Growing up, I found comfort and assurance in taking my parents at their word. I trusted their authority, believing that Mom and Dad would care for me, tell me the truth, and do all things with the intention of helping me grow.
Who we believe a person is says a lot about how much credibility we will give to their words. For if we do not trust a person, we will not trust what they tell us.
Lately, I’ve been wanting to grow in my understanding of why Christians (and all people, for that matter) can trust the Bible as God’s very Word communicated clearly to our world. How can we know that what God says is true? And how can we explain the Bible’s trustworthiness to other people?
Reading the book Confident: Why We Can Trust the Bible (Christian Focus Publications, 2015) affirmed for me what our number one reason is for taking the Bible at its word and taking God at his Word: Jesus. The Son of God held Scripture in the greatest esteem, believing that it perfectly revealed God’s character, as well as his ultimate redemption story for mankind through the saving gospel.
So, if a person’s identity and authority affect how much credibility we give to their words, then it follows that who we say Jesus is will affect how we trust the Bible. If Jesus is God — who humbly became flesh, lived a spotless life, died on the cross, and resurrected — and not just a good teacher or wise guru, then we will want to give weight to what he believed about God’s Word.
Jesus believed that God’s Word is necessary for life and growth (Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3).
After forty days of fasting in the wilderness, Jesus is tempted by Satan to turn stones into bread. He says in response, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
By this statement, Jesus is saying that Scripture is necessary for the start and growth of spiritual life. By it, imperfect sinners hear the will of God, are convicted of sin, and are pointed to the only Savior of sinners, Jesus Christ. So faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ (Romans 10:17).
Without the transformative Word of God, sinners remain dead in their sin. But with it, they are brought to new life in Christ and are made increasingly into his image.
Jesus believed that God’s Word has authority over man-made laws and traditions (Mark 7:1-23).
Jesus once said to the Pharisees and scribes, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!” (v. 9) He calls their outward worship “vain” (v. 7) and names them “hypocrites” (v. 6) because they have given their own traditions more weight than the very commands of God.
So Jesus believed the Scriptures to be of highest authority, even over those manmade traditions created by the religious elect and political intellectuals. His conviction was that every law, institution, and person should ultimately submit to the authority of God’s Word.
Jesus believed that God’s Word is unchanging (John 10:35).
In speaking to the accusatory Jews about his identity as the Son of God, Jesus says, “Scripture cannot be broken.” God’s Word does not evolve according to the times, nor should it be interpreted through the lens of the culture. It is not “some book” that people wrote long ago but God’s true, relevant, and unchanging revelation to men.
[tweet_box design=”default”]The Bible is not “some book” but God’s true, relevant, and unchanging revelation.[/tweet_box]
Jesus believed that God’s Word should be obeyed (John 15:1-11).
“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.” By this, Jesus establishes the direct connection between God’s Word and our obedience: Because God does all things for his glory and the benefit of his children, his commands are a tool for our sanctification. His Word is for our good and should be obeyed, Jesus said.
So Jesus believed that obedience to God’s Word indicates that a person has submitted to his authority. This is one of the ways we experience the love of God, when we continue to obey his Word.
Jesus’ opinion of God’s Word is the number one reason to trust it, so it is worth considering who Christ is and what he said about the Scriptures.