"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 perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
II Timothy 3:16-17
"For the Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword; piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." - Hebrews 4:12
And these words which I command thee this day shall be in thine heart, and thou shalt teach them diligently to thy children, and shall talk of thm when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down and when thou risest up. Deuteronomy 6:6-7
O how I love thy law; it is my meditation all the day. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. Psalms 119:97 and 105
There are many ideas floating around about the Bible, and many people who ask, "How do you know the Bible is God's Word instead of the writing of men and totally uninspired?" The answer for me is very simple, but rarely understood or accepted by those who have never come to know God as I have. The obvious answer is that I know the Author personally! Now people will accept that if you have a copy of a book with an inscription from the author addressed to you personally when it comes to any other book written by men, however with the Bible it is different. The inscription dedicated to me personally is written outside the book and in my heart as proven by the salvation graciously given to me by the Author. It is his word written on my heart that has sealed his authorship to me, and his continued speaking to me through his word that keeps that inscription real. It is in the many answered prayers that were brought to the Author alone and based on this book that proves over and over that the Bible is indeed his word to me and millions of other believers across the world. Although this book was written by many servants of the Author over many years by men of varied backgrounds and experiences, they have all been presenting one unified theme from the Old Testament through the New Testament, and that theme is the redemption of mankind through the grace of the Author.
In II Timothy 3:16 above the word for inspired is theopneustos which means "God breathed." The implication here is that God used the minds, hearts, and personal style of the writers to present his word to mankind in a way that all men for all time would understand if they took the time to study it as they should. It is interesting that the Bible was written by a wide diversity of people over thousands of years, and even though none of them communicated with the others in their writing, there is one message of love and reconciliation for those who will receive it, and a message of condemnation for those who don't. To believe that this is the mere work of man apart from divine intervention and direction is particularly strong evidence of the corruption of the heart.
1 Chronicles 16:29 - Worship the Lord
in the beauty of holiness.
A Perspective on Bible Study
1. The Objective: To be objective (not subjective) students (not mere readers) of God’s Word. To do this without any outside aids (ie: commentaries, Bible handbooks, Bible dictionaries, or any other literature or device currently made available to us, so that the study is fresh and new to us.
We Must Be Spirit Taught
2. The Scriptural Basis: I Corinthians 2:14 concerning the natural man and then II Timothy 2:15 commanding the study of God’s Word. Supporting scriptures include, but are not restricted to Joshua 1:8, Psalms 1:2, Psalms 119: 1-176, and Deuteronomy 6:6-7 telling us when we should teach scripture to our children.
Proposition #1: We are all, at best, shallow in our understanding of God’s Word, and its application to our lives and the lives of those around us. Because of this our understanding of God is shallow as well and as a result our faith also operates in proportion to our understanding of him. Therefore, God has been hindered from doing great and mighty works through us.
We have become dependent on seminars, teachers, preachers, books, cassettes, videos and a host of other things instead of pursuing God and knowledge of him on our own, and the lack of spiritual power in the church today testifies against us. We speak the word of God with kindness, tenderness and pleasantness, but rarely, if ever, with deep conviction, power and authority. The proof lies in the alarming lack of conversions to Christ in churches Worldwide. Oh, we do love to boast of great moves of God and leading people to Christ, but multitudes of these conversions are pseudo-conversion experiences last only for the moment. Others only last until persecution is brought against these new converts and/or the good feelings leave and then they forsake Christ much like pliable in John Bunyan’s great allegory entitled “The Pilgrim’s Progress.”
Proposition #2: Many of us are impressed with our own spirituality because God has “condescended to use us” in one way or the other. Rather than humbling ourselves and giving the glory and honor to God who empowered us, we allow our pride to become a barrier to being used in even greater measure, and what we have must be taken away to humble us. We must, in the innermost depths of our being, understand that God will not share his glory with man. All glory and honor and praise must be his and his alone! The heart that truly loves him will have no problem with this.
Proposition #3: Most, if not all, of our problems can be resolved if we approach God’s word with a teachable heart, willing to allow the Spirit of God to speak to us about things that need to be dealt with in our lives. We must be ready to hear the word spoken to us by anyone no matter how we view them provided they are not teaching heresy or anti-God and anti-biblical things. The heart that is truly set on seeking God and his truth can receive that truth from anyone or through any of life's circumstances. (Remember, God spoke to a prophet through a donkey and to a wayward disciple through a rooster). Because God is revealed in his word, we will come to know him better, trust him more, love him more and obey him more rather than question him concerning everything he speaks to us.
Proposition #4: As we study God’s word there will be times when God will require from us things which run contrary to our nature, our understanding, our desire and our will. Please take notice to the word "our." We will then have to decide whether we will yield to him, and by our decision, grow in grace or we will groan in disgrace. This is inevitable!
3. Conclusion: Do we really want to know God’s Word in a way that is demanding or challenging? Are we ready to allow the word of God to convict us of our need for self-examination, self-abasement and thorough purging of those things in our lives that are offensive to a holy God? Do we really want to pay the price to be conformed to the “image of his Son?” Do we want to shed our spiritual fat and replace it with spiritual muscle? Are we ready to “invest” the necessary time in order to see the results even though it may take years? Remember: “A day with the Lord is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day.” Can we forego television, electronic games, social visits or any hindrance God would call to our attention? Will we bear any inconvenience or pain, take any insult or injury, slander or persecution for the knowledge of him who freely gives life, light, wisdom, grace agape love and immortality to us?
The answers to these questions and many others yet unwritten will determine our commitment to studying and applying God’s word. As individuals, do we really want a Bible study that changes us? As a body of believers, do we?
This is not a game! This is spiritual warfare! This is not for those whose total commitment to Christ hinges on the sweets of God’s word but refuse to deal with the call to commitment that is demanded in the Bible. Satan will fight against all who choose to be firm in this, but we are more than conquerors through him who loves us and gave his life for us! Will you and I be spectators or join in the fight? God is waiting for our answer. What will it be?
C R Lord. Webmaster