Thursday, June 2, 2016
I can recall growing up as a child and singing in Sunday School: "The B.I.B.L.E.". It went something like this: "The B.I.B.L.E, yes that's the book for me, I stand alone on the word of God, the B.I.B.L.E.". In our last post we considered what is meant by the term "Holy Bible". Today I want to look further into the character of the Bible itself by taking that acrostic "B.I.B.L.E" and briefly express why it should not only be the book for me, but also for you.
Book of God
This was the primary focus of yesterday's post. As the "Holy Bible", the Bible is God's book. Henceforth it is holy because it is set-apart as unique from all other religious and non-religious books. It is also holy because of its Divine authorship. Then finally, the Bible is the Holy Book of God due to the fact the like the nature of its author, it contains no errors. The Baptist Faith and Message 2000 states: "The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy."
Inspired by God
Inspiration is the act whereby God places the revelation of His mind to men into the words of men. Passages such as 2 Peter 1:20-21 and 2 Timothy 3:16 speak to this point. Under the heading of inspiration we can include other "in" words: "inerrant" and "indestructible".
Book of men
This third reason for why the B.I.B.L.E is the book for me is because it is a book of men. What do I mean by this? It is important to realize that in as much as the Bible is the Book of God revealed by God, it is a book of men through which God so composed His words. Just as the gulf stream runs its course from the Atlantic into the Gulf of Mexico, affected by the mighty ocean and yet at the same time affects storms blowing in from East to West, so we see the mystery of God's Sovereignty and human volition working together in the production of scripture. As a book of men, the Bible is the only international book that claims to be Divinely inspired. It is written in multiple languages, on multiple continents and covering nearly two millennia with respect to its authorship. God saw fit to use 40 different people to ensure that His message would reach as many people as possible.
The Bible is the Book of God, Inspired and is also a Book - containing books - Divinely inspired through men (hence "a Book of men"). But lets add a fourth thought - namely, the Bible is a living book. Passages such as Isaiah 34:16 and Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the Bible is not a static book - but an influencing, living, breathing book. The Person of the Holy Spirit oversaw its composition through the 40 authors and ever-attends in its preaching and teaching. I may read all other books which tell me how to live, but the Bible is the only book that can live through me.
Exalts Jesus Christ
I love the final sentence of the BFM 2000 concerning the Bible: "All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation." All other so-called holy books claiming to be Divinely inspired or about Jesus refer to Him, but do not focus on Him. The Book of Mormon may mention their version of Jesus here and there, however, Jesus is more like a footnote to their portrayal of history. Moreover, the Book of Mormon proceeds about 3/4 of the way through before one even gets to see Jesus - which is a different Jesus altogether when read against the backdrop of Mormon doctrine. The Bible on the other hand from Genesis to Revelation points to and focuses upon Jesus Christ. Think about it in this way:
The Law points to Jesus
The historical Books prepare for Jesus
The poetic books praise Jesus
The prophetic books predict Jesus
The Gospels portray Jesus
The Acts preach Jesus
The epistles explain Jesus
The Revelation exalts Jesus.
These five reasons are why the B.I.B.L.E is the book for me. I pray they may be the reasons for the Bible to be the book(s) for you too.