The Christian faith is the sole and direct product of God’s word. He who made the whole world by the word of His power, is the one who awakens our spirit from death to life by the word of Christ. And faith comes by hearing the word of Christ. Therefore, by virtue of teaching and training, God’s word ensures to reprove and correct.
As Christians we believe that the Bible is important, but how important is it really? Is it enough that we read a passage every day during our family devotions, only to forget about it the rest of the day? Is it enough that we stick to the simpler parts of the text and avoid the difficult passages? If you ask the average Christian if the Bible is God’s word, he’ll probably say yes. Ask him if we should live according to this word, he’ll still probably say yes. Yet, one of the main problems in the evangelical world today, is not an acceptance of the importance of the Bible, but a misunderstanding of how important it really is, or the nature of its importance. This affects the way we approach the Bible and how we handle different passages.
Too many evangelicals today pick and choose what they like to read in the Bible because they find some passages either too difficult to understand, or too contradictory to other passages in the Bible that they are unable to resolve. Yet, that is the task of the Christian who understands what the Bible is. People have either forgotten or misunderstood what it means to be Bible-believing, or to use a more contemporary phrase, bible-centred. A bible kept as a showcase piece on the centre table in the living room is central in a way that is not the kind of Bible centrality we are talking about. Being bible-centred is not a superficial ideology that one agrees with, it is an objective reality that one experiences when they believe and apply all of Scripture for all of life.
I would like to direct your attention to 2 Timothy 3:16-17, as I try to use Paul’s directive here to give you 5 key points on what God’s word is, that helps me realize how important it is, and the way it affects our lives.
“All Scripture is breathed out 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.”
Breathed Out by God
It may be true that Paul has the Old Testament in mind when he writes this, but it is plain to us through the nature of the New Testament texts and how they were cited and received during the apostolic era, that the same applies to all the New Testament as well. God’s word from Genesis to Revelation, in the 66 books of the Bible, though it was written by men, was divinely inspired by God.
Jesus in answering the Sadducees, when they questioned Him on the resurrection, used the tense of a verb in Exodus to make His case. That is how much our Lord trusted the veracity of His own word. As bible-believing Christians, this phrase “breathed out by God” is enough for us to believe that texts of Scripture in their original writing were inerrant, infallible, and sufficient.
What about the contradictions in the Bible? Well, there are none. Now, I could get into the details of arguing this case (and the arguments are solid and are plenty available) but doing so here would compromise the reasonable length for this article.