This is an old German Bible, from 1905, that has been in my office for a long time.
It’s tattered, delicate and well-used. Beautiful, isn’t it? Don’t ask me what page I opened to since this is all
Greek German to me 🙂
The reason I have this Bible close by, on my desk, is to serve as a reminder of Salem’s past (an old German congregation) but also of a past that seems to be dwindling away. I look at this Bible and I think about those people 110 years ago reading this and I wonder if they ever imagined a day when the Bible would not be the sole authoritative source and norm for faith and life for many people. I wonder if they ever imagined a day when the Bible would be picked apart for “errors” in order to support a certain belief or way of life. I wonder if people 110 years ago imagined a day when the Bible would become just another authoritative source among many others. I wonder if they ever imagined a day when experience or cultural majority or feelings would trump the Word of God.
And it saddens me to think about such things. How have we gotten to such a point? I know Bible scholars and theologians can answer that question better than me but no matter what is said, it’s not going to help.
So i’ll just say it straight, right now, in case there is any doubt:
I believe the Bible to be THE inspired Word of God; inerrant and authoritative. It is THE sole authority for me. If any outside “authority” conflicts with the Bible then the Bible wins out. Holy Scripture is not to be tampered with. Sure, there are parts that I don’t like or understand but it is the Word of God and I except them. I understand that fallible human beings copied manuscripts over and over and over again but since this is THE inspired Word of God, I believe God would have never allowed errors to be repeated over time that would lead people away from the Truth. Now some may call me naive to hold such a view but that’s fine; I can handle that. For me, the Word of God tells me what I need to know for salvation and to bring glory to God; everything else flows from that authority.
So with this high view of scripture, I approach the Word of God with fear and trembling, but also with excitement, because think about it:
Those words are God’s words.
The Creator of heaven and earth
If that doesn’t give you goose bumps go back and read that list again and this time pay attention. Holy Scripture contains the very words of God and they are given to you and to me. No other authority can trump it.
As Christians we need to cling to the Word of God tighter than ever before and not allow anyone to demean it’s authority. We need to read and study this Word and then read and study it some more. We need to pray and then listen to this Word; and then pray some more and listen again. We need to confess our shortcomings (and God knows I am far from perfect) and seek the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that you worship a book but rather worship the One whose words are contained in this book; listening and obeying.
The Bible is THE Word of God. Period. I know I fall short in so many ways; I’m a sinner after all. I know I don’t always treat the Bible the way I should. I know I don’t always appeal to it’s authority as I should. But I ask God to grant me the faith to trust His holy Word as THE Word of Life. So let’s not mess with it but rather read and listen to it and live by it’s words.
God’s Word is life and salvation, so commit yourself to the reading of it (private and public) and take it’s words seriously.
Holy Father, it awes me to think that You have given us Your holy Word in such a way. May we never take these words of life for granted but rather let us be shaped by them. May the Bible hold authority for Your people in this dark and evil world. Holy Father, speak to me that I may speak. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
The Pastor -|—