When I was a kid, my dad had a sign in his workshop that read … WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, READ THE DIRECTIONS. Oftentimes, I think we approach our Christianity in much the same manner. Except, quite frequently rather than personally reading Scripture ourselves when all else fails … we let someone else read it for us … a proxy so to speak … and they then give us their interpretations. No doubt the kingdom of God has provision for such a practice … but the good Lord also desires for us to have a personal encounter with His gift of Scripture and the teaching of the Holy Spirit.
And it is a gift … something we don’t always seem to realize. We understand that God gave His only Son as a gift. We understand the free gift of salvation (which had an unfathomable cost associated with it).
But how often do we stop to realize that Scripture is God’s gift to His children? And not only the Scripture but also the Holy Spirit to help us understand the Scripture?
Note this truth about every good thing given and every perfect gift …
Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures. James 1:16-18 (NASB)
Did you see it? By the word of truth, God brought forth the first believers … and I might add that it is by that same word of truth He continues to bring forth believers today … the word of truth has been given to mankind for a purpose.
Examine this passage …
You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them,and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:14-17 (NASB)
Once again … the sacred writings (which I assume to be Scripture) are able to give a person the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is IN Christ Jesus … then once led to salvation, Scripture is profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, training in righteousness so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
Note what the author of Hebrews writes about the word of God …
For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 (NASB)
Living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword … and more … note Who wields that sword …
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17 (NASB)
The word of God is most effective when wielded by the Holy Spirit … and probably least effective when under the control of the human intellect …
So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation,for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. 2 Peter 1:19-21 (NASB)
As 2 Timothy 3:16 reveals Scripture is inspired by God and as Peter reveals above … no prophecy is a matter of one’s own interpretation … but rather men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke (and wrote) from God.
Are you beginning to see how critical an intimate knowledge of Scripture as taught by the Holy Spirit is to every believer?
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 (NASB)
Oh Lord, help us to be diligent … that by the Holy Spirit we might accurately understand and handle the word of truth … ACCORDING TO YOUR WILL!