Friday, May 1, 2015

“The Author and the Book"

     You may have heard the old adage that "the Bible is the only book in the world that comes with its Author."  I once believed this wholeheartedly, and still maintain a measure of devotion to the premise, based on the Apostle Paul's declaration in II Timothy 3:16: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."

   The caveat regarding the adage involves the fact that the Bible can only be rightly understood and interpreted as aided by the Holy Spirit.  

    "As it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.  But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit.  For the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.  For what man knoweth the things of man, save the spirit of man which his in him?  Even so, the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.  Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we might know that things that are freely given to us of God" (I Corinthians 2:9-12).

    An unbeliever reading the Bible can grasp the sublimely and breathtaking simple message of salvation, namely, that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for our sins, rose again, and saves all who believe on Him with their hearts (Romans 10:9-10).  Little interpretation of such truth is required, a primary reason the Bible calls us proclaim the message clearly and simply - "The Jews require a sign and the Greeks seek after wisdom.  But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness.  But unto them which are called, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God" (I Corinthians 1:22-24).  Beyond the basic Gospel message, however, interpretation is required.  The Holy Spirit must illuminate the Truth of God's Word, leading us to the sound principles of Scripture interpreting Scripture - "Precept must be upon precept, line upon line" - as He applies the Word of God to our walk with God (Isaiah 28:10).  Moreover, God calls preachers and teachers to aid us in our understanding and application thereof (Ephesians 4:11-15).  Unbelievers do not possess these gifts, and cannot avail themselves of teaching regarding the Christian life because they are not indwelt by the Life that constitutes us as Christians.  "The Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things" (John 14:26).

   Thus, I would cautiously affirm that the Author comes with the Book, so long as the reader is a Christ-inhabited son or daughter of that Author.  Otherwise, the Bible remains closed in the preponderance of its teaching and affirmation.  Moreover, even born again believers in the Lord Jesus must consciously acknowledge our need for the Holy Spirit's illumination, guidance, and understanding as we search the Scriptures.  The Author may well be with us, as He is with His Word.  We nevertheless require the humble, trusting heart that recognizes the Bible as a Voice no less than as a Book.  We must expect both doctrinal and personal impact as we open its sacred pages, and as we meet with the Holy One who awaits us therein, even as He leads us thereunto.

"We have a more sure Word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the Day Star arise in your hearts.  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scriptures is of any private interpretation.  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."
(II Peter 1:19-21)

Weekly Memory Verse
    Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.
(II Peter 1:2)


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