We know that so many people today doubt the Bible, people who could believe it is the Word of God but they have no belief. They don’t believe in any book. They do not have faith in anything.
We also know that some Christians are almost “in the same boat.”
They know about the Bible. Someone has said to them “You must read the Bible daily if you are to grow in spiritual maturity” but the Bible is a closed book. They know they should read it but they don’t.
Then we have the Christians who read it but they are not “getting it.” John Stott says they start in Genesis and get stuck in Leviticus. Others have the sense of duty, setting their New Year’s target on reading the whole Bible in one year or five years. They may do it but they don’t get a lot out of it. Then we have the random readers who try to read it, but the bits and pieces they expose themselves to are about a faraway people in a faraway age. The Bible is not relevant. They don’t see an overall purpose for God’s book.
We have been writing this week about the problems people have with the Bible and how to overcome those problems, the person who wants the Bible to be literal, the person who wants the Bible to be inerrant and the person who ignores Biblical prophecy.
Perhaps Paul Little’s information coupled with some of my thoughts and other sources have helped you a little in previous posts but today, I am going to discuss the most subjective “proof” for the Bible as God’s Word.
I know the Bible is God’s Word because His Holy Spirit has helped me to understand it.
First of all, the Bible is the work of the Holy Spirit.
Again, John Stott states “Christians believe there [in the Bible] lies a single divine Author with a single unifying theme.”
“It is a collection of 66 individual books written by many different persons over a span of nearly 1,500 years. Yet it is one book, sharing one life-changing message. The Bible claims that its message is from God himself. More than 2,600 times the writers of the Bible claim to speak or write God’s Words—not their own” [from “The Bible” a Sunday School handout by Steve Davidson].
For all you folks that use your feelings of being overwhelmed as your excuse for not reading the Bible, that information is amazing.
But let’s not get overwhelmed.
God wants us to read His Word.
Pastor Skip Heitzig states: “God has taken our frailties into consideration and has given us His word in such a way that our minds can understand its truths and our souls can be nourished by it. God wants us to read the Bible…It is a means of getting to know Him….The Holy Spirit is the ultimate Author of all Scripture and He is also our best interpreter. Not only did He orchestrate the composition and preservation of God’s word, He also reveals its deepest truths within our hearts. As Christians, every time we open the Bible, we can rely on the Holy Spirit to illumine the text.”
I am going to let you know about my experience in 1998.
It was a rough year. It seemed like everything I held dear was slipping away. I was not a church-goer. I had been. I had drifted away from church. I never knew Jesus. I never talked to him in a serious way. I never read the Bible.
Then suddenly, I found myself in a situation where everything I held dear was slipping away.
I knew I had to get answers.
What could I do to get through my crisis?
Where was the direction for my life?
How could I learn to be a good man?
What was my “real” role in life?
I started doing some things differently. I began to pray every day. I began to go to a Bible-believing church. I sought help from my pastor. I started hanging around with Christians. I sought help from the New Testament.
I sought help because I had a hunger for answers. I was in desperate need for answers.
Something unusual happened.
For the first time in my life, I began the New Testament and I read it like it was the most exciting novel ever written. I pored over the pages. I read in long stretches. When I was away from my Bible, I could not wait to get back to it.
God knew I needed some help and He spoke to me from His pages.
I know the doubter or the unbeliever will probably think this post is silly. I am presenting no “facts” here. I am talking about my own personal experience and many people discount personal experience.
I can truthfully tell you that God’s Word spoke to my Holy Spirit.
I got some answers.
God’s Word is unlike any other book. The Bible was for me my roadmap. I began to see that God’s Word was not only my study, but my boundary guide and my Good New that I could share with other people. I was experiencing stress and God’s Word relieved it. Bible study gave me answers and the peace that I needed at one of the worst times in my life.
Warren Wiersbe observed about the Bible, “When the child of God looks into the Word of God, he sees the Son of God. And he is transformed by the Spirit of God to share in the glory of God. God’s Holy Word is, indeed, life-changing, stress reducing, and a one-of-a-kind treasure. It’s up to you—and only you—to use it that way.”
Next Week: Are the Bible Documents Reliable?