Through the years, there have been many arguments about The Bible regarding its accuracy, relevance, and authority. These questions are important and should not be brushed aside, but ultimately they are matters of faith. Even if there is compelling evidence for the divine inspiration, accuracy, and relevance of the Scriptures (and I believe there is), if I don’t have true faith in Jesus Christ, I will most likely still disbelieve the Bible.
But I would like to explore something about the Bible which I believe comes closer to the heart of the matter. As believers, how do we approach the Bible? Is it a puzzle to be solved? Something to be analyzed? A set of wise principles that will help us have a good life? Or is there something deeper at stake?
I would suggest that the main purpose for the Scriptures is for God to speak to us, and through that, for us to come to know and love Him. That is one reason why Christians for centuries have called it God’s Word. But that brings up another question: What is God’s Word?
God’s Word is any way and any time He chooses to communicate with us, especially through THE Word, Jesus Christ, and His Holy Spirit who now dwells in the hearts of believers through faith.
It is important to understand this, because sometimes we are tempted to Bibliolatry. We can subconsciously believe that God’s Word is “locked up” in The Bible. But that is making God and His Word smaller than who He is. God speaks to us by His Spirit. A primary way He does that is through The Bible. But Christians for centuries have disagreed about what He says to us through The Bible. So how are we to discern what God’s Word through the Bible is to us?
A primary way is to be part of The Church! We cannot interact with God through the scriptures well in isolation from being part of The Body of Christ. We read the Bible on our own, but we also seek God through the Scriptures together. Particularly, we are committed to unity in the Church, so that when we disagree about different parts of Scripture, we can continue to journey together in The Spirit as He continues to teach and shape us until we all grow up into Christ.
One day Christ will return, God will make the new heavens and new earth, and we will see Him face to face. Presumably, we won’t need the Scriptures anymore. But until that day, my hope is that as we interact with God through the Bible, we will hear from Him, trust Him, know Him, and love Him more dearly!