Do you like magic? Does that which is not of this world fascinate you? While our culture is captivated by various supernatural phenomena from Harry Potter to Sam and Dean Winchester and the Doctor, it frequently overlooks the most amazing of all–the awesome, miraculous Word of God.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…”(Romans 1:16)
While it would be incorrect to call the Bible magic, there is something undeniably remarkable about it. It is a sacred piece of literature that holds the power of conviction, conversion and sanctification. And while it is the Holy Spirit of God who uses the words of the Holy Bible to do so, no other piece of writing can make that claim.
The correlation between reading this document with an accepting heart and open mind and the work of the Spirit in a person is so high, in fact, that it is nothing short of miraculous. And while those who approach it with bias may resist, for those who are willing to accept what it says, it is “the power of God to salvation.” But what does that mean?
There is a three-fold handicap against us. First, we are born with a sin nature. The Bible says our spirits are naturally dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1); on our own we want nothing to do with God or His Word. Second, the sin-filled secular world all around seduces and distracts us. It’s values are degenerate; even what seems not so bad falls far short of the goodness and perfection of our Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer God. Thirdly, Satan exists, and as the enemy of God, his desire is to deceive us and separate us from our Father. Together, all three of these forces work in tandem to keep us lost.
The Holy Bible–Scripture–is the only thing between us and them; it is the supernaturally given, divine Word of God. It is what God uses to identify our sin, convict us of it, and give us the new birth. It is, furthermore, what causes us to understand Him better, as well as learn to rightly discern what is right and wrong. Jesus compared the necessity of faithfully and consistently reading and obeying the Word to a branch that must remain attached to the vine, not only to survive but also to thrive:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener…You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” (John 15:1-4 NIV)
We gravely err when we judge the Bible similar to other books; it is not. Rather:
1) It is given to us by God—“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:20, 21)
2) It effectively accomplishes everything God intends it to—“So is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11 NIV)
3) It is what God uses to bring us to a saving understanding of Him—“…the gospel of Christ…is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes…”(Romans 1:16)
4) It is what God uses to pull us out of sin and make us like Himself—“I have given them Your word…Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” (John 17:14, 17)
Most significantly, it has the unique feature that not only is it the vehicle through which Christ’s Spirit accomplishes these miraculous activities, but it is also something that we must remain in–something we must daily saturate our hearts and minds with. Just as there is a high correlation between reading and accepting Scripture and the work of God in us, there is just as high a correlation between avoiding it and falling away. Our human memories are prodigious, but God’s Word is not something that can be read once, or at a certain point during our lives and then abandoned. Remember what Jesus Himself told us: “Remain in Me…”
Thank You for the incredible, supernaturally-given document that is Your Word. Help us to remain in You. Amen.