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How important is the Bible to the believer?
|Created by Gerard de Vos|
Category: Bible related
Jesus is our Lord and Teacher. He not only came to die for our sins as the Savior, but He also set the example of how we should live. This was not only by the washing of the disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17), but in all aspects of His life, prayer, devotion to God, dependence on the Holy Spirit and helping others.
His life on earth was governed by the Holy Spirit, the Old Testament Scriptures and fellowship with His Father.
1. He was filled with the Holy Spirit: He was conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20), was filled with the Holy Spirit at baptism (Matthew 3:16), was led by the Spirit to the desert and His confrontation with the devil (Matthew 4:1)), was anointed by the Spirit to preach, heal, deliver and open blind eyes (Luke 4:18-19). Should not the Holy Spirit be the controlling ‘factor’ in our lives?
2. He acknowledged the Scriptures as binding on Him. There are many quotations in the New Testament that explain how the prophecies about Jesus were fulfilled (Matthew 2:5,14,15,17, 23; 4:14; 13:35; Luke 4:20; Acts 2:27,31,33,34; 3:18, et cetera). They make it clear that His life was planned long before He actually came to earth. It was predetermined before the creation of the world (1 Peter 1:20) that Jesus would come to earth as a man to die for our sins, as prophesied in Genesis 3:15. Every step was determined by words of God written in the Old Testament (2 Peter 1:21). This is summarized in Luke 24:44 ‘Everything must be fulfilled that is written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms’ and in John 19:28 (on the cross) ‘knowing that all was now completed, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”’ Jesus knew what the design of the Scriptures was: it foretold His life, work and accomplishment of salvation (Matthew 5:17-18). (It is of the utmost importance that we understand that the Holy Spirit inspired the writing of Scripture. It was not the brain child of men. They only wrote down what God determined - Acts 1:16, 3:17, 4:25, 28:25). Should not the Scriptures be the controlling ‘factor’ in our lives?
If Christ is our Saviour, our perfect example of living in fellowship with the Father, can we do any better than to imitate Him? In Ephesians 5:1 it is written, ‘be imitators of God’. As Jesus is the exact representation of God (Hebrews 1:3), we should be imitators of Jesus. If Jesus knew that the Scriptures foretold His life and the accomplishment of salvation, we should search the Bible to find out how it tells us to live. God wouldn’t give us the example that Jesus lived according to the Scriptures and then use a completely different method with us. This does not mean that the Bible gives specifics like it gives about Jesus’ birthplace, His stay in Nazareth, et cetera. But it has a lot to say about our attitude, as well as what will determine the outcome of our lives. Let us look at a few aspects of how Scripture determines many facets of our lives:
1) It leads to salvation or eternal life (John 12:50; 1 Peter 1:23; 2 Timothy 3:16).
2) It establishes faith (Romans 10:17). Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).
3) It teaches what life is about, why I am here, what I am supposed to do, and where I will end (Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 10:1-12).
4) It leads to sanctification or doing what is right (2 Thessalonians 3:13; Romans 16:26).
5) In the battle against sin and the devil, Jesus taught us the value of the Scriptures (Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-13).
6) It leads to fellowship with and love for the Father and the Son (Luke 8:21, John 14:21,23,15; 1 John 5:3).
7) It leads to effective prayer (John 15:7; 1 John 3:22; 5:14,15).
Conclusion: Scripture is to us what it was to Jesus: the link to the Father. As Jesus’ life was determined by it, our lives should be also. The advice of God to Joshua is applicable to us: ‘Do not let this book of the Law depart from your mouth’ (Joshua 1:8). In other words, study this book continually, because it will profit you greatly.