Nearly 2,500 years ago, the psalmist wrote this sage advice: “Your [meaning God’s] word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path” (Psalms 119:105). And since the creation of the church, their standard has been: What does the Bible say? Just as you and I write down the things that need to be remembered, why wouldn’t God? And He did! His finger wrote the 10 Commandments onto the stone tablets Moses carried back down the mountain to the people of Israel. And elsewhere we see God specifically telling certain people to write specific things down (for example, see Jeremiah 30:1-2, and Revelation 1:11).
While Jesus was fasting in the desert, Satan came to him to find a way to tempt him, saying, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” To which Jesus replied, “It is written: Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). And, when asked what a person must do to receive eternal life, Jesus again pointed to the Scriptures, asking, “What is written in the Law?” (Luke 10:26)
Nearing the end of his life, the apostle Paul wrote to one of his young students to remind him that “All Scripture is God breathed,” meaning that what we know of as the Bible came by the inspiration of God. Paul goes on to say that Scripture is “useful” — it is good for personal “teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). And who hasn’t felt God’s Spirit correcting them as they were reading the Bible?
The thought that the word of God was far too valuable to be simply kept locked up behind church walls was what prompted people like William Tyndale to translate the Bible into the common language of their day so that even the average plowboy would know it.
The Scriptures are so important that the apostle Paul wrote that the people in the town of Berea were “more noble” than were those of Thessalonica. Why would he say this? Because not only were the Bereans willing to listen, but they were also willing to check the Scriptures to see if what was said agreed with what was written (Acts 17:11).
In a time when “truth” is being debated, isn’t it nice to know that there remains one thing you can count on — the word of God! Therefore, as an acquaintance of mine would say, “We understood the world around us by
looking at it through the pages of the Bible.” Was my friend being “more noble”? I’d say he was!
Even skeptical dirt-diggers like Sir William Ramsay had to agree that the Bible was trustworthy, especially concerning the recorded travels of the apostle Paul in Asia Minor — what we now know of as Turkey. Even though much of the once inhabited places were in ruins, Ramsay could find enough archaeological evidence to convince him that what was written in the New Testament was indeed true! Seems like all you have to do is to stick a shovel in the ground in Israel and out comes more evidence that the Bible is true. For example, the recently discovered evidence in Caesarea of Pontius Pilate, the Roman commander who yielded to the Jewish leaders’ request for Jesus’ death. As has the ossuary, or bone box, of Caiaphas, the high priest to whom Jesus was brought for trial. And even farther back in time, an inscribed stone bearing witness to King David has been recently found in northern Israel.
Is the Bible trustworthy? Yes; and it’s powerful! Can it change lives? Yes, everyday! For those who are willing to read it, that is.
It’s reported that 88 percent of those surveyed reported that they own a Bible. So, what’s the problem? Only 26 percent reported to read it regularly, while another 57 percent read it only a few times a year. So, if can we get this last group to read the Bible more frequently then more lives would be changed for the better! Therefore, the apostle Peter could write: “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust” (2 Peter 1:2-4).
The Bible is our knowledge of God and Christ, for by it we are able to understand what God has revealed about Himself and Christ our Savior. It tells us about the world we live in and why it works the way it does. And most importantly, it tells us about ourselves. Thus, we have to agree with the author of Hebrews that: “the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
It brings great joy, along with great grief: joy for those who are saved, and grief for those who are lost. So, read it to find the hope of Life- Jesus who is the Christ, Savior of the world. Therefore, allow God’s word to guide you on your journey through life. Especially, the New Testament, as it contains all that we need for life in the New Covenant which God has enacted.
This is my final article as I have now retired from ministry at Sunrise Christian Church and hope to move closer to family. It has been my joy to write for your edification; and hope you’ve enjoyed it as well. Allow God’s word to be your guiding light.
Until we meet; your friend, Pastor Bill Williams