Summary: The Bible is like a best friend; one who is always truthful and is trustworthy.
The Bible: Your Friend
Pastor Eric J. Hanson
March 1, 2015
Pontius Pilate sarcastically asked Jesus “What is Truth?” His attitude about that whole matter was typical of people who are not walking with God. What he meant was, “There is no genuine truth for guiding people’s decisions and their lives.” Jesus had just said “Everyone on the side of truth, listens to me.” What Pilate did not realize is this: Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. (John 14:6) Because Jesus lived without sinning at all, and he fulfilled the Law of God; therefore He is the truth. Indeed, because He always did the perfect will of the Father, therefore He is the truth. Truth is embodied in the person of Jesus Christ, and in the complete Godhead of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is also found in God’s written word, the Bible. Jesus prayed in John 17:17 “Sanctify them by your Truth. Your word is truth.”
The concept and practice of being transformed by truth, is a central and major part of truly knowing God. One of the most influential and courageous pastors of our time, the late Dr. D. James Kennedy called his daily radio program “Truths That Transform”. As we walk with the Lord and become ever closer to Him, we can be “transformed by truth”, God’s truth. As we learn God’s word more and more, and seek to obey Him, we can be transformed by truth. Let’s look more closely at this concept now.
The word transform is very interesting. It is closely related to several other words. Bay Area Rapid Transit takes people quickly around to different parts of San Francisco, moving from one part to another. Trans-pass on the Maine Turnpike lets you move through the tollbooth without stopping, traveling from one side of the booth to the other. Transition is the process of change. Moving from one job or career path to a different one is a major transition. Transformation however, is nothing less than the process of changing from being one thing or one form to being another. Transformation is deeper and more powerful than transit, trans-pass, or even transition.
People, who have genuinely experienced “new birth” through embracing Jesus Christ as Lord and savior, know that His truth has the power to transform. People, who have learned to feed on the written Word of God, and to obey it, know that His word has power to transform. At present, Jesus is in Heaven, until he returns to Earth in His Second Coming. The Bible however, is here with us now. How should we relate to it? There are three important ways. Here they are.
1. Accept the authority of the Bible.
Page 186 of “The Purpose Driven Life” says the following: “The Bible is far more than a doctrinal guidebook. God’s Word generates life, creates faith, produces change, frightens the Devil, causes miracles, heals hurts, builds character, transforms circumstances, imparts joy, overcomes adversity, defeats temptation, releases hope, infuses power, cleanses our minds, brings things into being, and guarantees our future forever.” Wow! What a summation of the transforming power released by God’s word! Many times people make decisions based on wrong authority. There are four flawed authorities people often turn to. They include:
a. culture (Everyone’s doing it.),
b. tradition (We’ve always done it.),
c. reason (It seemed logical.), and
d. emotion (It felt right.).
All of these things fall short as touchstones for life. Let’s read 2nd Timothy 3:16 together and see the true authority. God’s word is final authority. When making decisions, believers need to first decide, “I will find out what God says about this, and I will do that.” God’s word carries God’s authority.
2. Assimilate the Bible’s truth.
How can you do this? There are five ways. Let’s explore them.
a. Receive the word while listening to preaching or teaching. Listen with an open heart of good spiritual soil for the seed of the word to penetrate deeply into and take root. Even if it’s just us speaking, the same old local preachers you’ve heard hundreds of times, God will give you treasures through us if you look past us to God in his word. James 1:21 tells us the following: (read it) You see, it isn’t because of the preacher that you should be excited at 11 AM every Sunday. It’s because of the Word of God, which can transform you!
b. Read the Word. Of course, you must take the time to do this. If you wish to grow strong in the word, you must partake of it daily. Don’t spend three hours on television and three minutes on the word of God and then expect to grow stronger in your spirit. Why not cut out half an hour of that daily TV, or Facebook and texting, or telephone time, and give that time to the word of God instead. That’s a good spiritual meal. Approach the written word of God the same way you would a fine and timely meal; open and hungry. A Bible reading plan can help you with this.