To This Book I Will Cling
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” ( 2 Timothy 4: 2- 4)
Paul reminds Timothy that the most important thing that a pastor and a church can do is to “preach the Word.” As Christians we may disagree on our styles of music, on our preference for church governance, and even on the Bible version that we may use, however, we must preach the Bible.
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Paul tells Timothy how he is supposed to preach the Word. He says, “reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.” Reprove means to, “preach against what is wrong.” That means our church pulpits should preach against sin. Rebuke means to, “bring conviction to the heart.” The Bible is powerful and brings conviction to the souls of men. Exhort means to, “encourage.” After having confronted someone with what is wrong, brought conviction to bear on that sin, then we must come alongside them to fan the flame of the inward heart change into an outward visible change.
However, it is important to remember that true biblical transformation never takes place apart from the Word of God. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two- edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4: 12)
But the Apostle is not done. Paul reminds Timothy that he needs to have patience with people, because, often, change takes time. I am thankful for the preachers in this community who boldly preach the Word, and who show compassion and patience as we grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Edmund Phillifant wrote a poem entitled, My Old Bible. I hope it will encourage you. “Though the cover is worn, and the pages are torn, and though places bear traces of tears: Yet more precious than gold Is this Book, worn and old, that can shatter and scatter my fears. This old Book is my guide, ’ tis a friend by my side, it will lighten and brighten my way; And each promise I find, soothes and gladdens the mind, As I read it and heed it each day. When I prayerfully look, in the precious old book, many treasures and pleasures I see: Many promises of love, from the Father above, who is nearest and dearest to me. To this Book I will cling, of its worth I will sing, though great losses and crosses be mine; For I cannot despair, though surrounded by care, while possessing this blessing divine.”