Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Have Christians replaced God with the Bible?

I remember the days long ago when as a young man I rediscovered the Bible. I had seen it's ancient words as a boy but now I could think far clearer and better. I told myself while reading the Bible's words, "these are the words of men, far from their original order and far from divine, read them with caution!" Yet it took less then a month for me to feel and unmistakably know the Creator's divine breath rustling through those pages with the wind of His Spirit.

Photo by Aaron Burden - modified by DR

I was quick to discover churches shortly afterwards. I found many a soul claiming to preach the gospel but it was mysteriously Christless! They did not deny Christ, it's just that He wasn't the main thing of the gospel equation. He had somehow become a footnote. Here's what they kept saying...

The Bible is the Truth.
The Bible will guide you.
The Bible will protect you.
The Bible will keep you in the path of righteousness.
The Bible will give you life.
The Bible will save you.
The Bible, the Bible, the Bible.... etc.

That's sounds ok, right? At first glance maybe. But this message was really: believe in the Bible and you shall be saved, hear and obey It!

Wait a second! Didn't Jesus say that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life!? Isn't He our Savior, Shield, Protector, Lord, Friend and Everlasting Father? Isn't He our Righteousness? How in the world did we ever replace "Believe in Jesus and you will be saved" with "Believe in and obey the Bible and you will be saved"???

They say the Bible is the "word of God". Listen more and you will hear them use verses in the Bible to prove that it is His word! Don't get me wrong... it is God's word but not the Word of God. Bare with me a second. If you found yourself on some desert island and there in an abandoned and forgotten chest under a palm tree you found a scroll that claimed to be the word of God "This scroll you have in your hand is the word of God - believe it and everything it says!" would that give it scroll any credibility? Would you place your trust in it? Absolutely not, right?

When I was that young man of 17 reading the Bible I knew it was divinely inspired, words breathed by the Spirit of God long ago through many, many a soul over still many more years. I knew it because I was born again and His Spirit resided in me. Those who are of Christ hear and know His voice. You know the Bible is divinely inspired because you are of His Spirit and you hear His voice in the Bible. Too many believe and say it is God's word without knowing it is!

You see, we don't believe in the Bible... we believe in Jesus - whose Spirit authored the Bible, sure! - but more importantly Jesus is the One in whom we trust.

The Bible is not God. Jesus is God and Jesus is the Word of God. He - the Word - is Alive, created everything and still speaks today to every one of His children through His Spirit. The totally disastrous thing that is happening today is that many read that Jesus promised us One who would lead us into all Truth, guide us, comfort us, speak to us... and instead of reading who it is, we ignore His words and say that the Bible will do that. That One is the Spirit... this is precisely how many have replaced God with the Bible - they think the Bible will do what only the Spirit does!

The letter kills but the Spirit gives life. 
(Paul - who wrote that in the Bible in one of his letters to a church in a Greek city called Corinth)

It's funny but I'm sure Paul had no idea people would one day canonize that letter he wrote to the Corinthians and say it was God's word. Sure those words are breathed by God's Spirit but who says that God isn't in the business of speaking through His sons and daughters today? And no, that doesn't mean in any way that we should be adding or taking away a single word in the Bible, by the way. It just means that we have a living relationship with the Father and like any relationship that is healthy, we must always have two way communication with Him - and that's exactly what our Father made sure we can always do - thanks to His Spirit in us!

If you read the Bible today it should come alive with the warmness of the Breath of God's Spirit. There is no other way to read the Bible. When people read the Bible in the coldness of bare intellect and the hardness of the stones in which it's letters are engraved, these people will do and believe in horrible things. 

What was meant for life will suddenly bring death. They turn the Bible into knowledge, the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil! So when you approach the Bible in this way - to seek what is right or wrong - you deny yourself the Life-Giving Breath of the Spirit and you find that it's fruit will bring death. Churches who read the Bible like this deify the Book of God and not the Word of God and the result is death, literally dead churches and sleeping Christians unaware of the grace, life and power of God they are constantly forfeiting!

I cherish the reading of the Bible. But what I cherish more is it's Author - who lives and dwells in every one of His children. It's time we let people know that our relationship with God isn't with His Book... it's with His Spirit. 

What about you? What do you think? Let us know and write your comments!

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David Roiel
The Green Leaf Blog-Discover your inheritance!

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