How to Believe the Bible

Dec 5, 2014 1393

By Desmond Ford

holding_bibleCan we rationally prove the divine origin of Scripture? Can we use anything outside the Bible to empirically demonstrate its inspiration?

No. Such attempts are foolish. Once you make something else the test of Scripture you have made that something else higher than Scripture. The fact is the truth of Scripture is self-authenticating.

Christians believe it because the Spirit testifies with their spirits that these words are the words of God. As surely as black is black in itself and sugar is sweet in itself and neither are declared so by church fiat or chemical tests, just so, Scripture is Scripture, and uniquely so, as divine revelation. We do not prove it to be so; we only acknowledge it as such!

Of course there are many arguments from outside of Scripture, arguments from history and from archaeology and logic. But when you use them all and you have convinced a person intellectually of what you are saying, he or she still may not accept your conclusion sufficiently to act upon it.

You see, it is not true ”that the Bible and the Bible only is the religion of Protestants.” Many religious sects claim the same thing. The truth is that when the Spirit ministers to a believing heart and a surrendered will, then only is the truth of Scripture experienced. This is the way we escape bibliolatry (the worship of a book). Only a committed Christian can really believe in the authority of Holy Scripture.

Jesus appealed to the self-validating nature of Christian experience for one who has heard the word and walked in its light. He said, “If any man is willing to do his will, he shall know of the doctrine….” (Jn 7:17). That is a test that is open to anybody.

What then is the practical significance of our meditation? As Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones once wrote:

Ultimately the way to understand the Scriptures in all theology is to become holy. It is to be under the authority of the Spirit. It is to be led of the Spirit. “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him.’’ It is still the pure in heart who see God, and it is the meek whom he guides in judgment. What a blessed plan of authority God has thus devised, and we bow in submission to the truth that it is “the heart and not the head to the highest doth attain.’’

– Des Ford. Rom 8:27–32 (From “What Makes the Bible Authoritative?”)

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