The Bible (2)

Many are the glowing tributes that are being paid to the Bible in this tercentenary year of the Authorized Version of it. From every point of view it commands admiration, and all classes seem more or less eager to praise it. This, in a sense, is a refreshing change from the persistent attacks that have been made upon it of late years. But the sacred volume stands high above both laudation and blame: its dignity is neither increased nor diminished by what men may say about it. IT IS THE WORD OF GOD — the Word, "quick and powerful," of the living God; and nothing more needs to be said than that.

All Christians accept the Bible as the Word of God, and if any have doubts on this score their doubts are no part of the Christian faith: they are as some malignant bacteria invading the spiritual constitution of such who doubt, producing debility and moral death there. These questions are the spawn of an imagination which is enmity against God, an imagination darkened by the devil; and though some think, in their pride, that to question that the Scriptures are God-breathed is a sign of vigorous manhood and progress, it is in reality but certain evidence of the mastery that the devil exercises over them, and of the darkness in which he holds them.

If the Bible be held by us who believe to be the Word of God, we shall study it. If it be His communication to us, and we love Him, we shall desire an intimate acquaintance with that which He has communicated, and this can only be gained by diligent reading: hence the importance of the exhortation "give attendance to reading" (1 Tim. 4:13).

But with the reading there must be understanding: our reading would lead to nothing otherwise; and for this there must be meditation: "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them;" "Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things" (1 Tim. 4:15; 2 Tim. 2:7).

But faith must also be brought into exercise with regard to that which is read, for without faith the Word cannot be understood; it must be mixed with faith if we are to profit by it (Heb. 4:2). And as we appropriate it by faith, as we take it into our very soul, assimilating it as the sincere milk of the Word, we shall be affected by it, it will mould us, and we shall be able to reduce it to practice from day to day. We are to be doers of the Word and not hearers only, it is the doer of the work who is blessed in his deed (Jas. 1:22-25).

These things must go together if we are to truly benefit by this great gift of God to us. It must be read, understood by the understanding of faith, assimilated, and reduced to practice in the energy and power of the Holy Spirit of God.