The Bible is God's living word

In my life the Bible has been a bright light shining in a dark world. It has been a living word in which I’ve heard the very voice of God.
Now, many might recoil at this wild and dangerous assertion by a church pastor. So let me show you that this wild and dangerous assertion is made by the Bible itself. This post is heavy on Bible quotes but I want you to see this wonderful and dangerous truth for yourself. God is speaking to us today through the Bible. It is his living word coming to us powerfully by the Holy Spirit. But will we listen?

But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:14-16

God’s word enables us to understand the salvation found in Jesus and it equips us to serve others. The apostle Paul saw every part of the Old Testament as breathed out by God’s Holy Spirit. It was God speaking by his Holy Spirit to his people. This understanding was applied to the New Testament.

So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion… Hebrews 3:7-8

A true understanding of Jesus only comes by the revelation given by God

  "But what about you?" Jesus asked. "Who do you say I am?" 16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." 17 Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. Matthew 16:15-17 cf 1 John 5:20, Ephesians 3:3

The writings of the apostles and others were also viewed as Scriptures

…just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.2 Peter 3:15-16

Jesus taught that the Scriptures were God’s living word to his generation

Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven. 31 But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” Matthew 22:29-32

Jesus quotes Exodus 3:6 to the Jews. With the words ‘God said to you’ Jesus shows God is speaking directly to his generation, the 1st century Jews, through what they read. Jesus also taught that God’s word, the Scriptures, are the rule for life and faith. Below Jesus quotes Genesis 2 and applies it to his generation. Thus, God’s word is a living word to be applied to us.

Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mathew 19: 3-4

Jesus is the key to the Scriptures

Jesus said,

 “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.  Luke 24:44-47

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus repeatedly says he must do something because it was promised in the scriptures, he acts to fulfil scripture, and treats the Old Testament as his authority. For him the Old Testament was the sure word of God in every part.

The apostle Paul understood Jesus as the fulfilment of the promises of God. We must understand the Scriptures, all of them, in light of Jesus Christ and God’s saving plan through him.

20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 1:20

The prophets spoke the very words of God by the power of the Holy Spirit

We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter :19-21

The Scriptures come to us from the Holy Spirit. He gave the words to the prophets. This word given to the prophets and written down is the Word of the Lord. The book of Jeremiah shows this wonderful truth.

Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. Jeremiah 1:9 See also Jeremiah 36:6-10.

The Holy Spirit is bringing God’s word to bear now

So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts
as you did in the rebellion Hebrews 3:7-8   &  17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17

The Old Testament Scriptures are for Christians

Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, 11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of the Messiah and the glories that would follow. 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things. 1 Peter 1:10-12

He, the Holy Spirit, is the Spirit of Christ. He revealed in the Old Testament Scriptures the salvation that was to be found through the Christ. This message was the gospel.

Reading the Bible:

Pray and ask God, the Father, to give you understanding through the Holy Spirit.

Read to understand what a passage meant in its original historical context.

Now, seek to understand what it means for you today.

What does it mean for today?

1.     What do I learn about God, his ways and his salvation in Jesus?

2.     What does the passage show me about living?

3.     What does this mean for me in my own life here and now?