This is the first in a series of related posts. I'm going to quote a lot of Scripture, and I hope you will take the time to read it. Remember... you don't HAVE to read anything I post on my blog, so if you disagree with some or all of my points I will try to respect your opinion. I only ask that you try to respect my views as well. It's so hard to respect an opposing view isn't it? We all want to be right. We all want to be justified. We all KNOW best! I guess that's why I like blogging. I can write about things I feel strongly about. So, today's topic. How important is the Bible to the life of the Christian?
When I was in Bible college I remember one of the pastor's saying that we should never try to share our beliefs as just our own opinion. We are human. We are prone to error. We are prone to bias. We all think we are right. Instead of asserting our opinions, he encouraged us to back up our beliefs with the Bible. He also cautioned us about following after the ideas and philosophies of men. He warned us to be sure that what our spiritual leaders were telling us was backed up by Scripture. The Bible is God's Word, not man's word. The Bible is perfect. The Bible is absolute truth. The Bible is infallible. The Bible is the only trustworthy authority we have. I've tried to take his advice and put it into practice in my life.
How important is the Bible to the life of the Christian? In "my opinion" (LOL... I hope you see the sarcasm I am purposely intending :), it's absolutely essential. Do I have Biblical support for this? Sure :) II Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts. Sadly, this "more sure word" is under constant attack today. It's not so much the attack from the unsaved world that's bothersome. I wouldn't expect them to believe the Bible anyways. It's the attack from those who name the name of Christ that is most troubling. Christians are more and more following men instead of following the Word. They are following a denomination or a group or even an idea or philosophy instead of the Word. Many times what these men or ideas are promoting is right and good, but with no Scripture to back it up it's just human thought; and thus, prone to error. Christians are saying things like, "It doesn't matter if I read the Bible as long as I go to church I'll be okay." or "It doesn't matter if I read the Bible, I'll just do what the pastor says." or "It doesn't matter if I read the Bible, because I have the Holy Spirit, and He'll lead me." Throughout these posts I'll be addressing some of these thoughts hopefully from a biblical perspective, so keep reading.
But first, what is the Bible to the Christian? Is it just a book? Is it more than a book? The Bible is God's love letter to me. It is truth, life, and light. It is encouragement, hope and peace. It is teaches, admonishes and reproves. It is all this and more. It is a supernatural book.
The Bible tells me what God did for me.
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (I John 4:10)
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ... (Eph 2:4-5)
The Bible tells me how to be saved from my sin.
For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast. (Eph 2:8-9)
...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved... (Acts 16:31)
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:9)
The Bible tells me how I can live for God.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies, a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may be able to prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Gal. 2:20)
For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. (I John 5:3)
The Bible tells me I need faith and where to get it from.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is the rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Heb 11:6)
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)
The Bible shows me the way.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105)
The Bible tells me what to love.
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (Matt 22:37-39)
The Bible tells me what not to love.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (I John 2:15)
The Bible tells me how to think.
Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Phil. 4:8)
And the Bible tells me SO much more...
Literally, this list could go on forever, but my sister complains that my blog posts are too long, so I'll stop here :). Just as long as everyone understands that this is not meant to be an exhaustive list of what the Bible says.
The Bible is the users manuel to the Christian life. It is the instruction book. It is the guide. What happens if you try to put something together without following the instructions? If you're like me you end up with a mess, a headache, some extreme frustration, and a whole lot of wasted time with nothing to show for it. That's how life will end up if we refuse to follow the instruction book. Just look around; the evidence of this is EVERYWHERE. People are constantly making a mess of their lives because they refuse to let the principles of the Bible guide them.
Just a few more things about the Bible. The Bible is alive (Heb 4:12). It is powerful (Heb 4:12). It is profitable (II Tim 3:16). It is sure (II Peter 1:19). It is tried or proven (II Sam. 22:31). It is a lamp and light (Psalm 105:119). It is true and righteous (Psalm 119:160). It is faithful (Titus 1:9). It is pure (Psalm 12:6; 119:140).
Wow... it seems like the Bible is pretty important. That may be just my opinion, and you can take it that way if you wish. Or, you can look at the evidence and come to the same conclusion I did. God's Word is not just important... it is VITAL.
...for thou has magnified thy word above all thy name. Psalm 138:2