Paul penned his last words to Timothy, “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2Ti 3:15). Of course, Timothy only had the Old Testament growing up but Paul’s words apply to it all, including the Scriptures still being written. His point is that it’s the Scriptures that give us the wisdom we need to be saved. It’s not preachers, ministries, churches, denominations, creeds, theology books, “Christian” books, podcasts, or websites—it’s the Scriptures.
The entire world is evil because it’s deceived and ruled by the devil: “Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged” (Jhn 16:11); “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God” (Act 26:18); “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not” (2Co 4:4); “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world” (Gal 1:4); “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air” (Eph 2:2); “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?” (Jas 4:4); “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1Jo 5:19); “And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world” (Rev 12:9).
If we’re looking to the world for answers, we’re going to get wrong answers because the whole world is deceived. In this utterly “dark” world there’s only one beacon of “light.” There’s only one source for the truth about God, ourselves, salvation, and all essential matters of life—the Scriptures. But we must have the correct understanding of the Scriptures or we still won’t have the truth. For example: if you wrote a letter to someone but they misunderstood the message you intended to convey, then they don’t have your message. God’s message to us is in the Scriptures but we must understand the message He intended to convey. And it all begins with the teaching of Jesus Christ. God sent His Son into this evil world so we would no longer be deceived but know the truth: “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (Jhn 1:17); “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jhn 8:32); “And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?” (Jhn 8:46); “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (Jhn 14:6); “Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice” (Jhn 18:37); “the truth is in Jesus” (Eph 4:21).
Jesus Christ endorsed the Old Testament Scriptures by quoting from them many times and by His statements about them: “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Mat 5:18); “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail” (Luk 16:17); “all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me” (Luk 24:44).
Jesus Christ commissioned the New Testament Scriptures by giving His apostles the understanding of the Old and also giving new revelation: “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures” (Luk 24:45); “But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ” (2Co 3:14); “How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery” (Eph 3:3); “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding” (1Jo 5:20); “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass” (Rev 1:1).
Paul had written to Timothy earlier, “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine [didaskalia 1319]; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (1Ti 4:16). And “the doctrine” of which he was speaking is the good doctrine of Jesus Christ as contrasted with doctrines of devils, “giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines [didaskalia 1319] of devils” (v. 1), “thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine [didaskalia 1319]” (v. 6). If we’ll heed the teaching of Jesus Christ, we’ll be saved and we’ll save those that will listen. But if people won’t listen, then they can’t be helped.
What’s great about the information age is that the truth can be spread far and wide very quickly. However, the huge downfall is that there’s much more junk out there than the truth. When searching the internet, we’ll hardly find the truth because what little there is has been buried beneath a massive garbage pile. We have to study the Scriptures ourselves. If any of us think we can be saved apart from understanding the Scriptures, then we think we know better than God Himself. God is the Author of the Scriptures and sent His Son for us to understand His message to be saved, “the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation.”