God's Book to Man Holy Bible
"All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
At first glance, the Bible does not seem different from any other book. But since the words that it contains did not come from the minds of the authors but from God, they are the very words of God. "No prophecy of scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God" (2 Peter 1:20-21). Over a period of more than 1,500 years, God moved the hearts of about 40 people from various walks of life to write down what they had heard and seen. These sacred writings were then put together at a later time to become the Bible.
The Bible is God's self-revelation to the world. God speaks to us through the prophets, the apostles, and his own Son, Jesus Christ. The Bible also records God's interaction with men through history and focuses on the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ--God's greatest gift to the world.
Through these historical events and divine messages, the Bible shows us who God is, where human beings came from, and what God expects from us. It also explains how we have all rebelled against God, how God has sent his Son to the world to reconcile the world to him, and what happens in the afterlife. The Bible is a letter from God with a most important message about our origin, purpose, and eternal destiny.
A Book With Authority
Since the Bible is God's word, it carries divine authority. "For ever, O LORD, thy word is firmly fixed in the heavens" (Psalms 119:89). God's word is eternal; it does not change over time. "All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord abides for ever" (1 Peter 1:24-25). Generations come and go. The trends and philosophies of this world rise and fade. But the Bible and its teachings are timeless, transforming more lives than any other book in history.
God's word is as solemn and binding as an oath. Therefore no one has the authority to alter any portion of the Scripture. God instructed the Israelites, "Everything that I command you you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to it or take from it. (Deuteronomy 12:32). It is our duty to carry out whatever God commands and revere the authority of the Bible in its entirety.
A Book that Works
God's word is more than a book to read and enjoy. Behind the literary beauty of the text lie the powerful promises of God. As we learn, meditate, and practice the teachings in the Bible, God works wonders in our lives.
The Lord is faithful to all his promises; his words never fail. Through the ages, believers have personally experienced how God's word have come true in their lives. They can testify that, indeed, "he who promised is faithful" (Hebrews 10:23).
The Lord said, "for as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:10,11). The word of God turns the parched land in our hearts into fertile soil, making our lives meaningful and fruitful.
Word of Life
The Bible is able to instruct us "for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 3:15). In other words, the Bible teaches us how to receive salvation and what true faith in Christ means. God's word as found in the Bible has the power to save us. "Therefore put away all filthiness and rank growth of wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21).
It is not the text of the Bible that gives eternal life, but the promise of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord said, "The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life" (John 6:63). Because the Bible bears witness to Jesus Christ and directs our faith to the Savior, we can receive salvation by trusting and obeying the word of the Lord written in the Bible.
The word of God carries a life-giving power. God "gives birth" to believers through the word of truth (James 1:18). When we give our lives to Jesus Christ and obey him as Lord, we can live a new life and have the hope of eternal life. "You have been born anew, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God...That word is the good news which was preached to you" (1 Peter 1:23,25). The gospel of Jesus Christ that the Bible preaches is truly the word of life!
Mirror for the Heart
"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12). God's word helps us examine our faith and our conduct. It also brings to light our hidden faults and sin. It is like a mirror that reflects all of our shortcomings so we may change for the better.
The Bible is "profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." It equips us to do the good works that God had created us to do. Therefore, the word of God plays an essential part in the sanctification (setting apart for a holy purpose) of believers. This is the reason Jesus prayed on behalf of the believers, saying "Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth" (John 17:17).
Weapon Against Evil
Darkness takes over where there is no light. Likewise, evil prevails when we ignore the word of God. The word of God equips us against the forces of evil because it is the "sword of the Spirit" (Ephesians 6:17). With it, we can be victorious over Satan's temptation, just as the Lord Jesus himself used the scriptures to defeat the tempter.
"Thy commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me" (Psalms 119:98). Although the Evil One is always finding ways to harm us, the word of God gives us the wisdom to do what is right and not fall into sin. A higher education does not make a wiser person. Satan triumphs where people reject the authority of the Bible. Crimes, violence, fraud, and discrimination abound all the more in technologically advanced societies. Isn't it time for us to return to the values of the Bible and live by its truth?
Receiving God's Word
When the gospel reached the city Berea during the time of the apostles, the Bereans "received the word with all eagerness, examining the scriptures daily to see if these things were so" (Acts 17:11). It is with such diligence that we ought to receive and learn the word of God.
All the blessings of God's word start with our reading and listening to the Bible. It is more important to read the Bible than to read about the Bible. After you put down this booklet, open the Bible and start a life of daily Bible reading. Attend services and Bible studies, where believers share God's word with one another. With a commitment to learn God's word, we will truly benefit from it.
Understanding God's Word
The Bible is a marvelous book: while its language is so simple that even a child can read it, its message is so profound that even a scholar may not understand it. We must not count on our own knowledge, but must humbly confess our ignorance and ask for guidance, for God "hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes" (Matthew 11:25-26).
Because the Bible is a work of divine inspiration, and "no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation," we need God's help to understand the meaning of God's word. "No one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God" (1 Corinthians 2:11). God's spirit, also called the Holy Spirit, is the spirit of truth and revelation who can guide us into all truths (John 16:13). So praying for the gift of the Holy Spirit and His guidance is important in understanding what we read.
Storing God's Word in Heart
The Lord told his people, "And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise..." (Deuteronomy 6:6-8). Unlike reading or studying a piece of literature, we need to take the words of the Bible to heart and think about how they apply to us.
A psalmist made this prayer, "Oh, how I love thy law! It is my meditation all the day" (Psalms 119:97). Since God's words are so precious, we ought to keep them with us all day. Then in our loneliness, frustration, or sorrow, the words that are in our hearts will provide us with comfort and strength; in our confusion and doubt, they will shed light on our path and lead us along.
Trusting and Obeying God's Word
"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if any one is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who observes his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But he who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer that forgets but a doer that acts, he shall be blessed in his doing" (James 1:22-25). When we put Bible's words into practice, it comes to life. We will reap blessings and joy that words could hardly express.
The teachings of the Bible must be combined with faith. This faith is more than agreement in thought, but belief accompanied by action. There will be times when it seems difficult to carry out God's word, such as forgiving someone, helping others, or enduring sufferings. But since God's word is powerful and effective, and his promises are sure, we just need to trust that the Lord will bless us according to his promise if we keep his word.
Welcome the Bible into Your Life
Much more could be written and said about the Bible. But there is nothing better than for you to just pick up a copy, spend time every day to read it, ponder its meaning, and put it into action. God's word is for everyone. Open this letter from God, read it over and over, keep it close to you, and do what it says. Soon you will begin to experience God's love and power in your life. The Bible has enough treasures to last you a lifetime, and above all, the salvation of Jesus Christ that the Bible preaches is a gift that you will cherish for eternity.