This is part 3 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.
How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word.
One of the pieces of furniture in the Old Testament tabernacle was called the bronze laver (Ex. 38:8). It consisted of a huge upright bronze bowl filled with water, resting upon a pedestal. The priests would often stop at this laver and wash. The Word of God may be thought of in terms of that laver, for it too has the power to cleanse. The Old Testament laver could only remove the physical dirt from human hands, but the Scriptures possess the ability to take away our moral filth (1 Pet. 1:22).
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). What areas of my life can the Bible cleanse? It can cleanse me from wrong thoughts. Sometimes we are tempted to think critically of others; God’s Word can prevent this (Ps. 1:2). On other occasions fearful thoughts may race through our minds; the Scriptures will prevent this also (Josh. 1:8). In fact, the Bible will establish our total thought-life if we but allow it to do so (Phil. 4:8, 9; 2 Pet. 1:5–10).
It can cleanse me from wrong words. Of all the Bible authors, James seems to be God’s expert on the sins of the human tongue. In the first chapter of his book, he deals with this very thing and shows the absolute necessity of dependence upon the Scriptures to keep our words true (James 1:22–26). See also Ps. 119:172.
It can cleanse me from wrong actions. Jesus promised us this would be the case: “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you” (John 15:3).
Finally, God’s Word will keep us from wrong thoughts, words, and actions; or else wrong thoughts, words, and actions will keep us from God’s Word.
QUESTION FOR THOUGHT:
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
“To confirm” means “to fully establish a truth or fact.” The Bible should be used to confirm the truth in our own hearts.
Often Christians are troubled with doubts about their conversion experience. Did God really save them when they asked Him to do so? Are they still saved today? A number of verses may be used to confirm our salvation. One of the strongest is Jesus’ own words in the Gospel of John: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” (John 5:24). Compare John 3:16; 6:27, 35, 37, 40; 10:27–29; Rom. 8:1.
Undoubtedly a most important verse of reassurance and comfort in the hour of great need is Rom. 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
Sometimes believers carry with them an unnecessary burden of guilt over past sins and failures. Even though these have been confessed, they have difficulty believing God has truly forgiven and cleansed them. But time and again the Bible assures us that all confessed sin is instantly and eternally forgiven (Ps. 32:5; 103:12; Is. 38:17).
QUESTION FOR THOUGHT:
God’s Word confirms our salvation, God’s plan for our lives, and our forgiveness. Does the Bible also confirm God’s righteousness?
This study plan is based on the study commentary in Thomas Nelson’s Open Bible. To learn more about the Open Bible, please visit www.TheOpenBible.net.