Is God’s Book, as it were, God’s Voice?
If the Bible is God’s voice, God’s message to you, what do you make of it? There are four words in the seventeenth chapter of John that we must consider. This whole chapter is a prayer by Jesus and certainly worth reading even before you continue here. It’s about you and me . . . . and Jesus. These four words are wrapped within the longest recorded prayer of Jesus in the entire Bible.
Talking to the Father, Jesus says starting in verse 14 “ I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” Why would Jesus say that he is leaving us to contend with the hostility of the world? Is God’s word our defense? Our fortress? Our weaponry?
Just look again at that closing statement by Jesus. In these four monosyllabic words we find our basis in the veracity and reliability of scripture. This is not human counsel. It is truth – divine counsel. It is absolute and timeless. And Jesus implores the Father to “set apart” believers then and now, distinguishing them from the world by embedding them in his truth.
James Montgomery Boice, an American Reformed Christian theologian (1938-2000), wrote about the relevance of this claim: “We talk about the word of God as truth. We are right to do so. But we have to acknowledge when we speak along those lines that the world of our day no longer strictly believes in truth. The great apologists of our time are saying that. C.S. Lewis said it very well in the opening pages of The Screwtape Letters, where the devil’s henchman, tempting his patient on earth, is advised not to talk about truth and falsehood because people don’t operate on that basis anymore, but rather to talk about what’s useful or what’s practical. “That’s the way to get through,” says the devil.”
Francis Schaeffer has said the same thing in more philosophical terms. He’s pointed out quite rightly that today, unlike previous generations, people, if they speak of truth and falsehood, are not speaking of “truth” in the biblical sense or even in the traditional sense to mean that which is true now and will always be true universally. Rather, they mean that which is “true” now but not necessarily tomorrow or yesterday; or it is true for me but not necessarily “true” for you. In other words, truth for contemporary men and women is relative.
But here is where we have the truth made positive in the Scriptures . . . . the fact that God really uses the Word to accomplish his purposes, whether men and women choose to believe in the Word of truth or not. As you read God’s “love letter,” his “operator’s manual” to you, do you receive it and embrace it as truth? Or do you choose what you like and shelf the rest? Does your faith life reflect a rock-solid foundation from God’s word? Do you trust that God’s word is not merely true, but truth eternal and allow it to navigate you through all of life’s circumstances? Think About It.