“Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth” (John 17:17).
True Christian living is nothing more nor less than the manifestation of Christ in the life of the believer (Philippians 2:21). And the only secret of Christ-centered living is occupation with Christ Himself. For this purpose, God has given us abundant riches in His word. Someone has well said that if the Bible were merely a guidebook to show the way to Heaven, a much smaller book would have sufficed. But here is a book of over one thousand ordinary pages, and all of it “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)—and the one great subject of all its sixty-six parts is Christ.
He who feeds upon its sacred pages is feeding on Christ, for the written word declares the eternal Word. To read and meditate upon this divinely-inspired unfolding of the person and work of Christ is of first importance for the believer, if he would glorify God in his life.
It is said that John Bunyan had written inside the cover of his Bible, “This book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this book.” If we desire to be holy—set apart for the use of our Master—we do not need to pray for power, nor for the gift of the Spirit, nor for some special blessing. Rather, we may join with the Psalmist in these earnest petitions regarding God’s word: “Open Thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Thy law…. Give me understanding, and I shall keep Thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart…. Order my steps in Thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me” (Psalm 119:18,34,133).
To read the Bible in a merely intellectual way will not minister Christ to the soul. Earnest, devout study of the Scriptures must never be separate from believing prayer. It is by this means that the soul is maintained in communion with God. Prayerless study becomes dry and unprofitable, leaving the student heady and cold- hearted. But prayerful meditation on the inspired pages will nourish the soul in divine affections, leading the heart to Christ Himself. Of this blessing may we all know more until we see Him face to face and be forever wholly sanctified!
—Adapted from Holiness, the False and the True by H. A. Ironside
“A good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit” (Luke 6:43-44). The horrible travesty we have in America today is Christianity without holiness. If you say you accept Jesus, and then go raise hell, you have likely not accepted Jesus at all. Do not be deceived: the very first qualities of Christianity are holiness, purity, right living, right thinking, and right longing. We ought to take seriously the biblical doctrine of spirituality and holiness. —A. W. Tozer, adapted