Physical food is critical for the development of our bodies. We feed and get nutrients essential for a healthy body and life. What physical food is for the human body is what scripture is for the spiritual life of a believer. Our Spiritual lives are only as healthy as we feed upon the Word of God. But from where did the scriptures come, and what authority does it hold over a believer’s life?
The Scriptures are God’s Message to his People
Peter says in 2 Peter 1:21, “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” [emphasis added]. The eternal God gave men (fallible and weak like us) the privilege of jotting eternal truths in the scriptures. Prophets like Moses, Jeremiah, Isaiah and others make up the list. See our blogs below for more detail. This information sets a basis for the ensuing conversation about why the scriptures are vital for believers.
For saints saved by the grace of God from the power, pleasure, penalty, and eventually the presence of sin, we need to run fast to the scriptures. Therein we find the fountain of living waters (Jeremiah 17:13, 18:14; Psalm 36:9; John 4:14, John 7:37; Revelation 21:6) that never dries up. The following paragraphs highlight how the scriptures benefit our walk of faith.
Truth and Freedom
In the scriptures, the believer finds the truth. And since the scriptures are about Christ, we know that in him there is the truth that sets free (John 8:36, 14:6, 17:17). There are many deceiving spirits out here, as prophesied in the scriptures (1 John 4:1-2, 1 Timothy 4:1, John 8:44). Hence why we are called to be alert (Ephesians 6:11, Colossians 2:8, Romans 16:16-18) so as not fall prey to these deceptive works. Believers who do not give themselves to the reading and studying of the scriptures will be easily swayed back and forth by the various winds of doctrine flying around today (2 Timothy 3:13, 4:3; Hebrews 13:9; 2 Peter 2:1-3). Belief in the truths we find in the scriptures sets believers apart from the rest of the world (John 17:17).
Faith and Salvation
Because the scriptures are God’s Words handed to us in written form, we find the power to both have and build our faith. No one can relate with God minus faith, and we know that faith comes from hearing and hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). God is pleased by those who have faith because they go to him trusting that he is there, and he rewards those who diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6). Upon hearing the Word of truth, the believer receives conviction of God’s holiness and man’s sinfulness (1 Peter 1:23, James 1:18, Romans 10:17). However, these same scriptures show man how sinful and rebellious he is to God and give him the hope for eternal life in Christ (Romans 3:20-24). Therefore, believers and nonbelievers alike must continue hearing the Word of God to build their faith in God and find assurance for their salvation.
Spiritual Food and Growth
Once we have come to faith and found freedom in Christ, it is in the scriptures that we find what we need to be healthy and grow in the faith (1 Peter 1:22-2:2). 1 Peter 2:2 tells us to desire pure spiritual milk so that we may grow. During his temptations in the wilderness, Jesus rebuked Satan when he was tempted to turn stone into bread using the scriptures. He told Satan, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:3-4). The writer of Hebrews challenged his readers to move from infanthood to maturity through the study of scriptures (Hebrews 5:12-14). We must push ourselves to long for the same growth through God’s Word. Our growth in the faith is not necessarily pegged on how many years we have been in the faith journey but on how much of God’s spiritual food (the scriptures) we have fed.
Purity and Victory over Temptations
As we grow in faith, we realize God uses his Word to purify our hearts. Jesus prayed that the Father would uphold his followers by the scriptures (John 17:17). The Psalmist wrote that the Word hidden in our hearts causes us not to sin against the Lord (Psalm 119:9-11) because it is a light and a lamp unto our feet (Psalm 119:105). That notwithstanding, the scriptures also help us to overcome temptation by instilling helpful truths into our hearts; hence, how Jesus showed us how to overcome temptation using the Word of God (Matthew 4:1-11).
The world, the flesh and the devil will be up against our souls to keep us from the path of truth (Ephesians 2:2-3). In whatever form the temptations come, our knowledge of the perfect will of God in the scriptures is what will sustain us through and through (Psalm 119:93). If in the form of sexual immorality, a reminder that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit will likely keep us sober ( Corinthians 6:18-20). If it comes in the form of a desire to lie and defraud others, the scriptures remind us that the father of lies is the devil; hence as children of God, we must desist from such (John 8:44). In all circumstances, we should remember that no temptation is beyond the power of the gospel in the scriptures (1 Corinthians 10:13).
A Joyful Assurance
Finally, the scriptures are critical for believers because, in them, we find assurance of our identity (Romans 8:16-17). They affirm that we are sons of God, the sheep of his choice (John 10:27-30). In addition, despite the many struggles, we are equipped for the life we are living now (Matthew 28:20, John 16:33, 1 John 5:3-4) and for the age to come (1 Corinthians 15, John 11:17-27). The scriptures don’t just give the believer assurance of salvation but also offer insurmountable joy and abundant life (John 10:10b). As Christians, knowing that we have an eternal God with us and forever should be a core source of our joy. This we cannot get anywhere else but from God alone.
Knowing how beneficial the Holy Scriptures are to us, may we not waste our time elsewhere. Instead, let us use as much of our time as we can in them, so we do not miss out on God’s will for our lives. May we hear God and obey him joyfully.
Other Kuza Blogs on the Bible