Thursday, 26 April 2018
…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. 2 Timothy 3:15
Paul now reminds Timothy of where and when he began to learn concerning the truth of God. He says, “and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures.” The word translated as “childhood” rather means from infancy. It signifies a baby, or a child in arms. Before Timothy could walk, his mind was being enlightened with Scripture. So much so that he came to know it. It wasn’t as if he heard it once and then mom began to teach him about basket weaving. Rather, he was taught it to the point of it being infused (known) in him.
It must be understood that at the time of Timothy’s instruction, the “Holy Scriptures” consisted only of what is now known as the Old Testament. The New Testament didn’t exist. Timothy was instructed on this body of writings alone, and yet Paul then says that it is these “Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation.”
The verb translated as “which are able” is a present participle. Though Paul and other apostles are writing about the work of Jesus Christ, and though these writings are now a part of Scripture, Paul’s words here show us the enduring nature of the Old Testament to lead us, and to make us wise for salvation. They point to Jesus just as the New Testament points to Jesus. In Jesus, salvation is found. One should read the Old Testament, compare it to the Person and work of Jesus, and say, “I need Jesus.” This is true with the New as well. Either way, the entire body of Scripture points us to our need for Christ Jesus.
As Paul clearly states, it is this salvation which is “through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” One cannot hold to the Old Testament writings and be saved apart from Jesus Christ. There is no such thing as “dual-covenantalism” to be found in Scripture where one can be saved by adherence to the Old Testament law. That merely pointed to the need for the One who embodies the Law, Jesus Christ. As Peter states to the leaders of Israel in Acts –
“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
Life application: The entire body of Scripture points to our need for Jesus Christ. There is no salvation apart from Him, and we only diminish his work by attempting to be justified by the law, or by observing certain rituals as a part of the now obsolete Law of Moses. In Christ, the law is set aside, annulled, obsolete, and nailed to the cross. All of these are terms used in the New Testament to show that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness for all who believe. Let us rest in Him and His completed work, and let us never waffle on the doctrine of grace which is found in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Heavenly Father, Your word says that Christ Jesus is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. We cannot add to grace, and so why should we try? Help us to rest in Christ alone, without adding in precepts of a now obsolete law which could never save anyone. May we trust in Christ, and in Christ alone for our complete restoration with You. Thank You, O God, for Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.