As I sat down to write this devotional, the song that came to mind was Peter Frampton’s classic 1976 hit, “Show Me the Way.” Why? Because the song title reminds me of one of the main functions of Scripture, which is to “show me the way” to salvation (or as 2 Timothy 3:15 says, to make us “wise for salvation.”).

In John 5:39-40, we have a recorded interaction between Jesus and “the Jews.” One thing that He says to them is very helpful when thinking about the role of the Bible in our salvation. This is what He says, “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about Me, yet you refuse to come to Me to have life.”

We can see exactly what He is saying to them, and to us. Knowing the Bible does not result in gaining or possessing eternal life. In reality, knowing the Bible only results in knowing the Bible (and apparently is having a false sense of being saved) if we don’t do what it calls us to do, which is to come to Jesus and have a life!

Perhaps as we start the new year, these words of Jesus to “the Jews” would be good for us to take into consideration. As we evaluate our relationship with God, do we think we have the right standing with Him because of our knowledge of Scripture? Is this what we think saves us from our sins – that we know the Bible really, really well? That’s the salvation side. But what about the “growth in Christ” side? Do we tend to focus more on knowing about God than knowing God? Are we being careful to let the Scriptures do what God intends for them to do – to point us to Jesus so we can have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10)?

“This is what the Lord says: ‘Let no wise man boast of his wisdom, nor let the mighty man boast of his might, nor a rich man boast of his riches but let the one who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises mercy, justice, and righteousness on the earth; for I delight in these things,’ declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 9:23-24

May we be known as a people whose boast is not in how well we know the Scriptures, but in how well we understand and know Him!

Scott Smith
Connections & Growth Pastor

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