In part 1 here we discussed that we should not study the Bible for answers, but we should study it to find God. If we use the Bible to find our answers, we will fall prey to the error of the Pharisees. They knew the written Word of God better than anyone on planet earth, but when Jesus, God in the flesh appeared before them, they couldn’t recognize Him.
But something special happens when we place our faith in God, not in His Bible. When our faith is rooted in the God who wrote the Bible, it comes alive. It is no longer a dead compilation of poetry, prose and history, but a living, breathing extension of God Himself.
The distinction may be hard to recognize, but it makes all the difference in the world. It makes the difference between being a Christian who will inherit eternal life and a religious zealot who will spend eternity in the punishment and separation from God in hell.
Jesus didn’t honor the Pharisees’ and Sadducees’ scholarship of His Word by telling them good job. He didn’t tell them He was impressed by how many scriptures they had memorized, or how well they could recite the oral traditions. He called them “sons of hell” (Matthew 23:15). Those are tragically strong words for people who had seemingly devoted their lives to Him. And that is why this distinction is so important for us today.
Many Western Christians today have made the Bible their God. They study it, search it out and think that by their study they have eternal life. They teach others to do the same and in doing so they lead others astray. I know these are hard words, but they are the hard words of Jesus we must consider carefully.
God does not desire for us to know about Him. He desires us to be with Him. He makes this clear when He tells us what our eternal state will be.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
When Jesus walked among us, he spent time with the ones who wanted to be with Him. He encouraged Mary, who desired to be with Him and discouraged Martha, who desired to do things for Him (Luke 10:38-42). Our study and devotion to God cannot supersede our desire to be in relationship with Him.
Back To The Bible
And that brings us back to the Bible. How we view the Bible will determine a radical difference in our lives and eternal outcomes. I wholeheartedly believe that the Bible is the Word of God. I believe it is the inerrant revelation of God about Himself to us. I know many reasons why it is trustworthy as a document, but that pales in comparison to my faith in the God whom I have met and have an active relationship with. I trust the Bible because I know a good God who desires me to know Him.
His written Word is alive to me. Not because of the document itself, but because of the God who makes it alive.
When I was young, I studied the Bible because I thought it was what God wanted me to do. I read it to find answers to my questions. I read it to be a better Christian, which is what I thought I was supposed to do, and it totally ruined me. It wore me out. I hated it. Then I had an encounter with the Lord. I met Him and everything changed. The same Word that had brought me pain and death to my spirit was now bringing me life. It moved me and touched me. It changed me.
The difference was that I stopped asking the Bible for answers, and I started asking God for answers. That is when the Bible started answering my questions, not because it can do that by itself, but because it is inseparable from the God who answers.
Have you made the Bible your God, or have you searched for God and He led you to His Word? It makes all the difference in the World.
39You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40yet you refuse to come to me to have life.