The Bible is more than a good book. Writing is a finicky task. Just as I sat down to write on one subject today, I decided to write on the subject stated at the head of this column: The Bible is more than a good book.
The reason I decided to write on this and not that is because it would have been difficult for most readers to understand my perspective on the nature of the church if they did not understand my foundation from which I gain my perspective.
Everyone has a foundation from which life’s standards come. As children, we gain our foundational standards from those people who spend the most amount of time with us as children.
Notice that I did not say we gain our standards from our parents. That is certainly the preferred method for gaining foundational standards. Unfortunately, we live in a culture that is continually seeking to destroy the family unit.
And yes, now I will have to write a future column on the importance of the family unit as traditionally defined.
But as children, we gain our foundational standards for life and living from those people who spend the most time with us. I gained my foundational standards from my parents. My dad has a third-grade reading level and a sixth-grade education. He retired from Ford Motor Co. making close to six figures. He can fix anything.
The reason he has accomplished so much is because he is a hard worker. Consistently working hard is a foundational standard my father passed on to me and my siblings. So I am a hard worker. As a matter of fact, I believe that if a man does not work hard for what he has, he should starve to death.
Parents, teach your children to work hard!
But my parents passed a foundational standard down to their children that is more important than working hard, though not many things are more important than working hard. My parents passed down the belief that the Bible — that is, the 66 books of the Christian scriptures — the Bible is fully authoritative for faith, life and conduct here and now. The Bible speaks to everything.
Unfortunately, that would be considered a novel idea in our cultural climate these days. But that was not always the case in America.
Yet, no matter how much people deny it, the truth is that the greatest book you could ever read is the Bible. The Bible teaches you how you can have eternal life with God in heaven. That is the most important thing the Bible teaches.
The Bible also teaches who God is. After all, it is pointless to believe in someone or something if that person or thing is only thought of as a nebulous idea.
The Bible does more than teach us how we can have the forgiveness of sins and eternal life with God. The Bible speaks to everything. The Bible teaches us who God is, who we are, who we are not, who we ought to be, why we are the way we are, why we struggle with suffering in this world, financial principles, educational standards, foundations for Science, everything.
The Bible is the only book that has all the answers to mankind’s problems. That is why we go to church.
When we go to church, we go to church to learn what the Bible teaches. We should not go to church because it is fun although there is nothing wrong with enjoying where you are at. The main reason to go to Church is to learn what God says about the matter.
The Bible says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16–17).
Here is the reason why the Bible is more than a good book. There is only one book in the world that teaches us that the solution to mankind’s problems is not within his power. That book is the Bible.
All other religions will virtually teach you the same thing. Do this and do that over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over . . . again and you will be in good with God. Or, you will be a better person.
Wow! That is beyond exhausting. When does it end? How much is enough? According to those religious views, it never ends. Life is a burden because you can never do enough.
But Jesus said, “Take my yoke (wooden bar) upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke (wooden bar) is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:29–30).
The Bible is the only book that will tell you the truth about yourself: “You cannot ultimately solve the problems of this life or the next. Only a personal walk with Jesus Christ can do that.”
Roman Catholicism will tell you to do what the church, pope and tradition demand of you. Islam will tell you to also follow a set of daily rules and regulations. Atheism will tell you to believe in yourself. The list goes on endlessly.
The Bible says, Walk with Jesus Christ in accordance with the scriptures. To say it another way: trust in Jesus Christ alone. The power is in God, not you. Trust in him. The power is in Christ alone.
The Bible is more than just a good book because it gets beyond the superficial and to the root of our problems. The Bible tells us the truth no matter how much it hurts our pride. We are our greatest problem, and only Jesus Christ can fix us.
The Rev. Andrés Reyes is the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church in Perry.