Biblical Eyesight Emerging Forefront
Blogger’s Note: The following is a post I wrote for another blog I work with call the Millennial Christian. The site is designed more to reach out to those who have questions about God, the meaning of life, the identity of Jesus, and things of that nature. The goal of this post is to show the authority of the Bible, and why we should pay attention to what it says. Click here to see the original post. I will warn you; all I did was copy and paste.
There has always been a battle for the Bible. Church history is plagued with deviant views on the topic.1
Can we trust the Bible? Ever since the Bible was written its authority has been questioned and oftentimes cast aside. It seems that every time the Bible is discussed in the news, movies, TV shows, and in regular conversation some people are saying it is not true. In fact people point out the Bible is full of discrepancies, and we often wonder how to deal with them. A place where the authority of the Bible is questioned the most is the church. Churches are putting methods first and the Bible second. David Wells writes,
“Scripture cannot function authoritatively if the church is not willing to put itself under its authority and learn from it as God’s sole, authoritative guide for its belief and practice.” 2
The lack of focus on Scripture has caused the church to be Biblically ignorant. It is amazing how little people in church know about the Bible today. I remember when I was a children’s minister, and asked someone to fill in for me during children’s church. When I came back she told me what a wonderful experience it was to teach the kids. She loved it because she had learned more about the Bible. She had just learned that the David who defeated Goliath and King David were one and the same. It took everything in me to keep my jaw off the floor. This is one of the most talked about people in the Bible, and she did not know who he really was. She had been in church since she was a little girl. This is what happens when we do not take the Bible seriously, and eventually we lose trust in it.
The goal of this post is not to help you defend every charge against the Bible.3 The goal of this post is to give us a little security that we can trust God’s Word. This post is going to explore three reasons why you can trust the Bible: God wrote it, it will last forever, and it teaches us.
God Wrote It
We can trust what the Bible says because God wrote it. He wrote it by inspiring man to share His word. Although man penned the words, they are still to be considered from God. The prophet Jeremiah wrote:
Then the LORD reached out and touched my mouth and said, “Look, I have put my words in your mouth! Today I appoint you to stand up against nations and kingdoms. Some you must uproot and tear down, destroy and overthrow. Others you must build up and plant.” – Jeremiah 1:9-10 ESV
God inspired Jeremiah to speak and write about the nations. His goal was to show them which nations God was going to preserve, and which nations God was going to destroy. The language Jeremiah used to describe God’s inspiration is a thing of beauty. The Lord touched his mouth and placed words inside of it. The words written inside the Bible are the main place we go to learn about who God is.
The Bible is the main place that we come to know God. The Bible is a book, and a book requires thinking. From the foundation of knowing God through this book, it is then possible to move out and think fruitfully about all of life. We find out about the true nature of God and our world inside the Bible. The Bible is also a book that records eyewitness testimony of different Biblical figures and Jesus Christ.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life. – I John 1:1 ESV
John writes how Jesus has been the main subject of the entire Bible, and His coming is a fulfillment of things predicted before. John wrote about what he saw and heard. The things Jesus said was a fulfillment of everything written in the Old Testament. Jesus said,
“These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” – Luke 24:44 ESV
Everything written in the Bible points us to Jesus. Jesus confirms for us that the Old Testament is true. Peter does the same for the writings of Paul in II Peter 3:15-16.6 The Scriptures show themselves to be true by demonstrating they are God’s Word. Since God wrote the Bible, it will last forever.
God’s Word Lasts Forever
Often we hear ads on T.V. that tell us something will last forever. They will even give us a lifetime guarantee. The problem is they typically put a limit on the guarantee, and there are terms and conditions that must be met.
Unlike everything else in life; God’s Word lasts forever. The prophet Isaiah wrote:
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” Isaiah 40:8 ESV
It is funny how when I go back to the town where I grew up and areas that used to be considered country are now well developed. Time keeps going, and everything might be different, but God’s Word lasts forever. Church history shows many have tried to destroy the Bible. Men died just trying to translate the Bible into English. But those forces were not allowed to prevail because God’s Word lasts forever.
For “All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
And this word is the good news that was preached to you. I Peter 1:24-25 ESV
Peter adds to what Isaiah wrote by focusing on how the flesh will pass away. What he means by the things of the flesh are things we try to put in the center of our lives instead of God. This can be money, a job, relationships, possessions, and things we do for pleasure at some point. These things will either not be enough, or they will go away. God’s word never changes, nor will it fade away.
