“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” ~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17
If you could describe the Bible in just one word, what word would you use?
The first word I thought of is ‘amazing’. I absolutely love the Bible. Everything from the drama in the Old Testament, to the beautiful poetry in Psalms, the wisdom in Proverbs, the redemption and teaching in the New Testament, and the promise of streets of gold in Revelation.
As much as I love the Bible, sometimes I read passages I don’t like and feel a little uncomfortable. Especially when I read about Jacob a few weeks ago, I kept thinking, Jacob is so terrible. Why didn’t God just stop him in all his deceit and manipulation? Or like the time every boy in Bethlehem from two years old and younger was killed because Herod was threatened by the new King. I thought, but they were just babies. Their mamas didn’t deserve this. They didn’t deserve this. Why did this have to happen?
But as I begin to dig deeper into the Word, pray for understanding, find parallels, and begin to see the reasoning behind God’s acts in the OT and prophecies being fulfilled in The Gospels, I realize that the words I’m reading are actually from the holy and sovereign Maker of the Universe, and there is a purpose for every word.
If we are Christians, then that means we believe the Bible to be true, right? We believe God created the universe, Adam and Eve sinned, Jesus died and rose again, and one day Jesus is coming back for His people. But what about the little tidbits of information between those monumental moments of the Bible? What about the Bible verses we don’t use as a caption for our Instagram pictures? The ones we skim over and maybe want to forget about; you know, the ones that address sin and hell.
It’s easy to post our favorite encouraging Bible verses and recite John 3:16 until we run out of breath. Believing the happy parts of the Bible is easy and comfortable. It’s what we want to hear. It’s what we want to share with others, because surely the happy Bible verses won’t scare them away. It’s those verses that won’t offend people. If we only use those Bible verses, we’ll save ourselves from trouble.
But dear reader, the only trouble-free promise the Bible gives us is heaven, and us Christians have a job to do until then.
The Bible is our instruction manual. Psalm 119:105 says the Bible is a lamp to our feet and light to our path. Paul writes, “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:12-17, NIV) There are many more verses on the importance and truthfulness of God’s word in the Bible. I encourage you to study them.
As Bible-believers, we must believe and live every part of God’s word. The good parts and the ones about God’s promises, but also the ones where Jesus tells us what choices are sinful and the parts that make us uncomfortable. Even the parts that disagree with the world, our friends, and our family.
The Bible isn’t a buffet. It wasn’t meant to have some parts used and others skipped. That’s not how it works. If one makes the argument that it is outdated, remember that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, and His word will never pass away (Heb. 13:8, Mt. 24:35). God wasn’t wasting His breath when He spoke. There is purpose for and in His word. It’s transformative and powerful!
We will come across hardships for standing true on God’s word. The Bible is offensive and unpopular, but the reward for following it is so much greater!
The Bible is our direction as we pass through this earth into our eternal home.