THE WORD OF GOD
“What Is The Significance of the Bible In My Life?”
What separates Christianity from any “religion” in the world is its claim of having an absolute written authority from God. The Word of God is essential to a Christian if he is to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. The principles by which a Christian is to lead his life in every detail are found in the pages of the Word of God.
The purpose of this lesson is to teach the new Christian basic facts about the Bible and show him how the Word of God relates to his everyday life, that he may let it guide every step of his walk with Jesus Christ.“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
The word of God is the mechanism of CHANGE. The Scriptures are more than mere paper and ink: “For the word of God is quick [alive] and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to…” (Heb.4:12). The Book is alive…living truth, having the ability to discern; convict and change the human heart, and therefore plays an essential role in salvation.
1 Peter 1:23 says a man is born again “BY THE WORD OF GOD”. The word of God is the agent which brings about the new birth. [Emphasis added]
Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are you saved through faith…” Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing BY THE WORD OF GOD.” [Emphasis added]
James 1:21 says the word of God is, “…able to save your souls.”
We come to salvation through knowledge of the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:15).
You must believe what the Scriptures say about the vital subject of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ in order to be saved. (1Corinthians 15:1-4)
The word of God plays an essential role in the process of “sanctification” (spiritual growth) in the Christian life.
The word of God equips you inwardly for service (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
The word of God sustains you. It is “spiritual food” (Matthew 4:4; Jeremiah 15:16; Ezekiel 2:8; 3:1-3)
Milk (1 Peter 2:2)
Bread (Luke 4:4)
Water (Isaiah 55:10-11; Ephesians 5:26)
Meat (Hebrews 5:12-14; 1Corinthians 3:1-2)
The word of God keeps you clean within (Psalm 119:9-11; John 15:3; Ephesians 5:26).
The word of God guides you through this world (Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 6:20-23).
The word of God will be the basis of final judgment (John 12:48; Romans 2:16; Hebrews 4:12-13).
Basic Facts about the Bible:
The Bible is made up of 66 individual books. It was written over a period of more than 1900 years, by more than forty authors, yet it fits together perfectly as if written by one man! It was originally written in Hebrew, Greek and small portions in Aramaic. The Old Testament deals primarily with Israel and prophecies regarding her Messiah and future glory. The New Testament primarily with the life of Jesus Christ, His church, and His future kingdom and glory. The Bible is totally accurate in matters of history, science, and prophecy. It is the most influential book on the planet, having changed the course of history for many nations; having changed the lives of countless numbers of people. Although wicked men and devils have tried since the beginning of time to destroy the Bible, it still stands – and it will forever. What a Book!
Five important subjects related to the Bible that you should understand.
REVELATION – The Bible is God’s special revelation of Himself to man. It is not just a book ABOUT God but a book BY God. It is important to know and believe this. Man could never have known what was in God’s mind unless God had chosen to reveal it. (1 Corinthians 2:9-11)
INSPIRATION – The Bible is a “God-breathed” book! (2 Timothy 3:16) The Holy Spirit spoke to men in such a way that they knew what needed to be written. (2 Peter 1:21; 2 Samuel 23:2)
Compare the following passages: (Acts 28:25-27 with Isaiah 6:9-10; Mark 12:36 with Psalm 110:1).
PRESERVATION – God not only inspired His words but He promised to preserve His words forever!
(Psalm 12:6-7). His promise was not to preserve His “teachings” or His “message” but His very words! (Matthew 24:35)
Other verses to consider: (Psalm 119:160; Isaiah 59:21; John 12:47-48; I Peter 1:24-25).
The original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts no longer exist but they were copied many times through the centuries. The copies that Bible-believing Christians accepted as the true Scriptures (called the “Received Text”) were translated into other languages and eventually, in 1611, became our English King James Bible. This happened without any loss of God’s words. Such a thing would have been impossible were it not for God’s promise and His power to preserve His words forever.
INTERPRETATION – Making the unknown known. “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”(2 Peter 1:20) Each passage in the Bible may have several personal “applications” to your life but only one correct interpretation. The correct interpretation is” “the truth” that God wants you to know! (1 Timothy 2:4; John 8:31-32). The Holy Spirit is our teacher to show us the truth (John 16:13-14; 1 Corinthians 2:11-14). Understanding the word requires a proper heart attitude; to receive truth you must first be willing to be changed by it (Prov.17:16).
