Picking up a Bible could be the beginning of the greatest journey ever conceived. Whether to open the book and become immersed in its contents or replace it on the shelf, is the dividing line between an activity and a never-ending adventure.
The Bible is the greatest book man can ever read. It possesses no magic but still can transform the reader into something they have never been before. Endless numbers of lives have been forever changed by its message. Yet, the Book remains as fresh and vibrant as ever.
“No one really knows how many copies of the Bible have been printed, sold, or distributed. The Bible Society’s attempt to calculate the number printed between 1816 and 1975 produced the figure of 2,458,000,000. A more recent survey, for the years up to 1992, put it closer to 6,000,000,000 in more than 2,000 languages and dialects. Whatever the precise figure, the Bible is by far the bestselling book of all time.”/1
What is the appeal of the Bible? The poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge said, “I have found in the Bible words for my inmost thoughts, songs for my joy, utterance for my hidden griefs and pleadings for my shame and feebleness.”/2 Wilbur Smith said that the Bible was the “most remarkable volume that has ever been produced.”/3
What is the message of the Bible?
First, it is the message of God. Scripture is inspired, which is God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16,17). It is divided into the Old and New Testaments. Within these major divisions are smaller divisions of the overall sixty-six books. “Every book is considered part of a section in which there is a distinct and indisputable claim to inspiration. This covers every book within that section. As a result, each individual book need not state its own case; the claim has already been made for it by the claim made for the section as a whole.”/4
The Hebrews writer said, “God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son” (Hebrews 1:1,2, NKJV). We have the words of God, which provide all that we need for “life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).
Second, it is the message of salvation. Scripture provides all that we need to have good marriages, successful homes, friendships, jobs, self-images, etc. Yet, despite all of its blessings, they are immaterial without its singular goal of bringing all men into a right relationship with God (John 3:16).
The gospel is the good news of the message of salvation. Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Since all have sinned and man has no antidote to the spiritual death of sin, we must have a Savior in order to be saved (Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1,2; Romans 5:9).
We are saved by faith in Christ Jesus (Hebrews 11:6; Romans 5:1). And this faith can only come by the “word of God” (Romans 10:17). Without the Bible we have no hope of salvation. It is where we learn of our separation from God due to our sin and the chance of redemption found in the body of Christ (Romans 6:3,4). Without Scripture, we would never have known how to be saved. However, God blessed us by giving his message to us. And we are “born again” through the “word of God which lives and abides forever” (1 Peter 1:25).
Everyone who takes the Bible today can learn how to be saved eternally. That is a blessing for which we can never be thankful enough.
2/ Josh McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1999), 5.
3/ Ibid., 12.
4/ Ibid., 336.
The Bible is the Greatest Book Man Has ever Been Given