Chapter 9: Shorter Articles
What an interesting Book the Bible is! A remarkable collection of sixty-six individual books bound into one priceless volume. There are books of history, books of poetry, and books of prophecy. There are four books telling the lovely story of the life and ministry of Jesus, and there are twenty-one letters written to individuals and to congregations of Christians.
About forty different authors were involved in the writing and although the first and last of these lived centuries apart there is not one mistake, no contradictions and no discrepancies. The Bible is one inspired whole whose great message concerns God and His Son, God’s hatred of sin, and the remedy which has been provided.
And what a variety of men God used as His penmen: rich men and poor men; statesmen and herdsmen; shepherds and fishermen. There were kings, prophets, and poets. One writer was a doctor and one was a tax collector.
They wrote in such a variety of places too: in palaces and prisons; in mountains and meadows; in deserts and in lonely dwellings; at home and in exile. They wrote in Judea, in Galilee, in Rome, in Corinth, in Ephesus and Patmos. Surely it must be conceded that the Bible is a remarkable Book which everyone should read.
But for many of us, reading would have been a problem for it was written in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic. These languages meant the precious volume was inaccessible to many who speak only English and so we are indebted to those scholars who over the years have spent long hours of painstaking study and research in translating the sacred writings for us so that we could understand them.
Four hundred years ago in 1611 AD a new translation was printed. It was the work of a group of such scholars, who with royal approval had undertaken the task of translating. Because they had royal authority for their work, and since the King at that time was James 1, the finished translation became known as The King James Version or the K.J.V. and was known also as the Authorised Version or the A.V.
How important it is to read the Bible since it reveals the Holy character of God, telling us of His great love for men, but of His equally great abhorrence of sin. He is a God of love but also a God of light Who cannot tolerate sin. How could such a God admit men to His heaven when He hates their sin? It seemed an insurmountable problem, but God Himself provided the answer and "the Holy Scriptures are able to make thee wise unto salvation" 2Tim.3.15. Paul the apostle explains, "When the fullness of the time was come God sent forth His Son … to redeem" Gal.4.4,5. Another apostle wrote "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" 1Jn.4.9,10. The provision of salvation for guilty men cost God His beloved Son and it cost the Son His life. A sinless, perfect Man suffered and died for sins at Calvary. How? Why? The Bible explains that Jesus the sinless One became a substitute for sinful men. Those who trust Him as Saviour and confess Him as Lord can say simply, "He died for me" or, in the words of yet another apostle, "He bare our sins in His own body on the tree" 1Pet.2.24.
- O how unlike the complex works of man;
- Heaven’s easy, artless, unencumbered plan.
Reader, do determine to read and believe the Bible and know the enjoyment of forgiveness now and the assurance of a home in heaven when life is over.
- Seek not to vindicate thyself, nor plead
- In thine own cause, for thou wilt surely err -
- Best leave it to thy God, He faileth not,
- Let Deity, my soul, thy suit prepare.
- Art thou misunderstood, thy ways misjudged?
- Doth slander say thy motives are impure?
- In silent patience wait, in this rejoice,
- God’s vindication tarries, but ‘tis sure.’
- It may not be this side the golden shore,
- So meekly bear the sorrows of the way,
- For all thy sorrows soon shall be eclipsed
- In splendour in the coming, crowning day.
25 words in John 3.16,
No greater text has ever been seen,
12 about God and 12 about me,
Son in the centre, verse 16, John 3.
That "whosoever" surely means me,
Surely means me, surely means me;
That "whosoever" surely means me,
Surely means even me.