The Word tells us that “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). The profitability of the Bible is based on its divine origin, not just that there’s good information to pull from, but that it contains ultimate truth and absolute authority. God Himself breathed out the words into the hearts and minds of prophets, historians, pastors, apostles, and even prisoners! These messengers wrote, not by their own will, but by God’s will as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21).
God makes His eternal power and divinity known through the things we see in creation, so that we must testify to a basic knowledge of God that helps us know He exists, He is powerful, and He is divine. However, this knowledge alone is a great start but not sufficient in leading us to salvation in Christ. This is why the Word of God is necessary. If we could only know God through creation and without the aid of His Word and the work of His Spirit, we would be left in our sins. The fullness of God’s revelation of Himself is through the Word. God not only shows us that He exists, but He tells us! The God of the universe spoke the world into existence. He created light and sky and land and sea and vegetation and the sun and the moon and stars and all manner of creatures in land, sea, and sky. This culminated in calling forth humanity to be fruitful and to multiply and to fill and subdue and maintain dominion and stewardship over all His creation. Into this world, He called His Son Jesus to be born in the womb of a virgin, and to live more than thirty years in complete obedience to Him, before dying on a cross to atone for the sins of humanity. Christ is the Word who was with God from the beginning (John 1:1) and who is indeed God made flesh (John 1:14). Jesus Christ and the gospel He brings is the full and final Word of God to humanity.
“The Word is active. It works, but we rest. We rest in the finished work of Christ.”
As a kid, I loved Friday and Saturday night boxing matches. My dad and I would prepare for a big event by baking our favorite boxed, yellow cake mix with loads of chocolate icing, and covering the entire cake with pecan halves. We devoured big slices of the warm, gooey cake with a huge scoop of butter pecan ice cream while watching fighters work their way up the ranks to win all the world title belts in their weight class, in hopes of one day becoming the next “undisputed world champion” in boxing. I can mark my childhood by celebrating the victories of boxing greats like Muhammad Ali, Evander Holyfield, Marvin Hagler, and Roy Jones, Jr. An undisputed champion is without rival, fully accepted, undeniable. God’s Word is also indisputable, eclipsing all other sacred writings. No other religious or secular text has ever come close to the Bible in its accuracy, trustworthiness, or its authority over all creation. Why is this? It’s not because someone wrote the Bible, laid it beside other great works, and found it to be the best among equals. It’s because the Bible is not a mere book. It is, in essence, without error and without rival because God breathed truth into hearts and minds, onto scrolls, and in ink through men as they were carried along by God’s Spirit.
Think of all the things you’ve verbalized or thought you needed in the past twenty-four hours. Here are some of the things I’ve said I need today. I need a break. I need chocolate. I need time to myself. I need to stretch my legs. I need to figure out what we’re going to eat for dinner. I need to pick up my son from soccer practice. I need to respond to a text message. I need a new pair of jeans to replace my ripped ones (although ripped jeans are in fashion so maybe I’ll keep them). I need a massage. And it’s only the middle of the afternoon! There’s so much day left and so many more “needs” to come! God’s Word meets our most pressing spiritual needs while He also promises to care for our physical (Matthew 6:30) and emotional needs (Isaiah 26:3). The Lord gives us what we need for our soul’s satisfaction. His Word awakens us to His grace and mercy and offers us wisdom and joy and enlightenment. Through the Word of God, we are warned against sin, encouraged to be discerning, and shown the blessings of righteous and holy living as we await our eternal reward.
Any decent chef will tell you the most important tool in the kitchen is a good, sharp chef ’s knife. Believe it or not, a dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one. It takes way more effort to use a dull knife. The knife is more likely to slip off the item being cut, creating a higher chance of injury. A sharp knife is precise. It cuts clean through flesh and bone. And so it is with God’s Word. We’re told in Hebrews 4 that “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (4:12). This verse comes at the end of a long section on Sabbath rest. We’re told in verse 11 that we are to strive to enter God’s rest, which is ours when we believe in Christ. We enter His rest when we cease from our strivings and self-effort and depend on Him for strength, wisdom, grace, and more. Rest does not mean inactivity. The Word is active. It works, but we rest. We rest in the finished work of Christ. We rest in His care. We rest in knowing God’s Word probes and exposes every thought and intention of our hearts and is effective in accomplishing all His purposes in our lives.
by Kristie Anyabwile
Don’t just read the Bible literally—read it Literarily. A lot of times, we treat Scripture like it’s all the same from Genesis...
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