Monday, July 12, 2010

Believing the Bible

As a new Christian, I have come across many things that I haven't fully understood or that confused me. These confusions also led to the creation of doubts in my mind. One of the things that first got me asking questions was the bible. Up until three months ago, I hadn't really realized the importance of reading God's word. I never took the time to really think about the Bible or incorporate it into my life. Since I have taken this time, a lot of questions came to mind. Who wrote the bible? Where did all of these books come from? Why do some denominations include certain books and others do not? How do we know everything that is said is accurate? These doubts began to really overwhelm me and were very discouraging to my faith.

I prayed to God and shared with Him the doubts I was facing and asked Him to guide me and give me peace. I began to seek out sources that could give me the information I so desperately longed for. A friend of mine recommended a sermon series by James MacDonald called "God Wrote a Book" which is an excellent defense of the Bible not only as accurate and uncorrupted, but as Gods divine revelation.

My friend gave a great explanation of what James talks about in these sermons:

The first sermon, "Why I Believe the Bible" is a exploration of several very strong defenses of the authority and authenticity of Gods word. The second sermon, "Where Did the Bible Come From" explores exactly that, and the second half of that sermon directly and specifically addresses why some denominations have a couple of added books and how we came to have the 66 individual books that we call collectively the "bible".

After listening to this series, I felt a lot more at ease. Most of my questions had been answered, and answered well, and I no longer felt any doubt that the bible was accurate and uncorrupted. It really helped to encourage my faith and my entire perspective when reading the bible changed considerably. As much as it helped to have all of this supporting information however, it all meant nothing if I didn't have faith.

A good friend of mine had this to say about that:

There is a wealth of information, text, and evidence to show that not only God is real, but that Jesus Christ is how he chose to reveal himself and that the Bible is his book. But, no matter how much material is presented and how well put the arguments are, the Bible is activated by faith. The scriptures mean nothing and profit us nothing if they are not combined with our faith. So yes, read, lead, understand and study so that you can have some confidence in what you believe...but also understand that the Bible itself is a supernatural book. No amount of convincing will make this true for you if you don't want it to be. I think that aside from all the philosophical arguments and historical evidence, the result of your whole hearted personal faith in this book and the changed life, heart, and soul you have because of being "born again" will be all the evidence you will ever need.

Don't be afraid to turn to people about any doubts or fears you are experiencing. Lay all of your concerns out in the open, pour them out to God, and He will help guide you.

1 comment:

  1. The two reasons I am posting this comment are: I accepted Christ when I was 19 yrs old (many moons ago)realizing that God wants us as young as he can get us. Secondly, and most importantly, is the foundation of grace and a hunger for the word of God that God has given you. This is not always the case with new believers. There may be excitement because of the newness of life that they have received but you are going after God with all your heart. Don't ever stop and be very 'fussy' about the kind of preaching and teaching that God would put you under. Only settle for what is going to help you grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2Pt 3:18).

    Be part of a ministry that esteems the word very highly, does the work of seeking and saving lost souls and builds up and edifies one another in love, in truth and in the grace of God. Never, never, never listen to slander, gossip or malignity concerning any believer because God never calls us to do that. Our love should be according to 1Cor 13 because that it the love that the Holy Spirit sheds abroad in our heart (Rom 5:5). I'll leave you will this poem by A.B. Simpson;

    HIMSELF by A. B. Simpson

    Once it was the blessing, Now it is the Lord;
    Once it was the feeling, Now it is His Word.
    Once His gifts I wanted, Now the Giver own;
    Once I sought for healing, Now Himself alone.

    Once 'twas painful trying, Now 'tis perfect trust;
    Once a half salvation, Now the uttermost.
    Once 'twas ceaseless holding, Now He holds me fast;
    Once 'twas constant drifting, Now my anchor's cast.

    Once 'twas busy planning, Now 'tis trustful prayer;
    Once 'twas anxious caring, Now He has the care.
    Once 'twas what I wanted, Now what Jesus says;
    Once 'twas constant asking, Now 'tis ceaseless praise.

    Once it was my working, His it hence shall be;
    Once I tried to use Him, Now He uses me.
    Once the power I wanted, Now the Mighty One;
    Once for self I labored, Now for Him alone.

    Once I hoped in Jesus, Now I know He's mine;
    Once my lamps were dying, Now they brightly shine.
    Once for death I waited, Now His coming hail;
    And my hopes are anchored, Safe within the vail.

    A brother in Christ,