The Basics Of Faithful Bible Reading Part 4: Victory In Life C. Ross Duncan
Welcome to installment 4 of The Basics of Faithful Bible Reading. As this will be the last article of this series which I have been blessed to embark upon, in this article, we will see how my last 3 articles have culminated together to give us a practical approach to the doctrine of the regenerated believers’ life. I say that because I personally have to always ask the question, “A regenerated believer or just a believer?” This question isn’t the topic of discussion, but perhaps the reality of it does help regenerate believers to understand more so that the daily pursuit of God’s Word is more than just happenstance.
Leaving our Bibles on our nightstands or laying them open on an entry piece when walking in the front door of our homes, speaks at a very small volume to guests if our vocalizing of it is heard more than seen at work in our lives. If we are going to have such a treasure as a greeter into our own homes, we must surely be prepared to have a good answer as to why it is there.
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15 ESV)
Believers treasure the Bible because of its promises for believers. However, Truth goes much further than that in this context. As New Testament believers, we have the Word of God in its entirety. It is not the New Testament alone on which we lean, but we have both the New and Old Testament to lean upon and affirm as God’s Holy Word. For indeed, we could not truly understand the necessity of grace in the New Testament without the purpose of the grace God shows through the law of the Old Testament.
For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. (Romans 3:20 ESV)
For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory. (2 Corinthians 3:9 ESV)
Furthermore, it is not just the Bible itself to have and to hold, but the content inside of it which we are to read. And, not just what is inside of it to read, but indeed the very One who spoke it! The Word was breathed-out by God. It is the Logos Theopneustos or, ‘the inspired Word of God.’
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16 ESV)
It is not even a deeper knowledge of the Bible that would cause a regenerate believer to treasure it. No, this treasure is our victory in life because of the One in Whom and by Whom we are redeemed!
Christ makes it clear that it is not the Scriptures wherein we [indefinitely] find life, but it is in Him alone of whom the Scriptures speak! He says, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me..”
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me. (John 5:39 ESV)
Christian, we have much to be thankful for! We do not have an attainable ability in and of ourselves to receive this reward we call our victory, but it is of God alone! In Christ alone are we to boast!
“Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God, who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:5-6 ESV)
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 15:57 ESV)
So, how are we able to have such a victory in life?
It is indeed by grace through faith! Without the work of God being fulfilled as it was the will of God, we would have no hope! The very faith we have in God and His living Word, Jesus Christ, is in fact our victory in life, andhere and now is our victory that overcomes the world! He indeed is our living hope! God has given His Son to be the Victor and overcomer of the punishment of sin forevermore, and that my friend, is victorious and worthy to be the art of our celebration. Through Jesus Christ, we have all we need for life and godliness!
“We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf..”
We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 6:19-20 ESV)
And this is the victory that has overcome the world - our faith. (1 John 5:4b ESV)
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. (1 Peter 1:3a ESV)
We can see clearly now the vast expanse also of the responsibility we have as believers in Christ! There is indeed an urgency today for preaching and teaching that will help us to see and return to the basics of the Christian life. This seems like an option for a new believers class, but unfortunately, long-time believers have become dormant in their understanding of God because they leave out this key ingredient for the only way to experience our own growth as a Christian- faithfulness to daily Bible reading!
Bible reading must never be used as a secondary issue to be submitted by the excuse “I just can’t understand the Bible”. May I comfort you in the fact that because of this reality, scholars still study much, and authors still write much. Why? Because the Bible is a treasure trove that we will never be able to completely unpack this side of heaven. However, we can rest in the fact that we are being made new as we embark on the journey set before us to be in God’s Word daily. We will never fully understand the Bible, and that puts us all in a responsible position before a Holy God to open it, read it, ask questions, and know that God will give you understanding according to His Word. If we do not believe that, we have already set ourselves up for failure in the pursuit of a godly life. With this mindset, we will be calloused in our thinking and the Word of God will be absent from our hearts and minds.
Brothers and sisters, the task at hand is great! Without Bible reading as our most important daily task, we will drift ever so surely but slowly away from that which we knew at first as our highest love and steady anchor for all of life- Jesus Christ! It is our task and duty as believers to know God, and that through His Son Jesus Christ, and that by the Holy Spirit through the written Word here and now, The Holy Bible!
Continual submission to Christ leads to continual renewal and sanctification in Christ. The more we are in God’s Word, the more we will begin to notice the vitalityit brings to life, the valueit has for life, the validation it makes of life, and the victory we have in life!
Believer, take up the Sword and know that it is the right thing for us to do as a believer. Not only that but the object of obedience to our great Lord and Savior! If left unattended, we will stand before the Holy God and give an account as to why we left Him behind!
As this series comes to a close, may I also encourage you and say that Christ loves those who are His! He is gracious to us moment by moment! His mercies to us who are in Him are new every morning. He never fails and He forgives us when we come to Him with a heaviness that has been birthed due to our forgetfulness of Him. Yet, He never leaves us nor does He forsake us! Be encouraged to get back to where you were before in the Word! It is your role as one who says “Christ, I love you!” May we find it ever more in life that prayer, meditation, and Bible reading will always produce a victorious life, content in all things because of He who won the victory!
Most importantly what I desire for us to take from this series on Faithfulness in Daily Bible Reading, is to reckon with the fact that Christ is our victory in life! He alone has paid the price of our redemption! If we truly know the greatness of this to our lives, and that without it we are nothing, yet we in Christ we are a new creation, we most assuredly have no excuses to make! It is the believer’s utmost desire to love God because of His great love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us, the ungodly! (Romans 5:8)
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 ESV)
As this year approaches its long-awaited end and you look back wishing you had read the Bible daily, look forward in hope! The prayer you can be assured God will answer is one that cries for strength to put yourself under God’s Word daily by putting Him first for the rest of your life! You will not have a perfect life, but your life will produce fruit through the tough times not because of your own doing, but because of the work of Christ in your obedience to your Creator!
Soli Deo Gloria!
“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (James 4:17)
“O Love Beyond Compare, Thou art good when thou givest, when thou takest away when the sun shines upon me when night gathers over me. Thou hast loved me before the foundation of the world, and in love, didst redeem my soul; Thou dost love me still, in spite of my hard heart, ingratitude, distrust. Thou goodness has been with me during another year, leading me through a twisting wilderness, in retreat helping me to advance, when beaten back making sure headway. Thy goodness will be with me in the year ahead; I hoist sail and draw up anchor, with Thee as the blessed Pilot of my future as of my past.
I bless thee that thou hast veiled my eyes the waters ahead. If thou hast appointed storms of tribulation, thou wilt be with me in them; If I have to pass through tempests of persecution and temptation, I shall not drown; If I am to die, I shall see thy face the sooner; If a painful end is to be my lot, grant me grace that my faith fail not. If I am to be cast aside from the service I love, I can make no stipulation. Only glorify thyself in me whether in comfort or trial, as a chosen vessel meet always for thy use.”
“Years End”, Valley of Vision. Pg. 204.
C. Ross Duncan
C. Ross Duncan lives in Maryville, Tennessee with his wife Meghan and their 3 boys. Ross loves to write and study the Bible and works at a local church in his town. By His Grace is honored to provide this platform for Ross to grow in his writing on biblical and theological matters.