Why the Bible Still Matters
Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV)
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
How has the Bible impacted your life? When you read God’s Word, do you notice a change in your character or behavior?
The Bible is an old book. But really, it isn’t just one old book. It is comprised of 66 old books to be exact, the oldest of which are the books of Genesis and Job which are believed to have been written in approximately 1400 BC. Revelation was likely the last book to be written in approximately AD 90 when the apostle John was exiled on the island of Patmos. That means that the Bible is between about 3,421 years old and 1,927 years old depending on which book of the Bible you are using to measure its age. Regardless, the Bible is truly full of ancient words.
So, why do we still care about this old book? Does such an ancient text have anything relevant to say to our postmodern culture? Progressive Christian Rob Bell argues no. He is quoted as saying, “The church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense.” But the issue at hand is whether or not we truly believe that the Bible is God’s Word. If it is, it will always have something relevant to say and it will have the ultimate authority in our lives.
In today’s verses, the apostle Paul affirmed that these ancient words are not just man’s words. He said that Scripture is “breathed out by God.” The words of the Bible were penned by mere men but they were words inspired by the God of the universe.
Jesus certainly held the view that Scripture had full authority as God’s very own words. When Jesus was being tempted by Satan, He said, “It is written '' three times and then quoted Old Testament Scripture as the final say to Satan (Matthew 4:1-11). In Matthew 15, Jesus appealed to Scripture when the Pharisees and scribes attempted to trap Him. They were accusing his disciples of breaking the traditions of the elders. But Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 5:16, Exodus 20:12, and Exodus 21:17 and referred to them, not as the writings of Moses, but as “the commandments of God” (Matthew 15:3). In this narrative, Jesus demonstrated that Scripture has more authority than man-made traditions. Further, He affirmed Scripture to be God’s own Word and commands.
Every time I open my Bible, I marvel at how a book from over 2,000 years ago can still speak truth into my life. But it does! In its pages I find guidance in my own personal life and the answers to society's biggest problems. How would society change if all individuals obeyed the Word of God? What would happen if we all revered God as holy? If all children obeyed their parents and all parents lovingly raised their children up in the Lord? What would happen if men laid down their lives for their wives and loved them as God loved the church? What would happen if all wives submitted to their husband’s leadership? What if no one abused their spouse or children? What if divorce and adultery were a thing of the past? What if every person submitted to a biblical sexual ethic? What if everyone heeded the commandments to not kill, steal, lie, or covet? Can you even imagine a world in which everyone loved God and considered their neighbor as more important than themselves? A world in which everyone gave generously and took care of each other? It’s hard to deny that obedience to God’s Word would radically change our world for the better.
Even the historical narratives speak into our human issues of today. Billy Graham once said, “People reading the Bible for the first time are often surprised to discover how much human drama it contains. Almost every conceivable human dilemma and conflict is reflected in its pages.” Sometimes, the human narratives teach us what to do and sometimes they demonstrate what not to do. Either way, we learn valuable life lessons.
The truth is, even today, the Bible is relevant and useful. As Paul said in today’s verses, it teaches us and trains us. It corrects us when we go off course and it equips us to do God’s work. But the Bible is only useful if we crack it open and see what it has to say.
God, thank You for the Bible. Thank You for giving us the instructions on how to live in a way that honors and glorifies You. Help me to live in obedience to Your Word. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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