Saturday, November 16, 2013

5 Reasons Why The Bible Is Still Relevant

The Bible is not just ancient reference book to add to your collection. It's not just some out-of-date religious history journal. And it's not just a collection of old, fanciful stories. So what is the Bible? Maybe a good descriptive title would be "The Book Of God". After all, it tells us who God is, what He has done in the past, what He promises to do in our current daily life, and what He promises for the future.

"The Book Of God" isn't just about God though. It is about us. It's about God's gracious plan of how we can be made right with God. That plan involves the One who saves - Jesus. Without the Bible, we would not know of God's plan to save us from eternal destruction. So to say the Bible doesn't apply to us today would be crazy. The Bible does apply to us today, and the Bible is still relevant. Below are 5 reasons why.

1. The God of ancient times is the same God today
If the God described in the Bible was a different God than the God of today, then the Bible would certainly not be relevant. It wouldn't apply to our day and age. It wouldn't apply to our lives. Then it truly would be just an ancient history book of times long gone. However, our God, the one and only God, never has changed. That means the God we pray to, the God we serve, and the God we worship is the same God who created this world, and is the same God who sits on the heavenly throne at this moment. The God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament.

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)

Because the God we know today is the same God who is revealed in the Bible, the Bible is still relevant in today's world.

2. The Bible still changes lives today
I've talked to many Christians over the years, and I have yet to hear a Christian say that the Bible has not changed their life. The Bible is the only book that can permanently change one's life forever. How does this happen? It happens because the belief and faith that develops from Bible truths results in a transformational response in the way we live and act.

"Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ." (Romans 10:17)

Our lives change because our faith drives it.  But there's much more to it. Our faith develops because the Bible is more than just words on a page - much more than just black and white. The Holy Spirit is involved, and we become convicted.

"For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)

Besides that, the Bible continually changes lives through a life-long transformation. It's on-going. "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." (Romans 12:2a)

Changed lives is the proof that the Bible is still relevant.

3. The Bible is written to believers
The Bible assumes that the reader believes. And if the reader doesn't believe, the intent is to persuade readers to believe. The Bible presents truths. But there is more to it than simply truths, it presents truths that are convicting. The Apostle John wrote the Book of John for the specific purpose of persuading his readers to believe in Jesus.

"Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." (John 20:30-31)

Perhaps the strongest argument that the Bible is relevant, especially the New Testament Epistles, is the fact that the Epistles are all addressed to Christians. Paul addressed his letters to Christians of different churches or regions. For example, here's one of Paul's greetings, "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 1:1) If the Epistles are written to Christians, and we are Christians, then the principles found in these letters apply to us. 

4. The Bible's principles are timeless
Regardless of culture, and regardless of the time frame, the Bible principles are universal. How humans should treat each other, how to live righteously,  and how they should come to know God are ageless. Teachings on subjects such as peace, joy, and love are always relevant.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23)

A mature Christian will begin to display there qualities in increasing measure. They are timeless. 

5. The Bible doesn't have an expiration date
 God's plan for us to be made right with God through Christ doesn't have an expiration date. Well, it does, on the Final Day, when Jesus comes back to gather His church. But until then, the New Testament truths go on. And God's plan of redemption is always available. It doesn't change, God's promises are true, and God is faithful to His word. And even long after this world passes away........

“My Words will not pass away” – Mark 13:31

The Bible deals with eternal things, spiritual things. It deals with things not just in the past, or even in the present, but things of the future, such as life after death, how the earth will end, and what heaven will be like - things that haven't yet come to pass.

So, yes, the Bible is still relevant. And if it is still relevant, so what? So...... read it! And gain more faith as you go, resulting in transformational change that has eternal consequences. 

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