When people don't have electricity, they invent all kinds of creative ways of gettng around their problems. They get water from the stream instead of the well. They take sponge baths instead of showers. They go to the Walmart electronics departmrnt to watch TV. Finding alternate methods takes innovation, but nothing beats working with full power. Many people try to live without God's power in their lives, and come up with creative ways to get what they want, functioning on their own strength. But nothing beats living with God's power in your life. God's power comes only through His living Word, Jesus Christ. We come to know Jesus through God's written word, the Bible. Through the Word, we can live in God's power.
Last week we talked about the Bible's inspiration, how apostles and prophets wrote what they heard from the Lord. Many people debate what that inspiration means, throwing around phrases like inerrant, infallible, and plenary verbal. These have become fighting words for many, and cause more conflict than they're worth. Instead, I prefer to look at what the Bible says about itself.
So, what does the Bible say that it is? 2 Timothy 3:16 says it is God-breathed, or inspired. Psalm 19:7-11 (NIV) says God's word is perfect, trustorthy, right, radiant, pure, firm, righteous, more desirable than gold, and sweeter than honey.
What does the Bible say that it does? Psalm 19:7-11 (NIV) says that it refreshes the soul, makes wise the simple, gives joy to the heart and light to the eyes. It says that God's word endures forever, and offes great reward to those who keep it.
With a resume like that, I don't think the Bible needs any other character references. However, churches are full of people who testify about how God's word has changed their lives. I remember when I was young, following the wrong people, and heading down the wrong path. God spoke to me from the first two chapters of the book of Proverbs, yanking me out of my sin and into repentance. As tears filled my pillow, I learned the power of God's word to rescue me from myself. Many others have similar stories of God speaking to them from the pages of His word. Do you know His power to transform your life?
God's word offers great power for you life--but you have to read and believe it in order to fully grasp its strength. Gipsy Smith told of a man who said he had received no inspiration from the Bible although he had “gone through it several times.” “Let it go through you once,” replied Smith, “then you will tell a different story!” Let God's word go through you, down to the very core. Then you won't need to argue over theological terms. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.