Searching the Scriptures

1. The Old Testament Testified of Christ – 1

What did Christ say to the people of His day concerning the Scriptures?

“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39)

Note: When this was spoken, not a word of the New Testament had been written. It was to the Old Testament that the Jews looked as their guide to eternal life; and although they would not accept Christ, He said that these very books which they esteemed so highly, testified of Him. If the Old Testament points to Christ, it is worthy of our careful study.

What do the Scriptures reveal concerning the Gospel in the patriarchal age?

“And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” (Galatians 3:8)

Note: It was through Gospel faith that Abraham rejoiced to see the day of Christ. John 8:56. So with all the faithful who lived in the patriarchal age. All these had a practical knowledge of the Gospel, as appears from their godly lives and sacrificial offerings.

Thought Question: What two experiences did Abraham have where he was placed first in a position like Christ and later a position like God? How did these experiences help him and all after him to understand the Gospel more fully?

2. The Old Testament Testified of Christ - 2

Were the Hebrews taught the Gospel in Old Testament times?

“For unto us was the Gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” (Hebrews 4:2)

Note: The persons here referred to by “them” are the Israelites when on their journey from Egypt to the promised land, as will be seen by the Scripture connection. Paul says the Gospel was preached unto us as well as unto them, putting “them” ahead, and letting “us” have the Gospel afterward.

Why did Moses give up the riches of Egypt?

“Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.” (Hebrews 11:26)

Note: People in that age, even as now, were influenced by the riches of Christ to give up the world.

3. Israel in Old Testament Times were Shepherded by Christ

Whence came the spiritual meat and drink of the Israelites while in the wilderness?

“And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:2-4)

What was the chief corner stone of the faith of both apostles and prophets?

“And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;” (Ephesians 2:20)

To think about: What role does the chief corner stone have, in the building?

4. The Early Christian Used the Old Testament to Preach Christ

What part of Scriptures did Philip hear a certain eunuch reading?

“And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?” (Acts 8:30)

Where did Philip begin in sharing the Gospel of Christ with him?

“And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.” (Acts 8:31-35)

Note: Notwithstanding the clearness with which we see Christ referred to in the Scriptures of the Old Testament, the Hebrews would not admit His clams to the Messiah-ship. It is a truthful remark, that “the New Testament was hid in the Old, and the Old Testament is revealed in the New.” By searching both Testaments together, we may become enlightened regarding the plan of salvation; for had not the Old Testament before predicted what the Messiah would be and do, there would have been no standard by which to decide whether or not the personage who then appeared was He. How necessary, then, that we love and study the entire Bible! If we do not, we, like the Hebrews, may lose sight of some of the most important points contained in the New Testament itself.

How did Stephan preach Christ?

“This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sinai, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us:” (Acts 7:37-38)

Thought Question: What value is there in beginning with the Old Testament to share Christ with someone?

5. The Importance of the Study and Reception of the Scriptures

How necessary are the Scriptures to one's salvation?

“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 AV)

What was said of the Bereans because they searched the Scriptures daily?

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11)

Thought Question: Would a casual reading have had the same effect for the Bereans? Why or why not?

6. The Study of the Scriptures is a Life or Death Issue

By what is man to live?

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)

How necessary is Sanctification (holiness)?

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” (Hebrews 12:14)

How is this accomplished?

“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:17 )


2 Searching the Scriptures 2 Of 2 by David Sims