The posts on Understanding Islam have centered on the life of Muhammad, the Quran and the Ideology of Islam. As has been noted often ‘works’ is the pathway for Muslims to attain Allah’s acceptance. For the Christian it is through the sacrifice of Jesus, his punishment for all our sins, accepting God’s gracious act of forgiveness and having thanks changes hearts, lives, so that what follows is good. Through faith not works. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8) The question that arises, then, is why The Bible? Some helpful answers follow:
Study the Bible – Why?
1. What does the Bible say about how God gave His Word to us? II Peter 1:21
For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
2. Who inspired all Scripture to be written? II Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness
3. What did the writers of the Bible say about the part God had and the part they had in writing the Bible?
II Samuel 23:2 – The Spirit of the Lord spoke through me; his word was on my tongue.
Jeremiah 1:9 – Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth.”
II Peter 1:21 – For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
4. What was God’s reason for giving us the Bible? John 20:31
But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
5. Why should we study the Bible? II Timothy 3:15-17
… and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Another reason for studying the Bible is given – II Timothy 2:15-16
15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.
6. How often should we study the Bible? Acts 17:11
Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
7. How long will the Bible last?
Mathew 24:35 – Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
Isaiah 40:8 – The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.
8. How can we know if the Bible is true?
John 7:17 – If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.
II Timothy 3:15 – and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
9. How can we understand the Bible? I Corinthians 2:14
The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, and for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
10. Since the name of the Lord Jesus Christ Is not in Genesis, how can we say that Christ is in Genesis?
Luke 24:25, 27 – He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! …” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
John 1:1-3, 14 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
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The Bible is the book of the Ages. It is timeless, certainly in existence well before the Quran. Muhammad learned from the Bible. He controverted the Bible, in my opinion, for his personal desires. His intentions in the beginning, when in Mecca, may have been worthy, but later when in Medina (having left Mecca due to perceived persecution for his views) he became belligerent and forceful in having his will imposed on the tribes and the Ideology of Islam instilled.
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Avoid Theological Error – The Bible guides us to avoid theological error. It is the authority for faith and life. 1 Timothy 4:16 reads, “Watch you life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.”
Titus 2:1 informs the reader, “You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine.”
The Bible thus is foundational, a base upon which to build one’s life, rooted in God’s Truth. It reveals, warns of, the errors of the world.
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From notes taken from a Focus on The Family outline on this topic (quotes are from my notes) we have 8 important reasons for a study of the Bible.
- It is important to cultural literacy – the basic information to thrive in the modern world (from E. D. Hirsch) is written.
- Learn for yourself what the Bible says – “History has demonstrated that th Bible cannot be ignored.”
- Personal Education is therein – A view of how others have faced “moral choices, life challenges, and … situations applicable to even today.”
- The Bible is useful in helping others – providing “general principles and ideas to assist others in living their lives.”
- We can learn of the relevance of Jesus – the foundation of Christianity – understand His mission.
- The Bible is God’s Word to all of us, a “special revelation.” God reveals himself by the world around us, his creation, and the mind, conscious of man, but also, more importantly through His Word and Jesus. (Find more on this in the book, The Proven God, available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble – ebooks too)
- The Bible is the How To book to know God better and His plan for mankind. It reveals a loving God (read with patience and His love shines brilliantly – the New Testament reveals the Truth); His love is unconditional. (see previous Part 89 and know that Allah’s love is conditional)
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That is why everyone should study the Bible, religious or secular. It is useful, historical, and has its own extensive history that is part of the culture of all humans.
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We pray no-one is constrained by not being able to read the Bible. You can deny God, you can love Allah, you can be a Christian and this Book holds value for you. For some it may be more important than others, but there is something in it for everyone, an eye-opener, a reminder, a mirror-like reflection of each one of us that may enable us to see in our reflection more than we ever expected. May the Love of God, the Grace of the Lord and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all. “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:9)
Grace and Peace,