Last week the Thursday group finished our study of Romans. We started it last year so we certainly haven`t rushed. Mind you our effort pales into insignificance compared to Dr. D Martyn Lloyd-Jones who took thirteen years to preach his expository sermons on Romans. I know sometimes we digressed from the passage we were studying but mostly we stuck to what Paul wrote.
When we had completed the study, we decided to read right through the letter the way it would have been received by the Roman believers to whom Paul wrote it. Why do I mention this? Because it is something we so rarely do. We are so busy trying to sort out the detail we miss the wonderful sweep of the message. It was a real blessing for me to listen as we took it in turns to read a chapter each. Romans is the finest treatise of the Christian faith, but listening to it, I heard the heart of a man who loved them even though he never met them. Each of us said how much the reading of the whole letter, had not only cemented what we had learned through the study, but also seen the whole letter from a wider perspective. We are looking forward to the next study! Can I encourage anyone who isn`t in a study group to join one. You will be blessed!
The Bible is the major way that God speaks to us and how we are to test anything that we hear. We should be like the Bereans who “received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true”. (Acts 17:11). So often we receive the word with joy but don`t check to see if it is correct. Remember the Bible is the authoritative word of God, the words that were written, weren`t just figments of the writers imagination. As Peter says, “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” (2 Pet 1:16). Speaking of the prophets he says, “no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Pet 1:20-21).
Don`t let us be like the family who, when asked by their daughter, ‘Who`s book is that on the bookshelf?’ replied, ‘God`s.’ The girl responded with these telling words, ‘Shouldn`t we give it back to him because we don`t use it?’
If dust is gathering on our Bibles what does it say about us? If we are examining the scriptures every day, it won`t have time to gather any dust.
Every blessing be yours in Christ Jesus.
John & Hilary