The Bible – Yes, That’s the Book for Me:
“But the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8).
Let me ask you a personal question. Do you read the Bible? If not, then I have one goal in mind today – to challenge you to open up the pages of the Word of God. I love reading the Bible. Since I first started reading the Bible in the fall of 1990, I have read through the entire New Testament about once a year, and the Old Testament once every two years. Why you ask? Because it is God’s Word. It gives me life. God speaks to me through His Word. Now, I know you may have objections to reading the Bible. Many people do. From 1999-2006, I taught a Bible Research course at PacificLifeBibleCollege and I’ve heard every excuse you can think of for not reading the Bible. Here are some of the most common ones with my personal response to them.
1. The Problem of RELEVANCE – “It’s archaic, out of date.”
God’s revelation is as ALIVE today as when it was first delivered. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword.” Even though the Bible was written over 1,900 years ago, it still speaks to the deep needs of the hearts of human beings today in the 21st Century. Like famous Bible teacher R.C. Sproule said once, “I can’t make the Bible come alive…The Bible is alive. It makes me come alive.”
2. The Problem of TIME – “I just don’t have the time.”
This is one of the biggest excuses I hear about why people don’t read their Bible. But in reality, the problem is not time, the problem is really PRIORITIES. Think about it – every person has the same 24 hours in a day as everyone else. If you don’t have time to read the Bible, it’s because Bible study isn’t a priority for you. If it was, you’d schedule it into your day.
3. The Problem of Authority – “I have my doubts about the Bible.”
The Bible is completely RELIABLE, CONSISTENT, and REASONABLE. There is no other religious book in the world like the Bible. There are no errors or mistakes in the Bible. It bears the marks of Divine authorship – it really is the Word of God. As Second Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” Because it is inspired by God, it is inerrant (there are no mistakes) and it is authoritative (we had better listen). As Charles Spurgeon notes, “If God has spoken, listen. If the Lord has recorded his words in a Book, search its pages with a believing heart. If you do not accept it as God’s inspired word, I cannot invite you to pay any particular attention to it, but if you regard it as the Book of God, I charge you, as I shall meet you at the judgment seat of Christ, study the Bible daily. Treat not the Eternal God with disrespect, but delight in the Word.”
The Bible is the Word of God:
This book contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff and pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s charter. Here paradise is restored, heaven opened and hell disclosed. Christ is its grand object, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. Let it fill the memory, rule the heart and guide the feet. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is give you in life, will be opened in judgment, and remembered forever. It involved the highest responsibility, will reward the highest labor, and condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents. The Bible has to do with God. It starts with God and ends with God. The whole Bible is the revelation of God and therefore, has its chief concern in God. God is foremost and of supreme importance…We deny this fundamental emphasis or ignore its existence only as our own peril.
Pastor Chris Jordan