The Bible is probably the most famous book in all of history. From the home of Voltaire (who once claimed that bibles would one day be extinct), to the big publishing houses we have today, it has withstood the test of time and has remained to be widely reproduced and read despite being banned or unavailable in some parts of the world.
Referring to 1 Peter1:23 (KJV) “ Being born again, not of corruptible speed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.”, there are three points that we can take from this verse about the bible.
Being Born Again
Romans 10:17 (KJV) says that “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” It is through the bible- God’s Word that we are able to know how it is to be Born Again in Spirit and be saved. In the time of Jesus, He was the Living Word and we can imagine how blessed were those who were able to really see and hear from Him directly of how it is to be saved. Nonetheless, we are equally blessed as well because God has provided us the Holy Book, organized, bound and printed to serve as our guide. Moreover, Jesus sent His helper the Holy Spirit to show us the hidden treasures of His kingdom as we read the Scriptures.
The gift of being Born Again can be likened to a golden nugget hidden in a cave. To illustrate this further, here is a short story from a children’s storybook.
There was a poor miner in the mountains and peering into the dark cave, he saw nuggets of gold that were glistening. He immediately got his tools and dug out as many golden nuggets as he could. But then there were still so many golden nuggets inside the cave that he decided to rent all the industrial materials needed for mining and trucks needed to load the golden nuggets. In doing so, he was able to dig out all the golden nuggets inside the cave.
Like that cave, the bible is indeed a gold mine filled with gold that we only need to ‘dig out’. The only question is if we are going to ‘dig’ out the golden nuggets by opening and reading it and finally discovering the biggest golden nugget of all – the plan of salvation by being Born Again through Jesus Christ.
In John 3:3 (KJV) Jesus said “Verily, verily I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” The only way to be born again is to place our faith in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. Thankfully, we have the bible to teach us the how’s and why’s for that.
The Incorruptible seed
A lot of people have tried to disprove the bible. Some people have also used the bible maliciously for their own selfish gains by deceiving people into false interpretation and teaching of the Word. God was very clear in Revelations 22:19 (KJV) “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” God wrote this specific instruction because He knew that people would try to distort it with their own versions of the bible in order to suit their itching ears. That is why for Christians, it is recommended that we use the version that is closest to the original which is the King James Version. But even then, when we read the bible, we must ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us what God wants to say to us because it is only then that we can truly understand God’s Word. This indwelling and divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit in us helps to give us God’s perspective instead of our own.
The writer of the Psalms gives us an idea as well of the vital role of the Holy Spirit in helping us read and discern God’s word particularly in the following verses in Psalm 119 (KJV):
Verse 18 “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things.”
Verse 27 “Make me understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of wondrous works.” The writer here is praying to God that He give him a new set of spiritual eyes and also in verse 27 asking for wisdom to help him understand God’s way.
Verse 33 “Teach me, O Lord, the way of the statutes; and I shall keep it to the end.”
Verse 34 “Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with all my whole heart.”
Notice that there is always the element of the writer asking God to open his eyes, asking to be taught by God and to understand what the Lord wants because on his own, he recognizes that he cannot fully comprehend it on his own. He recognizes God’s wisdom as perfect and incorruptible and that without the help of the Holy Spirit, the bible is just prone to misinterpretation leading to deception and unrighteous living.
Sadly, these days we hear of preachers who only preach the kind of gospel that is only partially true, even totally twisted. Despite these, God’s sovereignty still reigns as He is never-changing. He is the same yesterday, today and forever(Hebrews 13:18 KJV) and that no matter what evil men may do to corrupt His Word, His promise in Matthew 24:35 (KJV) is that “Heaven and earth shall pass away but my Words shall not pass away”.
Aside from incorruptible, other words used to describe the bible in the main verse is that it is Supernatural. This is so because it is divinely inspired in that the writers that lived and travelled to three different continents for 1500 years gave accounts of the Lord and His wisdom with the help of the Holy Spirit. For example, we read in the prophetic book of Ezekiel that not only does it talk about God’s judgement on Israel but it also prophesies of the Messiah who is to come. Ezekiel is in the Old Testament written in 571 BC while in the New Testament, we see the prophecy coming to life with the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, accounted by the four main gospel writers Matthew, Mark, Luke and John sometime around 45-65 AD.
Another example of God’s divine providence over this holy book is Saul who was later on known as Paul. Though he did not have direct encounters with Jesus as the other disciples did and it was only once that Jesus appeared to him after the Lord’s death, he was able to write books of the New Testament such Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, Philemon and Thessalonians with divine inspiration. Considering Paul’s short lifetime in a millennia of God writing this book, these could only be done by a Supernatural being that has shown interrelated visions and inspiration to a man whose life was wholly dedicated to the Lord.
Other books in the New Testament will have direct correlations to books in the Old Testament such as Hebrews telling of Jesus’ superiority over the Old Testament and Jude having Old Testament references concerning judgement on false teachers. Though we do not know of other writers in the bible like Moses, David, Solomon, Luke and Paul, we know that all these people have one source in writing the Word of God and that is God Himself.
The words in the bible are breathed by God Himself (2 Timothy 3:16) into the minds and hearts of these chosen authors. Suffice to say, to some degree we modern Christians have it easier as we are blessed to read these divinely compiled books that reflect His wisdom and instructions for our own good and profit (Titus 3:8 KJV). It is unfortunate though that many people still do not give value to the Holy Scripture and take it for granted. Many bibles in households across the world only gather dust because its owners have made it as house ornaments rather than a precious life-giving book that is to be read regularly. Even more unfortunate is that those who are hungry for the Word do not have access to it because their countries do not allow its presence. We don’t know which is more tragic- a nation where bibles are readily available but people do not read it, or a nation void of bibles but have people who are starved for it.
With these in mind, let us then hold fast to the word of life (Philippians 2:16), hide His words in our hearts that we may not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11) and always ask God to give us fresh new spiritual eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts to understand His word (Proverbs 20:12).