The Bible


Often, when criticisms are felt to be most convincing, religionists will attempt to divert attention from the issues by attacking the character of their critics.

The criticism that upsets the religionists is the assertion that they elevate scripture to the level of Christ, if not over Christ.

I know how unsettling this thought can be because I was once under the influence of such deception myself.

Defending the Bible became very disturbing to me when I observed that the best efforts to defend the Bible did nothing but win or lose an argument and distract people from developing a genuine relationship with Jesus by not hearing the gospel of God's love and grace.

I believe that bringing people into a genuine relationship with Jesus is more important than defending the Bible. In defending the Bible we get bogged down on matters that are inessential to salvation's relationship. Discussions seldom reach a point at which the love that God demonstrated to us through Jesus would be expressed.

I did not know then, as I do now, that people do not have to put their faith in the Bible before they can believe in Jesus. I have heard preachers say, “If you have doubts about any part of the Bible, then no one could be sure of their salvation” and “If you don’t believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God, you can't trust any part of it therefore, you can’t believe in Jesus at all.” I honestly thought, as many religionists still do, that you could not be saved if you did not believe every jot and tittle of the Bible was literally true.

People rarely, if ever, responded favourably to arguments about the inerrantcy and authority of the Bible.

Jesus never sanctioned his disciples to defend the Bible there was no bibles to defend. Neither did He command us to defend the Bible, now that man has developed one. He sanctioned and equipped us to proclaim His Gospel of grace.

The Bible points to Jesus as the "Word of God."
Religionists point to the Bible as "the Word of God."
The Bible says that Jesus was "tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin."
Religionists say the Bible is "without mistake or error in any area of reality."
The Bible calls Jesus perfect.
Religionists call the Bible perfect.

The cumulative effect of all this elevates the Bible to the point that trust in the Bible is equivalent to or, at least, prerequisite to trust in Jesus. After all, “What do we know about Jesus that we don’t learn from the Bible?” Whenever trust in the Bible is required before Jesus can be trusted, the Bible becomes an idol. The Bible, rather than Christ, becomes the mediator between God and man. The record of God’s progressive revelation of Himself has become an object of faith that obscures rather than illumines the true subject of our devotion...God’s supreme revelation of Himself in Jesus Christ.
 Do you believe that God will excuse religionists for proclaiming the Bible...the “written word of God”...is the the “Living Word of God” even though the Bible makes no such claim of itself?

Let's value the Bible for what it is, the “written word” that points to the “Living Word”, Jesus our redeemer.

Comments

  1. We do not have to defend the Bible. The Bible can defend itself. It has stood the test of time. Many of the men in the past who have discredited the Bible as not being reliable are now gone and the Bible lives on. In communist countries where they try to keep Bibles out of hands of people we have many like brother Andrew who risk their lives to smuggle Bibles to them. As a result the Bible has triumphed over any other book.

    The prophecies of the Bible will go on being fulfilled with 100% accuracy proving that it is the inspired word of God.

    But when it comes to being defensive we can take an example from the Apostle Paul. Paul was constantly defending the faith. Jude writes in 1:3,4

    3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

    4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

    1 Pet. 3:15-17 tells us that we are to defend the hope that is within us.

    15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:

    16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

    17 For it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing.

    Paul defended his faith in Christ before Felix so much that Felex trembled but wanted to wait for a more convenient season. What did Paul defend? (righteousness, temperance, and judgment that is to come)

    Acts 24: 25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.

    In our grace message we must include God`s righteousness and His judgments to come or it is not the complete grace message that Paul preached.


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