Almost three hundred years ago a philosopher named Voltaire predicted the Bible would not even be relevant anymore. His teaching and writings led many people away from Christianity. He died in 1728. The Bible is still the bestselling books of all time. The irony of this is his house was eventually purchased by the Geneva Bible Society, and they used to print the very book he said would fade away.6 God will always preserve His Word because he wants us to learn from it.
God’s Word Teaches Us
There are several things we can learn from the Bible. We learn who we are, what we are, our relationship with the world, how we can improve our lives, and how we can make the world a better place.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. II Timothy 3:16-17 7
The Bible also addresses the most important issue of all: how do we reconcile our relationship with God. It shows us the way to God: Jesus Christ.
Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
The Bible guides us where we need to go, and it shows how we are to live. The Bible is not an outdated book. It was completed 2,000 years ago, but by its very nature it has the ability to speak to us today. The Holy Spirit speaks through God’s Word to show us where we need to improve.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
If we read the Bible with the intent to become more like Christ, then we will improve our lives. In order for the Bible to speak to us; we have to believe what it says. If you approach the Bible to search for errors, you will not see where your life needs to be changed. You also not see the difference between God and the world.
We can only judge between what is wrong and what is right when we know what God says to be true. We can know this only from Scripture.8
With the Bible we can see God’s plan for our life. In order to see that plan we have to believe what He says to us is true. He will not forget you and will always be by your side.
This God—his way is perfect;
the word of the LORD proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30
The goal of this article is help you trust the Bible. It is far from a complete work on questions surrounding the validity of the Bible, but a helpful start in seeing how God’s Word is true. In the footnotes there are a few references to help you learn more if you would like to. Also the article entitled Levels of Discernment will help with understanding what issues of the Bible are most important, and how to deal with disagreements with others concerning the Bible. In order for us to be changed by the Bible we have to believe the Bible.
The Bible demands that we allow it to be sufficient to address all areas of life and practice, whether evangelism, sanctification, guidance, social reform, or discernment. 9
In order to see what the Bible says about certain issues; we have to read it. Many people today have respect for the Bible, and understand how important it is for their lives. The problem is they do not read it. It is like taking a bath without soap. If you get in the shower, and look at the soap and do not use it; you are still dirty. The same is true with the Bible. If you look at it and ignore it, it does you no good. We have to be willing to learn what the Bible says.
If you cannot embrace the pain of learning but must have instant gratification, you forfeit the greatest rewards of life. 10
We must make an effort to learn from the Bible in order for the Bible to impact our lives. We rob ourselves by thinking we need to get instant gratification from God’s Word, and thinking we can be changed by it by reading one verse a day. We need to take time to read and dwell on the Bible. Peter concludes this best by saying:
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. II Peter 1:5-8
1Geisler, Norman L.; Roach, Bill (2012-01-01). Defending Inerrancy (Kindle Locations 266-267). Baker Book Group. Kindle Edition.
2David F. Wells. The Courage to Be Protestant: Truth-lovers, Marketers, and Emergents in the Postmodern World (Kindle Locations 2970-2971). Kindle Edition.
3Several books have been written addressing potential flaws with the Bible. Defending Inerrancy is the latest one out. Think by John Piper and the The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment by Tim Challis also addresses this issue. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist by Norman Geisler and Frank Turek explores this issue by showing in the chapter entitled “Ten Reasons Why We Can Trust the New Testament Authors.” Those four books are a good start on this issue. David Wells in his book The Courage to be Protestant writes about how the church has not been taking the authority of the Bible seriously.
3Grudem, Wayne; Systematic Theology An Introduction to Bible Doctrine (1994) InterVarsity Press (p. 31)
4Piper, John; Mark A. Noll (2010-09-15). Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God (Kindle Locations 512-513). Good News Publishers/Crossway Books. Kindle Edition.
5″And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.” II Peter 3:15-16
7 I think I quote this one verse as often as I do John 3:16. It reminds me of the importance of God’s Word, and why we need to read it.
8 Challies, Tim; John MacArthur (2008-03-31). The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment (p. 47). Good News Publishers/Crossway Books. Kindle Edition.
9 Ibid p. 47
10 Piper, John. Think. (Kindle Locations 607-608)