The Bible: Our Instructions Library
Gregory of Nanzianus was a great apologist and preacher of the fourth century. Reflecting on the writings of scripture inspired by the Holy Spirit he comments,
“The purpose of the biblical writers was to provide… instructions for us to contemplate when we find ourselves in similar situations, if such should come upon us at any time. The proper outcome is that these examples from the past act as guides and models to warn us, and are patterns for our own imitation.”
Paul, writing to the believers in Corinth — having no idea that by doing so he was being used of God to write our New Testament – writes similarly of the records of the Old Testament,
“Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did… These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.” (1 Cor. 10:6, 11).
Writing to Timothy he adds, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
The scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, are written for us to learn from and to obey. All their authors have died. They shone with us during their appointed times, but, like all flesh, they too have died. God’s Word, however, endures. It was, as with Timothy, present around you when you were very young, “…from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” (v.15), and it will be available to you when you are very old.
Even before it was written, the Word, Christ Himself, is eternal and ever shall be eternal. This Word became flesh in Christ and those concurrent with His incarnate sojourn, “have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14). Then that bodily form was taken from us and the Holy Spirit was given to be within us. A day will come when the Word in ink and paper form will also no longer be with us (see Matt. 5:18), but still the eternal Word of God will live on. The Word is the Son, a member of the trinity of God. Know the Word. Be transformed by the Word. Plant the Word deep in your heart.
“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of our God endures forever.” (Isa. 40:8).
The Bible: your instructional library. Read it daily!
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