"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." (2Timothy 3:16,17)
The Bible meets every human need. Just like a key fits perfectly in a lock, this blessed Book fits every need of the complex human heart. It holds the combination for these intricate and mysterious beings which we call people. Open the Bible, and you may find out more about yourself than you could find by self-study over all the years of the longest life. It tells the truth about humanity, and gives infallible and righteous guidance through life. As you stand upon the verge of life and ask, " Is this all? Does my life add up to anything more than the memory of a long journey of temptations and trials and disappointements with a few fleeting and momentary joys? What is beyond this life, or is there nothing ahead?" The Bible meets these questions of your soul; it is the open door into heaven or the open door into hell.
This book is not antiquated; it fits the modern heart just as truly as it fit the hearts of patriarchs on the plains of Mesopotamia in ancient days. There is no other book so modern. Open it anywhere in the world and it tells every person all about themselves. In all the development of civilization, there has never come to any person a temptation which the Bible does not anticipate, and for which it does not provide a safeguard. There has never come to any person a condition for which the Bible does not have a promise. We come to the promisies of that book and find them adapted to our need. We receive them and step out upon them and plead them in prayer to God, and the answer comes according to the promise.
It is beautiful to see how the holy men, who spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit, were usually just average men. Moses and David were shepherds when God called them. Elijah was a rough mountaineer, Amos a herdsman, Matthew, John and Peter were fishermen. Someone has rightly said that God loves the common people. The very Son of God Himself was a carpenter for a while.
The Bible has verified itself in the experience of the wisest and best and most virtuous men and women this earth has ever seen. They know it to be inspired, and can give a direct and personal experience of its truth. We believe it, because when believed sincerely and followed faithfully, it has formed the saintliest characters this world has ever seen. Among all the books, it alone has had that influence.
I gave much of my earlier life to the study of Homer and Shakespeare, and although I found keen intellectual delight in them, those books held no rebuke for my sins, nor any power to lift me above them. But when I came to the Bible and received its statements and received the One about whom the whole book is written, I entered into peace and joy and power. The Bible led me to Jesus, and Jesus transformed my life.
Think what it is to be saved. It means deliverance from an awful doom. I do not know the depths of the awfulness of an eternity without God, but the Bible tells us something about it. I know it is separation from God. It is separation from the good. I know the Bible exhausts the resources of language to pen the horrors and woes, condensed into that little word which we spell with four English letters: l-o-s-t. It is darkness, it is death, it is fire, it is the undying worm -- and all these for eternity.
But salvation means pardon full and free: everything forgiven, everything forgotten. The slate is wiped clean, and not one trace of our sins can be found even in the memory of God. Not one transgression is left; everything is blotted out and gone. Through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, our sins are washed away: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31). On the cross of Calvary, all the waves and billows of God's wrath went over His Son because of us. Salvation means becoming a child of God, coming into the family of God, and sitting down at the table of God as an heir of God and a joint heir with Jesus Christ. It means eternal rest and peace and joy -- and the eternal begins now. Believing brings pardon, and the immediate entrance into peace and unspeakable joy.
The Bible is not just a book for scholars and experts; it is the people's book, and the people understand it. It is the book of God's interests in -- and relations with -- humanity. From Genesis to Revelation, it reveals a God who considers our frame -- that we are dust, and a Christ who was in all points tempted like us (yet without sin), and who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. It condemns sin, but it tells us of the divine-human Christ, who died for those very sins. It will laugh with your joy and weep with your sorrow. It holds the only true philosophy of life. It interprets your deepest longing, justifies your highest aspiration, and interprets the mystery of death. Beyond death, it lifts the veil of eternal things, and shows you the eternal home. Study the Bible, believe it, cherish it, obey it, treasure it, love it, for it is Truth itself -- God's Book.
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