Psalm 139:17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! (NKJV)
What would an autograph or personal letter from the most famous person you can think of be worth to you? Michael Jordan, Elvis Presley, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Alexander the Great, Tiger Woods, Michael Jackson… okay, not Michael Jackson… pick the most revered or famous person you can think of. Would you value something of theirs written personally to you?
Think of the value placed today on autographs and souvenirs of the famous. The Bible is the autograph of God, a heavenly love letter written to each person individually, and to mankind as whole. Yet it hardly receives the attention a celebrity’s autograph receives. Why?
Because generally speaking, we have lost the “high view” of Scripture. The Bible has been relegated to one of many “holy books” that contain some good teaching, or one of many paths to God. Anyone who elevates Scriptures to its rightful place of value is quickly accused of “bibliolatry” which means, “bible idolatry” or worshipping the Bible. This is illogical. To worship a stack of bound paper with printed ink would be taking an incredibly LOW view of Scripture, reducing it to nothing better than a carved image or worthless trinket.
The Bible deserves the highest elevation in value because of Who wrote it and what It says, not because of an idolatrous view of it. It is not a book of spiritual formulas or magic techniques that work for anyone who discovers them. It is the written version of God’s revealed Mind, inspired and delivered by the Creator of Life and as such, is worthy of the highest reverence and honor.
Evidence and teaching are abundant concerning the proofs of authenticity of Scripture. That the Bible is the supernaturally inspired, divine Word of God is beyond scrutiny to the honest of heart that sincerely examines the evidence.
I want to address those who believe the Bible to be God’s Word, but have not explored the depths of its value. I want to stimulate the thoughts of those who casually approach the Bible in innocent ignorance, unaware of the true nature of what they hold in their hands. I want to encourage the reader who struggles with the boring duty of “Bible reading” to meditate on the treasure they have yet to unlock.
The Bible makes very unique claims about itself that leave the reader with only two options:
- The ENTIRE Bible is the Holy Revelation of God to man and the most valued of possessions having no equal in existence;
- Or, by its own words, the Bible is full of ridiculous claims that make it unreliable and should be discarded as a fraudulent set of myths and lies.
There is no middle ground. Even a surface reading of Scripture does not leave us the option of calling the Bible only a “good book”, one of many “holy” books. Like Jesus, the Bible is an all or nothing proposition.
The Bible is either what it claims to be,
or it is a book full of lies, unworthy of our trust and hope.
Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, not just a good teacher with some nice moral thoughts on life. He was either who He said He was, or He was a psychotic liar and fraud. Likewise, the Bible makes claims about itself that either elevates it above all books, or leaves it as an unworthy fake full of deceitful claims and outright lies. Let’s look at some of these claims (all reference NKJV, emphasis mine).
The Bible claims to be the inspired, supernatural Word of God containing all things needed for living this life in a manner approved by the Creator. If the only book you ever possessed was a Bible, you would have everything you need to live a Godly life. While other books are helpful, they are only profitable to the degree in which they illuminate Scripture.
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
- 2 Peter 1:3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue…
The Holy Bible is the only book that claims the divine power to pierce the depths of man’s heart and discern motivations and attitudes. It claims to not only judge the actual acts of man, but is able to judge even the intent behind it. For example, a man may give a million dollars to the poor but in his heart he may only be doing it to receive the praise of men. The Bible alone claims the power (originating from the Author) to know the heart of man, to discern and reveal these intentions, thoughts and motives.
- Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The Bible is the only book ever written that claims reading it will transform the very nature of man from evil to good. Of course it is not the physical Bible itself that transforms, it is the power of God revealed in the truth of the words. Many books claim external control of man inflicting on them religious laws and obligations. Only the Bible claims to supernaturally recreate the eternal spirit in man loosing it from the bondage of sin and freeing us from the slavery of wickedness. (Again, not the paper and ink, but the power of God revealed through the written words. Let’s assume this clarification for the rest of my points).
- Romans 6:17-18 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.
- 1 Peter 1:22-23 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart, having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever
The Bible claims to reveal the ONLY way to salvation and eternal life. It does not claim to reveal ONE of the ways. Scripture declares THE way, the ONLY way. This claim alone is grounds to either fully accept, or fully reject the Bible in total because it is either true, or a lie. There is no middle option given.
- Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
- John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
- Revelation 7:10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
The Bible demands sole allegiance. The Author will not share rule with anyone, or anything else. Scripture demands that its followers be singularly loyal having no other allegiance or trust in another. It is written by Jealous Author who demands the sole position of Lord, Master and King. The Bible’s own claims leave no room for adherence to any other method of salvation but its own. It’s all or nothing. (NKJV, emphasis mine)
- Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.
- Deuteronomy 4:24 For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
- Isaiah 45:5a I am the LORD, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me.
- Exodus 34:14 (for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God)
- Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
- 1 Corinthians 3:11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Contemplate the claims of Scripture about itself from Psalms 119:
- We are blessed when we read and learn Scripture
- Our heart is cleansed
- Our spiritual senses become alive
- Our strength is renewed
- We gain true wisdom
- It leads us to salvation
- We receive comfort
- We can trust the Word of God in all things
- It is worth more than all silver and gold
- God’s Word is pure and faithful
- God’s Word is forever settled and can be counted on to never change
- It keeps us from evil
- It is the guiding light for our life leading us to eternal life
- God’s Word protects us
- It instructs us and teaches us how to live holy acceptable lives
- The Bible gives us hope and joy; a reason to live
- God’s Word offers us peace in a sin-filled world
What other book would dare make these claims? They are either true, making the Bible priceless among all things; or they are fantasy, leaving us with a disappointing fraud.
Of course when we speak of “the Bible” in these terms, it is a given that what makes it valuable, what gives it power, is the Author who inspired every word. We don’t worship paper and ink. There is nothing magical about the printed pages. The Bible is the written representation of the One who is to be worshipped and obeyed. Being the very Words of God, inspired and preserved as the revealed Truth of the Creator-King of the Universe, the Bible uniquely deserves the highest elevation in value and respect.
Is this “Bible idolatry”? Hardly. It is the bestowing of honor, reverence, respect and value where it is rightfully due. It’s about time the Bible was returned to it rightful place of honor by those who claim to believe it. It is no coincidence that the lower the Bible descends in respect and honor, the more evil the world becomes.
The Bible is God’s written Word, no different than if He were speaking them directly to you face to face. If you were to appear in heaven today in the presence of God, how much value would you place on the words He might speak directly to you? Open your Bible. God is speaking now.
Our God, help us to place the proper value on Your Written Words. Give us wisdom to understand what it means to have the very Words of God recorded and preserved for us. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Contemplation: Do you find Bible reading boring? Do you approach it casually? When you read your Bible, do you realize what you have in your hands?
Application: The Bible isn’t just another book. It is the written and revealed mind of the Living God. Learn to see it as such.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?