1Sa 3:1 “ … And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; …”
Do you know that the most printed book ever is the Bible? Over six billion copies of the Bible have been printed over the generations. The next most printed book is “Quotations From Chairman Mao” that has had 900 million copies printed (less than 1/6 of the number of copies printed of the Bible). Why is the Bible the most printed book ever?
We might begin to understand if we stop and think about it. It is this same Bible, or portions of it, that has been translated and reprinted from one generation to the other for over thirty-five hundred years. It is the contents of this book that are proclaimed on a weekly basis, to those who faithfully gather in churches throughout the world, and have done so, for almost 2000 years.
For those called of God to be pastors, evangelists and teachers of His Word, the burden, to declare His Word, is taken very seriously. They have been willing to leave their lucrative jobs, their homeland, their relatives and their friends to go to other cities, states, or even countries to proclaim His Word to them to which they are called.
For many, the ultimate sacrifice for the Word has been made. Christians, who have proclaimed His Word and lived their live according to it, have been willing to suffer physical abuse, and even give their life, all because they recognize the tremendous value of the Word.
But the ultimate proof of the Bible’s value is shown by men who have entrusted their eternal destiny to the message found within its pages.
Again, we ask the questions “Why? What is so special about this book?”
In this series we will be attempting to answer these questions. For this lesson, let’s study the Bible’s value for each of us. We will be centering our study upon the Bible’s testimony about itself, it’s author, it’s purpose, and, therefore, it’s value to all mankind.
(KJV) 16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
(ESV) 16) All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17) that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
(KJV) 13) Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. 14) For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. 15) She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.
(ESV) 13) Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, 14) for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. 15) She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.
In our first scripture, 2 Tim 3:16-17, we find both the origin and the purpose of the Bible.
The Word’s authorship is revealed to us in the phrase….
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God”. The phrase “inspiration of God” carries with it the idea of being “breathed out by God”. The Bible is the very words of God handed down to mankind. (2 Sam 23:2; 2 Peter 1:21). When we understand this basic truth we can come to an understanding of the reliability of Scripture:
- Since, we know that God cannot lie (Titus 1:20); it only follows that the Bible can be trusted and counted as dependable.
- Since we know that God is perfect and sinless (Lev 19:2, 1Pet 1:16); it only follows that His words are perfect and they will not fail, nor contradict themselves.
The remaining portion of 2 Tim 3:16-17 reveals to us the great purpose that God had in mind when He handed His words to mankind…
“and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
According to our verses, God’s word was given for man to profit in six ways:
- Doctrine – learning; the gain of knowledge, facts, and information about spiritual things
- Reproof – conviction; to show error, need of change
- Correction – to straighten; to show how to correct error, to demonstrate how change should be made
- Instruction in righteousness – to educate in Godly living; how to please God with our lives
- May be perfect – to be spiritually mature, to be wise, experienced and knowledgeable.
- May be thoroughly furnished unto all good works – all the tools we need to live lives on earth and prepare for life after our death.
The above listing makes it very easy to understand why the Bible is of such value to us. Please notice how it is phrased in Pro 3:13-15…
“Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding. For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.”
How do we find true happiness in a world where we find the existence of injustice, selfishness, abuse and sin? It is only through the gathering of wisdom and understanding. “Wisdom” and “understanding” are simply another way of expressing the six ways we profit from God’s Word (see above listing). It is through the Word of God that we can find true wisdom and understanding (Pro 2:6).
Because the Bible is the complete revelation of spiritual wisdom and knowledge that is handed down from God to man, the writer of Proverbs assigns to it great value…
- It is greater than the purchase of silver
- It is greater gain than highly refined gold
- It is more highly sought after than rubies
- It is of more benefit to us than any other possession we can desire
Now that we have seen the tremendous benefits that can be attained through knowledge of God’s Word, we can better understand its popularity and the importance that it has held throughout the centuries.
It is this value found in His Word, that’s makes a lifetime of study and application of His Word of overwhelming benefit to us all.
Psa 119:111-112 “Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart. I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end.”
For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series doc version: please go to: http://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual1.docx
For a free copy of the Teacher/Student Handbook for this series pdf version: please go to: http://settledinheaven.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/tpw-1-teacherstudentmanual.pdf
Settled In Heaven Ministries Text Blog: http://settledinheaven.wordpress.com