on July 30, 2014
A.W. Pink introduces this book by explaining that there various motives for reading Scripture. Some people read it for prideful reasons, some out of curiosity, and some for other unspiritual reasons. Such motives, however, have nothing to do with God and the yearning for spiritual edification. Thus, in this book Pink proceeds to explain the purpose of Scripture by expounding upon how one may profit from the Word (cf. 2 Tim. 3:16-17).
Each chapter begins with a brief introduction to the relationship between Scripture and various topics of the Bible. Pink then provides seven main points for each chapter, which illustrate either how the Word profits one’s reading, or what must be done in the life of a believer for the Word to profit him.
The first chapter focuses on how the believer may profit from the Word in relation to sin. It profits by convicting of sin, causing sorrow for sin, and leading to confession and deep hatred for sin. It also profits by teaching how to forsake sin, fortify against sin, and practice the opposite of sin. If these are true in the life of the believer, then Scripture is profiting them as intended by the Lord.
The second chapter focuses on profiting from the Word in relation to God. Pink describes how Scripture ought to form our understanding of God by showing how Scripture supernaturally reveals God (i.e. His holiness, omniscience, majesty) and causes the believer to love God and hate what He hates. Thus Scripture profits by providing a clearer recognition of God’s claims (to which the believer will submit), and by providing a greater fear of God’s majesty, a deeper reverence for God’s commands, a firm trust in God’s sufficiency, a fuller delight in God’s perfections, a larger submission to God’s providences, and a more fervent praise to God’s goodness. All of this cultivates the fear of God within our lives as we read the Word.
The third chapter focuses on Christ. Pink claims that the measure in which we profit from Scripture is dependent upon the preciousness of Christ in our hearts (pg. 34). Christ becomes precious to us as we study the Scripture. Thus the Scripture profits by revealing the reader’s need for Christ. Additionally, in order for the Word to profit, the reader must then continue to make Christ more real to him, and he must become more absorbed with Christ’s perfections; he must also have an increasing confidence in Christ, a deepening desire to please Christ, and a longing for the return of Christ.
The focus of chapter 4 is the Scripture and prayer. Scripture must guide our prayer, for we are commanded to pray in the Spirit, who is the author of the Scriptures. Our prayers must also be done in faith and for God’s honor. The Scripture profits the reader by revealing the deep importance of prayer, by teaching how to pray, by reminding us of our need of the Spirit’s help, and as the Spirit teaches us the right end in praying. Moreover, we profit from the Scripture when we’re taught how to plead God’s promises, and when we’re brought to complete submission to God, trusting Him to answer our prayers according to His wisdom. Finally, the Scriptures profit us when prayer becomes to us a real and deep joy.
Good works is the focus of chapter 5. The Word profits when the reader learns the true place, absolute necessity, and design of good works (the honor of God). Additionally, the Word profits by teaching the true nature of good works (in obedience, love, & honor to God, and love to one’s neighbor), the true source of good works (God: the Father, Son, & Spirit), the great importance of good works, and the true scope of good works (good works are not only service to God, but every other form of work done to worship the Lord and benefit mankind).
Christ requires obedience in this life, which is the focus of chapter 6. The reader profits from the Word when he realizes what God demands of him, and that he has sinfully failed to meet God’s demands. The profit continues, however, when the reader is taught of God’s grace in providing for His people’s meeting of His demands, and when we are given a love for God’s commands. Moreover, the Word profits a man when his heart and will are yielded to all of God’s commands, when the soul years for enabling grace to obey God’s commands, and when the believer already enjoys the rewards of obedience.
The next topic in chapter 7 is the Word and the World. Reading the Word profits when it reveals the true nature of the world as an enemy to be resisted and overcome. We also profit from it when we learn that Christ died to deliver us from the world, when our hearts are weaned from the world, and when we walk in separation from the world. As these things become true in our lives, the Word will also profit as we evoke hatred from the world, and when we are elevated above the world.
The promises of God reveal His love and grace so freely bestowed upon us. This is the topic of chapter 8. The Word profits by revealing to whom the promises belong: those who are in Christ. They also profit when those to whom they belong labor to make them their own, and when they recognize the scope of the promises. Additionally, the Word profits when the reader understands the conditions of certain promises, when the promises provide comfort and hope, when we patiently wait for the ultimate fulfillment of them, and when we make right use of them.
Scripture also profits by teaching us that joy is a duty we are commanded to do, which has great value as something we are blessed to experience in fellowship with God. Chapter 9 focuses on this topic of joy. Pink continues saying that Scripture profits when we cultivate joy by attending to its root (faith), avoid hindrances to joy, and preserve the balance between it and sorrow over sin in the world.
The final chapter focuses on Christian love toward one another. Scripture profits when we learn the biblical definition of love, and why it is so important in our lives. The Scripture also profits by teaching us how to rightfully exercise love, and how to cultivate love in our lives. Finally, it also profits by teaching us how love is perverted.
I believe chapter 2 (Scripture and God) should have been first. God is the Alpha, the Creator. In my opinion, God should be mentioned first when speaking of Scripture, because He ought to be our focus in everything. Pink explains his reason for discussing sin first, saying, “it is not until man is made thoroughly displeased with himself that he begins to aspire after God” (pg. 33). True, but we can't be thoroughly displeased with ourselves until we're aware of the awesome holiness of God. He also says, “We must be made conscious of our imperfections ere we can really appreciate the Divine perfections” (pg. 33). I do not believe we can be made conscious of our imperfections until after the Divine perfections are revealed to us. God is our standard of holiness. There is no way to know when we deviate from the standard unless we know the standard. Thus, I believe we cannot be displeased with ourselves until we understand God’s holiness. Indeed, Pink agrees on page 72, saying “no man can see what a sinner he is … until he has a clear sight of the exalted demands of God upon him!” Thus, I suggest a new order of chapters. By having chapter 1 about God, one is ready to see the wretchedness of one's sin in chapter 2; then one has the perfect foundation for a discussion on Christ in chapter 3, which is why Pink rightfully concludes, “as [one] learns something of God’s pressing claims upon him, and his own utter inability to meet them, he is prepared to hear and welcome the good news that Another has fully met those claims for all who are led to believe in Him” (pg. 33).
Overall, this was an excellent book!
on November 3, 2014
This is a very good book by Arthur W. Pink it deals with how to get the most out of Bible study. He looks at practical ways to apply the Scriptures to our life. There are 10 chapters that deal with the Scriptures and sin, God, Christ, prayer, good works, obedience, the world, the promises, joy and love. The best chapter deals with the Scriptures and the world, because it's not a subject that is dealt with much today. I find the easiest thing in the world is to become worldly and to live by the dictates of our present godless system. A.W. Pink puts great emphasis on applying the Word to our lives, not just mere intellectual knowledge , but spiritual application as well. I think this book will give you a higher regard for the Word in your daily life. Recommended.