Why do we care so much whether the Bible is God’s Word or not? Can’t we just read it like any other good book of helpful advice? Can’t we just take what we find useful and ignore the rest?
Not exactly. If the Bible – in its entirety – is God’s Word, then refusing to believe the Bible is refusing to believe God. And refusing to obey the Bible is refusing to obey God. If the Bible is God’s Word, then it cannot be separated from its writer. If we declare the Bible false, then we declare God false. If we declare the Bible wrong, then we declare God wrong.
Because God is perfect and pure, He cannot lie (Tit. 1:2; Heb. 6:18). God is not like men and women who lie when it suits them (Num. 23:19). If He declares something to be a fact, then it is most certainly true. If He promises something will happen, it will most certainly happen. Therefore, the words of Scripture are completely pure – without any imperfection (Ps. 12:6), and they are “fixed” – certain and steadfast (Ps. 119:89). Every single word of the Word has proven – and will prove – true, because it is from God (Prov. 30:5). The Word stands forever because its Author stands forever (Isa. 40:8; 1 Pet. 1:24).
Moreover, God’s Word is truth itself (John 17:17). It is not merely “true” – as if there is some collection of truth outside of it to which it conforms. Rather, it is the standard and source of truth itself because its Author is the standard and source of truth itself. This means the Word is our authority and standard. If we are going to submit to God, then we must submit to His Word. And if we refuse to submit to His Word, we are refusing to submit to God.
After His resurrection, Jesus rebuked the disciples for not believing the Scriptures of the Old Testament (Luke 24:25). He also told His disciples that whoever kept His words would “keep” theirs as well (John 15:20). That means He ordained and equipped them to write the truth without error. God chose to speak His perfect Word and His authoritative commandments through the prophets and the apostles (2 Pet. 3:2).
This means our response to the Word of God is critical. We should examine our hearts and lives. Do we say we believe God? Then we must believe His Word, or we are lying. Do we say we obey God? Then our lives must conform to His Word, or we are lying.
The Bible is God’s Word. That means it is perfectly true in everything it affirms and declares. And it means the Bible is our authority above all other authorities. We must listen to it, believe it, and obey it, because that is the way we listen to, believe, and obey God.