GOD PROTECTS HIS WORD - P7
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8).
Attacks upon the Bible as the Word of God have been ferocious throughout history. Attempts to undermine it have been exhaustive.
One such attack comes from “Christians” themselves, who claim that the Bible is not holy, complete, or the final word. They argue that God’s Word is not “written,” that other books should have been included in the Bible, or that books that are included in the Bible should be dropped. Similarly, some argue that historical texts outside the Bible should be viewed with equal credibility (i.e. the Early Church Fathers). Many claim that our Bibles were put together by men in committees or councils and so their decisions were academic and arbitrary, and should not be final. The bottom line of all these arguments is that we can hold our own “counsels” to choose for ourselves what is and isn’t God’s Word. This is infinitely dangerous because you can be comfortable with any lifestyle or sin if you are controlling what God’s Word is and what it isn’t.
All of these positions depict a god who is absent, disinterested, or powerless to protect and promote his word in the world. This is not the God of the Bible, because He is not powerless or disinterested and He has “shepherded” His Word through human history. “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever” (Ps. 12:6-7 KJV). “The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting” (Ps. 119:160). Every one...is everlasting. But some will contend that this is only concerning the Law and it has no bearing on the New Testament. To which Jesus would say, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away” (Matt. 24:35).
In the thousands of years that have lent ample opportunity for books to be lost or destroyed, what “word” has not passed away? What “word” has endured in the hands of people everywhere? The Word of God— “The Book” in your home today. And it has reached the hands of more people than any other book in the history of the world. It is true that there are other books that at one time or another have been deemed acceptable or unacceptable in canon. However, they have not endured throughout time in the hands of people everywhere. Is this oversight of man or direction of God? It is the direction of God, for He ensured that “the word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region” (Acts 13:49).
The Bible is a finely tuned collection of books that focus mainly on three things: God’s Holy and sinless nature; man’s sinful nature and inability to save himself—even when given a rule-book to follow; the Gospel of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Who is the only way man can be reconciled back to God and saved. Whether you are looking at the books of Maccabeus or Enoch, this is not their focus. So regardless about debates as to their credibility and usefulness, they should not be included in the Bible, and God has made sure of that.
What we have in the Bible is what God knows man needs for Salvation. As Paul affirmed: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3-4), and “whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Rom. 15:4). Even so, Amen.