2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (KJV)
So as stated in Part 3 of this series, the scriptures produced the faith in Christ. Timothy got the real saving faith through the scriptures and not just the Epistles as can be seen in 2 Timothy 3:15 “And that from a child thou hast KNOWN THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, which are able to make thee wise UNTO SALVATION through FAITH which is in Christ Jesus”
Scriptures can be seen therefore as the embodiment of the truth of the salvation in Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:3-4 “3For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures”
Here we see that what is referred to as scriptures covers all that relates to Christ birth, death, burial and even glorification. Mind you when Paul was writing these letters there was no “Book of Corinthians”, by implication, no Epistles. Meaning he was referencing, the Law, the Psalms and the Prophet. Therefore, the Theology that states all we need as the authority of the New Testament believer is ONLY the Pauline Epistles is just amazing to some of us. Some have stated that what is important to us are the letters? But we forget that letters are thoughts revealed. There must be something that someone wants to explain or communicate and so confirmed in such letters.
Above all, most of what we see as letters were warnings not to deviate from the foundations of truth laid in the Old Testament.
Take for example; 1 Corinthians 9, “7Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? 8Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? 9For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? 10Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. 11If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?”
This was a rebuke on wrong attitude towards the ministers of the Gospel. It wasn’t anything new, but rather he quoted from Deuteronomy 20:6; & 25:4.
So, in simple summary, Paul was telling the Corinthian Church to let the civil laws of Israel guide their conducts. It was a letter to an erring Church from what is normal and foundational.
Again, reading from Acts 17, “10And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so”
We found that what the Berean CHRISTIANS were dealing with that Paul was teaching from is called the scriptures. So, in the true sense the Book of Acts is part of the Old Testament scriptures.
And so, see what Paul told the Roman Christians;
Romans 16:26 “But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith”
The scriptures of the Prophets are what lead to the obedience faith of the nations. In other words, whatever you are proclaiming as the Gospel is what is rooted in the scriptures of the prophets; you just can’t separate the two. It’s one Gospel called THE SCRIPTURES.
Look at the way Peter seems to say this;
2 Peter 3:16 “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (KJV)
Meaning most people don’t understand the language of Paul just as they don’t truly understand the importance of that which is called the scriptures and they do so to their own destruction.
He kind of equates the scriptures with the writings of Paul.
So, you see, for those who are shouting “Pauline Theology only” may not even understand the writing of Paul and that is because they don’t understand the scriptures. Why? Because Paul based most of his writing on that which is called the scriptures. Do you know what he did after he met the Lord on the road to Damascus? See this;
Galatians 1, “15But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, 16To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: 17Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus”
He went to ARABIA, i.e., to Mount Sinai where the Law was given. To do what? To have a firsthand understanding and meaning of what the law is all about, at the feet of the one who gave the laws for three good years. Can you now see why his writing is in the way they are as stated by Peter and why he always reference the scriptures?
Therefore, you can’t truly separate the scriptures and the Pauline writings, and that means the Old and the New Testament are one indivisible Book that proffer the truth of salvation in Christ. You are not a good Bible student if you can’t marry the two and see Christ revealed in the whole Book.
Beloved, go back to the Bible and study it that you may find life and salvation like Timothy did.