Wise for Salvation
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3.14-15)
“Make you wise for salvation”- what does that mean? Knowing information does not inherently save. Yes, you do have to know the truth to believe it, but just knowing about the existence of salvation is not salvation. So, what is Paul going on about? To know that, we have to discern what “sacred writings” are being discussed.
Timothy is a contemporary of Paul, although probably several years, if not decades, his junior. Most historical scholars agree that most of the New Testament was written between 40 and 70 AD. Usually, the gospels are dated in the 60’s. So, for Timothy to be involved in preaching during the same time, it would be assuming too much to say that these writings are those of the life of Jesus. Timothy’s mother and grandmother were Jewish women of great faith (Acts 16.1 cx. 2 Timothy 1.5). Based on their faith and the dates involved the more correct understanding of these “sacred writings” is that the Old Testament should be able to make you wise and bring about faith in Christ Jesus.
Truly, this must be what Peter relies on in Acts 2. Peter is given a portion of the Holy Spirit that will manifest miracles and his sermon is based on information presented in the Old Testament. His sermon begins by citing information prophesied through the prophet Joel and then he points this prophecy to Jesus. The sermon then turns to King David and again, a link is made to King Jesus.
More than Peter’s Pentecostal preaching, Steven starts his sermon with Abraham, then Isaac, Joseph, Moses- finally culminating in the death of the “Righteous One (Acts 7.52). In Acts 8.35 Philip preaches Jesus from Isaiah resulting in salvation. Noah is discussed in 1 Peter 3 and his salvation is compared with ours. Noah passes though water to avoid God’s wrath upon the world.
On the Day of the LORD those who have not submitted to Him will be destined for destruction. Again, looking to the OT we see how powerful God is and none will escape. We also see His love, mercy, and faithfulness to forgive those who ask it of Him.