Corinthian Enthusiasm

Corinthian Enthusiasm

Let us be the sort of people who prayerfully and carefully immerse ourselves day and night in God’s Word (Josh. 1:8Ps. 1:2). Let us also be the sort of Berean-like people who receive good teaching about God’s Word “with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (Acts 17:11).

Only one book is absolutely essential to save us, to equip us to obey God’s will, and to glorify Him in whatever we do. Only one book gives us undiluted truth —the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Only one book serves as our ultimate and final authority in all that it affirms. That book, of course, is the Bible, God’s Holy Word. No wonder John Wesley once exclaimed, “Let me be homo unius libri”—a man of one book!

And yet the irony is that if we use only this book, we may in fact be in disobedience to it. We should count good teaching about the Bible—whether through commentaries, books, sermons, study Bibles, and so on—to be a gift from God for the good of His church (see Eph. 4:11James 1:17). So what may look pious on the outside (“Just me and my Bible!”) can actually mask pride on the inside.

Acts 8 describes a story that might help us think through this. An Ethiopian eunuch—a God-fearing Gentile who served as treasurer to the Ethiopian queen—had made a five-month journey by chariot to Jerusalem in order to worship God. During his return trip he was puzzling out loud over the Isaiah scroll that he held in his hands. And the Holy Spirit appointed Philip to help him understand the meaning of the Bible.

Philip first asked this man if he understood the passage that he was reading (chap. 53). The Ethiopian responded, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” (v. 31). After inviting Philip to sit in his chariot, he asked him about whom this passage spoke. ‘Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus’ (v. 35). Soon after, the eunuch insisted they stop the chariot in order to be baptized by Philip in obedience to his new savior and king, Jesus Christ. To be sure, this is a historical narrative recounting an event. The purpose is not necessarily to guide believers today in how to read their Bibles or how to think about the teaching of God’s Word.

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