A clear vision of Scripture engagement is essential if we are going to strengthen the place of God’s Word in our student movements. The first part of the booklet The Word Among Us is designed to help broaden and deepen our overall understanding of Scripture engagement. It focuses on the following six core aspects:
- deepening our convictions about the nature and purpose of Scripture;
- cultivating an attitude of love, expectant listening and obedience to God’s Word;
- modelling a lifestyle of Scripture engagement;
- trusting the impact of God’s Word in evangelism;
- nurturing good practices in Scripture engagement;
- addressing the challenges of our world biblically.
Let us take a moment to look at the first core aspect:
Deepening Our Convictions about the Nature and Purpose of Scripture
What are the essential character and purpose of the Bible? Our answer to this question lays the foundation for our interaction with God’s Word. We need to make sure that our basic beliefs about Scripture are not just abstract theological statements but are filled with meaning. Our desire is that students should have full confidence in this Word, rejoice in its good news and trust its authoritative voice in every situation and issue they face.
Central to our understanding of the Bible is the conviction that God’s Word is not primarily a book but a person. God revealed himself to us not by shouting from heaven but by coming to us in the person of Jesus Christ, and Scripture leads us to him. That is why it is so incredibly valuable. We must not reduce the Bible to an object of study – it is more like a room which we enter to meet Jesus. It is this encounter that transforms us into lovers and followers of Jesus who are able to serve him in the world.
It is worth taking some time on your own or together with others to ask: Why are our convictions about the nature and purpose of Scripture important? What convictions do we hold about Scripture? How are these being challenged in our context? How can we grow in our convictions regarding God’s Word?
The Word Among Us includes a suggestion for a group session which focuses on our convictions about God’s Word (on page 15). You can download the booklet here. In it you will find descriptions of all six core aspects and further material which can help renew our vision and practise of Scripture engagement.