BY PASTOR BOB HOEKSTRA
I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able…But as for you, continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (Acts 20:32 and 2 Timothy 3:14-15)
The present verses again point us to our current theme, continuing in the word of God’s grace. Only the grace of God can provide what is needed for the life we are called to live. This necessary grace is appropriated through“the word of His grace.” This life-giving grace is to be lived in day by day (ideally, from childhood through old age).
Paul urged Timothy to continue in the biblical truth that he had been taught, truth about which he had become convinced. “Continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of.” God’s word not only instructs us in His ways, it also convinces us of their validity. In this process, God uses human instruments: “knowing from whom you have learned them.” In Timothy’s spiritual training, the Lord used the prophets of old (who were inspired to write the Scriptures), as well as Paul (who discipled Timothy). Timothy’s mother and grandmother were also a vital part of this process. “I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice” (2 Timothy 1:5). Thus, his spiritual nurture began in his childhood years. “From childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures.” It is the will of God that children be raised upon the Scriptures. “Do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord“ (Ephesians 6:4). If we were not raised upon the word, God wants to begin feeding it to us at new birth.“As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby“ (1 Peter 2:2). If we have never had a serious diet of the word, today is now the day to begin.
As we are learning the word of God, its ability is unleashed in our lives. Saving grace is the first great blessing the Lord wants to bring us through the Scriptures: “which are able to make you wise for salvation.” People can be exceedingly foolish concerning salvation, until they are enlightened through the word of God. Some think they do not need to be saved. Others think they can somehow save themselves. The Bible reveals the necessary path for all: “through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
Dear God of my salvation, I praise You for Your word, which brought me the wisdom to trust in the saving grace of Christ. I thank You for every person You have ever used to bring me any aspect of Your truth. Please teach me more and more—and please use me to get Your word to others, in Jesus’ name, Amen.