- We should study the Scriptures but we need to remember why. God wants us to read His Word to know Him more, to know His will & His ways, and to do what it says. Studying the Scriptures should strengthen & deepen our relationship with Him, keep us from stumbling & sinning, and enable us to immediately detect any false teaching/doctrines. "Seek not to grow in knowledge chiefly for the sake of applause, and to enable you to dispute with others; but seek it for the benefit of your souls." (~Jonathan Edwards)
- The Scriptures cannot save you; only Jesus can! Accept no substitutes. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood." (Romans 3:23-25a)
"Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." (Hebrews 9:22b)
God’s sinless, sovereign Son scorned by several, sacrificed self (solely suitable, satisfactory scapegoat) to save sinners’ souls securely from sin, suppressing sly satan’s scheme. Only the shedding of God's Son's blood can sufficiently satisfy God's justice for our past, present, and future sins. Christ's blood makes us righteous (have right standing with God). He sets us free from shackles of slavery to sin and shame. Please accept His gift of salvation through faith in Christ Jesus if you haven't done so yet. Christ loves you so much that He suffered and died for you so that you can spend eternity with Him.
- "Without the renewed mind, we will distort the Scriptures to avoid their radical commands for self-denial, and love, and purity, and supreme satisfaction in Christ alone." (~John Piper)
Sad but true, we have seen people, including those who appear to be "active" Christians, distort the Scriptures to justify their sins, to serve their own agendas, and even to commit crimes. Satan knows the Scriptures. Most atheists know the Scriptures. Pharisees and false teachers know the Scriptures. What do they all have in common? The lack of the renewed mind and transformed heart! The absence of Christlikeness! Self, not Christ, is still on the throne of their lives. Let's be careful not to fall into the same pitfall as these people: "You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence." (Matthew 23:24-25) We constantly need the Holy Spirit to steer us, show us His will, help us stay steadfast in our faith, stand stable in our conviction, and give us strength each day.
"When they see a follower of Jesus who is sold out for Christ, living free of legalism and bondage to the world, they are drawn to Jesus. When they see a follower of Jesus living for 'self' and the world, they have no problem rejecting Jesus because it allows them to play the hypocrite card. The world needs us to be an example of living the Bible so that they too are drawn to Christ. They need answers, and for us to say we are "Christians" and live our life in pursuit of personal gain would only be a contradiction to who we say we follow. " (~David McGee)