When I was a college student, I had a friend who had a problem with the truth. It’s not that he had a problem hearing the truth; he had a problem telling the truth. That’s a nice way of saying he was a liar. He was always making up stories so others would be impressed with him. Since he only told the truth only part of the time, I was not able to believe him any of the time – I never trusted him.
I had a similar problem with the Bible. Some people, such as a few of my teachers and friends, claimed that the information in the Bible about creation and miracles just simply wasn’t true. I was confused by what they said, but I thought that I couldn’t argue with “science.” My trust in the Bible as “God’s Word” began to decline as I trusted more in what my teachers said rather than in the Bible.
I had a second problem with the Bible when I was in college. I had never really read it! Of course I had read parts - small parts - but not the whole thing and not in context with what the rest of the Bible says. I also felt that it was so big and too complicated. I could never get through it. I could never really understand it. I depended upon others to tell me what it said and what it meant.
After the difficult season in my life, I felt that I needed to make a decision. I needed to trust God’s Word or reject it as simply a collection of stories from the past. It was during this season that I investigated the Bible and discovered some important facts. I learned that in the Old Testament there were over 300 prophecies written about Jesus, and He had fulfilled every single one of them. These prophecies were written years before He was born. I also learned that even though over forty different people from thirteen different countries and three continents wrote the Bible, it has perfect unity, is without contradictions, and points toward the common theme of God’s plan to save us because of His love. The more I studied, the more I discovered that the Bible doesn’t contradict science - it contradicts the opinions of certain scientists! There are actually scientists who agree with the Bible’s account of creation. After discovering these facts, I decided to trust the Bible. Sometimes I don’t understand it, but I trust it as God’s Word. KEY THEOLOGY
The Bible is God’s Word. Every word of it is the truth. He gave it to us to help us discover how to learn more about Him, how to love Him more, and how to love one another. Reading it will help us “grow up” strong in our faith. Here’s what the Bible says about itself:
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.II Timothy 3:16-17
As you read earlier, many different people wrote the Bible over a long period of time. God filled each author with his Holy Spirit so they would write his exact message for his people.
The Bible has two major divisions, the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament teaches us about the beginning of all things, how sin became a problem and about the old covenant (or promise) of how God would relate to people. It is also filled with prophecy about Jesus coming to earth in order to take away our guilt and sin and fill us with hope and joy. The New Testament teaches us about the coming of Jesus. It is filled with his miracles and his teachings. It also teaches us about the establishment of the New Testament church, how to live for Jesus, and about the future return of Jesus. Both the New Testament and the Old Testament are important to us so that we can understand God’s plan. The message of the Bible is that our sin separates us from a relationship with God. It tells us what God has done in order to restore our relationship with Him. It teaches us how great God is and how much He values us and loves us. KEY TRUTH
The Bible is God’s word and all of it is true and helpful. KEY VERSE
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 KEY QUESTIONS
What do you believe about the Bible? Why do you believe it?
How does your belief about the Bible affect the way you live your life?
Do you think it is important to read and study the Bible?
What does it mean when the Bible says that “all Scripture is God-breathed”?
In what way is the Bible “living and active”?
If you struggle with understanding the Bible, what are some things you could do to improve your understanding?
• Get an easier translation?
• Have an adult or friend help you?
• Talk to a pastor or Sunday school teacher?
• Buy a book (Bible Commentary) to help you?
What step are you going to take to grow in your trust and understanding of God’s Word?