This final sermon of the series on Reading the Scriptures emphasizes that the message of the Bible is holy, not the book itself. To grasp the message we must read the scriptures. Even in the New Testament period many Christians were spiritually illiterate and immature, because they did not attend upon the words of scripture. The writer of Hebrews complained about the stunted spiritual development he witnessed among believers. The Torah commanded the king of Israel to prepare a written copy of the Law and read it every day. This sermon urges the readers to make a commitment to read the Bible for five minutes a day, every day for a month.
Much has been written and great debates rage around the inspiration of the Bible. However, the Bible says little about the nature of inspiration. A helpful doctrine of inspiration must include the work of the Holy Spirit in the writing, editing, transmission, and canonization of the scriptures. It should also include the work of the Spirit in the events of proclamation and hearing of the scripture message. This sermon focuses on the function and usefulness of scripture. The most important function of scripture is to lead us to faith in Jesus Christ.
The Bible plays a central role in the life of the people called Christians. Jesus himself read scriptures and expounded them in his home synagogue in Nazareth. He set an example that the community is formed and challenged by reading the ancient texts and bringing them to bear on the present. In the pastoral letter of 2 Timothy the writer recommends scriptures as a basic guide for godly living.
This sermon launches a new sermon series on Christian Practices that shape the Christian's live. This is the first in a series of four sermons that will explore different aspects of the practice of reflecting on Holy Scriptures. Ezra read the Torah to the people as they gathered together. The Ethiopian eunuch read scripture privately. In these two texts we find scripture reading in public and in private. Both texts indicated the need for guidance and interpretation.