1 Thessalonians 2:13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.
How we receive the Word of God is of utmost importance. Much of the mess in the Church today can be traced directly to theologians in the late 19th to early 20th Centuries who attacked the veracity of the Bible as hadn’t been done since the canon of the New Testament was settled. It’s not that there aren’t difficulties in translation, as well as differing documents, and the text was indeed copied and even edited by many people, but given those factors, the degree of uniformity is actually astounding, and is a testimony to the fact that God has been protecting and proclaiming His Word down through the centuries. Today the attack on the Bible is if anything even more fundamental, as people dismiss out of hand anything they find inconvenient to their lifestyles. That’s no way to experience the power of God (at least not in a good way)! It is when we accept the Word of God as what it is, as Paul says here, that it “penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow [and] judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) It is precisely because people don’t want their thoughts and attitudes to be exposed that they seek to discount the Bible. Those same people are quite likely to want to “claim the promises” they find on its pages. However, you can’t have it both ways; either it is the Word of God or it isn’t, and that choice will decide your eternal destiny.
I had the incredible blessing of being raised in a home that valued the Bible as the Word of God. It was a theological/academic environment, actually, since my father taught Biblical Greek and my maternal grandfather had been a seminary professor as well, so I was aware of textual differences and translation problems and editing from a remarkably young age. However, even with that awareness there was the overriding principle that this was the Word of God. Fallible human beings were used in its transmission, yes, but God was in charge of it all, and we were responsible to live it out in daily obedience. As a result I became, as one person said of me, “addicted to the Bible.” I can’t think of a better way to be! That’s certainly not to say that I have been perfect in my obedience to the Word, or that I don’t have plenty of room to grow even now. However, it is my driving passion to introduce others to the Bible and to the Savior they will meet through its pages. I desire to spread my addiction as broadly as possible!
Father, thank You for so graciously giving us the Bible so that we have the written record we can turn to at any time. I am mystified as to why so few seem to fall in love with it as I have. Keep me from trying to force anything on anyone, but rather help me to be Your agent in exhorting and encouraging them to accept the riches that You offer. I pray that each of the believers in this church, for starters, would become “addicted” indeed, insisting on their daily “fix” before going on to anything else in their schedule. May we be a people of Your Word and Your Spirit, so that all of Your plans for us may be fulfilled, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!