Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Unreliable & irrelevant?

I got into conversation with her as I stood in the queue at McDonalds, and she asked me what I did.  I told her I spoke to people about the Bible, and she looked at me as if I had just sprouted another head!  She said, "Why would you ever do something like that?"

She thought the Bible was obviously unreliable and completely irrelevant., but Paul, the apostle, disagreed!  Listen to what he wrote to Timothy:
...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...
2 Timothy 3 v 15-16
He didn't believe the Bible was unreliable, he said it is God-breathed.  He didn't believe the Bible was irrelevant, he said it is able to instruct us on a subject of universal, individual, infinite and eternal importance - salvation. 

It's easy to say the Bible is the Word of God, but the Bible shows it in a number of ways.  Firstly, we could consider how it speaks unitedly.  Although it is a collection of books written over a wide area and a long time, yet it presents one story.  There are many hands, but one set of finger prints.
Secondly, we could consider how it speaks prophetically.  There are amazing prophetic portraits of the Messiah, written hundreds of years before His arrival, describing events that they could not have naturally known.
Thirdly, we could consider how the Bible speaks accurately.  It speaks accurately about the natural world.  But it also speaks accurately about us!  The description of mankind fits reality - it gives an explanation of what is wrong with the world and what is wrong with us.
Fourthly, we could consider how the Bible speaks uniquely.  It gives us an answer to the problem that no other religion does - it provides a Saviour and offers a Substitute, thus ensuring that the mercy we require is not given at the expense of the justice God demands.  The messages of world religions which say that our future bliss depends on our present faithfulness are messages that fudge on justice because either there is no recognition of sin or no retribution for sin.  Only the Gospel presents "a just God and a Saviour" (Isaiah 45 v 21).
Fifthly, we could consider how the Bible speaks powerfully.  There is an authority and an authenticity in Scripture that is found nowhere else.  There is a life-changing power in the message of the Bible that has brought freedom and new life to those who have believed its message and entrusted themselves to Christ.  We who are believers know the Bible is the Word of God because we have actually proved the reliability of its promise that whoever trusts the Lord Jesus for salvation has eternal life (e.g. John 3 v 36).

Some may say, "OK, so what?  What's that got to do with me?"  What it has to do with you is this - if the Bible is the Word of God then it tells us about a problem we have, a danger we face, and a Saviour we need.  As sinners we are under the wrath of God, in danger of perishing forever.  We cannot save ourselves, but Christ can.  We need to trust Him to rescue us from our sins.  There is no message more relevant, because everyone needs it, including you.