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  • From the Cedar Street Times, Pacific Grove

What does God say about the Bible, Part 2?

The Bible is a collection of books written by some 40 authors over 1,500 years. How could 40 different writers spread over 1,500 years write such a cohesive work? They were being inspired by God, 2 Tim 3:16-17, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

The Bible tells us God is love, 1 Jn 4:8, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” Then, He teaches us how to love, Eph 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;” How many women would like their man to love them as Christ loves us, always ready and willing to give our lives for them. Yes, this means dying if that sacrifice will prevent our wives from dying, but this is a rare event. The more common sacrifice is giving up that part of our lives that would lead us away from our wives, instead of toward the deeper love they deserve. God asks us to forsake whatever draws us away from our wives: drugs, gambling, adultery, entertainment, etc. How many divorces would there be if every man treated his wife the way God asks us to treat them? Does this lesson also apply to our relationship with Him?

The Bible tells us to love everyone, even our enemies, Matt 5:43-46, “Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” God loves all of us, and when we follow His advice, those who think themselves our enemies will see God’s love in us. It will be God’s love shining through us, and it might be the first time they see His love. It might be the moment that changes their lives. This love, shown to those we feel are undeserving, reflects the unconditional love God continually demonstrates. We certainly do not deserve His love, but He gives it to us anyway, Rom 5:8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

The Bible is also a love story, a tale of our struggles to find our creator and the victory that will be ours when we do. This struggle began in the Garden of Eden when Eve first chose to doubt God. We all face this same choice in our lives. The Bible honestly shows the weaknesses of all; even the heroes in this love story are not perfect. All have doubted, and most have acted on that doubt. God waits for each of us to come to Him, like a father waiting for his daughter to come home from her first date. The only difference is this Father already knows who will come home to Him. Can we imagine what the father waiting for his daughter to come home would feel, if he already knew she would not return that night? My heart aches at the thought. This is the pain God feels for those who choose to refuse to reason with His Truth.

The Bible is still more; it is an education on life, with answers to every question along the path to truth. Every pain we suffer, every loss we sustain, every love we experience, every friend we find, every truth there is, is explained in the Bible. God did not create us to find our own way in this world, He gave us the Bible to offer us protection from evil and to help us find our way to Him. He wants us to understand He has seen a way for us to walk that results in our peace and joy because He cares about what happens to us, Jer 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

The Bible is written in many different writing styles; part allegory, part apocalyptic message, part epistle, part genealogy, part gospel, part history, part the laws that lead to harmony, part parable, part poetry, part prophecy, part song, some symbolism and a wealth of wisdom. Therefore, we cannot take a parable and use it to claim the Bible is not authentic, because a parable cannot be taken literally, for it is a story intended to teach. Context is critical in determining the writing style and the meaning of everything we read in the Bible. The Bible is written in layers, like an onion. God’s honesty shows us the evil we are capable of, to provide a contrast between the thoughts of God and the thoughts of man, Is 55:8, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

The more times we read a verse in context, the more meanings we can gain from it. A verse read today will add new meaning to a verse read a year ago, Is 28:9-10, “Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:” Those unwilling to study the Bible will never understand it. The truth within will seem like foolishness to them, Prov 15:14, “The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.” This is why we need to read the Bible daily, each day digging deeper into the layers, Matt 6:11, “Give us this day our daily bread.” The Word of God is our daily bread, Lk 4:4, “And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”

The better we know the Bible, the more we can see the Truth in it. The more we learn from the Bible, the more we see we need to learn and how all we have learned fits together into a single coherent message. We can earn a Ph. D. in life by studying the Bible, daily, 2 Tim 3:16-17, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Peter and John explain one of the more essential, lessons in understanding the Bible, Acts 4:19, “But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.” Too many in this world have taken the word of Satan over the Word of God. We cannot let ourselves be fooled by Satan’s lies and misrepresentations. When we honestly reason with God, we can see Satan’s lies for what they are. Satan does not love us; he only wants to enslave us. When we watch what people say and do, we learn for ourselves who among us is following God and who is following the lies and misrepresentations of Satan. Matt 7:16, “Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?”

1 Cor 1:20-21, “Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” The wisdom of this world has been proven wrong many times, but the good news of the Bible has never been proven wrong. We can accept the foolishness of this world, or we can reason with it. Those who are propagating the foolishness do not want us to reason. They want our unreasoned, uncompromising commitment to their ideology. Does this sound like slavery to their ideas? God does not ask us to blindly accept His Word, He asks us to reason with it before we make mistakes, Is 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” If, after honestly reasoning with God, we still want to follow the foolishness, at least it will be a reasoned decision! Why are so many people trying to get God out of our lives, out of our schools, off of our money, out of our courts? How does reasoning with God cause us harm? What is the real reason for their actions?

Some think that science has somehow proven the Bible to be inaccurate. When we rightly interpret the Bible and patiently wait for science to catch up, we will learn that science is but a tool, which will ultimately confirm God’s Word. The Bible is the inspired Word of God. Science is the current theory of everything. We know that science has changed its mind many times, but the Bible has never changed not one jot or one tittle, Matt 5:18, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” God wants us to trust the Bible as His inspired Word, so He placed prophecies into the Bible so that we might know it is the Truth and that it is from Him.

Lk 10:21, “At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.” The truth of God’s plan is hidden in plain sight. Some of us think we are wise, which makes us too proud to read the Bible with a heart open to learning. Thus, the Truth is hidden from us. Only when we lay down our pride and come to the Bible with the heart of a child willing to learn, will we be able to see the Truth!

Rev 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” The amazing thing is that we have nothing to lose. We can open the door and sup with Him. Once we do, we will see Him for who He is, Lord of Lords, King of Kings, and a loving Father to all who accept His offer. His offer is not for some select few, but rather, He knocks on the door of every person’s heart. All are invited!

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