Thursday, 30 September 2010

What's that for?

I heard this man on a radio show saying that the Bible was useless, because every problem we've got we solve without the Bible!
He pointed out that when we have a health problem we go to the doctor not the Bible; when we have a tooth ache we go to the dentist not the Bible; when the car breaks down we go to a mechanic not the Bible, and he went on along this astute line of reasoning a bit more, obviously thinking he was saying something profound and insightful.

I will use his same reasoning to show you how clever it is: I get a letter from a loved one and I open it, wave it about, try to cut the grass with it, try to clean my teeth with it, try to wash the car with it, and then in frustration I declare that the letter is useless!  I have a lawnmower for cutting the grass, a toothbrush for cleaning my teeth and a sponge for washing my car - I don't see why I need the letter! 

What's the problem?  The letter was never meant for any of those things!  The letter is the means by which a person has made their mind known to you - it is the way a person communicated with you.  If the letter was read then you'd understand its purpose and maybe even discover it told you of a need you didn't even know you had, and how the need could be met.  That's certainly the case with the Bible.  It is the means by which God has made His mind and will known to us - it's how He has communicated a specific message.  It warns us of a problem the doctor, dentist and mechanic can't deal with - the problem of sin - our crimes against the God who made us.  And it tells us how that problem can be dealt with - through the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for sinners and rose again.  The Bible shows us that through trusting Christ we are saved from the danger we're in, pardoned for our crimes, and reconciled to God.  It then gives the instruction we need to grow as Christians and to live for God's glory.

The message of the Bible is given by Paul in 2Timothy 3 v 15-17:
...from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
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 complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
That's what it's for.