How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth – Part I
And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:19-21
Our newest generation seems to really like Jesus, but not His Word so much. We are big on believing in Jesus, but reading the Bible we could “take it or leave it” (mostly leave it). There is speculation over the scriptures: which translation, what parts are commands, what can we dismiss…
The Church [universal] has contended from the beginning that these words of the Bible are divinely inspired, even inerrant. And what exactly does that mean anyway? Some Christian circles claim that all of scripture is inerrant. They mean there are no mistakes in translations along the way and every word was dictated by God to these more than 40 men who contributed to the 66 books of the Bible.
There is also a group who say that they only parts we can believe or follow are the “words in red”. Hence, they call themselves “Red Letter Christians”. Most translations of the Bible have the words of Christ in red. And a “Red Letter Christian” would subscribe primarily to the four Gospels, Acts, Revelation, and a few parts of Paul’s letters.
Finally, the Church of the Nazarene and other Wesleyan/Holiness groups fall into the category of “plenary inspiration and inerrancy”. They believe all of scripture was inspired by God. In other words, God inspired them by the power of the Holy Spirit to include the portions of scripture we call the Bible. There are some portions of scripture where God clearly dictated the words written, as we see in the prophets. And Moses records that God Himself inscribed the Law into the stone tablets with His own hand. But most of it was inspired. Some of it is journalistic, and some reads like a diary. We believe that the portions that declare the will of God and the salvation of God are inerrant, without error.
God wants to reveal Himself to us. He was not the one hiding in the garden in the pages of Genesis. Rather, He was calling out Adam’s name. And He is calling to you and me. He revealed Himself first through His spoken word, then His written word, and finally the Word became flesh and dwelt among us as the person of Jesus Christ. God still wants to reveal Himself to us through His Word.
Will you take this challenge with me in 2013? Let us read the Bible for all it’s worth. Read it prayerfully and consistently. Read it expecting to see Jesus in the pages from Genesis to Revelation. Set a measurable goal; 5 minutes, 2 paragraphs, etc, and do it daily. The Words of this book promise to transform our minds and eventually our spirits.
Keep fighting the good fight of faith!