1 Thessalonians 2:13
“And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God…”
The secular comedian, Bill Maher, often makes fun of Christians for, “Treating the Bible… as though it’s the Bible.” (Paraphrasing) However, Paul views such treatment of scripture as an encouragement to him, and also those traveling with him. Why? Because, how we (Christians) treat scripture is a barometer of the condition of our walk with Christ. Therefore, Paul’s being encouraged is rooted in the Thessalonians’ reverence of God’s Word.
And, as noble as the Thessalonians may have been thought of by Paul, for their regard of scripture, look at how the Bereans were described by Luke in comparison to the Thessalonians:
“The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”
Now, don’t get the impression that I am promoting the notion that our standing with God is dependent on our treatment of scripture. Our standing with God is based on the work of Christ. The point that I am making is that taking an honest look at ourselves as to how we treat scripture, is a great way to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith. Self examination is extremely important:
2 Corinthians 13:5
“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? —unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”
So, how important is God’s Word to Him?
“…For You have magnified Your Word above all Your name.”
As important as God’s name may be, His Word is held in even higher esteem by Him. With this in mind, our (the brethren’s) treatment of our Father’s Word should be of utmost importance. It should be of the highest priority, because it is our ultimate authority. Here is how Paul emphasized the importance of scripture to Timothy:
2 Timothy 3:16 – 4:5
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober- minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
May we always do such…
Godspeed, to the brethren!
Check out this previous blog encouraging the proper handling of scripture, our ultimate authority, when interpreting what it says:
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