“Every word proves true…”
As the new year is rapidly approaching, people often tend to make new commitments and resolutions. There is just something about starting anew that gives us a sense of having a clean slate. I would like to challenge us all and see how we really believe concerning the Bible’s testimony to itself.
A testimony of itself? When we think about something or someone bearing witness to themselves, in this age, we think how prideful, how self-exalting, how arrogant, but yet, that is exactly what the Bible does. Of course, if indeed there is falsehood to be found in the Scriptures, then the said mentioned would be true, but regarding the Bible, this could not be further from the truth.
Now, instead of going down a rabbit trail and entering into the realm of apologetics, I want use to examine what we really believe about what the Scriptures say regarding themselves. Below are just a few passages for us to think about.
“Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.”
“This God—his way is perfect;
the word of the Lord proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.”
“The words of the Lord are pure words,
like silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
purified seven times.”
“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
“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.”
“And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
“I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”
What did you think about the verses above? Are any new to you? If not, when was the last time you really thought upon and prayed through these? You see, if God’s word in how it speaks of itself is indeed true, and it is, we then have a serious mandate ever before us. If we claim we believe the passages above are indeed true, being inspired, inerrant, and sufficient, and we do not seek out to know all of the words (the full council of God) contained within, our proclamation of personal belief in the Scriptures is tainted. For how can we say we believe what the Book (Bible) says, yet have no real idea what it has said?
Listen to what George Whitefield had to say about the Scriptures shortly after he was truly converted. Keep in mind, he was only 20 years old at the time.
“My mind being now more open and enlarged, I began to read the Holy Scriptures upon my knees, laying aside all other books, and praying over, if possible, every line and word. This proved meat indeed, and drink indeed, to my soul. I daily received fresh life, light, and power from above. [I got more true knowledge from reading the Book of God in one month, than I could ever have acquired from all the writings of men. In one word.] I found it profitable for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, every way sufficient to make the man of God perfect, thoroughly furnished unto every good word and work.”
~ George Whitefield Journals, pg. 20, Year 1735
Worse than a simple nod of the head in agreement of the Bible’s testimony to itself, is that we would read the words printed and not heed their teaching and deep rooted application unto our soul. For to live, having both agreeing with the written word and having read the word, in defiance to the written word, is to set proof against our own profession of faith. “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?” Luke 6:46
Consider what George Muller has said about the Bible.
“In his ninety-second year, he said to the writer, that for every page of any other reading he was sure he read ten of the Bible.” ~ George Muller of Bristol, by A.T.Pierson, pg. 49
“First of all, it is of the utmost moment that we regularly read through the Scripture. We ought not to turn over the Bible, and pick out chapters as we please here and there, but to read it regularly through. We should read carefully and regularly through the Scriptures. I speak advisedly, and as one who has known the blessedness of thus reading the Word for the last forty-six years. I say forty-six years, because for the first four years of my Christian life I did not carefully read the word of God. I used to read a tract, or an interesting book; but I knew nothing of the power of the Word. I read next to nothing of it and the result was, that, though a preacher then, and though I had preached in connection with the establishment made no progress in the divine life. And why? Just for this reason, that I neglected the word of God.”
“If any believers read this, who practically prefer other books to the Holy Scriptures, and who enjoy the writings of men much more than the word of God, may they be warned by my loss. I shall consider this book to have been the means of doing much good, should it please the Lord, through its instrumentality, to lead some of His people no longer to neglect the Holy Scriptures, but to give them that preference, which they have hitherto bestowed on the writings of men. My dislike to increase the number of books would have been sufficient to deter me from writing these pages, had I not been convinced, that this is the only way in which the brethren at large may be benefited through my mistakes and errors, and been influenced by the hope, that in answer to my prayers, the reading of my experience may be the means of leading them to value the Scriptures more highly, and to make them the rule of all their actions.”
Let us this coming year, seek to authentically examine, respond and live out the faith by which we claim. Let us start afresh with the testimony of the Scriptures themselves and then move forward in being both renewed in mind and presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice, in all we do, think, and say, unto God. (Romans 12:1-2)
What do you and I really believe about the Bible?