Lesson 5: The Effectual Working Of the Scriptures

Lesson Five: The Effectual Working Of the Scriptures

As we have seen thus far, the Scriptures themselves claim to be the inspired Word of God.  Jesus and the apostles testified of its truthfulness.  Archeological discoveries and fulfilled prophecy are indisputable evidence for the veracity of the Bible.  But there is one final piece of evidence to consider---the effectual working of the Scriptures.

The apostle Paul wrote to the church of the Thessalonians, "For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe."  1 Thessalonians 2:13.  James posed a question which implies that the Scriptures are not idle words.  "Do you think that the Scripture says in vain...?"  See James 4:5.  Isaiah wrote of the effectiveness of God's word, "So shall My word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it."  Isaiah 55:11.  The Bible is the Word of God that effectively works in the lives of men and women everywhere.

Now read Matthew 9:2-8.  Jesus said to a paralytic, "Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you."  The scribes accused Him of blasphemy, because only God can forgive sins.  Jesus asked them, "Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Arise and walk'?"  The answer is obvious.  It's easier to say, "Your sins are forgiven you."  You cannot see the forgiveness of sins, but you can see someone arise and walk.  Jesus demonstrated the truthfulness of His words of forgiveness by healing the paralytic.

It is one thing to say that the Bible is the Word of God.  It is something else to demonstrate the validity of that claim.  The proof of the pudding is in the eating.


What The Bible Does

First, it makes us wise to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.  "And that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."  2 Timothy 3:15.  The Scriptures clearly teach that we cannot save ourselves by good works, though multitudes try.  The Son of God loved us, and died in our place, bearing our sins and their punishment in His own body on the cross.  He rose again from the dead, a living Savior.  Those who turn to Him in faith are saved.  The Scripture makes us wise to this, because "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."  Romans 10:17.  See also John 3:16, 36; 5:24; Acts 16:31; Romans 3:28; Ephesians 2:8, 9.

The apostle Paul is a great example of someone whose life was turned around by the grace of God and faith in His Son.  In Acts he repeatedly testified of his amazing conversion experience.  Read Acts 22:1-21 and 26:1-23.

Believers around the world testify to that great salvation which they have found in Jesus Christ.  Be aware that not all who profess faith in the Lord possess faith in Him.  But the evidence of genuine Christian conversion is overwhelming.

Second, the Word of God makes us clean.  The psalmist asked a question and answered it in one verse.  "How can a young man cleanse his way?  By taking heed according to Your word."  Psalm 119:9.  The Scriptures produce a cleansing effect in the life of the believer, who studies, memorizes, and meditates upon the Word.  "Your word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You."  Psalm 119:11.  The evangelist, D. L. Moody said, "God's Word will keep you from sin; sin will keep you from God's Word."  It's true.

Third, the Word of God produces fruit to the glory of God.  Consider Psalm 1:1-3.  The person who meditates upon the Scriptures "shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season...."  Paul's experience as a missionary was that "the word of the truth of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has in all the world...is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth."  Colossians 1:5, 6.

The Bible has made a profound impact upon many nations of the world.  The freedom and democracy that we enjoy is the United States has its roots in the holy Scriptures.  Civilized Europe can be traced back to the Macedonian call in Acts 16.  Look at the fruits of darkness produced by Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and other world religions.  There is no comparison.  The truth of Christianity is demonstrated by the effectual working of the Scriptures.


How The Bible Works

How does the Bible work in our lives?  Paul answers the question like this.  "The word of God...effectively works in you who believe."  Take another look at 1 Thessalonians 2:13.  The holy Scriptures work by faith.

A negative example of this principle can be found in the children of Israel who wandered in the wilderness for forty years.  "The word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it."  Hebrews 4:2.  James mentions the double-minded man with unsettling doubts.  "For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord."  James 1:7.

We can find faith in action in Hebrews 11.  Here we have the honor roll of the heroes of faith.  Repeatedly we read, "By faith...."  Faith works, because God works.  We could substitute "by faith" with "by God."  When we believe Him, we experience the reality of the effectual working of the Scriptures.

The Lord wants us to take Him at His Word, and trust Him.  Remember that all Scripture is inspired, and is profitable...to those who believe.


The Inspiration of the Scriptures - REVIEW QUESTIONS



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