We have been talking about the Bible and its claims to be the divinely-ordained and inspired Word… directly from God to us. Yesterday, we talked about the fact that one of the problems that many people have is the idea that the Bible is just another flawed book written by men about God. In other words, it is too earthly (in origin) to be taken seriously.
But, one of the other great hurdles that many people face (when considering the claims of the Bible) is that it is just too heavenly to apply to our lives. It is the opposite end of the spectrum… the Bible is not just an ordinary work of men – it is the extraordinary work of God. Therefore, it is just too far above us to give us any real and practical help for daily living.
In fact, this is one of the problems encountered in some prominent churches. It is taught: “The Bible is too spiritual for you. You can’t really understand it. So, no sense in reading it or trying to apply it to your life (you’ll just get it all wrong anyway). So let your leadership (those trained to understand it) lead you… your job is just to be faithful in following their leadership.”
All you need to really know about the Bible (especially the New Testament) when it comes to the “Bible-is-too-great-for-you” club is this: the New Testament was actually written in the common language of the day. Not the high-falutin’ classical Greek used by all the “better than thou’s.” But the street language of everyday folks.
God chose to use the common language to speak to common, ordinary people… to include everybody in what He had to say.
At the heart of the Bible is something we don’t often consider… it is eminently practical for our daily lives. It is not just for spiritual guidance (whenever we want to be spiritual)… it is for guidance in every area of life and living. It timelessly speaks to our everyday needs – as the God Who is real (today!) desires to speak to our needs of today.
This is the apostle’s point in our verse for today. The Bible is: God speaking to us… but not just in matters of faith or spiritual things – He is addressing our questions and needs for all of life. The Bible is eminently… useful!
Four specific aspects are given.
The Bible teaches us. It imparts information to us. It instructs us – in accord with what God thinks about life and living. The world we live in, is full of voices… the Bible gives us God’s Voice that we may hear what our Creator has to say about almost every issue.
The Bible rebukes us. It has the courage to tell us when we are wrong. This is offensive to so many people today. “That outdated book has no right to tell me what to do or say!” Well, it does if it is our Creator, Who knows what is right and best… and Who desires to keep us from destroying ourselves by our wrong choices.
The Bible corrects us. It gently guides those who are taking wrong turns along the way. It is so easy for us to start out God’s way and then find ourselves sidetracked in areas that are not His best for us. The Bible offers guidance and correction for those who haven’t quite got it right. God, lovingly corrects those who are seeking Him, out of His commitment to lead us in what is best for us.
The Bible trains us in righteousness. Not just in the right things to do, but in the right heart and attitudes behind what we are doing (which is way more essential!). The Bible’s goal is always to restore us to what we were all made to be… a living, accurate, representation of the invisible God. God’s people are called to live in righteousness… and true righteousness is doing what God does, in the way that He does it.
The Bible is far more than just some high and holy religious book… it is the Daily Operations Manual so that all of us may know what is good, right, and true – according to our Manufacturer.