By Wayne Walker
Christians believe the Bible is the “word of God, which liveth and abideth forever” (1 Pet. 1:23). A question that is sometimes asked is “How do you know God would reveal Himself to man? And if He would, how do you know the Bible is His method of doing it?” Actually, this question is very old; but recently, it has been raised again as an outgrowth of the interest in oriental religions and occultism. Our purpose in this short article is to show that the Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to man.
If a person grants that God exists, then revelation from God is entirely within the realm of possibility, “for with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37). With this understanding, logic and the very nature of God then show the probability of revelation. If God exists, then we are His offspring (Acts 17:28) and He will expect us to give Him an account of our lives someday (2 Cor. 5:10). It is unreasonable that a father would hold his children accountable for something he did not tell them, and the same is true of God. Since sin separates man from God (Isa. 59:1-2) and since God wants all men to be saved (2 Pet. 3:9) from eternal death in hell (Rom. 6:23), then it is only reasonable that He would reveal unto man how to rid himself of sin and live so as to gain eternal life. Jesus said He did-through the word of Christ (Matt. 11:27; John 12:48).
Not only is revelation possible and probable, but it is also necessary. Man cannot save himself-salvation does not come from within man (Jer. 10:23). Human intuition will not bring him to God, for “there is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12). Neither will man’s own wisdom (1 Cor. 1:21). Our own works, devised by our own minds, are worthless in God’s sight (Eph. 2:8-9; Tit. 3:5). We must turn to something outside ourselves. Many turn to nature. While it is true that nature reveals the existence and deity of God (Rom. 1:20), man left solely to nature for his information concerning God usually degenerates into worshiping and serving “the creature more than the creator” (Rom. 1:25). The reason is that the physical universe does not reveal the mind, the will of God. So a special revelation from God to man is a necessity.
This revelation would, of course, have to be understandable. Some, who claim to believe the Bible is God’s revelation to man, say that it is a book of mysteries. In order to understand it, the ordinary person needs the church to interpret the scriptures, or a trained clergy to explain them, or a special work of the Holy Spirit (such as a vision, experience, or feeling) to open his mind to the word of God. However, logic again refutes this idea. No sensible father would hold his children responsible for doing exactly what he told them when he spoke in ambiguous terms. Neither does God. Since He does expect us to do exactly what He commands (Matt. 7:21-23), then it must follow that He can be understood. This is precisely what the Bible teaches. Paul said that when you read what he wrote, “ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ” (Eph. 3:3-5). Jesus said if a man wants to do God’s will, he can know the truth (John 7:17, 8:31-32) and that being healed (saved) is conditioned upon understanding (Matt. 13:15-23). Everyone who so desires can understand God’s revelation to man-if he gives diligence to examine it (Acts 17:11, 2 Tim. 2:15).
But how does this show the Bible is God’s revelation to man? Well, God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34-35). For God to give a special revelation to one and leave another without that revelation would make Him a respecter of persons, since the apostle declares He has already “given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Pet. 1:3). It is only right that He give one standard to all men by which He reveals Himself to them. The Bible is the only record claiming inspiration that purports to be the revelation from God instead of just a revelation from God. It is the only book of religion that is completely consistent and reasonable; the only one that has been irrefutably validated by miracles and prophecy; the only one that is in full harmony with archaeology, topography, and science; and the only one that presents to the world a God who is worthy of the worship and service of mankind. We urge all men to accept the Bible as God’s revelation to man, and search its pages for His will for their lives.
Truth Magazine XXII: 23, p. 370
June 8, 1978