What Do We Know About The Bible?
Is the Bible the inspired by God? The Bible itself claims to be the inspired word of God, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16) The Bible claims to be without error and it claims to be the completed religious guide for mankind. The Bible as it is meets all of man's spiritual needs. God is the author of the Bible. He used inspired writers to communicate His message to the world. "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." (2 Peter 1:21)
Humanity has truly been blessed by God with this great gift, the Bible. If we appreciate having the Bible we should study it daily. The people of Berea demonstrated the attitude that we should have toward the Bible. "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." (Acts 17:11) Our personal Bible study should produce a sincere desire for obedience from the heart. (Romans 1:5)
It matters not how smart a man may become he is still ignorant if he does not know and obey the word of God. We never outgrow our need for God and His revelation. What a mistake people make by not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. (Matthew 22:29) What do we know about the Bible?
We know that the Bible is the worlds greatest book. There are many reasons why this statement is true. The Bible is not just another book among books. The Bible is God's word, His truth. John wrote, "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." (John 17:17) The Bible is the most timely and useful book ever penned. It tells man how to live on earth and how to go to heaven when he dies. There have been many people that have been opposed to the Bible. The foes of the precious word of God have come and gone but the Bible still remains the best seller from year to year. Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. (Matthew 24:35)
We know that the Bible was given by inspiration of God. The very words of the Bible were given by God. We can read and believe the Bible without having to fear that any part of it is untrue or uninspired. Remember, Peter wrote, "...holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21) God empowered holy men to write this book we know as the Bible. Paul taught the same truth about the inspired scriptures. He said, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17) The apostles and prophets delivered the message they had received from God. Do not doubt God's word. Believe and obey His truth.
We know that the Bible is complete without any addition, subtraction or substitution. Many add to and take away from God's word. God warned against such tampering with His truth. Through the apostle John He said, "For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." (Revelation 22:18-19) Some say this warning applies only to the book of Revelation. But at the first of the Bible we read God's word as He said, "What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it." (Deuteronomy 12:32) Near the center of the Bible God said, "Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar." (Proverbs 30:6) By inspiration of God Paul also gave warnings against changing God's precious word. "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed..." (Galatians 1:8-9) Dealing with the word of God is a serious matter because heaven and hell are involved. A false gospel leads to condemnation instead of salvation!
We know that the Bible is God's powerful salvation message. The word of God has the power to save all that will believe and obey it. Paul said, "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek." (Romans 1:16) If anyone is to be made free from sin, he must know the truth because it is the truth that makes you free. (John 8:32) Not only will the truth save your soul, but it will keep you in the pathway of righteousness. This great truth is taught in the powerful 19th Psalm. The Psalmist said, "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward." (Psalm 19:7-11)
We know that the teachings of God's Bible must be obeyed. "Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city." (Revelation 22:14) The Bible is a book for all purposes. It provides comfort for one in sorrow; it provides encouragement for one that is in despair; it provides strength for one that is weak and it gives hope to the one that is lost. The Bible can meet our every need. God's precious word also has an answer to all our religious questions. Scripture tell us how to live and how to die. From the Bible we learn where man came from, our purpose for being here, and where we are going when we dies. The Bible is man's roadmap from earth to heaven. It is this same word that will judge us in the last day. Jesus said, "He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." (John 12:48) We should believe the word of God and make it our daily companion. We should allow the word of God to govern our lives and to lead us to heaven.
We know that the Bible tells man how to be saved. Salvation comes only to those that believe. If you are to be saved you MUST BELIEVE in Jesus. Jesus claims to be the Son of God; the only religious authority of God on earth. (Matthew 28:18) He said, "I am the Way, and the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the Father but by me." (John 14:6) Without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6)
Those that are saved MUST REPENT of all sins. The scripture teaches that repentance is necessary for all people. (Acts 17:30) Repentance is a change of mind or a change of heart that leads to a change in action. One that would follow Jesus must get out of the sinning business. It will be clear to all those that know him, that he is now different. (Matthew 3:8)
Those that are saved MUST CONFESS the name of Jesus Christ before men. People that believe in Jesus and have repented of their sins, will be asked to confess publicly their faith in the Christ. (Romans 10:9-10) Then, with this accomplished, a person is ready to be baptized into Christ.
Those that are saved MUST BE BAPTIZED. In Bible examples of conversion the New Testament plainly states that people were baptized. Paul was told to be baptized and wash away his sins. (Acts 22:16) This proves that baptism is the action by which Jesus takes away sins. When a person becomes convinced that Jesus is the Son of God, he must repent of his sins, confess the name of Jesus, and be baptized immediately. People have only a short time to live on earth and they should not delay their obedience to God. (James 4:17)
We know that the Bible teaches man how to be faithful to God. The Bible show us what the Christian life is all about and it teaches us how to live that life. There is much in our Bible about how to live the Christian life. If you are saved but fail to live for the Lord Jesus all is still lost. The Christian life is a life of faithfulness, love, devotion and service to God. It is marked by obedience to the two greatest commandments. Jesus said, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Matthew 22:37-40) The Christian life is a victorious life that results in the reception of the crown of life. "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:57) Do you make proper use of your Bible?
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA