GO TO THE SOURCE
Anyone who ever listened to my father’s sermons heard him say with assurance, “The Bible says . . .” My father firmly believed the Bible was the inspired, spoken, and unchangeable Word of God. He was known for preaching sermons filled with Scripture passages and verses spoken directly from the Bible.
In the last years of my father’s ministry, he often spoke about the “information explosion” taking place in the world through the growth of the Internet. Yet today, people seem to know less about God’s Word than ever before. The Bible says in the last days people who have a “form of godliness” but deny its power will be “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:5, 7 NKJV).
We get into trouble when we listen to what other people say instead of what God says. My father encouraged people to explore the Bible’s authenticity for themselves—to go directly to the Source and find out what God says about Himself. Passages such as Isaiah 55:11 tell us God still speaks from the pages of the Bible: “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please” (NKJV).
God’s Word did go forth some two thousand years ago, when He sent His only Son into a darkened world to save humans from their miserable sin. And God’s Word did not return void. After Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead, He ascended into heaven and presented the redeemed to His Father (see Revelation 5:9). In this, we see that the Bible doesn’t just contain God’s Word—the Bible is God’s Word. God demonstrated His mercy, grace, and love personally to humankind when He sent His Son from heaven to communicate His infallible Word through His ultimate sacrifice on the cross.
God’s Word enlightens the minds and hearts of those who follow Him—from the book of Genesis (which means “beginning”) to the book of Revelation (which means “divine disclosure”). Yet God does not define the Bible as a publication for the Christian only. Jesus said, “These are the very Scriptures that testify about me” (John 5:39 NIV). God intended the Bible to not only instruct those who have repented of their sins but also to convict the unrepentant heart. The Word of God is meant for the whole world.
Whenever my father was asked why the Bible was so important to him, he would often say, “God speaks from heaven through the Bible. This is why I use the phrase ‘the Bible says.’ I would not have the authority to say what I do in sermons unless it was based upon the Word of God. He has spoken in such a way that men and women are without excuse if they do not hear and understand.” Through the years, I have learned to take every opportunity to make this same proclamation. I have observed the incredible power the Bible has today—even to those who may not at first believe what it says.
How would you describe your investment in knowing the Scriptures? What impact has the study of God’s Word had on your life?
How has the Bible strengthened your faith in Jesus as the living Word of God?
How have you seen God’s Word guide your words and direct your steps?