All Christians have questions about the Bible and its role in today’s life. For example, why are there so many books, programs and seminars to teach Christians what to believe about the Bible? Does the Bible really need to be interpreted by scholars before it is understood? Is the Bible sufficient in itself to teach us all we need to know about God and His will for our lives? And how do we know for sure that we can trust the Bible fully? These critical questions are answered by the Bible itself.
The Bible tells us many things about itself, but there are four things in particular that help us come to a firm conviction that the Bible can be trusted as the final authority in all matters of faith.
Reason #1: God makes His word equal to Himself.
Man seeks to place the word of God, the Bible, on an equal status with the writings of men. Some scholars choose to respect the Bible only for its antiquity and history, similar to the writings of ancient mythology, while denying the divine nature and origin of Scripture.
This is not God’s viewpoint. John 1:1 makes the status of the word of God equal to God Himself.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1, KJV)
It is not our choice to value the Bible as one among many documents written by men. God has made clear that the words of the Bible are His and should be valued as such.
Reason #2: God claims the Bible’s authorship.
We can trust the authority of Scripture because God puts His stamp of authorship on it: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God ” (2 Timothy 3:16 KJV)
The word “inspiration” means “breathed.” As God breathed into Adam the breath of life, so God breathed His very words of Scripture.
We are also reminded by the apostle Peter of God’s authorship of His word concerning the Old Testament prophecy:
“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:21 KJV) Reason #3: God claims His word as the standard for truth.
When religious tradition, science or the wisdom of men stand against the word of God as final authority, God’s answer is short, but to the point:
” let God be true, but every man a liar ” (Romans 3:4 KJV)
In Genesis three when Satan appeared to man in the Garden of Eden as that “subtil” serpent, he became the original Bible critic. His question to Eve, “Yea, hath God said ?” (Gen. 3:1, KJV) was intended to cast doubt on the validity of God’s word to Adam and Eve. As Genesis three teaches us, his trick worked. Eve’s belief in the word of Satan rather than the word of God caused the downfall of man and the beginning of Satan’s attack against the word of God.
Satan’s program of lies against the word of God is alive and well today. Sadly, it is often manifested in classrooms of theology, where future pastors are taught that the word of God is inerrant only in original manuscripts-the inference being that our English Bible is not error-free. This system of doubt puts every church-going believer at the mercy of Bible critics. Without the final authority of Scripture, the very message of salvation loses credibility. Instead of believing those lies, we can believe in God and his word, holding it up as our standard for truth.
Reason #4: God preserves His word.
Fellow Bible student, you can hold all critics at bay with a simple belief in God’s eternal promise that He would preserve His word:
“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” (Psalms 12:6-7 KJV)
Remember, Christ Himself promised:
“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35 KJV)
Don’t get caught up in the false assumption that your Bible must be interpreted, explained, fixed up or repackaged in order for you to understand God, His plan of salvation, and His will for your life. If you trust what God says about His word, then you can rest assured in the faith that you can read and understand the Bible.