APPLICATION – The Bible will be the most profitable to you when you make personal application of its truths in your life when you read it and do it. (2 Timothy 3:16; James 1:21-25; Revelation 1:3). It should always be remembered that God’s word works from WITHIN, therefore MEDITATE on what you read, keep it within your heart and it will equip you “thoroughly” (inwardly) for life! (2 Timothy 3:17; Proverbs 22:17-21; 1; Thessalonians 2:13).
“The Bible contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you.
It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword and the Christian’s charter. Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet.
Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given to you in life, will be opened at the judgment, and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, rewards the greatest labor, and condemns all who trifle with its holy contents.” -Author Unknown
Why are there so many new “versions” of the Bible?
Corruption of the Word of God is nothing new. Satan has been trying ever since the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 3:1-5). Since the beginning of the church age, there have been wicked men who have tried to corrupt the scriptures. (2 Cor.2:17) Most of these men have worn the garb of Christianity, having positions of great power (the popes) or great scholarship (Origen, Eusibeus, Westcott & Hort etc.) Because of their influence, we have a multitude of conflicting “new” versions of the Bible. This not only makes Christianity a laughing stock to the world but robs the Christian of the “final authority” that the Scriptures were meant to be to him.
The evidence from the thousands of Greek and Hebrew manuscripts that make up the “Received Text” supports the one true Bible in existence today, the King James Bible. More importantly, faith in God’s promises (Psalm 12:6-7; Matt. 24:35 etc) leads to one conclusion, the King James Bible is the pure and preserved Word of God!
Some of the strongest warnings in the Bible were to those who tampered with the Words of God. (Deut.4:2; Proverbs 30:5-6; Jeremiah 23:30, 36; Revelation 22:18-19) Literary scholars today would never even think of altering the words of Shakespeare but there is no such hesitation when it comes to the Bible.
Modern so-called “Bible scholars” and religious leaders who tamper with God’s words justify themselves by claiming that they are making the Bible “more clear”, making it easier to understand for the rest of us dummies! It reveals their arrogance and their unbelief. Dear Christian, reject their “help”! Get your hands on a King James Bible and hold on tight! You are holding the eternal words of Almighty God! “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” (Isaiah 40:8)
What other verses prove that the Bible is completely reliable?
The scriptures state that Jesus and the Word are one. Compare (John 1:1 with Revelation 19:13). Therefore, everything that Jesus is, the Word must be. God’s attributes and character must be perfectly reflected in His word. If God is an absolute so must His word be, “…thy word is truth” (John 17:17) truth is never relative…it is absolute!
Compare (2 Peter 1:16-21 with Matthew 17:1-9). These verses show that the written word of God is MORE
SURE than the audible voice of God. This is a very critical point. Many people today will trust a religious experience (a dream, a vision, a “voice” from God); even though it contradicts the Scriptures. All of man’s “experiences” are to be judged by one infallible standard which is greater than any experience.
How do I learn the Bible?
The Holy Spirit who is the Author of the Bible will be your Teacher. He will guide you into all Truth. God may use other instruments to aid in teaching you (books, tapes, preachers, etc.) but ultimately, truth is revealed by the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; John 16:13-15).
You learn the things of God by “comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (scripture with scripture) and by relying on the Holy Spirit; not your natural intellect, to open “the eyes of your understanding” (1 Cor.2:11-16; Ephesians 1:17-19; Psalm 119:18).
Some common questions.
Where should I start reading? You need to read the whole Bible, but as a young Christian, it is good to focus on the parts which will help you learn about your new life in Jesus Christ. Here are some good places to start.
The Gospel of John is written that you might believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (John 20:30, 31).
The Epistle of 1John is written that you might have complete assurance of salvation (1 John 5:13)
What if I find something I don’t understand?
Don’t get upset about it, God will reveal it to you in time – when you are ready. John 16:12, Isaiah 28:9-10.
Be sure you put into practice what you do understand. As you become a “doer” and not just a “hearer” (James 1:22), God will entrust you with more. (Philippians 4:9; Psalm 111:10)