T H E S I S # 8
Evangelicals have always declared Scripture, the original writings, to be true.
The Bible is true because “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God”.
Several books have been written to convince the reasonable that the Bible, the original writings, is indeed accurate and divine. One such book is “Evidence That Demands a Verdict” by Josh McDowell.
McDowell, when a college student, didn’t like most christians. (“I thought that if a Christian had a brain cell, it would die of loneliness.”) He considered the christian claim, that the Bible is God’s infallible word to man, ludicrous, and being a dutiful skeptic he studied the Bible for ammunition to humiliate the christian claiming this book deserved special status. But the skeptic was in for a major setback, a gratifying setback leading to his conversion to the Lord Jesus. His ardent studies eventually resulted in the mentioned book, a rather thickish book because of the extensive compilation of evidence. Reading McDowell’s insights and stack of evidence will warm and strengthen the christian’s heart.
Truth gets into us two ways, through the intellect and by the “Spirit of truth”. Finding truth by the Spirit is like searching for a heater in a dark room – the closer you get the warmer it feels. Those wanting truth sufficiently will find truth because the “Spirit of truth” is wanting to impart truth. Many have been converted to our precious Savior after hearing the simple gospel; it just felt right.
The many truths contained in the Bible, though equally true, are not equally relevant. Mark records “one of the rulers of the synagogue…. Jairus by name” begged Jesus, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her that she may be healed.” Mark further records someone telling Jairus, “Your daughter is dead.” Jesus said to the distraught dad, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” And Jesus, accompanied by “Peter, James, and John”, went to Jairus’ house and told “those who wept and wailed loudly” that the “child is not dead, but sleeping”. “And they laughed Him to scorn.” “Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her…. ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise.’ Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age.”
This account contains many truths: a man by the name of Jairus had a twelve-year-old daughter…. Jairus was a religious ruler…. the daughter was critically sick and died…. Peter and James and John accompanied Jesus to Jairus’ house…. there was a crowd of mourners who ridiculed Jesus. All these truths, though fully true, were much less significant and relevant than the truth “the girl arose” from death.
There is a subject in the Bible of primary relevance, and given primary attention. What is that dominant subject…. ?
Obviously, thou thinkest, the primary subject of the Bible is God…. omniscient, omnipotent, eternal, merciful, loving God. Not so.
Perhaps then, thou thinkest again, the primary subject is man…. created by God “in Our image, according to Our likeness”, an account of fallen and sinful man in major crisis. Not so again.
The primary subject (the prime truth) of our Bible is not Him, God, nor him, man, but them, God and man.
The preeminent theme of Scripture is the relationship between Creator and His special creation. It’s a beautiful story that turns into a sad story. For some, the story turns beautiful again. But not all, not most.
The story begins, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness”…. resulting in Adam. Adam was more than a zookeeper’s pet, he was the apple of God’s eye. They communicated, fellowshipped, shared. It was a rich relationship. God and man very together, very satisfied. It was a trust relationship, founded on mutual trust; God trusted the man, and the man trusted his God.
And then, “It is not good for man to be alone”…. resulting in Eve. Eve was planet earth’s first idol (an idol being first love), first of thousands. Idols of various types were always a curse to Adam’s offspring, making an idol of things that breathe and things that don’t.
That Eve was indeed an idol is proven by the fact that, squeezed to choose between God and God’s blessing, Adam chose Eve. Yes, he dearly loved God, but he also dearly loved his “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh”; wife was lovely, and wife was keen, and wife was sensuous. Jesus taught we love the one we obey. (“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.”)
And so relationship was severed. Trust, the foundation of healthy relationships, was seriously damaged. God and man were now disconnected, un-connected. Sin, while seriously damaging man’s love for God, never affected God’s love for man. Because God “hates divorce”, restoration of relationship was (and is) imperative. Pursuit of man began immediately, this without coercion, always honoring the free will that is a key element of God’s design of man.
So the Old and New Testaments contain true accounts of pursuit, Creator constantly pursuing His creation, and the occasional creation (heroes of the faith) pursuing his/her Maker.
The highly relevant truth that God is now pursuing us through Christ and Christ is now pursuing us through His most Holy Spirit, the truth that God covets the trust relationship originally intended – yes, nothing less than an intimate Father-son/Father-daughter relationship – should motivate us to reciprocate with passion and gratitude.