Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
The faith that was once delivered to us saints (Jude 3), was delivered to us in the Old Testament through prophets and in the New Testament through Jesus (Hebrews 1:1-2). This faith of the gospel delivered to us, Jesus’ church, was foretold and foreshadowed from Genesis to Malachi. New Testament writers, like Peter help us to understand this mystery. Peter said in 1 Peter 1:10 that the OT prophets were searching and seeking to learn of the mystery of grace they were foretelling. We are the thankful beneficiaries of all their divinely inspired (2 Tim 3:16) and divinely motivated (2 Pet 1:20-21) writings.
We live in a privileged era. We have the incredible benefit of looking backwards upon history and being able by divine grace to see the glory of God in His sovereign orchestration of events. We look backward upon the life, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ and by the grace of God, see the whole picture at once.
Furthermore, we have our own personal copies of the Holy Scriptures. We have readable translations that enable us to read, understand, study, and teach God’s Word easily and accurately. The dream of the reformers, and men like William Tyndall, has become a reality. The “boy who drives the plough” has undoubtedly been given the privilege of reading the Bible for himself.
God’s word is immeasurably deep, and immeasurably wide. Steven Lawson says, alluding to a similar quote by Augustine, “The Bible is shallow enough for a new believer to wade in, but deep enough for a theologian to drown in.” To God be the glory! Like a family vacation at the beach, where the young children, under their mother’s gaze are allowed to wander in the ocean up to their knees. But a mile off the shoreline, the older children are are being taught by their father how to dive into the deep.
The Bible is the Sword of the Spirit (Eph 6:17). The Spirit of God uses the Word to produce faith in us (Rom 10:17), convict us of sin (Heb 4:11-12), and enables spiritual maturity (Col 3:12-17, 1 Tim 4:6-9, and 2 Tim 3:16-17). If we forsake the use of Holy Scripture we accidentally forsake our own sanctification. The Christian’s joy, comfort, and passion for God is stunted without use of the written Word of God.
We should beware of avoiding the habit of Scripture reading on the one hand, and on the other hand, we should avoid the pitfalls of misusing the Holy text. There are many helpful principals of hermeneutics (method of Bible interpretation), but none so important as this; Jesus is the central figure of both Old and New Testaments. Charles Spurgeon, 19th Century ‘prince of preachers’, was gripped by this truth. Spurgeon said, A sermon without Christ in it is like a loaf of bread without any flour in it. No Christ in your sermon, sir? Then go home, and never preach again until you have something worth preaching.” It was this great preacher’s conviction that Jesus Christ was central to a proper understanding and application of every text of scripture. Jesus is the person that the Bible seeks to uncover for the reader to know (John 8:58). Jesus is the way that the scripture invites us to travel upon (Matt 7:14). Jesus is the food that the Word of God calls us to feast upon and be filled by (John 6:35). Jesus is the truth that the Bible instructs us to believe in (John 14:6). Jesus is the life that scripture says raises dead people to new life (John 11:25). Jesus is the good shepherd the Holy text says calls us by name, feeds us, protects us, and ultimately sacrifices Himself for us (John 10).
Some might argue, “But Aaron, you’ve only quoted Jesus talking about Himself and not the scripture speaking of Christ”. So then, look with me in Luke 24:25-27. A few confused disciples, making their way toward Emmaus encountered Jesus after His resurrection earlier that day. The strangest mark of this text is in verse 16 where it says that the disciples eyes were “kept from recognizing” Jesus. But continuing on in the story, as Jesus begins a conversation with these men about who and what Jesus had done they clearly misunderstood the OT scriptures. Jesus rebukes them in Luke 24:25-27 by calling them fools who are slow hearted to believe because Moses and all the OT scriptures were pointing to Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Further down in that same chapter of Luke, Jesus appeared to his remaining apostles in an upper room. It was there that Jesus again, using the entire Jewish canon; Law, Prophets, and Psalms, explaining their true interpretation was His life, death, and resurrection. Jesus’ unapologetic hermeneutic is this: all scripture is pointing to Jesus’ person and work. This is a lesson we must learn well Church.