What is the New Testament? (part 3)

by Bryant Evans on April 7, 2017

 

Previously, we detailed basic information about the New Testament. Aside from basic facts of the books we asserted that The New Testament is Our Guide to Life and Worship and The New Testament is Inspired. Examine now the implications of what we have previously shown.

The New Testament Must Be Handled Rightly

The locus classicus must be 2 Timothy 2:15:

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

The unashamed worker rightly handles God’s word. That is, he is carefully in his studies and teachings not to change or alter one single item of Holy Writ. The words are God’s words and must not be tampered with. To change one thing is to change the salvation recipe. Consider the failure of changing items or directions in your favorite cake or pie made by grandmother. A change means it is no longer like the original. It is different.

A common means of changing Scripture is found in denominational creeds. These manmade additions to the Bible are frequently used in place of the Bible. Denominational preachers quote from their creeds as the basis for their lessons! The use of a creed sets the Bible aside for the doctrines of men.

Within the body of Christ, the church, we must use caution when studying or proclaiming God’s word. Well intentioned “adjustments” are just as damning as creeds. We have no right to change, correct, soften, or temper any Scripture.

The New Testament Must Be Studied

There is no field of study more important to mankind than the study of God’s word. Its depths can never be reached. It’s wisdom never finally absorbed. In the same text referenced above (2 Timothy 2:15), Timothy is told to study. He is described as a worker. As one who spends his entire life in study and has rarely held a position requiring hard physical labor, we can attest to the weariness of “much study” (Ecclesiastes 12:12). All who have toiled over books know that the description of a “worker” in verse 15 is appropriate.

Someone may ask: Is such hard work really worthwhile? You be the judge. The Bible’s words are pure (Psalm 12:6). The Bible’s words are perfect and sure (Psalms 19:7). The Bible holds the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). The Bible is truth (John 17:17). The Bible’s words are the basis for our final judgement (Daniel 7:10; Revelation 21:13). So, you answer the question. Is Bible study worthwhile? Phrasing it differently, is there any other action more productive that Bible study? It seems the answers are obvious.

The New Testament is a glorious gathering of the inspired words of God. Let us rejoice in its presence and teaching and let us honor our Father and Savior and the work of the Holy Spirit by studying and living out the word every day!

 

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