Summary: The Bible is already relevant. Maybe we need to get out of the way and let its power be seen.
1. There is a lot of talk today about making the bible "relevant."
a. The word Relevant means "Logically connected with and important to the matter in hand; appropriate, germane, pertinent."
b. There seems to be a precedent in verses like:
15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. 16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. 18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Philippians 1.15-18
13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 1 Peter 3.13-16
2. "Do not try to make the Bible relevant. Its relevance is axiomatic. Do not defend God's word, but testify to it. Trust to the Word. It is a ship loaded to the very limits of its capacity." ~Dietrich Bonhoeffer
3. God has something to say about the relevance of his word -- Isaiah 55:6-11
4. Get out of the way and turn it loose -- It IS relevant already
* Jesus is the word
* Jesus is the Lion of Judah -- we don't have to entice the lion to do what he does naturally
* Jesus is coming as a warrior with the sharp sword from his mouth -- we don't have to coax a soldier into doing what he does
o For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4.12
o Acts 2.37
I. Trust -- Appropriate the Bible into Every Aspect of Life
A. How We Have Gotten Where We Are
- In the 1960s the Supreme Court ruled that prayer and Bible reading in public schools violated the Constitution.
- They prohibited the teaching of Creationism and replaced it with the theory of evolution.
- They removed God's standard of truth and instead gave children the responsibility of determining right and wrong on their own.
- To determine whether the Bible is relevant, one need only look back over the last 40 years of our nation's history.
- If people don't believe the Bible is relevant today, it isn't because we tried it and it failed, but because we have ignored it and have virtually destroyed the morality of the last generation!
B. Getting Back on Track
* Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
* The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit." John 3.8
* Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." John 20.29
Believing Is Seeing
Before the pioneering work of British surgeon Joseph Lister, it was thought that "bad (infected) air" was the cause of spreading diseases in hospitals. Surgeons operated without sterile hands or instruments. Lister discovered that carbolic acid was an effective disinfectant for hands, wounds, and surgical instruments. His work increased the understanding of the role of germs in spreading, and preventing, disease.
Germs couldn't be seen, but their effects could be. Survival of patients was "the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). And that is what faith is. We cannot apprehend faith with our senses, but we can definitely see its evidence. We see the world that exists and believe God created it (Hebrews 11:3). We can see the changes in our lives and believe the power of God is responsible (John 9:25). We pray and believe God answers our prayers (James 1:6). Like Abraham, we trust God's words and believe we are made righteous in His sight (Genesis 15:6).
Don't let faith be a stumbling block. Faith is ultimately dependent on the object of faith--in our case, God and His words. Place your faith in the God you cannot see--believing is seeing.