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IBC Women’s Blog June 14, 2019

IBC Women’s Blog June 14, 2019

Summer Bible Studies…again? By Jodie Montgomery

I was recently told that I talk about the Bible as if it is part of the Trinity, neglecting the Holy Spirit. This comment has made me consider whether I rightly honor God, Lord Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in my great enthusiasm for the Word. I’m convicted I talk more about the book than about the author. I have a hard time separating the two although I know that the inerrancy of Scripture is based on the writings in their original languages and in proper canonicity. I place a lot of faith on the Bible translation (NASB) in my hand. I also know that when I see my Maker face to face, pages with text will become like a worn out love letter, replaced by my heart’s desire.

I believe that there is one God, manifested in three persons, Father, Son and Spirit. My obsession with the Bible has developed over the years as I have found the Bible to be the means Infinite God, in all three persons, revealed Himself to finite me. The Bible conveys that which is sufficient for my salvation and walk in faith. If I have confidence in God, it is due to His self-revelation. I also believe that the Holy Spirit resides in every believer. I believe that the Spirit illuminates truth to God’s child. I believe that the Spirit empowers Christ’s followers to serve as His Body. I believe His Spirit authenticates His Word.

I think my love of His Word is from living so many years absent from His Word that when I started regularly reading His Word I discovered God’s attributes, His character in a way I could never do apart from His Word. I needed, longed for, the direct communication with my heavenly Father. I cherish His love letters. So I continue to provide Bible study throughout the year, including summers, as I want women to always have a way to gather around His truth. I think this unites His children as family, a community in Christ. I think this strengthens His family.

I hope I haven’t created an environment that values knowledge over the relationship. I admit that sometimes the Bible is hard to understand and that wrong interpretations of God’s Word can take hold in some groups and do damage, propagate hate and self-righteousness; this is a danger in any relationship. So we pray and study more and align all with His character of sacrificial mercy gloriously revealed in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.

I have a high view of Scripture because I believe it is what details the power of God. Jesus links understanding the Scriptures to the power of God (Matthew 22:29). Jesus emphasizes the importance of the Scriptures being fulfilled (Mark 12:19, 14:49; Luke 4:21, 24:27…). Jesus is preached through the Scriptures for the salvation of the condemned (Acts 8:35, 17:2, 18:28…). Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection are recorded by eye witness accounts in Scripture (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). The church is commanded to give attention to reading and teaching the Scripture, recognizing its worth for exhorting and training in righteousness (1 Timothy 4:13; 2 Timothy 3:16). The Spirit is promised as a seal of the believer’s New Covenant birth in the Scriptures.

In Taking God at His Word, Kevin DeYoung writes why the Bible is knowable, necessary, and sufficient.   DeYoung says, “ There is no calamity like the silence of God. We cannot know the truth or know ourselves or know God’s ways or savingly know God himself unless God speaks to us. Every true Christian should feel deep in his bones an utter dependence on God’s self-revelation in the Scriptures. Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord (Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4).” How do I separate the author from His Word?

With the Scriptures being so essential in hearing from God, I trust God made them trustworthy. Yet, I groan longing to see my Lord and to really know Him. I see why the apostle Paul prayed “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9).”