The life-changing power of the Bible

Have you ever considered the contents of the Bible?

The Bible is living (zón) and powerful (energčs). It has a vital element that is in no other book. These attributes all belong to the Bible: it is faithful, broad, right, wonderful, pure, everlasting, righteous, and profitable (Psalms 119; 19 and 2 Timothy 3:16).

The Bible is potent because truth is potent, and the Bible is truth (John 17:17; cf. 8:32). It is the sword of the spirit, that convicts the unbeliever of his sin and his urgent need of Jesus Christ.

The Written Word of God is God-breathed. Life inheres in it. Therefore certain stupendous accomplishments are said to be wrought by Scripture:

1. It is powerful to convert unsaved persons. The Word of God is the agency by which faith is generated. It is written: "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). It is able to make you wise unto salvation (2 Timothy 3:15). It has great and precious promises that through faith you might be made partaker of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). The Law of the Lord, that is, the whole Bible, is able to convert you (Psalms 19:7). It is a light for you, to see the true Light that has come into the world, even Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Through it the new birth is accomplished by the Holy Spirit (John 3:5; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:23).

2. It is powerful to sanctify believers. Christ said so (John 17:17-19). Every Christian needs the Bible if he is to grow in his salvation (1 Peter 2:2). Christ uses it to sanctify and cleanse his church (Ephesians 5:26; Psalms 37:31; 119:11).

No wonder that God desires the Scripture to be preached at all times (2 Timothy 4:2). For it is as a fire, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces (Jeremiah 23:29).

Take heed of its message, for believing its contents will transform your life, as many millions of people in the past and up to the present have discovered for themselves.

Transforming Power God's Word transforms the heart. Only those who have experienced its truth are able to confirm such a sweeping statement. In itself this is another concrete evidence of biblical accuracy and of its heavenly origin.

Because of what it is, God's Word does not return unto Him void but accomplished the very things for which God has sent it. This promise in Isaiah 55 is compared to the rain that comes down and waters the earth so that it yields its crops. Wherever the Scripture, and particularly the Gospel, penetrates, there are always results, as long as it comes with power and the Holy Spirit.

There is nothing in the Word that acts ex opere operato, similar to what Romanists claim for their fabricated sacraments. The Word is sharp and powerful, it is active (Hebrews 4), but not by itself. The cause of God and truth (J.Gill) moves forward as the Word is blessed by the Holy Spirit who alone can change hearts. Lutherans claim that the power of moral truth is enough to persuade men to repent; this is patently false and tends towards Arminianism. Reformed Christians have always maintained, and rightly so, that it is by the Word and Spirit that the church is built.

Thus it is no marvel that those who were formerly professed infidels, agnostics, atheists and doubters, when their hearts were prepared (much like the soil is ploughed to receive seed) then they rejoice in the Word and uphold it, whereas formerly they ridiculed and belittled it. Sir William Ramsay set out to prove the Acts of the Apostles full of errors; the Holy Spirit crushed him in his very attempt. His life's orientation was changed as the Light of the gospel dawned upon his soul. Luther was in agony of heart, restless and fearful of God's righteous judgement; as he was enabled to receive the gospel of justification by faith alone, then the Word (Romans) became to him as a gateway to heaven. His whole career was radically transformed.

The transforming power of the Word is such that Christians, being taught by God, become persuaded that it is the priceless jewel for which one does not find it difficult at all to lose everything for the sake of the kingdom.

The natural man (the spiritless) mocks and criticises; the spiritual man considers the Word as his daily food, upon which he feeds. He hangs upon it. He lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

A wicked heart is changed into a loving and obedient heart. What could be the means to effect such a positive change? Could it somehow be error, or truth mixed with error? If the Scripture is profitable (2 Timothy 3:16), then all of it must be truth, for no error is ever profitable. The holiness God works in us through his Word (John 17:17) is all-round transforming; this is a clear manifestation that the Scripture is wholly precise and accurate and truth in all its contents (plenary and verbal inspiration).