How Should We Handle Scripture?

How Should We Handle Scripture?

I am writing this post just after getting back from my vacation to Hawaii. My wife and I made many new memories and got to see some incredible sights. One of those new activities included riding in a helicopter looking down on the beautiful landscapes of Oahu. This was my first time on a helicopter. I’m also afraid of heights. So mixing those two things together provided a good source of anxiety and nervousness that many of you may associate with new experiences as well. However, the excitement of the experience was enough to give me courage. One of the amazing sights was a huge waterfall hidden deeply in the mountains (see featured image).

As we were sight seeing from an aerial view, I couldn’t help but notice how calm the pilot was. There I was, full of nervousness, fear, delight and awe. I will tell you that I was not used to how windy it got and the unpredictable jolts we would get from gusts of wind that would buffet our small helicopter. Bear in mind, that this helicopter had no doors on it, so that added to the thrill of everything. I was clutching at the handle right above the door, much like all of our mothers did when we first started driving cars. I felt like, at any moment, our helicopter could get thrown off balance and we could end up barrel rolling towards the ground. (I tend to the think of worst case scenarios in my head whenever I get nervous)

One thing that allowed me to remain relatively calm was the complete control the pilot had over the helicopter. He even explained to us that flying was like driving a car to him. It is what he did for a living. It was “his life”. This gave me adequate assurance that everything was going to be okay. No matter how many unpredictable gusts of wind hit us, the pilot had already taken the necessary measures to keep control of the helicopter. I observed how the pilot would make small adjustments here and there on the control panel allowing us to successfully and safely complete our tour. It occurred to me that, to be a pilot, one must have an extensive knowledge on how to operate something as complex as a helicopter. And I can tell you that I am very grateful and appreciative of our pilot not only for his incredible ability to tell us about the island, but also his competency in flying and knowing how to manage everything with ease.

So how should we, as Christians, handle Scripture? This applies not only to pastors, teachers, or speakers who incorporate some use of Scripture in one way or another in their lessons. This applies to everyone who has been given the charge to share the gospel with the world.

I can definitely say that we should not handle God’s Word recklessly. Therefore, we ought to use it with great care. Just like the helicopter tour, we as Christ followers have some many amazing things to share with the world about the good news of Jesus. However, the vehicle through which we base our claims is the Bible. Just as a pilot has an extensive knowledge about his aircraft, so too, must one understand how to handle the Word. It takes study. It takes time asking questions and finding answers to make sure we have an adequate knowledge as not to misrepresent anything that is said in the Bible. It takes discernment to know what is true, what sounds true, but in fact is not, and what is complete heresy. Just as the helicopter pilot literally had the power over life and death for me and my wife, so too does our use of Scripture. Contained in the Bible is the message of the hope of the world. It’s the gospel of Jesus. He died and rose from the grave so that we, who place our faith in him, will escape death and have eternal life. For humanity, the message of the Bible is a matter of spiritual life and death.

Handle Scripture with great care. Do not be reckless with it. Do not shy away from study. I believe you are up to the challenge. We are all called to share the gospel. Not one of us is exempt from this charge. Read your Bible. Study it. Read it cover to cover and once you’ve done that, do it again. And again. And again.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15 ESV
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