|International Bible Studies|
LESSON FOR JUNE 11, 1972
Meeting God Through the Scriptures
MEMORY VERSE: “With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.”—Psalm 119:10
II TIMOTHY 3:14-17
ONE of the great issues in the church throughout the entire Christian era has been the Word of God versus the opinions and traditions of men. Today, in the Roman Catholic Church, the Bible is not taken as the final word of authority, but is superseded by human traditions and the words of the Pope. Many minds find it easier to take the interpretations and dogmas of others—often a favorite human leader—than to search the Scriptures, as we are instructed to do, in order to ascertain the mind of the Lord on any subject.—John 5:39; Acts 17:11
In our lesson Paul admonishes Timothy to continue in the things which he had learned, and to remember the source of his instructions; that it was the “holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” The holy Scriptures lead the way to Jesus, apart from whom there is no salvation from sin and death. In the Bible the sacrificial work of Jesus as man’s Redeemer and Savior is the central theme.
The dedicated followers of the Master and student of the Scriptures must continue to study the Scriptures. We must not assume that because we have become assured that Jesus is our Savior there is no more need to study the Bible. In chapter 2 of this epistle to Timothy, Paul writes, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”—vs. 15
The follower of the Master is a co-worker with God, and the Bible is his instruction book concerning the things to be done and how to do them. Thus, in order to be a workman who will be acceptable to the Lord, the Bible must be studied, and rightly divided, according to subject matter, time, etc.
The New English Bible translates verses 16 and 17 of our lesson: “Every inspired scripture has its use for teaching the truth and refuting error, or for reformation of manners and discipline in right living, so that the man who belongs to God may be efficient and equipped for good work of every kind.”
The King James translation reads “all scripture is given by inspiration of God.” This is not true. Scripture is simply writing, and not all writing is inspired by God. The New English Bible gives the right thought in the expression, “Every inspired scripture has its use for teaching the truth and refuting error.” The inspired Scriptures, or writings, are assembled for us in the Bible. In the Early Church the brethren had only the Old Testament Scriptures. Gradually the New Testament writings became available, and now we have the whole Bible.
This section of our lesson is taken from the longest of the psalms, much of which is devoted to exalting the Word of God and encouraging its use. God’s Word is referred to in the psalm as his “commandments,” his “word,” his “statutes,” his “precepts,” and his “law.” While each of these words conveys a different shade of meaning, their total meaning is embodied in the expression, Holy Scriptures.
The young brother Timothy was encouraged to adhere to the Word as he had learned, and here verse 9 is related to the young people of God: “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.” The thought in the Hebrew is “keep cleansing.” It is not enough to cleanse our way once, or twice. If we are to be pleasing to the Lord we must continue to cleanse our way. It is to be one of our daily tasks.
“With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth.” (vs. 13) The man of God must do more than imbibe the blessings of his Word. In addition, if he has truly learned the lessons which it teaches him concerning God and his love, he will be active in bearing witness to the truth. The psalmist said, “I have declared all the judgments of thy mouth.”
Are all scriptures given by inspiration of God?
Is it important to continue studying the Bible?