The grass withers, the flower fades;
But the word of our God will stand forever
Most people will agree that the Bible is an important book and perhaps the most influential book ever written, after all, it was hand copied until 1455 when it became the first book to be printed, it has lasted through the years, and millions of copies have been sold in virtually every language. We can rank it up with the great works of Plato, Shakespeare, and many others! However, there is a haunting question that must be answered if we are really going to believe that the Bible is the Word of God. “What gives the Bible authority to speak into my life?”
The Bible was written over a period of approximately 1,500 years by more than 40 different human authors from a variety of backgrounds. In addition, these authors wrote in different locations – from the wilderness to prison. The Bible was written on three different continents (Africa, Asia, and Europe) and in three different languages (Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek)<1>
The Bible contains stories and events through which God still speaks. “There is the story of Abraham, who, like an ancient Christopher Columbus, set out by faith to discover a new spiritual continent. There is David, the pure-hearted shepherd boy, triumphant with a round smooth stone over Goliath, the giant. There is David the mighty king, the miserable sinner, and the brokenhearted man, singing the songs of repentance for every human being. There are all the other kings who ‘did what was evil in the sight of the Lord’ and who stand as constant reminders of how power corrupts and how the mighty have fallen.”<2>
The Bible teaches us why we are here; it gives us purpose and meaning for life. “…there is no source like the Bible for disclosing God’s purpose in creating us. Science and technology are immensely important, but they do not tell us why we are here. Explorations on the moon and other planets could be among our finest achievements, but they reveal nothing about the meaning and purpose of our strange lives on this beautiful little planet. Psychology and social studies are important, but they do not provide an understanding of ultimate meaning and purpose…”<3>
The Bible tells the story of why we are on this earth, why we need relationship with God, how we can choose what road to take and about the redemption that Jesus Christ has for us. This story is told consistently from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21.
The Bible is useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking (insert Scripture). As we weave our way through Scripture, we find that despite the “age” of the Bible it is in fact “ageless”. The Bible contains everything we need to address every moral and spiritual issue that we will face as we walk through life. Noted scholar F.F. Bruce makes the following statement: “There exists no document from the ancient world, witnessed by so excellent a set of textual and historical testimonies, and offering so superb an array of historical data on which an intelligent decision may be made. An honest cannot dismiss a source of this kind. Skepticism regarding the historical credentials of Christianity is based on irrational bias.”<4>
The Bible is the holy and inspired word of God. The Lake Junaluska Affirmation makes the following statement: “The authority of Scripture derives from the fact that God, through His Spirit, inspired the authors, causing them to perceive God’s truth and record it with accuracy”<5>
Although many of us hate to admit it – we all depend on some form of authority to base our lives on. We may depend upon another person, on experience or emotions. These sources may be good or evil and lead us to God or to Satan. However, as we walk through the Bible’s consistent message, as we realize the historical accuracy, as we research the prophecies and the fulfillment, we have little choice but to realize that this Bible comes from a divine source. If the Bible is truly from a divine source, then it also has authority to guide us in how we live our lives. This means that we must allow Scripture to challenge our very belief system, our lifestyle, and our behavior. If we bring ourselves under the instruction and teaching of Scripture we will begin to prosper more spiritually and emotionally and to walk in deeper intimacy with our Creator.
Am I ready to make the Bible the basis or standard for how I live my life? Yes/No
What difference would it make in my life if I took the Bible as my authority and allowed Biblical concepts/principles to guide every area of my life?
How could this affect the way I think about God, about myself, about my relationships and the world around me?
How do I plan to dive deeper into the Word of God?
Blessed are they whose ways are blameless
Who walk according to the law of the Lord.
Blessed are they who keep his statutes
And seek him with all their heart.
<1> Information taken from Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, Answers to Tough Questions Skeptics ask about the Christian faith. Campus Crusade for Christ, San Bernardino, 1980 p. 1-3
<2> Mack B. Stokes. Major United Methodist Beliefs. Nashville: Abingdon Press. 1998. p. 26-27
<3> Mack B. Stokes. Major United Methodist Beliefs. Nashville: Abingdon Press. 1998. p. 28-29
<4> Bruce Bickel & Stan Jantz. Bible Answers to Life’s Big Questions. Eugene: Harvest House Publishers. 2006. p. 72
<5> Taken from Lake Janaluska Affirmation. Wilmore, KY: Good News. 1975