Step 5: The Christian and the Bible
The Need for God's Word
Before I became a believer in Jesus Christ, God's Word didn't make any sense to me. I tried to read it occasionally during my high school and college days, but found it boring. Finally, I concluded that no really intelligent person could believe the Bible.
But when I becamse a Christian, my life was transformed, and my attitudes concerning the Scriptures changed. I realized that the Bible was truly the holy, inspired Word of God. For almost fifty years it has been more important to me than the thousands of books in my library combined.
Why is the Bible so important to the Christian? Let me share five basic reasons. First, the Word of God is divinely inspired. The Apostle Paul wrote, "All scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." (II Timothy 3:16)
Second, Scripture is the basis of our belief. As the divinely-inspired Word, the Bible gives us God's perspective on how we should live. If offers His pardon for our sins, reveals His purpose for our lives, shows us how to live peacefully in a world of turmoil, and commands us to appropriate His power so we can be fruitful witnesses for our Lord Jesus Christ.
Many years ago, while I was a student at Fuller Theological Seminary, two gifted young evangelists came to speak during our chapel program. Both believed and preached the Word of God without questioning its authority. Later, however, they began to doubt that the Bible was truly inspired in every word.
One of these men finally rejected the integrity of the Scripture altogether. As a result, he had no moorings on which to base his life and ministry. He is now a skeptic and an outspoken opponent of the Christian faith.
The other young evangelist chose to believe that the Bible is truly the authoritative, inspired Word of God, and what he could not understand he entrusted to God and believed by faith.
Few remember the name of the first man. But the second is Billy Graham, whom God has used to touch the lives of millions around the world.
Third, the Bible is God's love letter to man. From Genesis to Revelation, it tells of God's great compassion for us and of His desire to have fellowship with us. John 3:16, perhaps the most beloved passage in the Bible, summarizes the depth of God's love for us:
"God so loved the world, that He gave His One and Only Son, so that whosoever would believe in Him, might not perish, but have everlasting life."
Fourth, the Bible reveals God's attributes. It tells us that He is holy, sovereign, righteous, and just; that He is loving, merciful, and kind; that He is gracious, patient, and faithful. We have no trouble trusting Him if we really understand who He is and how holy, loving, and wonderful His purposes are for us.
Fifth, God's Word teaches us how to live holy lives and to be fruitful witnesses for our Lord. The more we read and meditate on His precious Word -- and let His Holy Spirit control our lives -- the more fruitful we become.
Are you spending time meditating on God's Word daily? If not, let me encourage you to begin today. As you study this lesson, ask God to reveal Himself to you in a fresh, new way, and let Him speak to your heart of His will for you. I encourage you to depend on God's Word for your daily Christian living.
What We Should Know About the Bible
Read Psalm 119. What does the psalmist call God's Word in verses 1-7, 43, 72, 105, 123?
What does this tell you about the importance of knowing God's Word?
When does God discipline His children and what value does His word have for us? (Psalm 119:72, 126)
What is necessary in order to learn the Word? (Psalm 119:73)
How God's Word Affects Our Feelings
According to Psalm 119:7-9, what does the psalmist recognize is accomplished by respecting and learning God's Word?
From Psalm 119:10-16, list at least three attitudes of the psalmist that show his love for the World of God.
Why is adversity sometimes good for us? (Psalm 119:67,71)
From Psalm 119:136, 158 what is the reaction of those who love Christ when His Word is not kept?
How can we have great peace? (Psalm 119:165)
Results of Appropriating God's Word
Read these verses in Psalm 119:98-100, 105, 130 and write down what affect the Word has on us when we do the following:
Know and memorize the Word. (V. 98)
Meditate on it. (V. 99)
Obey it. (V. 100)
Follow it. (V. 105)
What does the Word give us? (V. 130)
According to Psalm 119:11,32,63,74,157,176 , what should we do as a result of appropriating the Word?
What impresses you most about Psalm 119?
List three ways in which you recognize your personal need for God's Word today?
Adapted fromThe 10 Basic Steps Toward Christian Maturity, by Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Campus Crusade for Christ. All rights reserved.