the unsearchable riches of Christ...

EPHESIANS 3:8




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Mar 01, 1867
Preacher: Adolph Saphir
Passage: John 5:39


Christ and the Scriptures

Christ and the ScripturesAdolph Saphir wrote... We ought never to open the Scriptures except with a feeling of profound reverence and gratitude. As one has said, “They are heaven speaking upon earth; in them we hear the voice of the living God.” As the same witness has declared on his death-bed: “When I shall enter the invisible world, I do not expect to find things different from what the Word of God has represented them to me here. The voice I shall then hear, will be the same I now hear upon the earth, and I shall say, ‘This is indeed what God said to me; and how thankful I am, that I did not wait till I had seen in order to believe.’”

In reading the Scriptures, we ought to approach as to a sanctuary, with awe and reverence, with a collected mind and a solemn, docile heart. And how thankful ought we to be for this revelation, for its fulness and simplicity, for the great truths it unfolds and the minute counsels it contains, for its doctrine and consolation; the history of the past and the prophecy of the future, the example of the saints and the varied experiences of God’s children. If an angel from heaven, who had been before God’s throne for thousands of years, came down to earth, and dwelling among us, was willing to communicate unto us out of the treasure of his knowledge of divine things, how eagerly we would seek his society, and how attentively we would treasure up his words. But the Bible is better than such a celestial messenger. It is given by God Himself, as the best and most perfect teacher. He, in his infinite wisdom, has adapted both the matter and manner to our wants and peculiar position in this world. He has revealed to us things into which the very angels desire to look. What can be more precious than his own language and his own words, revealing to us the inmost thoughts and purposes of his heart? We ought to open the Bible with the most lively gratitude. Here is indeed a treasure invaluable. “Oh, how I love thy Word! it is better than thousands of gold and silver; it is sweeter than honey and the honeycomb.”

It is a weak and pale word, and not at all corresponding to the real nature of the case and to the feelings of the Christian, to speak of our duty to read the Scriptures. Where there is reverence, love, trust, where there is joy in communion with God, we look upon the reading of Scripture not as a duty; one among many others. It stands by itself. Listening to the voice of God is not one of many duties, but it is the source as well as the regulator of all duties. It is not merely a work which our conscience declares to be right, but our very conscience, and affections, and will, and mind, our whole inner man, receives from this Word light and strength.

 


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