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The Bible and Truth
By David A. DePra
There is a statement I want to make about the Bible, which, if the first half were taken by itself, might sound as if it were a denial of divine inspiration. But it is not. In fact, the statement is an affirmation of the fact that the Bible is the inerrant, inspired Word of God.
The first half of the statement is this: Something is not true merely because it is in the Bible.
I told you it would sound like a denial of divine inspiration. But like I said, this is only the first half of the statement. Letís lay out the whole statement:
Something is not true merely because it is in the Bible. Rather, something is in the Bible, because it is the Truth.
See what I mean? Now the statement is full affirmation of the fact that God inspired His Word.
God is the Truth personified. So when He breathed out the Bible to the human authors, what He breathed out was the Truth. But note: What God inspired to be written did not BECOME the Truth at the moment it was written down. Rather, it was already the Truth Ė because it was already IN GOD to be breathed out -- before God breathed it out! Thus, our statement: Something is not true merely because it is in the Bible. Rather, it is in the Bible, because it is the Truth.
God did not sort of, "invent," a THING called, "Truth," write it down in a book, and mandate that we believe it. Rather, the book God wrote was His revelation of Himself to us. And guess what? God running creation long before the Bible was written. Thus, the Bible captures Him and reveals Him to us in written form. That is why every word of it is the Truth.
If we use our heads, what I am saying ought to make sense. For example, pick up any science book Ė letís pick up one that teaches about the law of gravity. Would we say that the law of gravity did not exist until this science book was written? Did this science book MAKE the law of gravity a fact of creation? No. Of course not. The law of gravity is not true merely because it is in the science book. It is in the science book because it is already true. So it is with the Bible. Something is not true merely because it is in the Bible. Rather, something is in the Bible, because it is the Truth.
Notice something else: Our science book tells us about the law of gravity. But we cannot say we have lived in harmony with the law of gravity simply because we have read the science book. So it is with the Bible. The Bible contains written Truth. But God wants us to do more than read it. He wants us to LIVE it. And that means that we must LIVE WITH HIM.
I say this because some Christians think that Christianity is nothing more than a big Bible study. The goal for some is to study and figure out the meaning of Bible verses. In the mind of some people, knowing Bible verses and doctrines equal knowing God Himself. To them, intellectual knowledge equals a living relationship with Jesus. Academics and theology replace true spiritual worship. Today ministry is measured by credentials, and not by whether Godís hand is upon someone.
But Christianity is CHRIST IN US. That is what the Bible says! Yet some people think that if we believe that Christianity is CHRIST IN US, that He IS in us. Not necessarily. In reality, to believe, for instance, that we must repent and believe to be saved does not necessarily mean that we HAVE repented or believed. It is one thing to believe what the Bible says, it is entirely another to DO what it says Ė and experience God.
Our relationship is to be with Jesus Christ. But some Christians have a relationship with the Bible only. The difference is the difference between life and death Ė between dead religion and the reality of eternal life.
But you see, the moment I begin stating such things in such terms, some people automatically react by thinking I am denying the importance of the Bible. They think I am saying that doctrine and teaching are unimportant. I am not saying that. All that I do is teach from the Bible. The Bible gives us direction as to how to live. It contains eternal Truth. We are to live by every word of it.
Christianity, in the end, is new life in Christ that carries a REVELATION, from the outside of us, into us. We werenít born with the life or the revelation. We receive it from above. The Bible describes this revelation, this life, and instructs us as how to live in accordance with it. That is why the Bible is the Truth and the written court of arbitration for all things. But the Bible isnít the life. It tells us about the life. We still have to go on to LIVE, and have a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Some Christians think that EXPERIENCE is the key. So they disregard the Bible and sound doctrine. But then some deny all experience and think that if they believe theological concepts that this is Christianity. Well, we need to see the balance. Christianity IS an experience. It better be. It is NEW LIFE. But the Bible tells us about that experience so that we will not stray outside of what is of God. Thus, we have the experience, and we have the doctrinal description of it. We must have both.
So everything in the Bible is the Truth. But not because it is in the Bible. Rather, it is the Truth because God breathed it.
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