Most Christians take that Bible to be the authoritative Word of God. We believe that it contains the very words of God, written down by men who were guided by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). There are many reasons to accept the Bible as God’s Word, such as the evidence of archaeology, which confirms the accuracy of the biblical record with each new discovery it makes, and the consistency of the fulfilled prophecies recorded in the Bible, which attest to its supernatural origin. Even the most hardened skeptic must admit that these evidences speak strongly for the reliability of God’s Word.
Nevertheless, I would like to address three reasons that I believe, and trust, the Bible. When I enter a time of doubt or questioning, I think back on why I believe the Bible. Why do I trust it so completely and attempt to pattern my life according to its teachings? What motivates me to introduce others to its Author? The answer comes in three parts: victory over sin, it makes sense of what I see in the universe, and the witness of the Holy Spirit.
Victory over sin
The power of sin in a person’s life can be devastating. Sin produces guilt in one’s heart, it destroys lives, and it separates us from God. On our own, we are powerless to conquer it. I struggled with certain sins from which I could not get away, no matter how I tried. I could stop for a while, but I would always find myself entangled and beaten by them again. Secular psychology, claiming to have cures, offered temporary victory over them, but nothing lasting.
How liberating when I understood the message of the Bible that said, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness” (Romans 6:12-13 ESV). The Bible said that I did not have to be a slave to sin; I could be free from sin and guilt through the power of Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul, speaking of Jesus Christ, says this, “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin” (Romans 6:6 ESV).
I have not only learned that Jesus sets us free from the power of sin, but I now experience this freedom daily. I have been set free from those sins that used to have such a grip on me. It is not my imagination; I had tried too hard for too long to break the bonds of sin. There was no way that I would ever be strong enough on my own to live as I knew I should be living. No, the truth of the saving power of Jesus Christ set me free, “For the law of the Spirit of life has set[me] free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2 ESV). I carry this witness in my heart wherever I go.
It makes sense of what I see in the universe
The Bible answers so many life questions: Where did we come from? What is our purpose? Why are people the way they are? Where do morals come from?
C.S. Lewis wrote, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else” (Lewis). When I look at our world through the lens of a biblical worldview, it makes sense. The Bible tells me that murder, rape, child abuse, and all the other bad things in the world were not part of God’s original design for us. The Bible tells me that God created a perfect world (Genesis 1:31) for humanity to live in. Humans and God were created to be in a special relationship with one another. However, humanity’s rebellion spoiled that relationship and brought negative consequences upon our environment and us.
The Bible tells me that God is love (1 John 4:7-8, 16), therefore, anyone who is not in communion with God is unable to consistently exhibit His love. The Bible even answers the questions of race, religion, government, and any question one might have concerning life, both here and the hereafter. The Bible tells me that my eternal destiny depends on the choice I make; the choice to follow, or rebel against, the Savior Jesus Christ. The Bible is so rich that a lifetime of study could not fully plumb its depths. However, that lifetime of study will allow the reader to be plumbed, and molded, by the Author of the Words contained within the Bible.
The witness of the Holy Spirit
The Bible tells us that, when we become followers of Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes into our hearts to dwell, “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him” (Romans 8:16-17 ESV, see also 2 Corinthians 1:22, 5:55; Ephesians 1:13-14; James 4:5). When we become Christians, we are linked to God in a way that is not possible for those who reject Him. This indwelling of the Holy Spirit enables us to resist temptation, to show others the love of God, and to be empowered to live as He wants us to live. It is impossible to live life like this under our own power.
The Holy Spirit in us enables us to have the kind of relationship with God for which we were created, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15 ESV, see also Galatians 4:6). We who are saved by faith in Jesus Christ have come into a relationship with God that makes us His children and our spirits cry out in recognition of this relationship. He is our loving Father, and we are His faithful children.
The Holy Spirit in us continually reminds our spirit of the truth of God, His love, His Son, His salvation, and the fact that we are saved and kept by His power as we live for Him, “Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us” (1 John3:24 ESV, see also Romans 5:5).
Whenever doubts or hardships arise in your walk with Jesus, remember these evidences of the reality of your salvation. God has empowered you to have victory over sin and to resist temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). The biblical record explains everything about why the universe is the way it is. It gives us the history of how we got here, why we are here, how we got into this condition, and the cure for our sinful state. Last, but certainly not least, we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us, witnessing to our Spirit concerning the truth of God and His plan.
Strengthened by these truths, we can be bold in our walk with God and our witness of the saving grace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, “…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7 ESV).
Here are some more articles about the Bible:
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
C.S. Lewis, “Is Theology Poetry?” Essay Collection (London: Harper Collins, 2000) 21.