The Bible is the statute–book of God’s Kingdom, wherein is comprised the whole body of the heavenly law, the perfect rules of a holy life, and the sure promises of a glorious one.
The Scripture is the library of the Holy Ghost; it is a pandect of divine knowledge, an exact model and platform of religion. The Scripture contains in it the credenda , “the things which we are to believe,” and the agenda , “the things which we are to practice.”
Good for saint and sinner:
O ye saints, how you should love the Word, for by this you have been converted.... Tie it about your neck, write it upon your hand, lay it in your bosom. When you go let it lead you, when you sleep let it keep you, when you wake let it talk with you. (Prov. 6:21–22). You that are unconverted, read the Word with diligence; flock to where it is powerfully preached. Pray for the coming of the Spirit in the Word. Come from your knees to the sermon, and come from the sermon to your knees.
The Christian is bred by the Word, and he must be fed by it.
The Word generates faith and regenerates us.
The godly man will read the Word by day, that men, seeing his good works, may glorify his Father who is in heaven; he will do it in the night, that he may not be seen of men; by day, to show that he is not one of those who dread the light; by night, to show that he is one who can shine in the shade; by day, for that is the time for working, work whilst it is day; by night, lest his Master should come as a thief, and find him idle.
SIR RICHARD BAKER
The Scriptures teach us the best way of living, the noblest way of suffering, and the most comfortable way of dying.
Conversion turns us to the Word of God, as our touchstone, to examine ourselves . . . as our glass, to dress by (James 1); as our rule to walk and work by (Gal. 6:16); as our water, to wash us (Ps. 119:9); as our fire to warm us (Luke 24); as our food to nourish us (Job 23:12); as our sword to fight with (Eph. 6); as our counsellor, in all our doubts (Ps. 119:24); as our cordial, to comfort us; as our heritage, to enrich us.
The Scripture is both the breeder and feeder of grace. How is the convert born, but by “the word of truth”? (James 1:18) How doth he grow, but by “the sincere milk of the Word”? (1 Pet. 2:2)
Danger in adding or detracting:
I will give you this as a most certain observation, that there never was anything of false doctrine brought into the church, or anything of false worship imposed upon the church, but either it was by neglecting the Scripture, or by introducing something above the Scripture.
We hold that neither man nor angel is any wise to add or detract any thing, to change or to alter any thing from that which the Lord hath set down in His Word.
I know there is nothing in the Word or in the works of God that is repugnant to sound reason, but there are some things in both which are opposite to carnal reason, as well as above right reason; and therefore our reason never shows itself more unreasonable than in summoning those things to its bar which transcend its sphere and capacity.
In brief, where the Scripture is silent, the church is my text; where that speaks, ’tis but my comment; where there is a joint silence of both, I borrow not the rules of my religion from Rome or Geneva, but the dictates of my own reason.
SIR THOMAS BROWNE
We say not that the Spirit ever speaks to us of the Word, but by the Word. . . .
The Spirit of God rides most triumphantly in his own chariot.
The two Testaments are the two lips by which God hath spoken to us.
The same Testator made both Testaments.
Among the many arguments to prove the penmen of the Scripture inspired by the Spirit of God, this is not the last and least—that the penmen of Holy Writ do record their own faults and the faults of their dearest and nearest relatives. For instance hereof, how coarsely doth David speak of himself: “So foolish was I, and ignorant; I was as a beast before Thee.” And do you think that the face of St. Paul did look the more foul by being drawn with his own pencil, when he says, “I was a murderer, a persecutor, the greatest of sinners,” etc.? .... Moses sets down the sin and punishment of his own sister, the idolatry and superstition of Aaron his brother, and his own fault in his preposterous striking the rock.
If all the light of the heavenly luminaries had been contracted into one, it would have been destructive, not useful, to our sight.... So, if the whole revelation of the glory of Christ, and all that belongs to it, had been committed into one series and contexture of words, it would have overwhelmed our minds rather than enlightened us. Wherefore God has distributed the light of it through the whole firmament of the books of the Old and New Testaments....
One great object of revelation was to show us God as our Father.
Bless God for the translation of the Scriptures. The Word is our sword; by being translated, the sword is drawn out of its scabbard.
As the title set over the head of Christ crucified, was the same in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, so are the Scriptures the same, whether in the original, or other language into which they are faithfully translated. Yet, as the waters are most pure, and sweet in the fountain, so are all writings, Divine and human, in their original tongues.
Read the Scripture, not only as a history, but as a love–letter sent to you from God.
