Power Up – The Word
ver the next four weeks, we are going to take a look at the different tools that we must put into practice that will power up our spiritual growth. Today, we are going to speak on the power of the Bible.
The Bible, which is God's word, has power, and throughout generations has helped people to triumph in desperate situations. Isaiah 55:11 NIV says, "... My word that goes out from My mouth ... will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."
What is the Bible? The word 'Bible' means a book or collection of books regarded as authoritative on a topic. No other book is more authoritative on the topic of the Christian faith than the Christian Bible.
The relevance of the Bible - The Apostle Paul expresses it this way: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV.
The reason God gave us His Word is that our lives may be completely transformed. Everything we need for life and for godliness is in this book. The Bible's vital relevance can be seen in four areas:
a Teaching points to the Bible as giving us instruction for our lives and for walking in the power of God. This requires that we come to the Bible as learners, and interact with the Word. Since the Word has power, as we ingest it, it gives us power. We are, therefore, expected to read, listen and study the Word for it to transform us.
b Rebuking sounds harsh, but really means confronting our wrong beliefs and ideas about life. God is about transforming the misconceptions and distortions we carry around about Him, ourselves, and life. The Bible challenges these and directs us to change our minds and believe God regarding His instruction and direction. When the Bible challenges us, we have to be committed to adjust our beliefs to what the Bible says.
c Correction focuses on behaviour as distinct from beliefs. When you believe the right thing it becomes easier when the scriptures tell you to behave a certain way. There is no shortcut. Submission to the rebuke of the Word leads to a change in belief which in turn informs our behaviour.
d Training in righteousness focuses on the Bible's role in helping us to live the kind of life that pleases God - a life of faith, a life of overcoming.
These things are happening simultaneously as we invest time in the Word. The Bible trains us to a life of integrity, which we could not do on our own, and provides us with a complete spiritual toolbox to live a full and rich spiritual life of devotion to Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 4 says: "The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12 NIV.
The Bible is a powerful and life transforming book but there is a problem. God knew that even a book filled with historical accuracy, scientific truth and helpful rules would never be enough to change our lives. And that's why the Bible was never just about rules and regulations.
Notice what God said in the book of Isaiah "... My word that goes out from My mouth... will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire ... ." Isaiah 55:10 NIV.
This is instructive, because the Gospel of John begins with this statement: "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. He was with God in the beginning ... ." John 1:1-4 NIV. Then a few verses later John makes this dynamic statement: "And the word became flesh and dwelt amongst us." John 1:14 NIV That Word was Jesus.
The thing that sets Christianity apart from all other religions of the world is that the Bible teaches that:
n God the Son stepped down out of Heaven.
n He lived among us, taught, healed and prayed with people.
n He died on the cross as a substitute for our sins.
n He rose from the grave and conquered death so we would no longer fear the grave.
Without Jesus, our Bible is just an empty book filled with rules and regulations. But because of Jesus, we have something the world system and all its religions cannot offer. We have the record of a God who loved us so deeply that He gave us His only Son that whoever believes in Him, will have eternal life.