Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What Do You Believe? Is the Bible Reliable? - July 14, 2015

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (New International Version)
16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Do you believe the Bible verse above? Originally I intended to go through a long discourse in order to present the proof texts and historical evidences for the reliability and validity of the Bible. This can be easily found through careful study of books on the subject. But, if you call yourself a Christian and you truly are a believer, the truth is easier to discern because of your personal experience, and the confirmation you receive from the truth that lives in you.

"All Scripture is God-breathed." - This statement is true for me because I have experienced a whole new life that can be found in Bible. During my many years, I studied the world's religions and surveyed a number of religious texts, and none of them had "life" in their words as the Bible did. I would challenge anyone seeking the truth to go to the library or bookstore and study the other religious texts. You will understand what I mean.

When you have reached out and surrendered yourself to God, and you have asked for Him to reveal Himself to you, the Bible takes on a whole new character. Rather than just being words on a page or historical text, it "comes alive" and reveals things to your spirit that you never knew. And each time you read a particular verse or passage, it can take on a whole new, deeper meaning. To me, that confirms that the Bible is "God-breathed".

"Is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness"- As you open up the pages of the Bible, and as you prayerfully read with and open mind and an open heart, the Spirit of God will reveal things to you in the verses that are useful and helpful for daily living.

For those of you who believe yourselves to be a Christian, have you ever had a problem that really bothered you, and as you read through your Bible, you suddenly found the answer you needed to resolve that problem? This has been the case for me on countless occasions. To me, that confirms that the Bible is "useful".

"So that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."- As I try to live out my Christian life in this world, I need to know that help is their when I need it. I need to know that I can count not only on knowing the rules, the do's and the don'ts, but I need to know that I can find the stuff that really matters. The stuff that changes lives and helps other people.

I need to be able to rely on something to help me find the right answers. The word of God found in the Bible does that for me; it "equips" me for each and everything I do as I try to pattern my life after the life of Jesus Christ. It teaches me how to love and how to live. To me, that confirms that the Bible is "reliable"

Those who have a difficult time understanding the Bible need to do two things. First, approach God in prayer and surrender yourself completely to Him; give up your selfishness, your arrogance and your stubbornness. Then pour your heart out to Him, and "clean yourself up", leaving all your junk with Him. Admit that you can't live this life by yourself. Second, ask God to reveal Himself to you; ask for his Holy Spirit to open your mind to how He wants you to lead your life. Ask Him to give you direction through His word. I know for a fact that He will do this for you.

As we seek to understand what we believe, we will need to rely on the solid, truthful, word of God found in the Bible as our most treasured proof text. You have to be confident that you believe what it says completely. You can't pick or chose just because some of what it says may be "convicting". Yes, as you dig deeper in the Bible, it will make you uncomfortable, and it may even annoy you. But this revelation is for your benefit. It is God's Spirit telling you what is right or wrong for your life. Once you have this firm foundation, understanding what you believe will be much easier to know.

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