I am excited to spend some time this evening with our T&T kids during AWANA. They have been learning about the importance of the Word of God. Tonight, we are going to focus on how the Scriptures lead us to faith in Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul explains the vital role of the Scriptures when it comes to placing our faith in Jesus Christ.
14 You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them,
15 and that from childhood you have known the Sacred Writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (II Timothy 3)
The Sacred Writings is a reference to the Holy Scriptures. Timothy’s mother and grandmother taught him the Scriptures from his early childhood. The Scriptures opened Timothy’s mind and led him to place his faith in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. This echos something very similar that Jesus told the Pharisees.
39 “You search the Scriptures because you think that in Them you have eternal life; it is These that testify about Me;
40 and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. (John 5)
The Pharisees read, studied, and even memorized the Holy Scriptures. Unlike Timothy, the Pharisees did not come to the conclusion that Jesus is the Messiah and because of that, they did not place their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. The problem does not lie in the Scriptures. The problem lies with the heart of the people reading the Scriptures.
I. The Scriptures point to Jesus
I have already quoted the Gospel writer, John, as he wrote down the words of Jesus to the Pharisees. I want to return to John and take a look at how he explains that the Scriptures point us to Jesus.
29 Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”
30 Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;
31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20)
Thomas had the opportunity to see Jesus face to face and as a result, he believed. Today, we cannot see Jesus face to face other than through the Word of God. We are blessed to be able to believe without actually seeing Jesus face to face. John also was able to see Jesus face to face. He compiled a list of as many signs and miracles as he could. He did not write all of them down but, the ones that he did write down were written down with a purpose. When we read the Scriptures, we encounter some of the signs and miracles that Jesus performed. This Holy Scripture reveals to us that Jesus is the long Promised Messiah (Savior). He is also God in the flesh. When we believe this, we receive life in His name by placing our faith in Him for who He is and what He has done. Are you a student of the Scriptures? Have you allowed the Scriptures to point you to Jesus as the Messiah and God in the flesh? Have you placed your faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior? The Pharisees studied those same Scriptures yet they refused to see the fact that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah. Do you associate with the Pharisees or the disciples?
II. The Scriptures explain God
The Scriptures are very important to us because without them, we do not know the character of God. The psalmist understood this amazing truth thousands of years ago.
1 I will give You thanks with all my heart; I will sing praises to You before the gods.
2 I will bow down toward Your holy temple And give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your Truth; For You have magnified Your Word according to all Your name. (Psalm 138)
The Word of God teaches us about God’s lovingkindness. The word “lovingkindness” means “to be useful to another and do good to that person“. God, the Creator of the universe, places Himself at our disposal. He does not have to do this yet, He chooses to do so. He wants to make Himself useful to us, for our own good. This is an amazing concept. If we were not to have the Scriptures, we would not understand this characteristic of God. Many people have many different conceptions of God and His character. Some think that He is an old man in the sky waiting to ruin our joy. Others think that He is a vindictive being just waiting for us to make a mistake so that He can punish us. Neither of these two ideas are true. He loves us and He shows us that love by seeking to make Himself useful to us for our own good. We need the Scriptures to teach this to us so that we can respond correctly. God also uses His Holy Word to teach us Truth (reality). The previous example explains the difference between reality (Truth) and our own conceptions about reality. Where do you get your ideas about the nature of God, from society or from the Scriptures?
III. The Scriptures cultivate our minds and morals
All human beings have a worldview. According to Oxford Languages, worldview means, “a particular philosophy of life or conception of the world“. Something will shape your worldview. More than likely, it will be the popular culture in which you live. All worldviews are designed and do not happen by chance. God uses the Bible to shape the worldview of His followers. The Apostle Paul explains how this process works in his second epistle to Timothy.
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (II Timothy 3)
Every single word in the Bible comes directly from God. The Bible is the exact message that He wants to communicate to humanity. The Word of God is profitable to us if we are being trained in it, meaning , being taught from it. As we are exposed to the Word of God, we are taught things like who God is, what we are like, what is right and what is wrong etc. and as we are taught, God begins to show us where we are wrong. The verb to reprove means to be shown where you are wrong with the purpose of getting back right. God exposes our weaknesses and faults as we are learning from His Word. Once He shows us where we are wrong, He then shows us how to get right and helps us get there. Once we are corrected, God then begins to train us day by day so that we learn to stay on the right path. If we will walk through this process with Jesus leading the way, we will notice that our lives will begin to change day by day. This is how our worldview will be formed and cultivated. This is what it means to be a Christian, to be trained in the Word of God, apply what you learn, and then go out and impact the world through your good works. What is cultivating your worldview? Something is forming and cultivating your worldview whether you realize it or not.