A treasure sitting on your shelf
I would like to share with you some passages that can really change your way of thinking and living. I was thinking about what the first book should be. Last year, I received a comment on a blog that I wrote about Nehemiah, asking me to write about other books of the Bible. This is a very strong book and it broadened my horizons about meditating on God, myself and the work of God.
Unfortunately, few Christians read the books in the Old Testament. This is because many churches preach that Jesus canceled everything that came before Him. They couldn’t be more wrong.
When Paul says to Timothy:
But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3.14-17
What Scripture was he talking about? The “Holy Scriptures” that he spoke of were the only part of the sacred text that existed at the time… which happens to be the part of the Bible that many Christians neglect: the Old Testament. Sadly many think the Old Testament is “old” and what really matters is the New Testament. Thus, forming weak believers, who do not know the God they claim to serve. The Old Testament reveals the character of God, His plan for mankind, and it is as Alive, Effective and current as the New Testament. Here, “Old” and “New” do not mean “outdated” and “up-to-date”; instead, it refers to God’s covenant with men. The first covenant was made with the blood of animals, the second covenant was with the blood of Jesus. However, the second set of books does not cancel out the first set, nor does this make them outdated. On the contrary, it confirms, completes and revives them.
you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Paul tells Timothy that the Word he learned by reading the books that are so often neglected by Christians today, have power to make us wise about salvation through faith in Jesus! Of course, if faith comes by hearing the Word of God, without access to this Word, how would you keep the faith of salvation? If you do not have an intimate relationship the Spirit of this Word, how will you be saved and remain saved until the end?
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete…
Here, he states that this same Word is fully inspired by God and used to teach, to rebuke, to correct and to guide in righteousness. This is so the man of God may be complete! And you may say: “But nobody is perfect!” God said to Abraham, “Walk before me and be blameless.” Therefore, when we walk in the presence of God, we become complete in His eyes, because He is complete. So the Word of God is fully inspired by Him and can be used to make us complete, this is, to allow us walk in His presence. This is the fullness that interests us.
The only way to keep ourselves in His presence is to be obedient to His teachings, humble to accept rebuke, disciplined to correct ourselves when corrected, and remain in constant learning of righteousness, which requires righteousness to be practiced.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
However, the reason for achieving all these things through the Word of God is not only to make us walk in the presence of God. It is also to make the man of God (and the woman of God) be thoroughly equipped for every good work. Because this is what walking in God’s presence does to us: equips us for every good work. So, just think about the treasure you have in your hands!
And Paul was just speaking about the Old Testament… imagine today, we have the complete Bible at our disposal! Put everything in this package: All Scripture is inspired by God and useful to completely transform a person’s life, inside and out. Knowing the power that comes with this Word, the devil tried to prevent it to fall into the hands of common and sincere people, who had a thirst for God. For centuries, many were persecuted and even killed by the Catholic Church simply for translating Bible passages, trying to fulfill the dream of making the Word of God available to all people. Today, since the Bible is now available to everyone, the strategy is to make them lazy to read it or not give it its due attention.
We have all this treasure before us, a book that is more than a compilation of 66 books. Every verse of every chapter of each of these books unfolds into thousands, giving us valuable guidance for absolutely every area of our lives. A treasure, which can enable us to do the work of God like we’ve never imagined we could.
Bishop Macedo always says that when we read a book, we drink of the spirit of the person who wrote it. And what about the book that contains the Word of God itself? Written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit? When we drink of this Spirit, read the Bible under His guidance, we achieve much more than mere knowledge and wisdom. We have access to the mind of God, His wisdom and His character. And we begin to multiply on earth.
For this reason, from today forth, lets look at the Bible differently. It is a book, but the Spirit inspired it, it is the voice of God.
Let me just add one more thing: stop thinking that it is difficult to read the Bible. Everything you think is difficult becomes difficult. Everything you believe you are able to understand, you will be able to understand. Do not limit yourself and do not limit the Holy Spirit.