Before I start, I have to clarify one thing. We do not worship the bible. We worship God through Christ. Our salvation does not start with Moses. Neither does it start with prophet Isaiah or even brother Paul. It starts with Christ, alone! Read about Christ alone here.
What then are the scriptures for? They testify of Christ.
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.John 5:39 (KJV)
This was Jesus speaking to some teachers of the bible. Eternal life is not found in Greek, Hebrew, or English words or interpretation. Eternal life is found in a person! That person in Jesus Christ. Again, Which Jesus? – See this post.
The Old testament
The whole of the old testament is about Christ. The new testament talks about Christ when HE physically dwelt among men, through eyewitness accounts (Matt., Mark, Luke, John) AND Christ through revelation by the power of the Holy Spirit – as seen particularly in the epistles of the Apostles (James, John, Paul, etc).
I’m talking about these basics because these foundations are key in understanding the scriptures. They were written for us.
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.Romans 15:4 (NKJV)
Now, here I give a picture. This is a picture of a book alongside a slightly modified quote I found in the book.
When you look at this book, you observe it to be an engineering textbook from the title. The fact that there was a reference to a piece of history in this book DOES NOT make it a history book. The fact that it contains a location DOES NOT make it a geography book either. It is an engineering book dedicated to solving engineering problems. Therefore, to buy this book to study history is to err. The location and period is provided in relation to the context of the textbook – Control Systems Engineering. The location and period sometimes can help you verify the authenticity of the book so it’s not useless information.
Now back to the bible. It is not written to get you rich. If you want to get rich, it’s wiser to go to Harvard business school. It’s not written to teach us about geography, history or dinosaurs. It’s neither a “prophesy manual” nor a “prosperity cheat sheet”.
Testaments on Christ
They are they that testify of our Lord Jesus. So yes, there are prophets in the bible. The question is how do these prophets relate to Christ. How does communion relate to Christ. How does baptism relate to Christ. Manna from heaven, blood of the lamb on door posts in Egypt, the rock of which water came from in the desert, the judges of Israel, the nation Israel herself, “I will provide for Myself a sacrifice” and the sheep caught in the bush when Abraham was about to sacrifice his ONLY son… You see a pattern there? Christ sprinkled all over the old testament and to this I say, the gospel is not new. Salvation was always the plan before the foundations of the world. What a wonderful Father we have! As time goes by, I’ll give more detail into some of these concepts.
The gospel is not new
So if you study the bible just to find miracles, point is missed. If you study the Bible just to find or argue about what type of water should be used in baptism, you may have missed the point. If you study to find out how old the earth is, I’m sorry but you’ll have successfully wasted your time.
Why then were the scriptures written?
There are so many broad reasons for this but I’ll talk about the most important reason – To grow in faith in HE whom we find rest, eternal life.
- Faith in Christ.
Let me paint another picture, one scientists, scholars and student may be familiar with. When 100 textbooks agree on the same statement (e.g. blood is thicker than water), you are more likely to believe it to be accurate.
When multiple prophets, spanning 1500 years, across different lifetimes, all prophesy the same thing, or in our case – The Same Person!, you believe in the person (Jesus Christ) more. You grow in HIM. When you see multiple bad people across the bible all claim the obtained mercy from the same person, you believe more. i.e. your faith in HIM grows.
II Timothy 3 breaks it down better.
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto 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 perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.2 Timothy 3:15-17 KJV
Translating to English, we have:
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.2 Timothy 3:14-17 ESV
So there you have it.
Scriptures help to make us wise unto salvation. Sometimes we say “oh no, doctrine is not important, as long as we worship, all is well” and by worship we mean singing or “falling under anointing”. Well guess what? The description of whom we sing to matters. There’s no salvation outside of Christ. That message of Christ, the good news, the gospel, is found in scripture and for that reason I say, doctrine is
veeeeery very important. The right description of Christ matters.
The scriptures teaches, corrects and trains us to be the righteous men and women Christ has made us, that we may bear fruits. So if you read the scriptures and all you’re getting is God the mother, I’m sorry but NO. If you’re reading it and you see a black, white or brown Jesus, you’re reading the wrong book. If you’re reading and all you see is financial prosperity, again wrong book.
More points to note when studying the scriptures will be discussed in the second part of this series God willing. Please feel free to comment if perhaps you think I may be overreacting, out of line or maybe I simply just talk too much.