We live in a culture that thinks truth is relative and subjective; not only is there no such thing as absolute truth, but those who attest to it are arrogant to think so. Yet in Christianity, we not only believe that there is absolute truth, but that the Bible is its measuring stick.
There are a lot of different apologetic and philosophical arguments one might make for such bold assertions, but just consider this one: If you found a copy of a Shakespearean play lying around, you might pick it up and read it. You might enjoy it and find the language beautiful. But you’re probably not going to stop reading it, get a girlfriend, and arrange an elaborate hoax of your deaths in order to be together. You might appreciate Romeo and Juliet, but you’re not going to order your life around it.
Yet that’s precisely what has happened with the Bible for thousands of years. As it’s been translated into language after language and brought to culture after culture, the reaction has been the same–people turning from entire ways of life and belief systems to embrace the ultimate truth of God in Jesus Christ.
The fact that the Bible is the measuring stick for truth has special relevance for us as Christians because of the challenge to hear the voice of God clearly in our lives. We might think God is telling us this or that, but is it really His voice we’re hearing? Or are we being influenced by things that contradict His truth? Through the words of Scripture, the voice of the Lord is authenticated. I confidently believe God speaks to us, but I also believe He has spoken, and He’s not going to contradict Himself.
The Bible is how we separate the voice of God from the voices around us (and in our heads for that matter). Any message we think we’ve received from the Lord must be able to hold up against the standard of truth in the Bible. If the two align, there’s a much better chance the Lord has indeed spoken.
Embracing the authority of Scripture doesn’t confine us. It doesn’t encroach on our freedom. Rather, it gives us the freedom to fully follow God with our whole hearts. It lets us freely hear from Him and act with confidence in His will. And, as the apostle Paul reminded the Romans, God’s Word serves as a reminder that He is who He says He is, and in Him we have hope:
For whatever was written before was written for our instruction, so that through our endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we may have hope” (Romans 15:4).
If we read it, that is.
Excerpted from Holy Vocabulary: Rescuing the Language of Faith by Michael Kelley (available from ThreadsMedia.com).
Explore the Bible: Young Adults seeks to point young adults toward using the Bible as the measuring stick for truth. Preview the first four sessions of the Hebrews study by clicking HERE.