Searching the Scriptures
What did Christ say to the people of His day concerning the Scriptures?
"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." John 5:39.
NOTE: When this was spoken, not a word of the New Testament had been written. It was to the Old Testament that the Jews looked as their guide to eternal life; and although they would not accept Christ, he said that these very books which they esteemed so highly, testified of Him. If the Old Testament points to Christ, it is worthy of our careful study.
Do the Scriptures furnish positive evidence that the gospel was known in the patriarchal age?
"And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed." Galatians 3:8.
NOTE: It was through gospel faith that Abraham rejoiced to see the day of Christ. John 8:56. So with all the faithful who loved in the partiarchal age. All these had a practical knowledge of the gospel, as appears from their godly lives and sacrificial offerings.
Does Holy Writ contain unmistakable evidence that the Hebrews were taught the gospel under the former dispensation?
"For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it." Hebrews 4:2.
NOTE: The persons here referred to by "them" are the Israelites when on their journey from Egypt to the promised land, as will be seen by the Scripture connection. Paul says the gospel was preached unto us as well as unto them, putting "them" ahead, and letting "us" have the gospel afterward.
Why did Moses give up the riches of Egypt?
"Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward." Hebrews 11:26.
NOTE: People in that age, even as now, were influenced by the riches of Christ to give up the world.
Whence came the spiritual meat and drink of the Israelites while in the wilderness?
"And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ." 1 Corinthians 10:2-4.
What was the chief corner-stone of the faith of both apostles and prophets?
"And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone." Ephesians 2:20.
What part of the Scriptures did Philip hear a certain eunuch reading?
"And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?" Acts 8:30.
When asked if he understood what he was reading, what reply did the eunuch make?
"And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him." Acts 8:31.
What did Philip then do?
"Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus." Acts 8:35.
NOTE: Notwithstanding the clearness with which we see Christ referred to in the Scriptures of the Old Testament, the Hebrews would not admit His claims to the Messiahship. It is a truthful remark, that "the New Testament was hid in the Old, and the Old Testament is revealed in the New." By searching both Testaments together, we may become enlightened regarding the plan of salvation; for had not the Old Testament before predicted what the Messiah would be and do, there would have been no standard by which to decide whether or not the personage who then appeared was He. How necessary, then, that we love and study all the Bible! If we do not, we, like the Hebrews, may lose sight of some of the most important points contained in the New Testament itself.
What are the Scriptures able to do?
"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." 2 Timothy 3:15.
What was said of the Bereans because they searched the Scriptures daily?
"These 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." Acts 17:11.
By what is man to live?
"But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Matthew 4:4.
NOTE: If man is to live by the word of God, he certainly ought to use it daily, as daily nourishment is needed to keep him alive.
How greatly has God magnified His word?
"I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name." Psalms 138:2.
NOTE: We ought, then, to treat the word of God with the profoundest reverence, and search its pages daily, that we may continually learn more of God.