What is the BIBLE?

What is the Bible? If you were to ask a dozen people you might get a dozen different answers.

  • Some might give an analytical response along the lines that its a collection of 66 books, divided among the Old and New Testaments, written over a period of some 1,500 years, from around 1450 B.C. (the time of Moses) to about 100 A.D. (following the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ).
  • Others may respond cynically pointing out the 40 different authors from all walks of life: shepherds, farmers, tent-makers, physicians, fishermen, priests, philosophers and kings. (Despite these differences in occupation and the span of years it took to write it, the Bible is an extremely cohesive and unified book.)

But what if I were to ask you what you thought of the Bible, what would you say about it?

  • Is it an important book from God, but one which you know very little about?
  • Is it a book that you have read frequently, but which you have a hard time understanding?
  • Or has the Bible become more than just a chore or reading material, has it grown into a type of friend?

I believe God wants the Bible to be more like a friend than a textbook; however, for the Bible to be a friend we must build a relationship with it. Throughout the following 3 lessons we will consider why the Bible is truly a book like no other.

1. The most important distinction the Bible is it’s authorship.

It is the only book ever written by the inspiration of God Himself.

Paul said in

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

We believe because the Bible is inspired by our creator it has authority, more than any other book, on subjects of morality, salvation, and our relationship to our creator.

2. If we want to be thoroughly equipped for every good work, we have to be familiar with our job, and our tools.

Peter also makes this clear when he speaks of the promises of God. Obviously, God’s promises to us and for us are contained in the Bible. Peter says that these promises were given to us by God for a reason. He says of God in

1 Peter 1:4, “He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil lusts.”

God’s promises help us become imitators of God, and they help us keep from sinning. Therefore, God has given us the Bible so that we may live lives that are pleasing to Him.

To live our lives to please God means that we need divine strength and inspiration found in and through the Scriptures. Our world often pushes back against the ways of God and it takes special strength and certain conviction to stand firm for the cause of Christ. Paul reminds us that the Bible is a great tool to help us stand strong. He compares the Christian life to war. We are engaged in battle against Satan and all of his forces and Satan will try to use people to discourage us from living for Jesus. Paul says that we are to prepare ourselves for such encounters by being alert, equipped, and by putting on the full armor of God. He writes in

Ephesians 6:13-18, “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, WHICH IS THE WORD OF GOD. And pray in the Spirit, on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”

Notice that of all the armor which God provides us with, the only offensive weapon is the Bible. All of the other pieces of armor protect us from the dangerous attacks of Satan and his helpers, but only the SWORD is designed to help us fight back. Therefore, God has given us the Bible so that we might remain strong in our faith and active in living for Christ.

King David certainly understood the value of the Scriptures in his life.

Psalm 19 :7-11“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statues of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the Lord is pure and enduring forever. The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. they are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them is great reward.”

3. As with any worthy opportunity we are expected to prepare ourselves.

Like any great opportunity in life we can only capitalize on it fully if we are prepared to do so. The Lord has given us the information we need to succeed but he doesn’t force it on us, in fact he makes us dig for it a little. It is often the things that we work for that we truly value, and an understanding of Gods word certainly falls in that category. The Bible should indeed become a friend that we learn more and more about.

There are many more things that could be said about the Bible. The one thing, however, which I want to impress upon you, is this: the Bible is basically the letter from God telling us how much He loves us. He loves us so much that he has given us a plan for living that ends in eternal life.

John says in

1 John 5:13, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

In the next 3 lessons we will discuss answers to question like;

  • How do I study the Bible?
  • What version or versions of the Bible should I use?
  • How do I find God’s will for my life according to the Bible?
  • As well as other bits and pieces we pass along the way.

But for the moment I simply want you to ponder how significant the Bible really is. It is God telling us that he loves us and wants us to know for sure that our lives are pleasing to Him.

QUESTIONS FOR REVIEW AND STUDY!

  1. What claim does the Bible make in 2 Timothy 3:26 which no other book can make?
  2. If we want to be equipped for every good work, what must we have continual contact with according to 2 Timothy 3:16?
  3. Where are the promises of God for our lives found?
  4. Why did God give us His promises as we read in 1 Peter 1:4?
  5. Paul tells us that we must put on the whole armor of God. What individual pieces of armor has God given us as found in Ephesians 6:13-18?
  6. According to David in Psalm 19, the Bible is more precious than what & sweeter than what?
  7. After all is said and done, God has given us the Bible so that we may know what according to 1 John 5:13?
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