"Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth forever." - Psalm 119:160
I want us just to focus in on the Word of God and dwell on the gravity of this book. First of all, imagine if the Bible did not exist... if right now, there was no such thing as the Bible, you don't know about it, you do not know any verses in your memory, you cannot just pull it off the desk and read it... it does not exist. What would that mean?
If the Bible did not exist:
-you would not be a Christian right now
-you would not have known about Jesus Christ
-you would be condemned by your conscience
-you would have NO hope of salvation
-you would not know of Heaven or Hell and would be living a completely self-centered life
-yours would be a restless life, searching for meaning
-there would be no comforting verses in time of desperation
-there would be no alternative to death
-there would be no satisfaction for the soul forever
No hope, no life, no love, no joy, no peace, no Word = no Jesus.
This book, which we so often neglect, contains all our hope in a darkened world. The Bible is the foundation of our faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:17).
I want us to understand the importance of the Bible, and what it means to the believer, but I also want us to understand exactly what this book says, and what we believe in when we say we are Christians.
When we say we believe the Bible is the Word of God, we are saying that the Bible is the infallible Word of the Creator of the world, the one true and living God. We are saying it is perfect, inerrant, and contains all the things that God wants us to know. We are saying that every phrase in the Bible is invaluable, perfect for the teaching of the soul (2 Timothy 3:16), cannot be discarded (Proverbs 3-:5-6) and must be obeyed in every respect (Deuteronomy 13:4).
If you agree with this so far, then we enter the next stage: If the Bible is God's Word to man, what exactly does it say? But this is the scary part, because knowing what it says, we then must adhere to the truth. The Bible says clearly that this world is corrupt, evil, absent of all good, and under judgment from God:
"And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." - Genesis 6:5 (before the flood)
And Jesus said, "And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man." - Luke 17:26
The Bible tells us that the world is wicked, with no fear of God, no love for the truth, and will be destroyed. It repeatedly warns us to escape the corruption of the world (this is New Testament doctrine), more specifically, to overcome the world. When we side with the Word of God, we declare:
-the world is corrupt and will pass away (1 John 2:17)
-the world and Christ are in enmity with one another (James 4:4)
-the world and it's ways are contrary to the Christian (1 John 2:15)
-Christians must overcome the world (Romans 12:21)
"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." Revelation 3:21
This is what we believe when we say we believe the Bible. This is good news, not bad news! Because Jesus overcame the world, we too will overcome the world (John 16:33). I pray this comes as good news to the believer! If it comes as bad news, why are you saddened that the Bible says you can overcome the world? Do you not want to overcome? Love not the world!
However, many people are dishearted because they are not overcoming the world. For people like these, the Bible challenges us and pulls us and stretches us, and says "Don't stay as you are!" "Come up, go on!" "Onward!" "You can make it!" I pray we are being challenged and not sitting comfortably in the world! Never rest in a defeated position. A Christian is not called to defeat but victory.
This is the book we believe in. It is our hope, our life, our challenge. Believe it for what it is, not for what it is not. The devil will lie and cheat and bribe and steal to make us confused as to what God is saying. Stay focused, stay clear minded, and establish your hope in the Word of God.
"Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments." Psalm 119:6