Millions inside and outside the Church are spiritually ignorant, emotionally insecure, frustrated, and unhappy. But their lives can be completely transformed. Spiritual understanding can replace ignorance. A sense of security can come, bringing emotional stability. Peace can take the place of frustration. And an inner joy can settle in that the world cannot take away.
How can a person experience such a change? By reading the Bible, taking it at its word, and receiving the Christ it reveals.
I have written on this subject before and will probably do so again, because I am convinced that people—Christians above all others—are missing a blessing beyond anything they have ever known by failing to make the Bible a daily companion.
Oh, I know all about the tired old charge that we “worship” the Bible. It is hardly worthy of reply. The surgeon does not worship his knife and diagnostic equipment—but he trusts and uses them. The artist does not worship his brushes and oils, but he relies on them to produce the effects he desires.
Studying the Bible with a simple faith in its integrity and authority brings a reward achieved in no other way—the assurance that God is speaking to one’s heart and life.
Why not give the Bible a chance to speak? All other books, even the best of them, are men’s books and the expression of men’s wisdom. The Bible is God’s book, the expression of God’s wisdom. In it one can find the answers to the questions and uncertainties of life. Its message provides assurance that will banish fear from the heart and mind.
One of the most amazing things about the Bible is its relevance. It is more up to date than tomorrow’s newspaper, for it accurately tells of the future. It is wholly relevant in the moral realm, also, because since the beginning of time man’s basic problems have been the same. His sins have always been the same. The Bible is God’s word to man, and God never changes. He always stands ready to meet every need.
American business is based on proving the worth of one’s product. Advertising, samples, testimonials all have their place. I am simply asking that you give the Bible a chance to prove that it can bring a new dimension into your life.
Of primary importance is the Christ revealed in both the Old and the New Testament. In the Bible we learn of his person and his work—that he is the Son of God, and that, for the believer, he is Saviour and Lord.
The earnest seeker will find within the pages of this book a philosophy for living and also for dying. The Bible is a book by a Friend that tells us about a Friend. God speaks through all its pages. In the Old Testament we find history and the whys and wherefores of matters that have perplexed the wisest. We also find poetry, inspired by the Holy Spirit, that puts into words the deepest feelings and longings of the human heart. And we find prophecy, which tells of the coming of the Christ as suffering servant and his return as triumphant King and Judge.
Many have lost all sense of awe and reverence for Scripture because they have come to view it as a “human document” that can be understood only by those who can analyze its origins and history. Some are like the curious child who picks apart a rose to find out where the beauty and fragrance come from and in so doing destroys the rose.
I have known too many people whose joy and confidence in the Bible has been undermined by those who dissect it with a critical and unbelieving heart or who accept scholarly “findings” that, in their eyes, discredit its integrity and authority.
For many of us this book is the Holy Bible; but, sad to say, for many others it is only exceptionally good literature, subject to the frailties of the human mind and limited by the ignorance of the writers.
There seems to be a strange fascination in the minds of some, a determination to “interpret” the Bible on the sole basis of human scholarship. This scholarship starts with the presupposition that one is dealing with a human document, not a supernatural one. As a result its “interpretations” frankly deny the clear statements of Scripture. This is not “interpretation” but utter presumption.
Much is said against the practice of “literalism” in interpreting the Bible, but more needs to be said about denials of the unequivocal statements of Scripture in the name of “scholarship” and “recently discovered manuscripts.” The fact remains that not one manuscript has ever been discovered that in any way invalidates the basic doctrines of Christianity. We must be wary of a pseudo-scholarship that seems willing, even glad, to deny the honest interpretation of the Word of God.
Let those who are confused because of the limitations and interpretations of men turn to the Bible. Let it speak for itself! It will speak to your heart, appeal to your mind, command your will.
I am convinced of the reality and astuteness of Satan. And I am equally convinced that in no area is he more active today than in turning men away from the Bible. The question in the Garden, “Yes, hath God said?,” is still heard in many places. The “If you are …” statements of Satan in the wilderness continue to plague men. We need to utter the words of affirmation: “I believe; help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24, RSV). “Let God be true though every man be false …” (Rom. 3:4); “All scripture is inspired by God …” (2 Tim. 3:16); “No prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Pet. 1:21).
Give the Bible a chance. Let it speak to you, knowing that it is God who speaks in words the hungry and believing heart can understand. Let no man stand between you and God’s Word. Give the Bible a chance to speak for itself, and the Holy Spirit who moved the hearts of men to speak for God will interpret its meaning to you and bring a faith, comfort, and hope that nothing and no one can dispel.
Use several translations or versions if you prefer. A few years ago a prominent American had become interested in studying the Bible, but about that time a furor arose over the Revised Standard Version, and in disgust he gave up his study. No translation is perfect (the King James Version certainly is not); yet in any translation and any language there breathes forth the fact that this is not a human document but God’s Word. If God has spoken, how important it is that we find out what he has to say!
Let us not rest on what men say; let God speak for himself. Give the Bible a chance in your heart, and God will do the rest.
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