The Importance of bible reading and exposition

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Iconoclast, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. Iconoclast

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    Some direct and strong views offered by our friend J.C. Ryle once again.....do you agree....or disagree......give a scriptural explanation for any comment;


    There never was a man or woman truly converted, from one end of the world to the other, who did not love the revealed will of God. Just as a child born into the world naturally desires the milk provided for its nourishment, so does a soul "born again" desire the sincere milk of the Word. This is a common mark of all the children of God —they "delight in the law of the LORD" (Psalm 1:2).

    Show me a person who despises Bible reading, or thinks little of Bible preaching, and I hold it to be a certain fact that he is not yet "born again." He may be zealous about forms and ceremonies. He may be diligent in attending church and the taking of the Lord’s Supper. But if these things are more precious to him than the Bible, I cannot believe that he is a converted man. Tell me what the Bible is to a man and I will generally tell you what he is.
    This is the pulse to try —this is the barometer to look at —if we would know the state of the heart. I have no notion of the Spirit dwelling in a man and not giving clear evidence of His presence. And I believe it to be clear evidence of the Spirit’s presence when the Word is really precious to a man’s soul.
    see pt2;
     
    #1 Iconoclast, Aug 31, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2016
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  2. Iconoclast

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    http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/articles/index.php?view=article&aid=29824


    Love of the Word is one of the characteristics we see in Job. Little as we know of this Patriarch and his age this, at least, stands out clearly. He says, "I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread" (Job 23:12).

    Love of the Word is a shining feature in the character of David. Note how it appears all through that wonderful part of Scripture, the 119th Psalm. He might well have said, "Oh, how I love your law!" (Psalm 119:97).

    Love of the Word is a striking point in the character of Paul. What were he and his companions but men mighty in the Scriptures? What were his sermons but expositions and applications of the Word?

    Love of the Word appears preeminently in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
    He read it publicly.
    He quoted it continually.
    He expounded it frequently.
    He advised the Jews to "search" it.
    He used it as His weapon to resist the devil.
    He said repeatedly, "The Scripture must be fulfilled."
    Almost the last thing He did was to "open their minds [Disciples] so they could understand the Scriptures" (Luke 24:45).

    I am afraid that man cannot be a true servant of Christ, who has not something of his Master’s mind and feeling towards the Bible.

    Love of the Word has been a prominent feature in the history of all the saints, of whom we know anything, since the days of the Apostles. This is the lamp which Athanasius and Chrysostom and Augustine followed. This is the compass which kept the Vallenses and Albigenses from making shipwreck of the faith. This is the well which was reopened by Wycliffe and Luther, after it had been long stopped up. This is the sword with which Latimer, and Jewell, and Knox won their victories. This is the manna which fed Baxter and Owen, and the noble host of the Puritans, and made them strong in battle. This is the armory from which Whitefield and Wesley drew their powerful weapons. This is the mine from which Bickersteth and M’Cheyne brought forth rich gold.

    Differing as these holy men did in some matters, on one point they were all agreed —they all delighted in the Word.
     
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  3. Baptist Believer

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    I agree with this.

    I grew up in a church that did not stress Bible reading at all... In fact, when I was converted (outside the fellowship), I asked the youth minister to hold Bible studies. He grudgingly agreed and then canceled them about three weeks later stating that "no one" was interested, even though there were several of us attending.

    I hungered for the scriptures on my own and fed myself as best as I could. Finally, the Lord assisted me through a series of events that helped me set aside all of the junk I had been taught and allowed me to consume His word afresh.

    It literally transformed my life.
     
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  4. Iconoclast

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    pt3;
    (1) This paper may fall into the hands of some who "can read, but never do read the Bible at all."

    Are you one of them? If you are, I have something to say to you. I cannot comfort you in your present state of mind. It would be mockery and deceit to do so. I cannot speak to you of peace and heaven, while you treat the Bible as you do. You are in danger of losing your soul.

    You are in danger, because "your neglected Bible is plain evidence that you do not love God." The health of a man’s body may generally be known by his appetite. The health of a man’s soul may be known by his treatment of the Bible. Now you are manifestly living with a serious disease. Will you not repent?

    I know I cannot reach your heart. I cannot make you see and feel these things. I can only enter my solemn protest against your present treatment of the Bible, and lay that protest before your conscience. I do so with all my soul. Oh, beware lest you repent too late! Beware lest you put off reading the Bible till you send for the doctor in your last illness, and then find the Bible a sealed book, and dark, as the cloud between the hosts of Israel and Egypt, to your anxious soul! Beware lest you go on saying all your life, "Men get along very well without all this Bible-reading" and find in time, to your cost, that men without the Bible do very poorly, and end up in hell! Beware lest the day come when you will feel, "Had I but honored the Bible as much as I have honored the newspaper, I should not have been left without comfort in my last hours! "Bible neglecting reader, I give you a plain warning. Judgment is outside your door ready to come in and destroy you. The Lord have mercy upon your soul!
     
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  5. Internet Theologian

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    I thank God for the hunger of the Word of God he placed within me upon conversion.
     
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  6. SovereignGrace

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    Yet, some want the spotlight of of the inspired word.
     
