Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The Bible is the Word of God

There are many good books that have been written, but one book stands above them all.  It is the book in which God speaks to mankind – it is the Bible.  Other books have been written by very clever men and women, but the Bible is different, the author of the Bible is God.

“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.”
Hebrews 1:1-2

In the Old Testament God spoke long ago and in many ways through the prophets.  He spoke to Adam as he walked with God in the garden.  He spoke to Moses through the burning bush. He spoke to Daniel through dreams; he even spoke to the sinning prophet Balaam through a donkey!  God does not speak to us in those ways now – that was how he spoke “long ago”.

“In these last day” God speaks to us through His son, Jesus Christ. The way he does this is through the New Testament.  Notice what we read in John chapter 16.  In this chapter we read of Jesus speaking to his apostles the night before He was killed. He had many things to tell them, but they were not be able to remember all of them, so he told them he was sending a helper, the Holy Spirit,

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.” .
John 16:13-14

Jesus told His apostles that the Holy Spirit would guide them into ALL truth.  This is a very important point.  They would not be guided into “some truth”; they would not be guided into “most of the truth”. They would be guided into “all truth”.  The Holy Spirit would take the words of Jesus, he would give them to the apostles and then they, the apostles would have all truth given from God. 

So, what did the apostles do with this “truth” they were given?  The apostle Paul tells us very clearly in Ephesians chapter 3.

“For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles — if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you; that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;”  
Ephesians 3:1-5

Paul tells us that by revelation he received a mystery.  This is what Jesus had promised the apostles – all truth.  What did Paul do with this revelation?  He wrote it down.  Paul wrote to the churches (including the church at Ephesus) by revelation.  Today we can find these writings in the New Testament.  We can now read it when we read the New Testament and we can understand the mysteries. 

Just as Jesus promised, “all truth” was reveled to the apostles and prophets through the Holy Spirit.  We now have the ability to read and understand them today.  Today God speaks through His son Jesus.  Jesus used the Holy Spirit to give these words to the apostles.  The apostles wrote these words down and we now read in the New Testament the Word of God.

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. “
2 Timothy 3:16-17

Paul in writing to his student and fellow preacher, Timothy, tells us in the passage above that all scripture (the Bible) is inspired by God.  From the original Greek that this passage was written in, we understand that scripture is “God breathed” – it comes from the mouth of God.  We understand it is the Word of God.  This is what we have studied so far.  We also learn that it equips us for “every good work”.  Think about that. There is no good work that is not in the Bible.  We can understand this when we remember what Jesus said in John 16:13, the apostles were told the Holy Spirit would “guide you into all the truth”.  All truth prepares us for every good work.

When we read the Bible we must understand that it is not like any other book we might read.  We might read books for school, for college, for work or for pleasure.  The Bible is very different though.  It is not the words of men – it is the Word of God.

For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe. 
1 Thessalonians 2:13

God speaks to us today.  He does not do it in various ways, He speaks to us through His Son, through His word – the Bible

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