Honoring the Bible as God’s Word
J L Dagg was one of the founders of the Southern Baptist Convention, He wrote this about the Bible in his book, “A Manual of Theology” in 1857:
“Because the Bible contains the testimony of God, it is therefore a Rule of Faith. To reject the testimony of God, is to make him a liar. To call a fellow-man a liar, is to offer an insult. This is the insult we offer to the great God, when we refuse to receive his testimony given to us in his holy Word.
Because the Bible contains the precepts of God, it is therefore a Rule of Duty. We are bound to obey its commands, just as children do parents, or citizens do their king. He is our Father in heaven and the Supreme Lawgiver of the universe. Against this high authority we rebel, when we refuse to obey the precepts of the Bible.
Because the Bible contains the promises of God, it is therefore a Rule of Hope. It determines, not only what we are to believe and to do, but also what we are to expect. It presents, as the foundation of our hope, the promise and the oath of God. And so, whether, as a rule of faith, of duty, or of hope, the authority of the Bible is supreme. We may rely on it’s testimony. Unlike men, it will never lead us wrong!
The authority of the Bible is independent. It depends on no man, and therefore is not tainted by the sin that infects every man. It has authority in itself, God’s own, derived from no outside source! It possesses authority simply because it is the word of God.
The authority of the Bible is immediate. Its address is directly from God, and directly to the mind and heart of every individual reader. We have no mediator but Christ, and no infallible interpreter but the Holy Spirit. We may derive assistance from men in understanding the Bible, but they have no right to understand it for us. We should employ our own minds in the study of God’s Word, and allow no human interpreter to intervene between God and our own conscience. We should say, each one for himself, “Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth.” What a precious gift is the Bible! Who will not prize it? Who will not bind it to his heart?”
May we see and receive the Bible as God’s Word!
Pastor S. Scott Lee