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  7. Internet Theologian

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    Brother, there is so much to say about Andy's apostate stance on this issue. He has also expanded his view on diminishing Scriptures in one of his sermons of late:

    northpointonline.tv/messages/who-needs-god/the-bible-told-me-so

    He is out on a limb. Those who defend his 'intent' concerning the last video and thread on here concerning Andy Stanley should get a bigger picture here of him. He is apostasy in action. There is no need to defend him yet there will be some who will rush in to defend him and his 'wisdom' of myths and fables (2 Timothy 4) in the face of sound doctrine.
     
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  8. Iconoclast

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    Hello BB...good imput. Praise the Lord that he gave you that hunger for the word.
    jer20;
    9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.
     
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  9. Iconoclast

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    The primary object of all Scripture is to testify about Jesus:

    Old Testament ceremonies are shadows of Christ.

    Old Testament judges and deliverers are types of Christ.

    Old Testament history shows the world’s need of Christ.

    Old Testament prophecies are full of Christ’s sufferings.

    Old Testament prophecies are full of Christ’s glory yet to come.

    The first coming and the second.

    The Lord’s humiliation.

    The Lord’s kingdom.

    The Lord’s cross and crown.

    All these shine forth everywhere in the Bible. Remember this clue, if you would read the Bible right.
     
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  10. HankD

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    Yes, my history is similar to Baptist Believer.

    I was on the road to destruction one day and heaven the next with most of my spare time in the word.
    Eventually I came out of the church of Rome never to return because so much in the word of God was contrary to the church of the Pope.

    The word and the Spirit freed me from the tyranny of that church

    HankD
     
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  11. Iconoclast

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    Hello Hank.....I would never have believed it even possible to live the life I do now, or to be blessed and not cut-off in the midst of my sinful rebellion, unless God made himself known to me in and through the word. Even reading it in complete rebellion and hatred for believers....His word brought new life and a new heart as the Spirit quickened those words right off the pages.....I have never gotten over it.
     
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  12. JonC

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    I agree with Ryle. When we are saved (to borrow from Piper) our desires change. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. When a man becomes a Christian he does not have to develop a taste for God's Word, although he may need to mature. He hungers and thirsts for it, he seeks it.

    Of course, there are some who simply study Scripture for edification alone. These are, I believe, those people who lean towards legalism but never really seem to grasp the concept of divine love. While we study Scripture I believe it vitally important to keep in mind that that study is to spotlight Christ and not an ends in itself. Without that purpose the Bible is just ink and paper...words without substance (which is, BTW, exactly what Scripture is to the lost without the unveiling work of God.
     
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  13. Iconoclast

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    yes....
    13 And not as Moses, which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:

    14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.

    15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.

    16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.
     
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  14. SovereignGrace

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    There are already 43 'likes' on the link you posted above. :(
     
  15. Baptist Believer

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    This is a good point. For many years, a friend I grew up with spent time in scripture to try to figure out end-time prophecy. He read some Hal Lindsay books and watched "Christian" television and was convinced that the Bible was a puzzle book that would reveal the future. Meanwhile, he lived his life in anything but a Christian manner, but he had a reputation for being spiritual since he was always talking about the Bible.

    After a few years of that, he was confronted with the gospel in a way that he could truly hear it and was converted. His style of reading the scriptures changed and he consumed the scriptures to learn about Jesus.
     
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  16. Iconoclast

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    The clearer the view of who Jesus is leads to an Isa. 6 kind of personal understanding of the difference between being known saving ly and man made religious ideas.
     
  17. JonC

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    When I first read the suggestion of taking the spotlight of Scripture and placing it on Christ the theologian Francesca Stavrakopoulou came to my mind. Stavrakopoulou (I hope I’m spelling her name correctly) had dedicated her career to focusing on the Hebrew Bible. She studied at Oxford and is Professor of the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Religion at the University of Exeter. She heads the Department of Theology and Religion.

    In short, Stavrakopoulou has dedicated her life to the study of Scripture. Granted, here it is the Hebrew Scripture…but this was the Scripture of Jesus and the Apostles and certainly points to Christ. In other words, Stavrakopoulou (an atheist) keeps the spotlight on Scripture but off Christ.

    I have known many professing Christians who did the same thing. They intently studied and advocated Scripture (sometimes their interpretation of the Bible or a certain theological view) but they failed to spotlight Christ. In this way I think that there are many who need to take the spotlight off Scripture and put in on Christ.
     
  18. Deacon

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    It's interesting that the scriptures encourage us to hear them and not so much to read them.
    I'd guess that we hear with our heart and read with our minds.
    God looks on the heart.

    Rob
     
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  19. Iconoclast

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    I think men like Ryle took for granted that God called men would be faithful to preach the scriptures to sheep who welcomed the word.....not goats looking for a rock concert.
    True preaching does not bypass the mind,but pauses there on the way to the heart.
     
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  20. kyredneck

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    What do you all mean by conversion?

    I consider conversion to be decisional on our part. When one finally decides to follow the heart that God supernaturally gave them beforehand at regeneration, then one is converted.

    Lol, savingly and salvific, two words I don't understand.

    Thank you! I was beginning to think no one here had given the illerate a chance!
     

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