All Scripture Is Inspired, and All Scripture Matters
There are things you learn over a lifetime of teaching and preaching, especially about our emphasis on various parts of the Bible. I can remember when Churches of Christ seemed to think Acts was the most important section of Scripture to learn. After all, there was so much there to show people how to become Christians and that was so important.
Then I remember the shift to the letters of the New Testament. After all, it was important to understand how the church should function. In the midst of so many differing ways of doing church, what better way to understand it than to look at the various letters to the early churches? Some of our Bibles almost looked brand new near the beginning of the book and worn out toward the end. And it was important to learn how God expected his people to live.
And then came the move back into the Gospels. So much attention to Acts and the letters made it seem as if we were forgetting Jesus. So preaching through the Gospels became the thing to do. I still remember preaching Matthew for a whole year. Because if we were to be the church of Christ, should we not spend our time studying the life of the Christ? I remember some preachers even saying if you were only going to study one part of the Bible, make sure it was the Gospels.
Until we remembered the Old Testament. It was not too long ago that I heard preachers lamenting the fact that we had neglected the Old Testament. It was inspired Scripture and should be studied. There was almost the sense that, if you did not study the Old Testament, you could not understand any of the New Testament.
Now I hear emphasis on the words of Jesus—essentially red letter preaching in which you look through your Bible and find the red letters that indicate the words of Jesus. I have even heard some say the words of Jesus are the most important part of the Bible and should take precedence over all other Scripture. Almost as if the Bible could disagree with itself so be sure and study the right Scripture.
But if all Scripture is inspired and is profitable for our life as Christians, then perhaps we should not try and decide which section of Scripture is most important.
Perhaps they are all important.
The Old Testament is so important for learning the nature of God and seeing the relationship with his people. The Gospels reveal how Jesus lived, and of course it is critical to hear the actual words of Jesus. Acts is so inspiring to see what God can do through his people to grow the kingdom. The letters give so much insight into living our lives for Jesus and in community.
So perhaps the intent of our teaching should not be to favor one portion of Scripture above the rest. What if the best thing to do in studying Scripture is to be sure that we have a balanced approach, not neglecting or elevating any particular section?
All Scripture is inspired. It is all valuable for molding us into the disciples God desires.
Trust that the Holy Spirit knew what he was doing.
Teach God’s word. All of it.