We are going to begin by looking at a verse in II Timothy Chapter 3. Because we want to understand why God has given us his written word. You know, it is possible to study the Bible for the wrong reasons, And I think a lot of Christians do.
Now we need to study the scriptures and approach the scriptures for the same reason, with which God gave it. And that's described in II Timothy 3:16-17.
All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice, That the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work.
It says, all scripture is inspired by God. The Greek word used here is theopneustos, and literally means "God breathed". Simply put, the scriptures came straight from the mouth of God! God is the one who breathed his breath, into this book, just like he breathed into Adam. If God had not breathed into Adam, he would've been just a pile of dust. And any book into which God is not breathed is just a pile of dust. And God breathed into the bible and it's been given to us for teaching to show us the just path for reproof. God's given us his word to rebuke us strongly. To correct us when we've gone astray, to lead us back to the right path, to train us in justice. That means our character should change. It should straighten us because we are all crooked, and ultimately so that we can become men and women of God. As II Timothy 3:17 says, "That the man of God may be perfect" that is complete, And just like a glass of water when it's filled, is complete, our character is rounded off, balanced, complete. And not only are we complete, we are thoroughly furnished, equipped, for every good work. To serve God for every good work that he has prepared for us. So that's the purpose of scripture. And if you study the Bible, you must study it for these reasons. That your character might be full, rounded, and become the way God wants it to be. That you can be anointed and equipped to serve other people the way God wants you to serve.
The Bible was not given for us to increase in knowledge or just to teach other people.
A lot of people use it for the wrong reasons. You must keep that in mind when we go through these studies and all through your life. I started studying the Bible at a very young age, and this is the goal that I've had before me all these years. I did not study the Bible to teach other people. I studied the Bible because I wanted to know what God had to say to me. I studied it at the feet of Jesus and His Church, asking the Holy Spirit to teach me. And he can teach you too.
You know, it says that when the disciples were walking to Emmaus after the resurrection, Jesus opened the scriptures to them. And that is the thing which we want him to do to us as well. We want Jesus to walk with us.
That's how I want to study the scriptures. Jesus walking with me, opening the scriptures. Not only through the reading of His Word but also the hearing of His Word as it is being taught to us by His Holy Church and confirmed to us by His Holy Spirit. And those disciples said our hearts burn within us when Jesus opened the scriptures. And that's how it should be in our life. When the Holy Spirit shows us scripture, our hearts should burn within us. The scripture's not boring. Do you think those two disciples, Going to Emmaus found Jesus boring? Jesus is never boring. An anointed Ministry is never boring at any time.
If we walk with Jesus and allow him to open the scriptures to us, saw hearts will always burn because the scriptures reveal Christ.
The other thing I want to say to you is God has not written the scripture for lazy people.
We got to meditate on scripture. Blessed is the man. It says in Psalm one who meditates on the law of the Lord Day and night. That doesn't mean he's reading the Bible day and night, He meditates on it. Maybe you read it just a few minutes in the morning, but he meditates on it right through the day. And in the middle of the night, if he wakes up, he thinks about scripture. And as he meditates, he understands God's laws. Now in the Old Testament, they meditated on God's laws. In the New Testament. We are told in II Corinthians 3:18 that we meditate on Jesus. The word made flesh and we see Jesus in the scriptures. We meditate on him as he is revealed to us in the pages of the scripture. And such a man, it says in Psalm one, will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. He will always be green. He will always be fruitful all the time.
Another Psalm says, even in old age, he will bring forth fruit. That is God's will for every one of us. It is not God's will that any of you should be a barren tree even when others around you are barren. In a time of drought, you can be green and fruitful. The secret is to meditate on the scriptures, on God's word. There's another verse that's in Proverbs 25:2 which says, it is the glory of God to conceal a matter and is the glory of kings, to search it out. God has in the world concealed deep down under the surface of the earth, all the valuable metals. You don't find gold on the surface. You don't find diamonds on the surface. They're all deep down. What do you find on the surface is grass and mud and dirt. Cheap stuff. And if you read the scripture superficially, you won't get the real riches of it.
It's the glory of God to conceal a matter and if you're going to be a king, one who is reigning in Christ, it's your glory to search it out. To dig out and find it. As God sees that whole heartedness and eagerness in you, the Holy Spirit will reveal to you the meaning of scripture. Jesus said, I thank you father, that you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and you have revealed them to babes. You don't need to be clever, but you've got to have a clean heart. The baby's got a clean heart, it's your heart condition that determines whether you understand scripture, not your head intelligence. It's hidden from the clever and the intelligent. You can't understand scripture by getting a doctorate in theology. You can understand scripture if you've got a humble heart and a good conscience. That's how we understand scripture.
Scripture gives us promises and commands that we have to believe and obey. Words to rebuke us and words to comfort us. So having said those words as an introduction, let me move straight away. We're going to go right through the scriptures, starting with Genesis chapter one.