As stated in The Bible Toolbox, part 1, we believe that people possess the capabilities to comprehend and understand the message of the Bible through a careful and prayerful reading of God’s Word. In this part of the “toolbox”, we will briefly consider: the Bible as the Source of Truth and the Bible provides Direction for Daily Living.
The Source of Truth
We live in a world that has advanced in many domains – medicine, science, knowledge, technology, communication and information to name a few. Today, everything is questioned and more information is sought before decisions are made. The Bible claims that it is the source of truth. It was Jesus himself that said this when praying to his Father in heaven: “Sanctify them in the truth; your (God’s) word is truth” (John 17:17, ESV).
About one thousand years earlier, King David of Israel said of God’s word, “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether” (Psalm 19:7-9, ESV).
These are not statements to be taken lightly or to be followed blindly. They claim that the Bible is from God and that it is true. Two immediate benefits from an acknowledgement of these claims are that: it necessitates closer examination to determine the accuracy of the claim; and that in examining the Bible, one comes to appreciate that there are right ways and wrong ways to live our lives in the eyes of God. This is a great source of comfort in a world in which we are bombarded by more and more conflicting information. It may lead one to ask, just as Pontius Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” (John 18:38, ESV).
In fact, the Bible asks to be put to the test: “Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:20-21, ESV). “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1, ESV).
The challenge and the benefit that the Bible provides in claiming to be the source of truth is to read it seriously with an eye for the detail. Does it accurately describe the sinful state of humanity? Does it speak of people, places and events accurately? Does the direction for life that it gives prove to work? These are questions we may ask ourselves. Of course, in order to determine the answers to some of these questions, one may look to the areas of study such as archaeology and history.
Direction for Living
The Bible can provide guidance and direction for our lives each day. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105, ESV).
In fact, one of the claims to test is that God says that His word is like a light that shines in dark place. God’s evaluation of what humanity has done to His creation is that it has been made into a “dark place”; one in which people have difficulty seeing clearly in terms of the right way to live. This is seen in the following Bible passage: “And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:19-21, ESV).
The Bible challenges us to read it regularly and put it to the test. It claims that its teachings are true and right. Just like a light that shines through the darkness, the Bible provides a path to guide us in a good and proper way that pleases God.
The Bible claims that it is profitable or helpful to provide direction for daily living. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, ESV).
The Apostle Paul lists the following advantages that the Bible provides to equip the believer with the necessary tools:
• Teaching or doctrine
• Instruction or education
It may not come easy to accept that the Bible is the source of Truth or that there is a “truth” at all; however, the Creator invites us to check His word out and prove it for ourselves. If we can accept that God is the creator of all things and that His word is the source of truth, then we can realize that the Bible also provides direction for our lives. These truths are timeless, so although they were written thousands of years ago in in another part of the world, we have direction for living in the 21st century. That is truly amazing!