Of The Holy Scriptures
Chapter 1, Paragraph 8.
“…that the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship him in an acceptable manner, and through patience and comfort of the Scriptures may have hope.”
Colossians 3:16. What word describes “dwell” in the passage?
The Spirit breathes upon the Word,
and brings the truth to sight;
precepts and promises afford
a sanctifying light. -William Cowper
This last section of paragraph 8 in the Confession leads me to praise. Picture it: God’s people, indwelt richly with His Word, worshiping with one accord as the Scriptures have set forth, buoyed by the hope found in the Bible. What a blissful scene!
When God’s people have the Scriptures, read the Scriptures, and meditate upon the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit guides the Christian into the truth of the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit uses the Scriptures to convict, teach, and train in righteousness. When the Word of Christ dwells in us richly, we are filled with the Spirit. Compare Ephesians 5:18-20 with Colossians 3:16. Note the similarities. Carol Ruvolo writes in A Book Like No Other,
This simple observation [the similarities between the two passages] leads us to the conclusion that being filled with the Spirit produces exactly the same results as does letting the Word richly dwell within you. They produce the same results because they work together – inseparably.
These are not just some old letters on a page – they are the living Word!
Since other special revelation from God has ceased, Scripture is essential for knowing how to worship Him. If we choose to worship Him using a method not prescribed by Scripture, we are merely guessing at whether that worship is acceptable to Him. Worship that follows the parameters set forth in the Bible, however, is known to be pleasing to Him because He is the one who set forth those parameters!
We may trust Scripture fully due to the trustworthiness of its Author. Since Scripture is sufficient, certain, and infallible, we can be comforted in its reliability and steadfastness. Praise God for His Word!
Questions to Consider
- Do you desire to have the Word of God dwell in you richly?
- Do you find the Scriptures give you hope?