We don’t always respect the implications of our theology. For example, if we believe the Bible is God’s inspired Word, then there are significant implications of that. As the inspired Word of God, Scripture takes on the nature and the character of God Himself. Scripture is thus the most powerful force in the universe, and at the same time it provides living guidance to God’s people on earth. If we have the nature and character of God literally at our fingertips, what should we be doing with it? Can most Christians honestly say they have been treating God’s Word in the way it deserves? (no other item allowed on top of it (but rarely put their hands under it to read/live life worthy (as act of our own effort, not allowing its power to produce that life)
Scripture as the nature and character of God
God exists as one God manifested in three Persons. The Second Person of the Godhead is the Son. We know him as Jesus, but that is not his only name. When Jesus appears at the end of the age to destroy the enemies of God’s people and establish His kingdom on the earth, he will have a different name. John the Revelator tells us that at that time He will be known as “The Word of God” (Rev 19:13).
Jesus is the Word of God, and the nature of Jesus is the nature of Scripture. Jesus is known as the God/man because he is fully God and fully human at the same time. Councils debated this for years, and many a false teacher challenged this notion because it sounds disingenuous to claim a person to have two natures. But the Son of God is not like other people, and it is difficult for the logical mind to accept such a concept. Indeed, the church would never have accepted this teaching had it not been because Scripture clearly reveals Jesus to be fully God and fully human.
The church also accepts Scripture to be the very Word of God, while at the same time declaring it to be the words of men. Approximately 40 human authors contributed content to the Bible, and each used his own unique style and vocabulary in communicating the divine truths entrusted to them. They were not secretaries taking dictation. They were men of God expressing God’s truths in their own words. These docents are 100% human writings, but at the same time they are 100% God’s Word. That is why inerrancy is the logical conclusion of the doctrine of inspiration. Only because they are 100% God’s Word can we make the audacious claim that these human documents are without error. So Scripture, like Jesus, is fully human and fully divine at the same time. Truly God’s Word takes on the nature of God.
Because God’s Word is inerrant, it is perfect, without flaw. God’s Word is also holy. In fact, most Bibles have that word typed on the front cover. God’s Word is eternal (Isa 40:8). God’s Word is also powerful; the Word of God is responsible for creating of the universe (Heb 11:3), and for sustaining it (Col 1:16). The Word of God is light for our path, giving us direction and guidance (Psa 119:105). Because God’s Word is the word of the gospel, it is God’s power to save (Rom 1:16) and it is God’s expression of love. God so loved the world He sent His Son, and the word of the gospel is the message of God’s love. That is why Scripture is sometimes called God’s love letter to humanity.
These are all characteristics of God. God is perfect, holy, and eternal. He is the all-powerful creator and sustainer of the universe. He is light (1 Jn 1:5) and He is love (1 Jn 4:16). Not only is God’s character revealed in His Word, but the character of God’s Word is character of God.
The importance and necessity of God’s Word
It is no wonder that the Bible is the most maligned, attacked, and mistreated book in history. The devil hates God and will attack everything and everyone who resembles Him. No book has been banned, burned, or blasphemed as much as the Bible. Even the Roman Catholic Church actively kept it out of the hands of God’s people for centuries, and when the Bible was liberated from this unholy captivity 500 years ago, the result was reformation, revival, and global evangelization.
The Word of God is, in some respects, the tangible Presence of God in the earth. I say in some respects because the Bible is not God. But it is so much the exact representation of God and his nature and character, that to have God’s Word is, to some extent, to have His presence. This is no disrespect to the role of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament world. The Holy Spirit is truly the Presence of God in the earth, but it is His intangible Presence, whereas the Bible is tangible. It is absolutely necessary for every believer to possess the Holy Spirit, but it is very nearly just as crucial that every believer possess God’s Word.
Just as the Holy Spirit leads us to Jesus and is the agent of change, bringing people not only to repentance and faith, but also to transformation (2 Cor 3:17-18), so God’s Word performs the same tasks (Rom 10:14-17 and 12:2; Jas 1:21 and 22-25). The Holy Spirit is the Person who replaces Jesus as God’s Presence with us, so that we are not left as orphans. But we should remember that it is the Holy Spirit who is responsible for the existence of the Bible in the earth. The prophets spoke by the Spirit, and by the Spirit they were inspired to write. The same is true of the New Testament apostles. Could it be that God gave us his Word so we could have a visible Presence to go along with the invisible Presence of the Holy Spirit?
Take up and read
Considering that God’s Word is the expression of the nature and character of God Himself, the direct implication of that is that we have everything we need for life in this world and the next contained in the Word of God. How, therefore, can we justify our neglect of it? Since God’s Word is everything Jesus was on earth, minus a fleshly body, how can we forget its presence and go days and weeks on end without reading it? I dare say that if we had Jesus in the flesh with us at all times we might eventually take Him for granted and start acting as if He wasn’t really there. After all, we already do that with the Holy Spirit. How can we be constantly reminded of God’s Presence so that we continually abide in Him and always act as though we know He is with us and is watching us? Our constant reminder comes by reading and meditating on His Word. God’s Word will transform all who read it in faith. If you need a touch from the Lord today, take up and read the Bible. Interact with the creator of the universe through His Word. You will be changed, and you will not regret it. I will warn you though: reading God’s Word can be addictive. The more you consume it, the hungrier you become for more. But that is a good thing. When you partake of God’s Word, you are partaking in Jesus. You are abiding in Him, and that’s what we are going to do for eternity anyway, so let’s get a head start and spend time in God’s Word today, and every day.