In some circles today the Bible, which has been traditionally acknowledge as the Word of God, is being challenged. It is being said that it not really the Word of God. The basis of this challenge is two fold; The Word of God is really Christ and that in the first few hundred years of the Church's existence there were no written books called the Bible available to the common person.
May I begin this blog by stating that I believe, without question, that Christ is truly the Word of God! (John 1:1) Therefore, keeping this in mind, then what do we do with the Bible?
Lately I have read and heard statements like, "The Bible is infallible, but man's interpretation of it is not!" And, "The Bible is no longer relevant!" Then, "If God were really love then all of the people in the Old Testament killed would not have happened, therefore, mean spirited, evil leaders did these things and blamed God for their evil actions." And of course the list of objections to the Bible could go on forever!
Throughout its history the Bible has weathered storms and attacks, so what is going on these days is not a new thing. Yet, it seems rather strange to me that now many of the Bible's attackers are people who have wonderful relationships with God through Christ. Some in the "Grace Movement" are devout Bible attackers and as a result have come to believe in doctrine that the Bible would not support. Therefore the authority of the Bible must be diluted in order for some strange doctrine to be propagated.
I am an avid follower of Grace! It has radically changed my life! But I have to state that the revelations of New Covenant Grace came to me by the Holy Spirit's enlightenment on the words of the Bible, especially those of Paul.
In the early days of revelation, much of my pet doctrine was challenged. My eyes were opened to things in the Bible that I had never understood properly before. One of the things that I felt the Lord emphatically say to me then was, "To carefully learn, preach and teach Paul's gospel!" I heard this statement over and over during that time, so much so that it I just could not avoid doing so! Paul was the pioneer of New Covenant Grace to the Early Church, so let us take a little peek into his relationship with the Bible.
Here is a very interesting verse! I Thessalonians 2:13 (NLT), "Therefore, we never stop thanking God that when you received his message FROM US, YOU DIDN'T THINK OF OUR WORDS AS MERE HUMAN IDEAS. YOU ACCEPTED WHAT WE SAID AS THE VERY WORD OF GOD-WHICH OF COURSE IT IS. And this word continues to work in you WHO BELIEVE." Now, please note all of the words that I have placed emphasis on. Paul clearly states that the words he is sharing with the churches is truly the Word of God! Also, please note that those who believe in what Paul is teaching will have that Word working in them, of course bringing great transformation into their lives! I find it totally amazing that Paul considers his words the Word of God!
Based on the above paragraph, the writings of Paul are in the Bible. Paul puts his teaching, his words in letter form and shares those words with the Churches. His letters then must be the Word of God! His letters are included in the Bible! So, along with Christ, being the Word, so then are the words of Christ which He taught Paul. Look at Galatians 1:11-12, "Dear brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that the gospel message I preach is not based on mere human reasoning. I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ." So what Paul is teaching the Churches comes directly from Christ, the Word, Himself. Christ's words are Paul's words and are contained in the Bible! See the point I'm making here?
Now there is also a very vivid conflict brewing here as well. Everyone knows 2 Timothy 3:16-17, "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and to equip his people to do every good work." The conflict seems to be over this thought of God using "all Scripture" to do the work in His believers. Yet, again Paul does clear this up. First of all, it's interesting that the definition of "Scripture" means, "A sacred writing or book." Scripture does not need to be taken from the Bible. I know that this statement will ruffle some feathers, but the words I am now writing, this blog article is indeed a sacred writing! The word "sacred" means "to be dedicated to a deity or a religious purpose." Of course my words, these words I am currently writing are totally dedicated to God and are for a religious purpose!" How about that....I am now writing scripture! (Any religious spirit's getting stirred up now?) Paul, in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 is stating that the words he is writing are the Scripture he was referring to and not the words of the Old Testament! Ouch! To back up this thought some more, please carefully read 2 Corinthians 3: 7-18. However, for the sake of time, take note of verses 14-15, "But the people's minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. YES, EVEN TODAY WHEN THEY READ MOSES' WRITINGS, THEIR HEARTS ARE COVERED WITH THAT VEIL, AND THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND."
In no way would Paul be referring to old covenant scripture in 2 Timothy 3! Paul is referring to the words of his teaching, the scripture he was teaching the Church of the day. That teaching came directly from the mouth of Jesus and therefore it is the Word of God!
So, here is my bottom line in this very long blog post....I fully believe that Jesus is the Word of God! I also fully believe that the Bible is too! The Bible's enemies are trying to dilute its message, but they never will. The Word of God will hold true and those whose minds are renewed by the Holy Spirit's revelation of the Bible will be living in the fullness of the New Covenant! Glory!
Grace and peace!