‘God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life’ (John 3:16). Is this true? Can we believe it? They’re only words printed on a page after all, translated from an ancient language over two thousand years ago. At the beginning of the Bible we read a profound and sometimes controversial statement: ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’ (Genesis 1:1). How do we know? A friend said to me recently, “What difference does it make, it’s only words?” Yet as Christians we believe them to be the eternal truth, a true record of God’s message of salvation for the world.
Jesus often quoted scripture from what we call the Old Testament, and sometimes added the phrase, ‘it is written.’ On the road to Emmaus, ‘beginning with Moses and all the prophets, He explained to them what was written in the Scriptures about Himself’ (Luke 24:28). There are many references to Jesus in the Old Testament, written hundreds of years before He appeared on earth. How did the writers know, so far in advance of His coming?
The Bible is made up of sixty-six books, written by forty different authors from several countries over a period of 1500 years, yet a common thread runs through them all. It describes in various ways the theme of God and the development of His purposes, the rise and fall of the human race and the redemption of mankind. There are so many links through many of the books, that it would seem impossible for the writers to have collaborated with each another over the centuries during which they were written.
Like no other book there is a spirit behind the words. How else could human beings describe the beginnings of the earth, the creation of mankind and the wisdom of God - not to mention a revelation of the end times - without some divine inspiration? The Bible demonstrates the power of these words, which comes from the source of life itself - God. The New Testament brings the personification of God in Jesus Christ to reveal the word of life to the world. ‘In the beginning was the Word.. and the Word was God’ (John 1:1). ‘And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us’ (John1:14).
To the unbeliever these are just paper words. But to the Christian, ‘you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you’ (John 14:17). The born again believer connects with the Spirit of God through the scriptures and a relationship is established with the Truth, who was from the beginning, bringing life and hope to all who receive Him.
The same spirit that runs throughout the Bible can be received by all who read and accept its truth. The Holy Spirit can transform lives by a relationship with the living God, to live through Him into eternity. Not by paper words, but by words of life.
Prayer: Lord, where can I run to? You alone have the words of eternal life. Nothing the world can offer comes near to the joy of Your presence. Thank You Lord Jesus, may I never lose the awe and wonder of it all, that my life may be a demonstration of your Truth which is available to all. Show me how to share Your life with others, that they too may come to Your cross of salvation and know the hope and peace you offer, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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