16th January 2012

The Scriptures That Change Not

“Sanctify them by your truth.  Your word is truth.”
John 17:17 (NKJV)

Have you come across a verse or section of scripture that you do not recognise; one that has a meaning or teaching that you have not seen or understood before?  I am sure you have.  Of course it has been there all along.  The scripture does not change.  Verses are not added or removed in the dark of night.  So why did we not see them before?

The scriptures might not change, but we certainly do.  In fact, we are in a constant state of change.  It is in our nature, our make-up, to change, and when it comes to our changing understanding of scripture, this is a wonderful thing.  We are to grow in understanding, to mature, to move from the metaphorical milk to the meat of the word.  And as we do so, it ought not to be surprising to find that we see things differently.  This is not a reflection on scripture, it is a reflection on us.  We are the ones who moved, and are now viewing those same words of scripture with new minds, that are being renewed by the Holy Spirit as we study God’s word and let it continually fashion our knowledge of God and the Gospel.

Perhaps we can see a little more clearly the need to be studying God’s word:  Our minds can be likened to a deposit box.  If we don’t put anything in, we will not be able to take anything out.

When Jesus was teaching about the Holy Spirit on the night he was betrayed he said, “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you.  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:25-26)

He went on to say a little later that same evening, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.” (John 16:12 NKJV)  Some things would require foundations of knowledge yet to be laid down before other, deeper, things could be understood.  This is nothing more than the usual manner of learning.  We don’t begin by understanding E=MC2.  But if we don’t keep adding to our knowledge we will never understand it.

God’s word, the Bible, is not different.  We have to keep adding to our knowledge of and through scripture, and the way to do that is to keep studying.  The effect of that is, we will understand things we did not understand before.  We will be changed by the unchanging Word of God.

Father in heaven, thank you for the knowledge you have provided me with in your Word.  Help me as I study, to more deeply and more fully understand what you have prepared for me to know, so that I may bring glory to you in my living in more perfect harmony with your Holy Scriptures.

Study by David Stirk

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