What the Bible Really Is

When you think of the Bible, what do you think it is? Be careful here. Iā€™d ask that you not give me an answer that is a stock response, which is true, but which may not match your actual beliefs. If you say the Bible is the word of God, does your thinking in relation to biblical issues match that statement?

1 Thessalonians 2:13 ā€“ And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.

When Paul preached to the people in Thessalonica, he spoke to them as an apostle. That means that Paul brought the message of God with the authority of God to those people. And Paul was thrilled to see that, when they heard this message of God with the authority of God, they welcomed it as such.

Paul saw that the Thessalonians received the word of God as the word of God. They heard the message, and they understood that they were hearing the word, the communication, the heart expression of God. As a contrast, to make his point clear, Paul said that they did not receive this message as the word of men. This was not a message that they could debate. This was not a message they could receive part of and leave the rest. It is an all-or-nothing proposition.

Dear friends, what Paul said of the Thessalonians needs to be true of us. The Lord as inspired and preserved his holy word. God has spoken. And we need to receive the Scriptures, not as the words of men, but as they truly are, the word of God. We cannot take part and leave the rest. We cannot debate with the Bible. WE cannot adopt what we like or what is popular while letting the rest fly away. We need to read the Bible and realize that, in doing so, we are hearing the voice of God.

Not the Word of Men

There are a few questions that a person must answer in order to be in any way pleasing to God. Miss the answers to these questions, and you will be far from the truth. A person needs to know where we come from. A person needs to understand who Jesus is. A person needs to understand what we must do to be saved.

One more extremely significant question is this: What is the Bible? This is one of the most important questions any person can ask and answer. Get this one right, and you will have a proper foundation set for knowing the ways of God. Miss it, and you will be like a rudderless ship, floundering about without direction.

In his first letter to the Thessalonians, Paul, almost in passing, reminds the church there what the Bible is. Paul is here talking about his preaching to these people, and probably including the Old Testament Scriptures as well, but the point carries over to what we now have in the Bible.

1 Thessalonians 2:13 ā€“ And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.

There are two things to note here. Paul calls his message to the Thessalonians the word of God. And then he goes on to emphasize that it is not the word of men. This is vital. Understand, dear friends, the Bible is the word of God and not the word of men.

Start from the end. What if the Bible is merely the word of men? It might have some wisdom. It might be a somewhat helpful thing. But, if the Bible is merely a collection of the opinions and best guesses of fallible men, it is merely a tool to be used or discarded as we see fit.

But what if the Bible is, as Paul says, the word of God and not of men? Then everything changes. If the Bible is the word of God, it is authoritative. God is our Lord. What he says we must obey. What he wills we must strive to do or be.

If the Bible is the word of God, it is trustworthy. God is perfect. God does not err. It would be insanity to believe that the perfect and holy God of the universe would somehow give to us an errant, flawed, unreliable word and then claim it as his own.

If the Bible is the word of God, then what the Bible says, God says. If we want to know God, we will learn to know him through the word. If we want to be right with God, we do so by the method prescribed in the word. If we want to set our standards in line with those of God, we find those standards in his word.

The Bible is the word of God, not the word of men. Yes, men were used to write it down, but they were carried along by the Holy Spirit of God as he inspired them to pen for us, not the words of men, but the perfect word of God. Let this thought give you the answer to the question about what the Bible is. Know the Bible is the word of God. And let that Bible lead you to faith in and obedience to Jesus.