The Word of God has been under attack since the beginning. When the serpent said to Eve, “Did God really say…” in Genesis 3:2, he was undermining the accuracy of God’s Word. When she responded that God indeed did say that eating the forbidden fruit would lead to death, the serpent replied in verse 4, “No! You will not die.” In doing so, the serpent attacked authority of God’s Word.
And so began the first of an onslaught of attacks on God and His Word. As God revealed His Word in written form, the Bible became the target to these attacks. Throughout history, there have been tidal waves of attacks against the Word of God. Each generation seems to offer an increasingly aggressive approach to these attacks. We find ourselves in a current culture that is not content to discredit the Word of God. They are intent on destroying the Word of God.
This onslaught has reached beyond our culture and has invaded our churches. Some of the most popular preachers of our time have failed to stand firm on the accuracy and authority of God’s Word. They are changing its message to make it more “palatable” to those who wish to destroy it altogether.
When it comes to what we believe about the Bible, Christians ought to hold fast to two non-negotiable truths.
- The Word of God is Real. It is absolutely true. It is absolutely accurate. It is absolutely real. Is the Bible spiritually accurate? Of course! But is the Bible historically accurate? What about scientifically accurate? These are questions that some have concluded cannot be true.
So can the Bible be spiritually real but historically flawed? Can we trust it for salvation but ignore the “unscientific” miracles found within? What about when the spiritual truths taught in Scripture intersect with science and history? All Christians believe in the resurrection as essential to our salvation. But science teaches us that once something is dead – particularly for three days – it cannot return to life.
The only conclusion is that either the Word of God is real or it isn’t. Either the Bible can be trusted historically, scientifically, and spiritually, or it can’t. To discredit any of the Bible is to discredit all of the Bible. Otherwise, who gets to pick and choose what is true and what is false?
By the way, the more researchers honestly examine the Bible for historical accuracy, the more they come to understand how much the Word of God lines up with the historical account of man. As paleontologist examine the history of humanity and specifically the Jewish people, the more they validate it’s accuracy.
It is important to note that the Bible is not a history book or a science book. I do not recommend you using it as your sole textbook for science or history. But don’t discredit it either. As Christians, we have to have confidence that the Word of God is real.
- The Word of God is Relevant. If you can concede that the Bible is accurate, you may still find yourself wondering of the Bible is applicable. After all, it was written over a period of several thousand years. The most recent lwritings we have were probably written in the late first century. Can they really still be relevant to us today?
The answer is a resounding “yes!” 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that “All Scripture is inspired by God [it is real] and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness.” In other words, all Scripture is relevant for you for all generations. It is teaching you right from wrong. It is rebuking you and pointing out what you’ve personally done wrong. It is correcting you, showing you how to do right. And it is training you for how to navigate the Christian life.
All four of these principles can be found throughout Scripture. But the layout of the Bible lends itself to this progression. The Law tells us that there is a right and wrong. The nation of Israel demonstrates that despite our best efforts, we all do wrong and need correction. The crucifixion and resurrection of Christ is that correction. And the New Testament letters to the churches help us flesh out how to live in our new found salvation.
That’s not to say that training cannot be found in the Law or rebuke found in the letters of the New Testament. All Scripture is useful for these purposes. The entire Word of God is relevant.
Can you be a genuine Christian and deny that the Word of God is real and relevant? Jesus links Himself to the written Word of God in John 5:39: “You pore over the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, yet they testify about Me.” A denial of the authenticity or authority of the Bible is a denial of the One they testify about. The Bible is real. The Bible is relevant. These are non-negotiable for the Christian.