Searching the Scriptures:
1) WHAT did Christ say to the people of his day concerning
the Scriptures ?
“Search the Scriptures ; for in them ye think ye have eternal life ; and
they are they which testify of me.” John 5 : 39.
NOTE. —When this was spoken, not a word of the New Testament had
been written. It was to the Old Testament that the Jews looked as their
guide to eternal life ; and although they would not accept Christ, he said
that these very books which they esteemed so highly, testified of him. Truly the old testament has the gospel in it as verily as the new, because without Christ, there is no gospel. Therefore, if the Old Testament points to Christ, it is worthy of our careful study.
2. How early have we any record that the gospel was preached ?
“And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the gentiles through faith,
preached before the gospel unto Abraham.” Gal. 3 : 8.
Note: Abraham was called from out from the land of the heathen. His father, Terah, had worshipped other gods (Joshua 24:2). Abraham was a Gentile who received the gospel, being justified because he believed God, who gave him the gospel.
3. Was it the gospel of Christ that was preached unto Abraham?
“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.”
John 8 :56
Note: By faith, Abraham beheld the gospel of God revealed in the giving of a promised son, and through the supplying of a sacrifice in the place of his son as an offering for sin.
4. At what other time is it said the gospel was taught in the Old
” For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them; but the word preached
did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” Heb.
The persons here referred to by “them” are the Israelites when on
their journey from Egypt to the promised land, as will be seen by the Scripture
connection. Paul says the same gospel was preached unto us as well as unto
them, but had been given to “them”, the ancestors of the Hebrews, before “us”.
5. Why did Moses give up the riches of Egypt ?
“Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt.”
What Christ was to do was clearly revealed by God to those who believed His Word even in the earliest times. People in that age, even as now, were influenced by the riches
of Christ to give up the world. Moses beheld the Suffering Servant even at that time and chose “rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;” (v. 25)
6. From where came the spiritual meat and drink of the Israelites while
in the wilderness ?
“And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea ; and did all eat
the same spiritual meat ; and did all drink the same spiritual drink ; for they
drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them : and that Rock was Christ.”
1 Cor. 10: 2-4
If they could but realize it, they would have seen God’s goodness in His deliverance, and His providence for them day by day. Each dealing with His children should be a fresh revelation of the gospel, which reveals Christ. God made all things by Christ, and all things that truly give life may reveal the truth of the gospel: “speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock.” (Numbers 20:8)
7. What was the chief corner-stone of the faith of both apostles and
“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ
himself being the chief corner-stone.” Eph. 2 : 20
The Scriptures came by apostles and prophets, but they had to recognize Christ, and testified of Him in all of their writings.
8. What part of the Scriptures did Philip hear a certain eunuch reading?
“And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and
said, Understandest thou what thou readest ? ” Acts 8 : 30.
9. When asked if he understood what he was reading, what reply did
the eunuch make?
“And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired
Philip that he would come up and sit with him.” Verse 31.
10. What did Philip then do ?
“Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached
unto him Jesus.” Verse 35.
NOTE. —Notwithstanding the clearness with which we see Christ referred to in
the Scriptures of the Old Testament, the Jews would not admit his claims
to the Messiahship. It is a truthful remark, that ” the New Testament was
hid in the Old, and the Old Testament is revealed in the New.” By searching
both Testaments together, we may become enlightened regarding the plan
of salvation; for without the Old Testament, the claims of Christ to the Messiahship
cannot be substantiated. It is also true that without the Old Testament, the New Testament would never have been, for it was the Scriptures of the writers of the New Testament. If the old testament did not have it, the New Testament writers could not have revealed it. The New Testament merely gives his history and teachings, showing him to be a pure and holy character ; but if the Old Testament had not before predicted what the Messiah would be and do, there would have been no standard by which to decide whether or not the
personage who then appeared was he. How necessary, then, that we love
and study all the Bible! If we do not, we, like the Jews, may lose sight of
some of the most important points contained in the New Testament itself.
11. What are the Scriptures able to do ?
“Thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto
salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Tim. 3 : 13.
Note: The timeframe of the Scripture is before the NT was written. Therefore the “Holy Scriptures” “which are able to make thee wise unto salvation” was a implicit direction to Timothy to hold in the highest regard the OT. Now the Holy Scriptures of both old and new are to be held in that highest esteem.
12. What was said of the Bereans because they searched the Scriptures
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the
word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether
those things were so.” Acts 17 :11
Those in Thessalonica were easily “shaken in mind” because they did not receive what was given with all readiness of mind in searching the Scriptures. (2 Thes. 2:2) Those who make the Scriptures their diligent study and guide to life will not be easily shaken.
13. By what is man to live?
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the
mouth of God.” Matt. 4:4.
If man is to live by the word of God, he certainly
ought to use it daily, as daily nourishment is needed to keep him alive.
14. How greatly has God magnified his word?
“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name lor thy lovingkindness
and for thy truth ; for thou has/ magnified thy word above all thy
mime.” Ps. 138:2.
We ought, then, to treat the word of God with the
profoundest reverence, and search its pages daily, that we may continually
learn more of God.