While some may think that this question is not necessary, a recent Gallup poll, unfortunately, says otherwise. According to this poll, 49% of Americans say that the Bible is the inspiredWord of God but it should not be interpreted literally. Others state it is basically a book of legends and stories, no more real than Aesop’s Fables. (You can see the poll HERE)
So, why do so few people believe the Bible is God’s Word? The way I see it, there are several factors that may contribute:
- · Media teaching otherwise
- · God’s removal from school and public areas (10 commandments in courthouse, no prayer in public/political gatherings, etc.)
- · Churches relaxing their doctrine “to attract more people into their congregation” (in other words, they deny the Truth in order to serve and satisfy the world)
- · It is easier
I want to expound upon the final point (the others are self explanatory).
It is easier to “cherry pick” scriptures, finding those you can live with and discarding those that restrict you too much. It is easier to relax your own beliefs and talk yourself into accepting that the Bible is not God’s actual Word, but rather writings inspired by God (big difference), than it is to follow that narrow path.
The alternative to denying the Word is, of course, knowing that the Bible is God’s Word and that carries a lot of responsibility. It means that you are held to a certain standard.
Accepting the Bible as God’s Word and interpreting it literally draws you closer to God. You become one of His. To accept the Truth and follow the Word of God means a shedding of this world. It means a dying of the flesh.
By nature, we humans are sinful. We can try to do our best to live the way Jesus taught, but it isn’t always easy and we will fail. That is why we cleanse ourselves in the blood – daily. That is why we repent and ask for forgiveness daily, because our human nature defies us. Whether it is thoughts, words spoken, acts or anything else, we still sin and do things that are not pleasing to God.
The Apostle Paul said, “I die daily.” If it wasn’t easy for him, it certainly isn’t easy for us!
So, with that in mind, it is easier for folks to simply surrender to the flesh, to live in the world because it is easier than walking with God.
But is it really?
Living by God’s Word (the Bible) gives us the tools to kill the flesh and overcome the world. We find joy that can’t be found anywhere else. I have a peace that cannot be replicated by anyone or anything else.
Living in the Word, truly living in the Word, helps us deflect bitterness, anger, frustration, depression, hatred and other non-productive emotions that eat away at us. While we may be faced with these emotions, we can use God’s Word to combat them and we can be released.
In John 14:23-24, Jesus said, “If anyone loves me he will cherish my word; my Father will love him and we will come to him and make him our abode. He that does not love me neglects my words. Yet the word you hear is not my own but that of the Father who sent me.”
Now, why would Jesus say that the Bible was the Word of God if it wasn’t so? How can Christians ignore this?
Yes, it was written by different people throughout history; people who were working under God. God was working through them. There is history there in the accounts by different people, but the instruction from God is recorded in the Bible and is His infallible Word.
Let’s look at 2 Timothy 3:15-17 (KJV)
15And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
I researched the etymology of “inspiration” in this scripture. The translation here is somewhat misleading for this era because the true meaning has been lost.
I won’t get into it too much. If you are interested, email me and I will send you more info. However, I will tell you that the literal translation of the words from the Greek term is closer in meaning to “spiration,” not really “inspiration.” Spiration means to breathe out, meaning that the literal translation means the Word is God-breathed.
Another way to understand it is that “inspire” comes from the basic Latin verb “inspirare” which means (literally) “to breathe into, upon or in.” So when the verse above says that all scripture is given by the inspiration of God, it means that it is the creative breath of God that brought the Word, the Bible, into existence.
The Bible IS the Word of God.