I am convinced that, particularly in the age in which we live, the adjective, “biblical”, has become of utmost importance. It is definitive, separating true Christianity from all that is not according to Christ. There are many false Christs, but the true Christ is a “biblical” Christ – that is, the One that has been revealed by the Spirit of God through the scriptures commonly known as The Bible.
There have always been vain philosophies of human device, along with false religions in pursuit of false deities. But there is also a “christianity” which ought not to be called Christianity – that is, a false christianity – a christianity that is not biblically based. True Christianity is a biblical Christianity – the Christianity, originally known as “The Way” (John 14:6; Acts 9:2; 18:25; 19:9, 23; 22:4; 24:14, 22), which Jesus initiated – namely, the Christianity that is delineated in the Bible. Therefore, the term “biblical” is definitive, separating the true Christ and true Christianity from all that is otherwise.
The Bible has wrongfully received some “bad press” in recent years. Its detractors are, I believe, intellectually dishonest. I say this because I have never once read nor heard a detractor of the Bible convincingly display mastery of the Bible itself. Their arguments are based on extra-biblical sources, from which they arrogantly spout smug statements contrary to the Bible which are scientifically unfounded and, or historically unverified.
You may think of me as being “cynical”, but this is what I think is motivating the activity behind most of the detractors of the Bible: Notoriety and profit. The acceptance of doctoral dissertations, as well as the awarding of publishing contracts all too often go to those who will purport the “weird and wonderful”. Much scientific theorizing (being presented as “fact”) is simply done in an effort to gain grant monies and, or to maintain “job security” in the academic and scientific fields. The plethora of pop-academics, pseudo-scientists, and humanistic theologians writing books and appearing on various media platforms are making a good living off the masses who are literally buying into “the pitch” fueling their lucrative speaking and writing careers. And, unfortunately, if someone does not have sufficient time to research true science and history as well as, study what the Bible is really all about, it seems expedient to just assume that these self-proclaimed experts know what they are talking about. In this way, those with financial and quasi-religious/philosophical agendas have been able to mislead those who are Biblically illiterate. And this has been the case throughout human history.
The Bible addresses the ultimate questions in life, and we really cannot afford to try “do life” without the answers. The Creator God – the Author, the Giver, the Sustainer, and the Perfector of life – has chosen to reveal Himself – through His creation, then through the Old and New Testament scriptures of the Bible, and ultimately, through His Son, Jesus Christ. We can see a reflection of God in the creation; and He has most perfectly revealed Himself through the Man, Jesus of Nazareth. But we cannot sufficiently know Him, His Spirit nor His Christ as He intended, without knowing the biblical scriptures through which He has chosen to reveal Himself. In fact, the Spirit of God has inspired the scriptures, given us the scriptures, and preserved the scriptures through the ages specifically so that humanity could cease “groping in the dark” (Acts 17:27), and be able to seek, find, and come to know and love their Creator and Redeemer.
The word of God, speaking through the biblical scriptures, is “living and active”(Hebrews 4:12). The Bible is an “inter-active” book in the truest sense of the word. God created us because He is pleased by having relationship with us. We relate to a living God, not to a book. But you cannot relate to One you do not know (nor “worship what you do not know”) (John 422). God inspired, gave, and preserved the biblical scriptures for the purpose of revealing Himself to those with whom He desires relationship and to facilitate that relationship with Himself.
Jesus Christ, the Living Word, is revealed in the biblical scriptures. God inspired, gave, and preserved the biblical scriptures for the purpose of revealing Christ. In the Gospel of John, Jesus is recorded as saying: “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life, and it is they that bear witness about me … “ (John 5:39). He was not rebuking the Pharisees because they thought “that in them you have eternal life”. He was rebuking them because they were missing the testimony of Jesus in the scriptures. “For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10) It is in the biblical scriptures – and in the biblical scriptures alone – where we find the true Christ of God revealed.
A little later in John’s Gospel, Jesus said: “The Thief comes only to steal kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) Here, He is talking to people who already have a physical existence. He is obviously referring to a “life” which is above and beyond the biological. The Greek word here is zoë, meaning spiritual life. Jesus also said: “Life is spiritual. Your physical existence doesn’t contribute to that life. The words that I have spoken to you are spiritual. They are life.” (John 6:63) These life-giving words are the words of God, the Author, the Giver, the Sustainer, the Perfector of Life. These words are given to us in the biblical scriptures.
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At Christ’s Table – ACTpublication © 1997
“Explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.” 1 Corinthians 2:13
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