Wednesday, September 21, 2016

God in the Midst

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” 2 Timothy 3:16

The Bible contains amazingly dense passages, pieces of scripture that cause us to pause and ask questions. Eyebrows raise and we wonder what stories like Jael and Ehud can teach us about God and this world. It seems that these stories are a mess, and difficult, and just plain strange. We are tempted to trip quickly over these passages in our reading of the Word. To leave them behind in favor of more cheerful and comfortable places. Yet these very passages are an invitation to wrestle with the Word, and prayerfully unearth the treasures within.

We as Seventh-day Adventists believe in sola scriptura. Literally translated this Latin phrase means, by scripture alone. It describes our belief that the highest authority in all matters of doctrine and practice is the Bible. We govern our lives by what we read in the Holy Scriptures, and we adjust our practices to line up with what we find.

We as Seventh-day Adventists also believe in tota scriptura. This means we embrace the whole Biblical canon, all sixty-six books, from start to finish. We can’t pick and choose the passages we are more comfortable with, and toss aside those that make us itch.

These two beliefs together call us to deep Bible study. It calls us to hold up the scriptures as a ruler for life. It also calls us to understand a topic deeply and broadly as we apply it. Rather than basing a belief on a single line in the scriptures, we choose to explore, read, pray and analyze so our actions are based on a firm foundation.

Combine these two beliefs as you do your Bible reading. Next time as you read along and are confronted with the judgement on Ananias and Sapphira or the terror of Tamar’s situation don’t turn away. Instead read through it, ask yourself, “What does this passage teach me about God?” You may not find a new favorite bedtime story, but you might just find a new assurance of God’s presence in a messy world.

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