’s not something concocted in the human heart.  Prophecy resulted when the Holy Spirit prompted men and women to speak God’s Word” (2 Pet 1:19-21 MSG).

“Deny that the Bible is, without any qualifications, the very Word of God, and you are left without any ultimate standard of measurement and without any supreme authority” Arthur W. Pink (ref#245, p1).

SCRIPTURE

INERRANCY

“…Scripture is divine in its origin, character, and authority, it must bear the marks or evidences of that divinity.  If ‘the heavens declare the glory of God’ (Psa 19:1) and therefore bear witness to their divine Creator, the Scriptures as God’s handiwork must also bear the imprints of His authorship” John Murray (ref#250, p41, “Witness of the Spirit”).

“…the omniscient God, is the One who announces events beforehand.  That is the proof of His deity” Alfred Martin (ref#260, p77).  “Prediction of the future is the prerogative of God alone…prophecy is the seal which God has put on His Word to show its genuineness.  It authenticates the Scripture” Alfred Martin (ref#260, p70).

“The Old Testament, written over a 1,000-year period, contains several hundred references to the coming Messiah.  All of these were fulfilled in Jesus Christ…” Josh McDowell (ref#275, p141).

“Reformed theologians uphold the Bible as the inspired, infallible, inerrant, authoritative, and fully sufficient communication of truth from God to us.  When they say the Bible is ‘inspired,’ they mean that the Bible was actually written by God through the agency of human authorship in a miraculous way that preserved the thoughts of God from any taint of human sinfulness (2 Peter 1:20-21) Carole J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p145-146).

“When they say the Bible is infallible, they mean it is incapable of error, and when they say it is inerrant, they mean the Bible, in actual fact, contains no errors.  The Bible is authoritative because it comes from God whose authority over His creation is absolute (Isaiah 46:9-10).  And it is completely sufficient because it contains everything necessary for us to know and live according to God’s requirements (2 Peter 1:3-4)” Carole J. Ruvolo (ref#228, p146).

“…the Bible is (in its original manuscripts) inerrant and infallible…” Arthur W. Pink (ref#245, p1, “The Impregnable Rock”).

SCRIPTURE

WHAT IS THE BIBLE?

“The Bible isn’t a series of stories.  It isn’t a catalog of interesting characters.  It isn’t a manual of theology.  It isn’t a book of interesting wisdom principles.  One story, with one hero, forms the cord that holds the whole Bible together.  The Bible is essentially the story of redemption. This grand redemptive story, with God’s essential explanatory notes, is the main content of the Word of God” Paul David Tripp (ref#190, Dec 9th).

“The message of the Bible is not to urge us to try to find truth; it is to ask us to listen to the truth, to God’s truth.  For its whole point is to say that God, knowing Himself, knowing man, knowing everything, has devised and schemed a plan whereby men and women can be delivered out of their failure and sin and can be made citizens and worthy citizens of God’s kingdom.  This is God’s plan” Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, July 2nd)!

“…God’s faithfulness to his people convinces us that there is nothing missing from Scripture that God thinks we need to know for obeying him and trusting him fully….Scripture today is exactly what God wanted it to be, and it will stay that way until Christ returns” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p68-69).  “…He holds everything together by what he says—powerful words” (Heb 1:1-3 MSG)!

“O Word of God Incarnate”

 

O Word of God incarnate, O wisdom from on high,

O truth unchanged, unchanging, O light of our dark sky;

We praise thee for the radiance that from the hallowed page,

A lantern to our footsteps, shines on from age to age.

 

The church from her dear Master received the gift divine,

And still that light she lifteth o’er all the earth to shine.

It is the golden casket, where gems of truth are stored;

It is the heave’n-drawn picture of Christ, the Living Word.

 

It floateth like a banner before God’s host unfurled;

It shineth like a beacon above the darkling world.

It is the chart and compass that o’er life’s surging sea,

‘Mid mists and rocks and quicksands, still guides, O Christ to thee.

 

O make thy church, dear Savior, a lamp of purest gold,

To bear before the nations thy true light, as of old.

O teach thy wand’ring pilgrims by this their path to trace,

Till, clouds and darkness ended, they see thee face to face.

 

Author: William Walsham How, 1867 Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p72)