Clinton church of Christ

Give Me the Bible: Program Notes for April 22, 2012

April 24, 2012

John Allan

Mississippi was reently identified as the most religious state in the nation.

Yet, other measurements seem to show a disconnect. The state has an alarming rate of teen pregnancies. Jackson has one of the highest HIV/AIDS rates in the nation (a virus often spread through sexual immorality). In addition to sexual sins, other forms of sin such as violence and other violations of the law are all around us.

How could such a religious state have citizens who behave so irreligiously? There must be some sort of disconnect!

A recent survey conducted by the American Bible Society to learn about the attitudes of Americans might help us understand some of the causes for the disconnect we see happening in Mississippi.

First, there are many who are guilty of paying only lip service to God. They claim to be Christian and speak highly of God, Jesus Christ and the Bible, but they do not truly concern themselves with genuinely following the Lord. Matthew 15:8 speaks of such an attitude: “‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me.” (NKJV)

Lamar Vest, president and CEO of the American Bible Society, said: “There are probably five Bibles on every shelf in American homes. Americans buy the Bibles, they debate the Bible, they love the Bible…they just don’t read the Bible.”

As a result, while the Bible continues to be the best-selling book of all time, 46 percent of Americans surveyed could not differentiate teachings from the Bible, the Koran, and the Book of Mormon.

Second, there is an increasing failure to recognize the divine origin of the Bible. Without recognizing the Bible as the inspired word of God we should not honestly expect people to look to it as their standard for living. The ABS study found that 82 percent of Americans consider the Bible to be sacred literature. This is a good number, in light of how divided the nation is on so many issues, but it can be better. For example, the previous year 86 percent believed the Bible was sacred literature.

The Bible is inspired.

Jesus promised the apostles that the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth (John 16:13). The writers of the Bible were inspired (2 Peter 1:18-21, 2 Timothy 3:16). The end result is that the Bible is God’s revelation to man and should be our guide for all that we say and do in life (Colossians 3:17). The content of the Bible is breathed out by God Himself (2 Timothy 3:16, Galatians 1:11-12).

A third contributing factor to the gulf between those who claim to be religious and those who truly are is a failure to accept the sufficiency of the Bible. The American Bible Society survey found that 69 percent agreed either “strongly” or “somewhat” that the Bible contains everything man needs to live a meaningful life. Since 82 percent believe the Bible is sacred literature and just 69 percent agreed “strongly” or “somewhat” we are forced to the conclusion that not everybody who believes the Bible is sacred literature believes the Bible is sufficient. Even among those who believe that the Bible is from God there are many who believe that the Bible is not enough.

The Bible, on the other hand, teaches that God’s word is sufficient. In 2 Peter 1:3 Peter said that God’s divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. Jude wrote in Jude 3 that the faith has been once for all delivered to the saints. That means that God has completed His divine revelation. He has given us all that we need, and we need not look anywhere aside from His inspired word (The Bible) to learn what God wants us to know.



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This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 at 1:07 pm and is filed under Give Me the Bible Radio.

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