Most of those I’ve heard scoff or discredit the Bible have never read it. If they did, they might have a different opinion.
How can I say that? I can because the Bible is different than any other book. As Fortner writes today, no orders were given to anyone to plan its writing. Several authors wrote what the Holy Spirit gave to them over 1600 years. It came in parts and fragments, written on two continents, in countries hundreds of miles apart, and in three languages. The men who wrote it came from every possible background, yet this is one unified book with one message. It has one system of doctrine, one salvation plan, one principle of conduct and one rule of faith. It tells of redemption by the shed blood of Christ and every part of it points to Christ and His substitutionary work.
Not only that, much of it could not have been written unless God’s Spirit revealed it: creation, God’s decrees, the covenant of grace, with doctrines that no human mind would have invented. Who would declare that every person, including themselves, is a depraved sinner in need of a Savior? Who could invent the character of the triune God, the incarnation of Christ, or substitutionary atonement? We can barely grasp these things let alone devise them.
Fortner points also to Bible prophecies and their fulfillment, something no one else has ever done with the same accuracy. I could add that biblical people, places, and events are continually being verified by historians and archeologists. Yet, these objective proofs are not as convincing as what often happens to those who actually read and study it . . .
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
Other books can inspire us. I’ve read several that aid my writing, help me be more organized, push me to greater creativity, explain solutions to various daily problems, but only the Bible has got inside my head and my heart to show me who I really am and who God is changing me to be. This book, combined with faith in Jesus Christ who is the Living Word, has power.
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
The Word of God does just that; it changes the way I think. The psalmist wrote:
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes! With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth. In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.” (Psalm 119:9–16)
Not only does it change the way I think, it has power to do more. King David, called a “man after God’s own heart” says this:
“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.” (Psalm 19:7–11)
For those who doubt it, cannot understand it, criticize it, even dismiss it, there is darkness, but that has a solution: read it, read it with a prayer for enlightenment. Ask God to surprise you!
Jesus, You are the Word of God in human flesh. The Bible is the Word of God on printed pages. What precious and wonderful gifts from the Lord God Almighty to sinners like me who need to know Your mind, Your plans, and Your great love. With all my heart, I am entirely and eternally thankful.