So this thing's the Word of God?
Yup. It is one of the blessings God has given us at this time in order that He might communicate with us. It is written by men, but it is written by God. Both the highly intellectual, and the very simple have been used by God to express exactly their thought and feelings, and yet God has overruled in such a way as to say exactly what He wanted to say. That's one of the wonders of The Book. He has used king and slaves, brave men and cowards. The words here are written by every kind of man, and every word is written by God.
It says 2500ish times, "God said… the Lord has said… thus said the Lord…" etc. He made it clear He is speaking through this book. It allows us to become children of God, "being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever." (1 Peter 1:23)
- John 1:13
- 13which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man (some texts "of a husband"), but of God.
But how do you know it's the Word of God?
Faith. Trust. These aren't things I get to claim for myself though… they are given by God, and are attained only by grace and by prayer.
There have been Bible shreddings and burnings. It has been outlawed in many nations both past and present. It has gone through a great deal of antagonizing and criticism, ridicule and examination. Since we are too civilized these days to burn the Bible, we only outlaw it from our schools, work, and other places where we practice our freedom of religion. And yet it is still preserved - though not in the original medium - I believe in the original words (though I can't read Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic whatsoever).
See what the Bible says about itself. Granted, to one that is sceptical, it means next to nothing for it to say something about itself, but it's a starting place!
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17
- 16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
- 2 Peter 1:21
- 21For prophesy came not in old time by the will of man; by holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Now this doesn't mean just the thoughts or ideas behind it are inspired, but the words. For instance, Satan is not inspired to lie, but the Bible records him telling a lie. Jesus said "It is written", quoting the Word of God in the Old Testament. The men who wrote gave out what God had to say. Abraham wasn't inspired by God to impregnate Hagar - he was inspired by Sara really - but He records this thing.
So what? Must I really read it??
Well… I mean that's between you and God really.
Jesus came to Earth so we might have a chance to be children of God. The whole New Testament about Jesus explains how we are saved by believing in Him, and how this is even possible because He shed His blood, died, and rose again. Listen:
- Matthew 10:34
- 34Think not that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace, but a sword.
- Ephesians 6:17
- 17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
God says that the absolute most important command is to love God, and then your neighbor.
- Matthew 22:37
- 37Jesus said unto him, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. ^^40On these 2 commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
Is it any coincidence that in the Old Testament, we have this?
- Deuteronomy 6:5
- 5And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest at thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
His greatest commandment of love is written - spoken - side by side with instructions on studying His Word. How much more reason could possibly be given?
May faith in God and a desire to study His Word continue to be in our hearts, by His grace. Amen.