Have You Even Read the Bible?
Have you been told by Christians, “If you read the Bible, God will speak to you and you’ll want to become a follower of Christ.” Christians will refer to the Bible as “The Word of God,” or “Scripture,” or “God’s Word.” The Bible calls itself a “lamp.” Psalm 119.105 tells us, “Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” The question is why did God use this book to share His story -- and why should we trust it? These are good questions. Let's answer them.
What's so Special?
The Bible is a book that has been maligned, downplayed and downgraded for centuries. Why? Because the Bible is the Word of God and the devil hates the Word of God. In fact, the very first words the devil ever said to a human being dealt with the Word of God by trying to cause Eve to doubt the Word of God - “Indeed, has God said you shall not eat from every tree of the garden” (Gen 3:1)? It was a question mark on the Word of God. The Bible is a book that has been attacked, and it has stood through all those attacks, and it continues to stand as a special book. If you’ll spend time in this book and you’ll apply it’s principles and truth to your life, it will change your life.
What makes the Bible unique?
People who don’t believe the Bible will say, “The Bible is just a, just a book written by men. It’s no different than any other book. It’s just a bunch of myths.” But what they fail to remember is that the Bible has important distinctives.
The Bible is inspired by God.
The Scriptures says, “All Scripture is inspired by God” (2Tim 3:16). The word inspired is an interesting word. It’s a compound word – theo, which means “God” and pneustos, which means “to breathe.”
The Bible is literally God-breathed.
Scripture has the breath of God on it making it different than any other book. When God spoke His Word, He did it through people. So skeptics will say, “Well, you know, just men wrote the Bible.” And that is true. But when Paul was writing to Timothy, he was dictating to him God’s Words. It wasn’t God’s hand that was physically writing it, but it was God’s Words. Some people say, “Well, you know, here’s the thing. If God wrote the Bible, then the Bible should sound all the same. And people will say, “Well, you know, if it was God-breathed, it was God-inspired, then why wouldn’t the Bible sound the same? Why wouldn’t Isaiah sound like it’s the same author as Peter?
The reality is, the different authors were like different instruments in an orchestra. They each have their own individual styles and, but God breathed through them. If you take a master musician, and he picks up a flute and he plays the flute, and then he picks up a tuba and he plays the tuba, those don’t sound the same. It is a symphony, a beautiful symphony. That’s why you have the individual characteristics of the Book.
The Bible, because it’s God-breathed, that means it’s alive.
When God made Adam, He formed him out of clay. But you just had this shell. And then it said, “…and the LORD breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul” (Gen 2:7) God breathed life into His Word, and so the Word of God is alive. It’s living and active. Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “It’s living and active, and it’s sharper than any two-edged sword, and it’s piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, or both joints and marrow, and it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
Listen, men do not reject the Bible because it contradicts itself. They reject the Bible because it contradicts them … what they want. It pierces as far as the division of soul and spirit. It’s a sword that cuts. And the Bible can cut to bless or it can cut to bleed. It depends what you’re doing in life.
The Bible is profitable.
“And it’s not only God-breathed, but it’s profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness…..” Now the word profitable means, “to gain an advantage.” And when you spend time in the Bible, you’re going to gain an advantage because the Bible is a profitable book.
a. It’s profitable for correction. The word correction is orthosis. Epanorthosis is the Greek word. And the orthosis is from which we get our English word orthopedic, orthopod. We go to the orthopedic surgeon because he deals with bones. And an orthopedic surgeon is going to straighten out bones. And that word that means correction literally means “to restore to an upright state, to straighten.” And God’s Word does that. It corrects you. It tells you how to get right and it straightens you out again. It says, “Well, you’ve gotten out of bounds over here. This is what we need to do to get you straight.” It reproofs you. It shows you what’s not right. It corrects you. It shows you how to get right.
b. It tells us what is right. Read His Word! It’s God’s mind in print, and it teaches us what is right, and the things we are to do, and what God thinks about this, and what God thinks about that, and what God thinks about everything. The most miserable people on the earth are those people who blow past all of God’s boundaries and say, “I’m going to live however I want to live.” You can do that if you want, and you will end up every single time like the prodigal son at the pig sty. And you can blow past all God’s teachings that says, “Don’t do this. Don’t go past this. Here are the boundary markers. You’re way outside. You do that and you’ll end up broken and in misery.” It’s just built into the world that God created. So the Bible is profitable for teaching. It tells us what is right.
c. And then it shows you how to stay right. God wants us to be happy. When Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3-11), everything starts out with “Blessed are you when….” And the word blessed, makarios, means “to be happy.” God wants His children to be happy. God is not a sad God. God is not a mad God. God is a glad God. God has joy. The Bible says that the kingdom of heaven is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. And contentment/happiness comes when you’re right with God.
The Bible is the Word of God.
Thousands of years ago, God began revealing His plan to people on Earth. When people responded in “faith” (Genesis 15:6), God led them and taught them His ways. The Bible tells us who God is, as God “revealed [His plan] to His holy apostles and prophets” (Ephesians 3:5). These plans were written in laws and holy letters. God also inspired His followers to record the great things He did in their lives, and to write about what He’s like. That means the Bible is not one message; it is a collection of God’s messages through much of human history and through the hearts of many people pointing people to Jesus.
The Bible will change your life.
It’s changed my life. And I want to spend more time in it. And I want to get it down in my heart, so that when problems come into my life, I think Scripture.
Jesus said, “People do not live by bread alone, but by every Word that comes from God” (Matthew 4:4). Just as our physical bodies gain energy from daily meals, so our spiritual lives gain power from the daily intake of God’s Word. God will bring to mind what you’ve read and help you overcome evil , resist temptation and change your ‘want to” in your life. This book will help you trust God for the life to come. Learn how to accept Christ so you can have power from His word today.