The Bible’s Pointers
When we read the Bible, we should observe the different pointers that the Bible gives us. Sometimes the Bible gives us internal pointers by directing our attention to the Bible itself. We see a great example of this in 2 Tim 3:6, which reads, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” Other passage that demonstrates the Bible’s internal pointers include Josh 1:8, Ps 1:2, Ps 19:7–13, and Heb 4:12.
At other times, the Bible gives us external pointers. That is, the Bible sometimes directs our attention outside of itself. We saw this when we studied Rom 1:26 last week. In this passage, Paul directs our attention to the natural order as he argues that homosexuality is wrong because it is “contrary to nature.” Also, in Rom 1:20, Paul gives us another external pointer when he states that God reveals His truth to us “in the things that have been made.” Paul continues this argument from the natural order in Rom 2:14–15, when he argues that God reveals His law to mankind through the conscience. God has written His law on our hearts by engraving His testimony deep inside our human person.
The Bible gives us both internal and external pointers. That is, the Bible directs our attention to itself and outside itself. We should recognize and study both pointers—never excluding the internal or the external. In Rom 1 and 2, the Bible encourages us to contemplate what God reveals in creation, the natural order, and the human conscience. Be cognizant of the different directions the Bible points us, for God reveals Himself both in the Bible and outside the Bible.