Thursday, August 27, 2009

Is the Bible just a good book?

Due to some discussions I have been reading lately here in internetland, I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be a Christian. I believe that first, a person must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died for their sins and rose again. And they must accept Him into their heart and truly desire a relationship with Him.

Having a relationship with Jesus is the tricky part. He asks us to follow Him and to try to live as He did. And while it is actually impossible to live exactly as Jesus did, as a Christian, I strive to do so daily. The only way I can even try to live like Him is to follow His Word. God loved me so much that He wrote the Bible (through men) just so I could have something that told me how to live a Christ-like life. Without it, I would be stumbling around in this dark world, just trying to live a good life. But the Bible is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105 The Bible shows me the way.

So it is with much confusion that I wonder why so many call themselves Christian and yet say that the Bible is just a good book. I've heard people say that it was a book written by men who wanted to control people. And some of these same people will then call themselves a Christian. I even once read online a person saying that homeschooling is a bad idea. He went on to say that he and his wife were Christians but they didn't "allow that to pervade every part" of their lives. I was so dumbstruck by that statement. I can't see how you can truly be a Christian without letting God "pervade" every part of your life. And I also don't see how someone can be a Christian without believing that the Bible is the Word of God. After all, 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
Not only is the Bible profitable (yielding advantageous returns or results) for doctrine (a principle in a branch of knowledge or system of belief), for reproof (criticism for a fault, rebuke), for correction (a bringing into conformity with a standard), and for instruction in righteousness (acting in accord with divine or moral law : free from guilt or sin) but it is also given by inspiration (a divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation)* of God.
Peter also has this to say about the Bible:
And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:19-21

It seems very clear that the Bible is the Word of God; that He decided what was to be written and He chose who it would be that wrote it. I mean "holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." They didn't speak on their own; the Holy Spirit spoke through them.
If I believe that God created the entire universe, why is it such a stretch to believe that He also was able to make sure that only what He wanted was included in the Bible? He is the great I AM. How could He not be powerful enough to ensure the rightness of the Bible?

Another thought that keeps coming to me is that so many people say the Bible is full of "stories" that teach morality. Well, so is Aesop's Fables and I don't see people running around calling themselves an Aesopian. There are tons of good books that teach morality. But the Bible isn't one of them. The Bible teaches us how to live as God wants us to live. How God, the creator of the universe, the One who put this whole thing we call life into motion, how He wants us to live. And if He says something is a sin, you'd better believe it's a sin. There will come a day when we will be standing face to face with Him and have to explain why we didn't believe what He said. How many people won't have a good answer for that?

Ultimately, we can look directly to Jesus Christ, the One who gave us the name Christian. He relied on the Bible as the Word of God. Jesus quoted scripture time and time again. If He relied on it and used it to show faithful living, how can we doubt its authenticity?

* all definitions from Merriam-Webster

1 comment:

carebear said...

Hi Mae! Thanks for the comment on my blog! That is completely awesome about your brother, I hope he is still going strong!! Thank you for the prayers, they mean the most to us. :) Hugs to you and your beautiful boys!