Sacred Scripture, Wisdom for Salvation

October 14, 2016

The Pastor's Page

The Word of God.  Sacred Scripture is the writings of the Holy Bible, all of the books in both the Old and New Testaments.  These books are on an approved list called the Canon of Sacred Scripture because they are considered authentic, contain correct teaching, and have been in continuous use throughout the centuries.

The Human Word of Almighty God.  Sacred Scripture is the Word of God and inspired by God.  The words are “human,” the words that people use to express themselves, and the authors are human, real people such as Moses and Isaiah, Matthew and Mark, Peter and Paul.  God did not dictate the words that were to be written, nor did God insert the words into their brains or direct their pens.  Each author wrote freely.

Inspiration.  The composition of Scripture is guided by the Holy Spirit.  It is “revelation,” something about God or the truth that the author could not have known or learned on his own.  Revelation comes in mystical ways such as dreams, messages brought by angels, voices, visions, thoughts, and insights.

Scripture’s Limitations.  Scripture is one way that God communicates with us.  God uses words, yet words in themselves are finite, limited, and cannot say everything.  Words reveal something of God but not everything of God because God is infinite and transcends the limited nature of words.  They cannot convey everything that there is to know about God, but they do reveal a great deal.  Scripture is an act of love by God, God taking the initiative to communicate with us.

Scripture, the Source of Wisdom.  St. Paul wrote that “sacred scriptures which are capable of giving you wisdom” (2 Tm 3:15).  The word “wisdom” is carefully chosen.  He avoided the word “knowledge.”  Scripture is not information, a history book to learn or a theology book to study, matters of the mind to know and understand.  Scripture is a matter of the heart.  It is not only what we know but what we believe.  It is what we love, value, and treasure.  It is our passion.  It is to be devoured by us and become the fabric of our being (see Ez 3:1-4).

Wisdom.  Wisdom is the first gift of the Holy Spirit (Is 11:2).  It is the ability to exercise good judgment.  It distinguishes between right and wrong.  It seeks and upholds truth and justice.  It is oriented toward the common good.  It is the parent of the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love.  It is one with the truth, and the closer we get to the truth, the closer we get to God.

Teaching, Reproof, Correction, and Training.  Scripture is useful for teaching:  it contains the truth about God and serves as the basis for doctrine; for reproof, to reject errors, distortions, deceptions, heresies, and false teaching; for correction, to correct misunderstandings and misapplications, to expose wrong decisions and actions, and to help a person get back on the right track; and for training in righteousness, to help a person to grow in goodness and virtue, and to increase in their desire to obey and please God.

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About Father Michael Van Sloun

Father Michael A. Van Sloun is the pastor of Saint Bartholomew of Wayzata, MN. Ministerial interests include weekly Bible study, articles on theological topics, religious photography, retreats on Cross spirituality, and pilgrimages to the Holy Land, Italy, Greece and Turkey.

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