Are You a Person of THE Book?

The Bible is God’s gracious Word to sinful man. It is NOT an exhaustive depository of the knowledge of God, or an intimate record of everything that is and of anything that goes on “under the sun,” or even a complete manual of the totality of His intricate dealings with man … but, it is a divinely-ordained composite of God’s revealed will for all mankind. In fact, the Bible contains everything that is necessary for both the obtaining of eternal life and for living a godly life in Christ Jesus our Lord (2 Timothy 2:8-10; Ephesians 1:3; 2 Peter 1:3). Just listen to how the Apostle John supports this clear premise, in chapter 20, and verses 30-31 of his gospel: “Many other signs therefore did Jesus in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in his name.”

So then, God’s unmistakable purpose in giving us His Word, is to call the lost to believe in Jesus Christ as the ONLY Savior of mankind (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). And this calling of all men to Himself (Matthew 22:14; Acts 17:30; John 12:32) has an aim — namely, to work upon the hearts and minds of men so that they might believe (John 3:16). This is none other than the work of God itself (See John 6:29 which says, “This is the work of God that you believe in Him whom He has sent”). This saving message about Jesus Christ is a message of salvation from our sins! It is the whole gospel, offered freely to the whole world, from the whole of Scripture (Acts 13:38; 26:18)!

But the Bible is also a book about our sanctification. Everything in the Bible has been written for our specific instruction that we may learn to do God’s will, through prayer (Luke 18:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; James 1:5) and the diligent study of His precious, inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word (1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18; Acts 17:11). Take special note of the following examples from Scripture that illustrate for us God’s deep concern for our sanctification: “Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come” (1 Corinthians 10:11). This is why Paul proclaimed to young Timothy, “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 competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Are you a person of this book? Are you reading or just dabbling in it? Is your Bible gathering dust? If so, start reading it today with a heart of hunger for God. For God has given you His wonderful Word, in your own language, so that it might have its rightful place in your personal life, that you might truly live in this life … and especially live in the life to come (John 10:10; cf. 5:24). So, discipline yourself now for the purpose of Godliness (1 Timothy 4:7)! Only by the grace of God will you make progress here (1 Timothy 4:16).

So let’s go on and read it today, and then learn humbly to meditate upon its precious truth as well (Psalm 1:1-3; Joshua 1:8; John 17:17). And may your pastor’s sermon this Sunday be shot-through and overflowing with God’s Word; both for you and for all who hear it (2 Timothy 4:1-5)! For, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4).
Jerry Marcellino is pastor of Audubon Drive Bible Church in Laurel. He can be reached by e-mail at pastorjerry@audubonchurch.org