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Christian Fellowship 1996-06-03 - Scripture

2 Timothy 3:16,17 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (NAS)

If you have not memorized these verses, shame on you!

On March 15, 1543 the Scottish Parliament produced an act which made free to all men and women to read the Scriptures in their own tongue, or in the English tongue, and all the acts contrary to this act were abolished. This may astonish you, but prior to this act it was forbidden to read the Bible in any other language than Greek, Hebrew, or Latin. This act placed the Bible in the hands of the people. In the past only the Roman Catholic Priests had the Scriptures and the priests were the only ones who could teach the Scriptures. But as the Reformation gained in momentum, so did the principal of Sola Scriptura. This principle says that we should put aside the traditions of men when interpreting the Scriptures and focus on what the text itself says within the context of overall Biblical revelation.

The problem was that while Greek, Hebrew, and Latin were the only languages allowed for the Bible to be in, most priests were deficient in their knowledge of these languages. How could the priests explain what they could not read? So now, because of this act, the common people had access to the Scriptures. The Reformation was now in full force. John Knox says, "...in the days of Chrysostom, he complained that the people used not the Psalms, and other holy books, in their own tongues? And if you will say they were Greeks, and understood the Greek tongue, we answer, that CHRIST JESUS HAS COMMANDED HIS WORD TO BE PREACHED TO ALL NATIONS. Now, if it ought to be preached to all nations, it must be preached in the tongue they understand; and if it be lawful to preach it, and to hear it preached in all tongues, why shall it not be lawful to read it, and to hear it read in all tongues..."

The result of placing the Bible into the common tongue was a changed nation. I confess that I know of no faith, that in my studies I have yet to come across that is deeper than those that I have studied in Scotland. When I was preparing to study in Scotland at St. Andrews University I read several books. One was "The Days of the Fathers in Ross-Shire", By John Kennedy, D.D. I state plainly that the faith of the men and woman written of in this book is a faith I know nothing about. I can only aspire to it. And I can only commend the book. If you would like info as to how to obtain this volume, I will send it to you. This is the result of the Scripture in English, one Word; Godliness: as the people studied the Word it changed their lives, so it should be with us!!

Six practical suggestions for Bible study:

  1. Study the Word of God daily.

  2. Understand the importance of studying the Bible systematically. Do not be haphazard about the study of the Bible, take one book on and stick with it. I know someone who spends five years on each book he studies, I commend this practice to you (but five years might be too much).

  3. Study the Bible comprehensively. Study a NT book and then an OT book. Do not neglect the OT, in it Christ is clearly seen and better understood through the light of the NT. We are often apt to put the OT on a lower pedestal. My friends it is the word of God, written for your edification, do not neglect it!

  4. Study the Bible devotionally, not mechanically. The personal study of the Bible is not an academic exercise. We want the teachings of the Bible to become parts of our lives and practice, it is personal (deeply personal).

  5. Study the Bible prayerfully. Confess to the Lord often that the Bible is hard for you to understand, and ask for the assistance of the Spirit. Pray often for an obedient and responsive heart to what the Bible speaks to your heart.

  6. Meditate on the Word of God. What I mean here is memorize. This is a lost discipline, but it is essential. Hide the Word of God in your heart so that when the temptation of the world comes and confronts you, you are ready with the divine revelation to confront its assaults.

Soli Deo Gloria,

[email tim] GodRulesTB@aol.com

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