Step 5: The Christian and the Bible
The Power of God's Word
I believe that knowledge of the Bible without a college education is more valuable than a college education without the Bible.
- William Lyon Phelps
Former professor at Yale University
Lila and her husband were expecting their fourth child and looking forward to the new baby's arrival with eager anticipation. Then, unexpectedly, their dreams were shattered by a miscarriage.
Not only was Lila grieved by the loss of the child, it soon became apparent that her life was in grave danger. Serious complications suddenly became evident, and she was rushed by ambulance to the hospital.
Lila was vaguely aware of her surroundings as she slipped in and out of consciousness. Her family was at her side encouraging her, and many friends and loved ones were praying fervently.
During the crisis, she found it nearly impossible to focus her mind on anything except for one clear impression that persisted in her mind. "I can endure...I can survive...I can withstand...all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Somehow, in spite of the loss of blood and the close proximity of death, she was aware that she was not remembering the words just right. Yet, intuitively she understood that God was promising to see her through.
Two weeks later, she returned home weakened but alive. While reading her Bible, she suddenly remembered the exact Scripture.
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
How she praised God for His Word, which had penetrated the fog of unconsciousness with a powerful promise of strength and provision! In the Epistle to the Hebrews, Paul records:
"The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any two edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (4:12)
God's holy inspired Word has several characteristics that guarantee powerful results. First, it is infused with the power of the Holy Spirit. It has been said that a Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to a person who isn't. That is because God's Word is energetic and active, speaking to today's world and our own personal needs and circumstances.
Second, God's word is truth. It awakens our conscience. With the power to reach into the private corners of our hearts, the Word bares our motives and secret feelings and reveals our hidden longings.
Third, God's Word discerns our true character. It exposes the weakness in our attitudes and conduct, enabling us to correct ourselves by the power of His Holy Spirit.
As you study this lesson, I urge you to begin hiding the Word of God in your heart, drawing upon its wisdom for your life. Remember that God's Word will never return to Him void, but will most certainly accomplish what it was sent to do. Share the Word with a friend, bearing witness to the faithfulness of our wonderful Lord and the power and authority of His Holy Spirit.
The Word of God
Tell what God's Word is or what it does, or both, according to the following scriptures. (Use a dictionary for definition of key words if needed.)
What it is:
Hebrews 5:12-14, Philippians 2:16, Ephesians 6:17
What it does:
I John 2:5, John 12:48, Romans 10:17, John 15:3
I Peter 1:23, John 8:31-32, John 17:17, I Peter 2:2, Hebrews 4:12
How to Understand the Word of God
Read I Corinthians 2:14. No one can understand the Word of God by his own ability. Why?
Describe in your own words a natural man's reaction to spiritual things.
Explain in your own words how one must come to understand the Word of God. See I Corinthians 2:7-12 and Romans 8:5-9.
Why do some individuals deny the authority of Scripture, the deity of Christ, the inspiration of the Bible, and other basic teachings in the Word of God? What should be our response to them?
When we approach the Word of God, what is the first thing we should understand? (II Peter 1:20-21)
What is one way the power of the Bible manifests itself according to II Timothy 3:15?
How have you experienced that power in your life recently?
Adapted from The 10 Basic Steps Toward Christian Maturity, by Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Campus Crusade for Christ. All rights reserved.