What Does the Bible Reveal About God?
God has revealed his Word for a purpose
Too often the Bible is used in Christian homes for little more than a display. Christians, by not reading the Scriptures, rob themselves of much blessing that could be theirs to enjoy.
A Revelation of Our Sin
The Bible reveals the secrets of our heart. Many times moral codes and guides for living do not help us because of cultural overtones. But since the source of the Bible is God, and he is the Savior of men, it is only natural that he would reveal the sins that keep us from him (Rom. 3:9-20). Therefore, we would expect God to speak through his Word to all people in every situation.
After a missionary had been in China for some time, he finally finished translating the New Testament. It was generally well received by the Chinese until they read Romans. Then the missionary was challenged. “You told us your Book was very ancient; but you wrote about our sin since you have some and learned about Chinamen.” God who knows the heart of all men, has revealed the sinful nature of men in the Bible. Now this message should be taught to the entire world without fear that it may not apply to some cultures.
A Revelation of Christ
God’s revelation is primarily a revelation of Christ. Jesus said he was the central theme of Scripture (John 5:39). The central theme of the final book of the Bible, “the Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:1), is the central theme of the Bible.
A Revelation of Eternal Life
The Bible shows us how to have both eternal life and the assurance of it, which was John’s chief reason for writing the fourth Gospel (John 20:31). One of John’s themes was that we could know the certainty of our salvation (1 John 5:13). Christianity is not like other religions, where the followers can never be assured of their eternal salvation. Assurance is Possible because of the revelation of God.
A Revelation of God’s Expectations for Us
The Bible gives us a standard by which to live. God revealed the law to Moses so that Israel would obey it (Deut. 29:29). The Scriptures were given so the Christian might grow spiritually (2 Tim. 3:17). It is our Christian duty to do all that is commanded of us (Luke 17:10). Our only biblical guarantee to success in the Christian life is tied to obedience to the biblical standards of our life (Josh. 1:8).
When we purchase a major appliance, we receive a manual that tells how the appliance should work and what is to be done if a problem arises. God has also given us a manufacturer’s manual-the Bible-to reveal how to live and what steps to take to achieve success.
The Revelation of Wisdom
The Bible gives wisdom and understanding to its students. This is something for which every Christian can pray (James 1:5). God, who is the source of wisdom gives it to us as we study the Bible. This is especially true of the Proverbs (Prov. 1:2, 5), but also true of the Bible as a whole (Ps. 19:7). The Christian with a good comprehension of Scripture should be wiser concerning the decisions of life than those who do not know and apply it to life (Luke 16:8).
A Revelation of Victory
The Word of God has the power to keep a Christian from sin. God, knowing that men would face the problem of sin, revealed a way of escape to help the Christian live a clean life (Ps. 119:9-11) and overcome temptation (1 Cor. 10:13). Even Jesus used the Scriptures when he was tempted by Satan (Matt. 4:1-11). Throughout history, Christians have found the Bible an indispensable aid in overcoming temptation. In the flyleaf of his Bible, Dwight L. Moody wrote, “This Book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this Book.”
The Bible prepares the Christian for spiritual battles as he struggles against evil forces in the world. Paul experienced these same battles in his life and ministry. As a result, he concluded that “above all” the Christian needed “the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God” to gain victory in these spiritual battles (Eph. 6:16, 17).
The Bible is an Understandable Book
This does not mean that everyone will understand it, or that anyone will understand all of it. It does not mean we will understand everything the first time we read it, but the Bible can be understood by those who properly attempt to understand it. This of course assumes that the Holy Spirit is teaching us as we read.
Through the Bible, God teaches us his will. If we accept the truths and apply them to our lives, we will continue to discover more. If we rebel against God by rejecting his teaching, the presence of sin in our lives will soon hinder our understanding of the Bible. One of the greatest causes of disagreement among Christians about some passages in Scripture is their spiritual blindness due to their lack of yieldedness to God. To understand the Bible, it is important that we be both hearers and doers of the Word (James 1:22).
When we read the Bible and come across something we do not understand, we should set it aside and learn what we can in other places. It may be that upon reading the same passage days or even years later, the truth of that verse may suddenly become clear to us. In the meantime, we are able to understand and apply other parts of the Bible.