How do we really know the Bible is God's words and not just people's imaginations?

This is SUCH an important question.  Why?  Well, for one thing, I've been trying to answer all our questions in this series based on what the Bible says.  The series is called 'Ask GOD Anything', not 'Ask DAVE anything'!  I'm convinced the Bible really is God's words.

 

Why would anyone believe this?

 

The best way I've heard it summed up is like this:

It claims to be, 

it seems to be,

and it proves to be. 

 

First, it CLAIMS to be.  The Bible claims to be God's words.  It claims this in lots of places and in various ways but here's one of the clearest places the Bible claims to be God's words...

2 Timothy 3:16-17

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.

Here the Bible is claiming that every last bit of it is "God-breathed", meaning basically, "God wrote this!"  But that's not all it claims.  It's USEFUL!  Well, if it's God's words, you'd expect it to be useful wouldn't you?!  Of course you would.  Useful for what?  Well there's a list...

TEACHING - Learning about God and his big plan for everything, including us and how we can know him and live life his way - the Bible sets us on the right path in life if we trust and follow Jesus - the one the whole thing is about.

REBUKING - This word means "telling off".  If we stray from the right path, the Bible helps to tell us HOW and WHY we've gone wrong.  It shows us where we fall short of God's best for us. 

CORRECTING - Telling off isn't enough though, the Bible also is useful for helping us know how to bet set right again.  How to be right with God but also how to see change, learn and grow, with God's Holy Spirit at work in and through us as Christians.

TRAINING - For the person who has a friendship with God through Jesus, this cycle of learning from God, getting it wrong and with his help going right again, is a normal part of this life we live and it leads to slow but sure transformation and maturity.  If we've been trusting and following Jesus for a long time, we can look back and see how God's word has helped us with this too. We've bee TRAINED by it to live life WITH GOD, through Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit living in us!


Second, it SEEMS to be.  This one depends on what happens to you and in you as you prayerfully, read and study what the Bible says. Many have read the Bible and got nothing from it, or maybe some bits they like and ditched the rest.  But many others have read the same Bible and encountered God, had their lives saved by Jesus and transformed by the Holy Spirit through the words they've read.

One friend of mine used to be an atheist and had such a hatred of the Bible that he would literally poo and wee on it in the toilet!  Then one day he started to seriously read what was in the Bible's pages and he knew God was speaking to him!  Today he's a faithful follower of Jesus... with a brilliantly weird and wonderful story to tell!

There are LOADS of stories like this.  It's subjective I know.  That means you have to read it FOR YOURSELF.  Expose yourself to it.  Experience it.  Read the thing!  Don't make your mind up about the Bible until you've read it for yourself.  If it really is God's words, then there's every possibility you'll encounter him as you read what he's got to say to you.  What have you got to lose?

I would recommend praying first, even if you're not sure.  TELL GOD you're not sure but that you want to hear from him.  Then read.  I suggest starting with John's gospel.  It starts at the beginning of EVERYTHING and tells us all about Jesus.  It's a good place to start.  Read it ALL.  Don't skip bits or rush.  Bit-by-bit, you'll make it through John's gospel and have a pretty good idea what (or rather WHO) the whole Bible is about and what it's got to do with YOU!  And you may have even sensed in your spirit that it's not just paper and ink on a page, or pixels on a screen, but GOD HIMSELF speaking to your heart and inviting you to come to him.  You won't know unless you give it a try.

Psalm 34:8

Taste and see that the LORD is good.  Bless is the person who goes to him for safety.

 

And thirdly, it proves to be.  This is personal again but very practical.  There are countless stories of Christians who are reading, studying and trusting and living by the words of the Bible and finding that over the years, God has spoken, guided and empowered them to discover a deepening relationship with him, and the things they need from him to live this life, and to look forward to the eternal kind of life he's got planned for us too.  They're finding that God's wisdom for life actually is the best wisdom available and makes things work the way they should more often than not.  They're enjoying daily conversation with their Creator through Bible reading and prayer.  And they're finding that God has kept every single promise they've read.


That's my simple answer anyway.  Why am I convinced the Bible isn't just people's imaginations but that it's really God's words through human writers???  It claims to be, it seems to be and it proves to be.


Want to explore more?  The Alpha film on this is really good and it's well worth 25 minutes to watch it!


But then have a good READ of what God's got to say to you today.  Don't miss that!! 

 

Matthew 4:4

Jesus answered, ‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” ’

 

Next week we start our new series with The Meeting House church in Canada.  Click here to find out more!