This is part 2 of the 5-part Bible study Knowing God’s Word. This study seeks to understand how knowing the Bible bring us close to God and responding to God’s will. Click here to join the Thomas Nelson Bible email list and receive the full 5-part Bible study.
God’s Word Convicts
And Nehemiah, who was the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn nor weep.” For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law.
One of the great proofs that the Bible is really God’s inspired Word is its unique ability to convict men and women of their sins. Let us consider but a few Old Testament and New Testament examples that demonstrate the lifesaving power of the Scriptures.
Old Testament Examples:
- Josiah, a young and godly Judean king who ruled the Lord’s people more than six centuries before Christ, succeeds a wicked ruler who hated righteousness. At the beginning of Josiah’s rule a copy of God’s Word is found in the temple. When it is read to the king, both he and his people are convicted of their sins in not keeping God’s law. A great revival takes place (2 Chronicles 34:18–21).
- Nehemiah returns to help the returning Jews rebuild the gates in the Jerusalem wall. This great wall builder thinks the Word of God to be so important that he assembles the people and has the Scriptures read to them for three hours per day. This soon causes them to confess their sins (Nehemiah 9:3).
New Testament Examples:
- Before Jesus left this earth He promised that the Holy Spirit would soon come upon the apostles. “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8).
- At Pentecost Peter uses the Scriptures to rebuke Israel for crucifying its Messiah. This sermon results in three thousand souls being convicted and accepting Christ (Acts 2:37, 41).
QUESTION FOR THOUGHT:
Can you name other examples in the Old Testament and New Testament of God’s Word convicting humans?
God’s Word Corrects
Concerning the works of men, by the word of Your lips, I have kept away from the paths of the destroyer.
There are many symbols for God’s Word that can be found in the Bible itself. It can be thought of as a mirror (James 1:23–25), a seed (1 Peter. 1:23), a lamp (Psalm 119:105), a sword (Ephesians 6:17), and even as food (Hebrews 5:12–14). But the Bible also serves as a measuring rod or ruler. Years past teachers used wooden rulers in their classes not only to give the right measurement but, on occasion, to correct a misbehaving pupil. God’s Word likewise can do both of these things. It should be used as a standard against which to measure our beliefs. What about certain religious groups that claim Christ was not God, or that the Bible is filled with silly tales? Immediately we can reject such claims by using our divine written ruler to discover that such arguments simply do not measure up.
Sometimes our heavenly Teacher uses His written ruler to correct us when we are in the wrong. Israel’s great king David once experienced this. “You have dealt well with Your servant, O Lord, according to Your word. …Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word” (Psalm 119:65, 67).
There are times when God’s Word can correct believers when they are in honest and unintentional error. Aquila and Priscilla, a godly Christian couple, use the Scriptures to help a powerful young preacher named Apollos (Acts 18:24–26). Paul does the same thing for some former disciples of John the Baptist he meets in the city of Ephesus (Acts 19:1–7).
QUESTION FOR THOUGHT:
In your life, are there ways God’s Word is guiding you and correcting your action to grow spiritually?
This study plan is based on the study commentary in Thomas Nelson’s Open Bible. Learn more about The Open Bible.