When you hear the Word, say, “There God spoke to my soul.” Men forget truths because they are apt to put them off to others, and not to look on themselves as concerned in them.
He that would comprehend all things, apprehends nothing. As he that comes to a corn heap, the more he opens his hand to take, the less he graspeth, the less he holdeth. Where the Scripture hath no tongue, we should have no ear.
He doth not bid us take a taste of all sins and vanities, as Solomon did, to try them: for they are tried already; but that we should set the Word of God always before us like a rule, and believe nothing but that which it teacheth, love nothing but that which it prescribeth, hate nothing but that which it forbideth, do nothing but that which it commandeth, and then we try all things by the Word.
Leave not off reading the Bible till you find your hearts warmed. . . . Let it not only inform you, but inflame you.
When Satan borrows sense to speak one thing, let faith borrow Scripture to speak the contrary.
The Word of life may be so distorted from the life of the Word till it becomes the food of death.
Compare Scripture with Scripture. False doctrines, like false witnesses, agree not among themselves.
The Scripture is to be its own interpreter, or rather the Spirit speaking in it; nothing can cut the diamond but the diamond; nothing can interpret Scripture but Scripture.
God’s truth always agrees with itself.
There is in Scripture but one proper, and immediate sense; others are rather collections from it, relations unto it, or illustrations of it.
It is a safe rule in interpreting Scripture, that in places mentioning the love and grace of God to us, the words are to be taken in their utmost significance.
In the waters of life, the Divine Scriptures, there are shallows and there are deeps; shallows where the lamb may wade; and deeps where the elephant may swim. If we be not wise to distinguish, we may easily miscarry; he that can wade over the ford, cannot swim through the deep.... What infinite mischief hath arisen to the church of God from the presumption of ignorant and unlettered men, that have taken upon them to interpret the most obscure Scriptures, and pertinaciously defend their own sense!
As there is a foolish wisdom, so there is a wise ignorance; in not prying into God’s ark, not inquiring into things not revealed. I would fain know all that I need, and all that I may: I leave God’s secrets to Himself. It is happy for me that God makes me of His court though not of His council.
Common reason tells us that we must first have a general proof that Scripture is God’s Word, and argue thence to the verity of the parts, and not begin with a particular proof of each part. It seems that you would argue thus: This and that text of Scripture are true, therefore they are God’s Word. But reason telleth you that you should argue thus: This is God’s Word, therefore it is true.
Remember that greatest misery to an honest heart is this, a misdrawing of rules out of the Word of God: you take a word and do not compare it with other Scriptures, and see whether it be temporary and doth absolutely bind.
You know how it was with Moses, when he saw two men fighting, one an Egyptian, and another an Israelite, he killed the Egyptian; but, when he saw two Hebrews fighting, Now, saith he, I will go and reconcile them, for they are brethren; why so, but because he was a good man, and gracious? So also it is with a gracious heart; when he sees the Scripture fighting with an Egyptian, an heathen author, or apocryphal, he comes and kills the heathen.... but when he sees two Scriptures at variance (in view, though in truth not), Oh, saith he, these are brethren. and they may be reconciled, I will labour all I can to reconcile them; but when a man shall take every advantage of seeming difference in Scripture, to say, Do ye see what contradictions there are in this book, and not labour to reconcile them, what doth this argue, but that the corruption of a man’s nature, is boiled up to an unknown malice against the word of the Lord.
For it is not what a church practices, but what it is warranted to practice: not what it holds for a truth, but what it is warranted to hold as the word of truth. The Word was written after the church; but as it is the Word of God, it is before it.
The Scripture is the sun; the church is the clock, whose hands point us to and whose sound tells us the hours of the day. The sun we know to be sure, and regularly constant in his motion; the clock, as it may fall out, may go too fast or too slow. We are wont to look at, and listen to the clock, we know the time of the day; but, where we find the variation sensible, we believe the sun against the clock, not the clock against the sun.
Let the sun arise in the firmament, and there is no need of witnesses to prove and confirm unto a seeing man that it is day. . . . It is all one, by what means, by what hand, whether of a child, or a church. . . . the Scripture comes to us; come how it will, it hath its authority in itself. . . . and hath its power of manifesting itself. . . . from its own innate light.
The Lord has more truth yet to break forth out of His holy Word.
Steadfastness in believing doth not exclude all temptations from without. When we say a tree is firmly rooted, we do not say the wind never blows upon it
John Owen (1616-1683)
NKJ Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper. 4 The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
How to Read the Bible
A Sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon
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