Why does the Bible need 66 books? Part 2

As I think back to my initial understanding of the Christian faith, I see a few places where I did not grasp the magnificence of God’s plan completely: 

Salvation is not primarily about Jesus alone.  The following verse demonstrates that all three of the Triune God are involved in our salvation, 

‘How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God.’  Hebrews 9:14

It is pretty amazing to see the different functions of the Triune God on behalf of mankind, in one verse.  It shows there is order in the Godhead.  God the Father is, as I understand it, the CEO.  Jesus Himself said, 

‘…I have come to do your will, O God.’  Hebrews 10:7c

Wow, God had it all planned.  What was His main goal?  He gave the New Covenant through Jesus so that, 

‘I will be their God and they will be My people.’  Hebrews 8:10c

To accomplish it, Jesus obeyed God, 

‘In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the Author of their [our] salvation perfect through suffering.’  Hebrews 2:10

I learned that I and all God’s followers can say: 

  • We adore Jesus, who endured the Cross (for us). 
  • We adore the Father, who planned salvation (for us).
  • We are blessed to have the Holy Spirit, who teaches us about it all.  

So that we can be children of the Most High. 

Why a Triune God?

One of the ‘strange’ revelations of Scripture is the Triune God.  Critics say that the writers of the Bible were uneducated people.  So how did they come up with the idea of a Triune God.? (Psst, they were Holy Spirit inspired).   

What does ‘Triune God’ or ‘Triune Godhead’ mean?     

Basically it means they are one in essence and three in Person. 

  • They are of the same ‘substance,’ namely ‘God.’  Yet they are three Persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.  
  • They have the same God character like ‘omniscience, omnipotence, holiness, et cetera.  Yet they are three different Persons with different functions.  

Where does this Godhead come from?  

Scripture only reveals that they are eternal.  So we know that, 

  • God is eternal,

‘Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called upon the Name of the Lord, the Eternal God.’  Genesis 21:33

  • Jesus is eternal,

‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever.’  Hebrews 13:8

  • The Holy Spirit is eternal, 

‘How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God….’ Hebrews 9:14

Eternally God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit were united in,

  • Peace 
  • Love 
  • Fellowship 
  • Harmony, et cetera.   

A single God cannot love, or understand fellowship, harmony and caring for others.  We can claim that a Triune God can do it all.  But, God is about reality.  How can a single person understand such things as a loving relationship?  That is why the Triune God makes sense.  Look at the fruit of the Spirit, 

‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.’  Galatians 5:22

We can imagine that is what the Triune God is like.  And what they want the Bride to be like.  

Summary

Scripture reveals a Triune God.  It makes perfect sense, especially in the light of the Kingdom of God.  To be continued.

2018 Resolution

It is usual for people to make new year’s resolutions.  This year we trust the Lord to help us give more attention to His very wonderful, yet in some instances baffling book, the Bible.  All followers of Jesus are completely dependent upon Scripture, but sometimes we forget exactly what a supernatural product the Bible is.

What a unique book!

On the one hand it is an ordinary book of paper and ink.  On the other hand it has changed the lives of more people than any other book ever written, because it contains the personal words of God to mankind.  The Bible truly is a supernatural product, not of man, but of God.

The Bible’s unparalleled introduction

  • What merely human writer would begin a book with, ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth?’ 1  Who is God, and where did Moses (commonly accepted as the writer) who was not trained in theology or modern science, get the insight to make such a claim?
  • How did he know that an omnipotent Creator God made the universe with its galaxies, our solar system, planet Earth and all its myriad lifeforms, in six twenty-four hour days?
  • Genesis 1 gives us a clue that the Bible is not only about the natural but also about the supernatural: the wonderful realisation that we have a Father, a Creator God, a King who cares and loves His creation.

Extraordinary origin

  • No human can design a book like the Bible.  Many have tried, but none of them have had the life changing effects of the Bible.  It has influenced entire nations over the ages.  Why? Because it is inspired by the wonderful God, the Holy Spirit.
  • The 66 books were written over a period of 1,400 years.  The approximately 40 different writers (all Jews, except Luke, a Greek) lived in different parts of Israel and its neighbouring countries at different times in history.  They all wrote under the influence of the invisible, yet all-knowing Holy Spirit.

The Bible’s strange effect

  • Multitudes have studied and still study this marvellous book, while others spend their time and energy to debunk it, like famous atheists Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers, Sam Harris, Lawrence Krauss, et cetera.  They love nothing more than to challenge believers and spew hatred on God, the Bible and the Church.  Yet it is to no avail, because the Bible is still around and still changes people’s lives on a daily basis.
  • World leaders through the ages tried to destroy it, like the Roman emperors, Communism, Islam and atheism.  Civilisations come and go, yet the Bible prevails.  God remains on His throne in heaven in all His glory until He will establish His throne in the New Jerusalem.  The impotent crusades of His haters will not change one whit of His plan to establish His Son, the Bridegroom, and His Bride, the Church, on the new earth.
  • No barrier, like the Iron Curtain, Bamboo Curtain, Oil Sheiks or Atheist Walls can ever stop the influence of the powerful Word of God.  Efforts to get rid of the Bible are destined to fail consistently.

Scripture explains what we see around us.

  • God ‘exalted above all things [His] name and [His] word.’ 2  Without the Bible we cannot understand what life is about.
  • For example the abuse Israel suffers (the United Nations and other nations, as well as many Muslim countries attempt to destroy Israel and annihilate the Jews).
  • The Jewish nation gives us an indication of how God preserves His people.  They were scattered throughout the world for almost two thousand years, but He protected them as a distinct nationality.  In 1948 the nation of Israel was once again established in the country God promised to their ancestor Abraham.
  • We never have to fear that God will fail with His grand program to gather people from all over the world to become the citizens of His Kingdom.

The Bible is not just an ordinary book about some far off deity.

  • No, it is about an Almighty God who calls people to become citizens of that fantastic country that will never disappear or fade away. 3
  • What a glorious hope of an exciting eternal future in the presence of the Most High, with free food, lodging, health, holidays, et cetera!  It is mind boggling that the Ruler of the Universe takes notice of small, insignificant, ordinary people.  He does not particularly favour the powerful and wealthy, but all those who come to Him and seek Him in humility.
  • The apostle Paul wrote, inspired by the Holy Spirit, ‘I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.’ 4   We want to add, ‘We are not ashamed of the Bible, for it is the source of untold riches and blessings for those who take the trouble to investigate it.’

Conclusion

The Bible’s contents have never been updated and never will be.  Yet it has been translated into many languages and new translations come out all the time.  They are based on the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts.  Despite the work of some theologians like Bart Ehrman who like to cast doubt on Scripture, the Bible still changes the lives of millions of people.  Millions still love the Book.  Millions still live by the Book.  Many give their lives for the Book.  What a Book!

References

  1. Genesis 1:1
  2. Psalm 138:2b
  3. 1 Peter 1:4
  4. Romans 1:16
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