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News for Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sunday School Lesson — Bible Studies for Life
Feb. 9: Why Should I Trust the Bible?
By Josh Moore

Focal Passage: Psalm 119:1-8, 137-144

Dieticians and researchers frequently tell the general public conflicting things about the nutritional benefits and risks of food. One month eggs are good for you and the next they contain too much harmful cholesterol. Often dieters cannot know which report to trust, frustrating attempts to live a healthy lifestyle. This is not so with the Bible. Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible, all of which testifies to the clarity, consistency, and authority of God’s Word, standing the test of time. In this lesson we look at two specific passages from the chapter, helping us better understand why we can trust the Bible. 

God’s Word speaks with authentic truth (vv. 137-144). This section of the chapter pairs the trustworthiness of the Bible with God’s nature. Because God is righteous, His precepts and decrees are also righteous (v. 137). We can trust the Bible because its author is the all-powerful and all-wise God who speaks all truth. When someone writes a non-fiction book, the author endeavors to become an authority in that field of study. If consumers do not recognize the expertise of the author, the book will never become a bestseller. This is especially true with self-help books. Popular self-help books have authors whose fascinating life stories have exhibited the same success the book promises to give the reader. Yet, readers often remain skeptical that the author’s prosperity will translate to their own lives. We all wonder how an author can authentically understand the unique circumstances and problems we are trying to overcome. This is where God’s Word transcends all other books. For the Bible’s author created every single one of us and intimately knows us inside and out. There will never be a time where God’s Word ceases to be relevant. It truly is amazing to realize that God’s Word has been with humanity for thousands of years and has never lost its power and potency to provide answers to the problems we face. As Isaiah said, “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever” (Isaiah 40:8).

God’s Word provides the path to righteous living (vv. 1-8). Since God’s Word can be trusted at all times, mankind can reliantly walk in its precepts without fear of misstep. The words of this section seem to call for believers to follow God’s Word to earn righteousness (vv. 1, 3). However, the writer of this Psalm is not advocating a works-based salvation; he instead refers to one whose life is governed and directed by the Lord through His Word. Believers yielding in submission and faith, trusting in the Word of God, will be characterized by a lifestyle that is blameless and righteous. The Apostle John affirms this understanding by saying, “No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed (the Holy Spirit and God’s Word) abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1 John 3:9) God’s Word transforms the lifestyle of the believer into one that is righteous. Therefore, God’s Word serves as a regulative principle for our lives giving us precepts we can follow and remain certain we are walking in the right way. When we abide in the Word of God, we will never stumble. God’s Word will never put us to shame and will never abandon us (vv. 6, 8). That is why the Psalmist says elsewhere in this chapter, “Thy Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” (v. 105) The Word of God acts like a well-hewn path in the midst of the chaotic jungle of life giving us secure assurance and a clear passage home.

— Moore is the director of church relations at Union University in Jackson. He also serves as pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church, Milan.

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