Friday, 8 November 2013

The Bible and us

Taken from congregational newsletter

The Bible is God’s divine revelation. It contains knowledge that could never be discovered in any other way about who he is and about his plan of salvation. For example, only the Bible reveals that God is a trinity and that each of the divine persons is involved in the working out of the plan of salvation. Only the Bible reveals what happened before the entrance of sin at the beginning of time and only the Bible reveals what will happen after the Day of Judgement.

Although the Bible is divine revelation, it was also written by human authors. It contains 66 different books and within that range there is a diversity of literature. There is poetry and prose, there is autobiography and biography, there is history and geography, there are proverbs and prophecies, there are easy-to-understand statements and there are profound declarations. So the Bible is a human book as well as divine revelation.

In addition, the Bible in its original languages is infallible, without any mistakes in what it records. While it is not primarily about history and geography, it is accurate when it includes such details. The reason why it is infallible is because its authors were guided by the Holy Spirit as they wrote and he preserved them from error. They were even guided regarding which words to use as they wrote.

The Bible is also alive – it speaks to those who read it. Primarily it speaks to us about our relationship with God. It shows us that we are sinners and how we can escape from God’s penalty. The Bible describes what our sin is and warns us about what will happen to us if we remain the way we are. It does not suggest what our response should be; instead it states authoritatively what we should do.

This means that the Bible must be accepted as God’s Word. It contains his will on everything that it states and demands. He is the divine author of it and he has put nothing in it that is superfluous and which we can assume is not important. Nothing is to be added to it or subtracted from it.

The Bible was given to us to read and then respond to what it says. The response involves our minds (we must understand it), our affections (we respond with appropriate feelings) and our wills (we do what it says). Inevitably this means that we must use an accurate Bible translation. It is not right to obscure the Word of God by antiquated or trendy terminology. After all, it is his divine revelation, not ours. And we have to understand it before we can obey it in a manner that pleases God.

No comments: