Mark & Beth Brownson
Tuesday, June 18, 2024
To know Christ and to make Him known

How To Study the Bible: Part C

2 Timothy 3:16, 17 (NLT)

16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

This month I would like to talk to you about “All Scripture”, in the sense of the Old and New Testament. The Old Testament makes up approximately 2/3 of the Bible, yet most of us spend our time in the New Testament. Spending time in the New Testament is not wrong, but in our Verses the Apostle Paul says “All Scripture”, which includes Old and New Testaments. He goes on to say that God uses both the Old and the New Testament “to make us realize what is wrong in our lives”. It also “corrects us and teaches us to do what is right.” At the time when Paul was writing this, the Old Testament was the only compiled Scriptures. The Apostle Paul viewed the Old Testament as essential to the Christian life. When I was younger and in college, I was challenged with the idea that the Scriptures should be split into different dispensations or periods of God's revelation and that the Old Testament was written to a Jewish audience that was not under grace. Some even went as far as to say that passages like the Sermon on the Mount, since they predated the Cross, were also written to a Jewish audience under the Law. The Apostle Paul does not seem to have this understanding of the Scripture. Hence, the “All”, which definitely included the Old Testament and probably had in mind the New Testament, as he was thinking about his own writings and the writings of other Apostles and those who had been with Jesus.

The question then remains, how can we read Scripture that predates the Cross and apply it to our lives as Christians? I believe that all Scripture contains both Law and Gospel and although the Law shows us our failure and drives us to the Gospel, it can also show us our need for purity, which was met in the Person of Jesus Christ, such as the Ceremonial Laws. The sacrifices show us of our need for a Savior and point us to Jesus. These are Gospel. Having said this, the Christian life is one of new birth, in which we are being recreated in the image of God. We find the image of God within the Scriptures, in both the Law and the Person of Jesus Christ, as well as being expounded upon in the Epistles and Revelation. Identifying Law and Gospel can be difficult and will be something we continue to discuss as we look at how to study our Bibles.


How To Study the Bible: Part C