In my home at any given time there are perhaps twenty copies of the Bible distributed among the seven members of my family. Each of us owns one or two with invaluable study notes, and three or four are written in the original languages. On top of this, at least half the books on my family’s floor-to-ceiling bookshelf are dedicated to helping believers interpret and apply Scripture – all this not to mention that two of our computers connect to the internet, which in itself is a source of truly inexhaustible information.
But how do I respond to the immediacy of the Gospel in my daily life? How do we, as 21st century American Christians, react to a privilege virtually unknown throughout the scope of human history and in many parts of the world even today?
During the weekend I watched this ten-minute video that captured the consummation of a lifelong dream for Indonesia’s remote Kimyal tribe: the translation of the complete New Testament into the Kimyal language. The video is a little long, but well worth the time.
This video shocked me because I am utterly unable to relate to the delight these people displayed at receiving the Word of God. The constant presence of Scripture in my life has hardened my heart to the wonder of a transcendent God condescending that we might share in His perfect joy, and to my shame I often find it difficult to regard studying these life-giving words as more than a tedious Christian obligation.
I suspect that many of us regard the Bible as mundane simply because we’ve forgotten what it really is that’s written in these sixty-six familiar books. Because I was home sick on Sunday morning, I was able to spend some time rediscovering the unique and infinite value of God’s Word through what it testifies about itself. In the order that I first wrote them down, here are seven aspects of the Bible that most renew my love and appreciation for it.
1. Scripture sustains and directs spiritual life.
- Deuteronomy 8:3 – “Man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
- Colossians 3:16 – “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom…”
- 2 Timothy 3:16 – “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”
- Romans 15:4 – “For whatever was written in the former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”
2. Scripture reveals truth.
- Psalm 12:6 – The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.
- Psalm 33:4 – “For the Word of the Lord is upright…”
- Proverbs 30:5 – “Every word of God proves true…”
- 2 Peter 1:20-21 – …no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God.”
3. Scripture is eternal.
- Isaiah 40:8 – “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God will stand forever.”
- Matthew 24:35 – “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
- John 1:1-2 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.”
4. Scripture is unified.
- Luke 22:37 – “For I tell you Scripture must be fulfilled in me.”
- John 5:46 – “For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me.”
- Romans 1:1-2 – “… the gospel of God which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures.”
- Galatians 3:8 – And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham.”
5. Scripture effects the will of God.
- Is. 55:11 – “…so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it will accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
- Hebrews 4:12 – “For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword.”
- Ephesians 6:17 – “…the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”
6. Scripture effects salvation.
- 1. Corinthians 15:2 – “…you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you.”
- 1. Peter 1:23 – “…you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding Word of God.”
- John 6:68 – “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
- John 7:38 – “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘out of his heart will flow streams of living water.’”
For more information about the Kimyal tribe and the Bible translation effort, visit www.kimyaltribe.com