Paying Tribute to the Bible
West Columbia, Texas
Some beautiful tributes to the Bible have been written. Consider the following:
This book contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrine is holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe in it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword , and the Christian's charter. Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand object, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened in the judgment, and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labor, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.
We should recognize the Bible as "given by inspiration of God" - breathed out from his holy mind into the minds of the human authors (2 Tim. 3:16). It reveals the mind and wisdom of God - "not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth" (1 Cor. 2:13). God says, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isa. 55:8).
God revealed his love for us and his plan to save us in words we can understand. "As I wrote afore in few words, whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ" (Eph. 3:3-4). Because we can understand God's Word, we can believe it. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:17). By hearing the gospel, we learn that Jesus Christ is the true Son of God and Savior of the world (Jn. 20:30-31). We learn that we must repent of our sins, confess Christ, and be immersed in water for the remission of our sins through the blood of Christ (Rom. 10:10; Acts 2:38).
God's Word provides divine guidance for every aspect of our lives. "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psa. 119:105). God's Word is always right and will protect us from every false way. "Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way" (v. 128). The Word of God guides us in the work and worship we offer to him in the local church (Acts 2;42). It safely guides and regulates our home life (Eph. 5:22-6:4). It teaches us the proper attitude toward civil government and toward our fellow man in every relationship. "And if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" (Rom. 13:1-10).
Ultimately, we pay tribute to the Bible as God's holy Word by submitting to it and obeying it. Do we read the Bible privately at home? Are we steadfast to gather with Christians for Bible study? Do we read the Scriptures with our family? Do we discuss it with our relatives, friends, and neighbors? Are we doing all we can to learn and to share God's holy Word? Do we truly pay tribute to the Bible in our daily lives or do we pay it mere lip service? With our whole heart, let us join the author of Psalm 119 in extolling the Word of God:
Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee (vv. 9-11).
For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven (v. 89).
O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day (v. 97).
How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (v. 103)
Therefore I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold (v. 127).
I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments (v. 131).
My lips shall utter praise, when thou hast taught me thy statutes.
My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness (vv. 171-72).
Guardian of Truth XXXVI: 5, p. 137