The greatest moral teacher of all time told a story - ‘A man built a house on sandy soil. The storm came and the flood washed the house away because it was built on sand and not on a solid foundation.’
You might well remember that story. The explanation by Jesus was “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock”
Who we listen to and what we believe does affect us and also shapes society. Who do we believe and who shapes our behaviour? The TV? the newspaper, the internet? the education system? University values? The religious ideology of our preference? The popular voice of musicians? The persuasive arguments of clever orators? Whether we admit it or not, we are influenced by some source outside ourselves. This directs our lives, our relationships and our hope for the future. It is very Australian to ‘go with the flow’, but where is it going?
Can we trust the words of the Lord Jesus Christ? Is the bible reliable? Is it out of date?
My short answer is taken from a well written statement of faith:
“The holy scriptures as given by God are divinely inspired, infallible (entirely trustworthy), and the supreme authority in all matters of faith and practice.”
How very blessed we are to have the Bible in our own language and the ability to read it. And more, how blessed we are to have the Holy Spirit to help us understand it!
The Bible stands unique in every way – historically, morally, religiously, literary, politically, socially.
Science (including archaeology) is repeatedly confirming the accuracy of the Bible history. Having been written over a period of 1500 years, it is deeply referenced in historical events. It is not a book of imaginary fictitious fantasies. The people who claimed to hear the voice of God were not self-invested clever deceivers. Most of them were reluctant prophets. Even Moses the great communicator of God’s words was unsure of his abilities and when confronted with the challenge to his authority, bowed low to acknowledge his personal nothingness, waiting on God to vindicate that the words he spoke were divine commands. The same with the other prophets, but they realised it was better to listen to God and speak for God than to ignore God.
The tone of the Bible changes somewhat in the New Testament with the coming of Jesus. In His sermon on the mount, He repeatedly said "I say unto you". This would be extreme arrogance if He were just another prophet, but little by little He revealed He was not only speaking for God, but was actually speaking God’s words! (John 3.34, 6.63,14.10).
Peter, who knew the Lord Jesus so well, confirms the Old testament writings as being from God and then includes the words of the Lord Jesus as the ‘word of God’ (1 Peter 1.23-26, 2 Peter 1.16-21)
Many have chosen to question or ignore the writings of Paul, but we should listen to his story. Paul wanted to be a famous Jewish Pharisee, but the risen ‘Jesus’ interrupted his journey and blinded him (temporarily)! After that significant conversion, he was able to humbly say “my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that you faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2.4)
Why am I writing like this? To help you realise that this book is not just ancient ramblings, but rather God revealing Himself and His word. So much more could be written about the internal and external evidence for Bible authenticity – I encourage you to search this out for yourself – it is most encouraging.
Let the Bible clear your head and guide your feet.
God wants to lead you into the green pastures of heavenly food, and beside the still waters of refreshing revelation. His ways are always best.
Best of all, the ‘Holy Scriptures’ unveil the precious person of God’s own Son – our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.