In my pursuit of God, (even though He pursues me!) I have found times when the Bible has come alive and God has downloaded new things every day. Other times there have been droughts, where the idea of picking up the Bible has been the last thing I have felt like doing and it has been so hard staying focused on what I am reading. How committed should I be to reading, why is reading the Bible important and how important is it to do what the Bible says?
There are five key things that it is important to explore as we work to understand how important the Bible is to the disciples of Jesus. The first question relates to whether Jesus and the Bible are connected as both are known as the "Word"? The second question is, can the Bible be used to give proof whether we are true disciples of Jesus? The third question is how is the love for God and His Word connected. Finally, should we love the Word of God the same as we love God?
Jesus Is The Word of God and the Bible is the Word of God
This is something that I find quite incredible. How can Jesus be the word of God and the Bible as well. This is revealed in the following scriptures:-
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
This chapter is quite a profound way to start an account of the life of Jesus. Jesus is both the creator, God and the Word! Later in Verse 14, we read that this "Word" is confirmed to be Jesus.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Jesus was the Word and through Him, all things were made. This is an amazing statement. The one who created the universe became fully human. This is beyond my comprehension. In Revelations, we read that Jesus is called the Word of God.
13 He (Jesus) was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. Revelation 19:13
Is the Bible also the Word of God? In 2 Timothy we read that the Word of God or the Bible is given to us by God and is very important in our everyday lives for Christians.
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 2 Timothy 3:16
We can see that the scriptures clearly state that both Jesus and the Bible are both the Word of God. The Bible is the Word written and Jesus came in flesh to represent God.
Proof We Are Disciples of Jesus
As we have discovered that both Jesus and the Bible are perfectly one, it follows that our relationship as a believer to the Bible must be the same as our relationship to Christ. This can be understood by reading about what Jesus said to His disciples when he was leaving them in the flesh. Jesus leaving meant that a new type of relationships needed to be formed with His disciples, allowing them to see Him or have communion with Him. In John 14:19 we read a very interesting statement:-
19 “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. John 14:19
Jesus was saying they or the disciples would "continue" to see Him. How would this be possible? Judas (not the betrayer) asked the questions possibly on everyone's mind.
2 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”
The question was, how can you manifest yourself to your disciples when you are not present on earth and you are not present to the world? How would Jesus continue His relationship with His disciples after departing the earth? How would He communicate in a way that only His disciples would be able to hear? Jesus answered:-
23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. John 14:23
Therefore, the difference between a true disciple of Jesus and the world is that the disciple keeps the Word of God. So the disciple needs to not only know the Bible but enact everything it says. A true disciple lives the Word of God and grows in the way they live through doing everything the Bible tells them to do.
Four Vital Facts (Derek Prince)
Keeping God's Word is the supreme feature that distinguishes the disciple of Christ from the rest of the world.
Keeping God's Word is the supreme test of the disciple's love for God and the supreme cause of God's favour towards the disciple.
Christ manifests Himself to the disciple through God's Word, as it is kept and obeyed.
The Father and Son come into the life of the disciple and establish their enduring home with him through God's Word.
How Is Love for God and His Word Connected?
The apostle John said:-
4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this, we know that we are in Him. John 2:4-5
Without a doubt, the Bible is essential in the believer's life. Keeping God's Word sets us apart as disciples of Christ. It is the test of love for God we pass when we continue to want to grow and desire in being obedient. Through keeping God's Word we receive God's special favour. God also manifests Himself to us through the Bible and in fact, God the Father, Son and Spirit all make their home through us keeping His Word.
Should My Attitude Towards God and God's Word The Same?
My attitude towards the Bible, God's Word changes when I understand how important it is in a disciple's life. It could be said that our attitude towards the Word of God is the same attitude we have towards God. If we cannot love, honour and make room for His Word we cannot truly love God. This is quite a profound statement. If asked "How much does God's Word meant to you?", can you say the same as how much God means to me? No more and no less.
From the Bible, it is clear that Jesus and the Bible are connected. Jesus was the Word in the beginning and this Word became flesh. We also read the Word through opening the Bible. God is calling HIs TRUE disciples to both love the Word and obey everything God tells us to do. This is proof we love God. By reading the Word, God makes His home in our life and is able to bless us and give us special favour. As we understand what ANd who the Word is, we learn to love the Bible as much as we love God.....as we see God in each page.
Yes, sometimes picking up the Bible is so difficult as the alternatives are so appealing ..... until we realize that we love God and His Word as both are so interconnected.
Prince, Derek: Foundational Truths for Christian Living 2006, pp 9-13