The Bible and You
Modern critics say that the Bible is unscientific and contradictory, that it is just a collection of myths. Jesus, on the other hand, said: “Your [God’s] word is truth.” (John 17:17) The evidence supports Jesus rather than the critics. The facts show that the Bible is historically truthful. Moreover, its remarkable harmony, its true prophecies, its deep wisdom, and its power for good in people’s lives all demonstrate that the Bible is the written Word of God. As the apostle Paul wrote: “All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial.”—2 Timothy 3:16.
1. (Include introduction.) (a) What do the facts prove about the Bible? (b) What are the implications of the fact that the Bible is the inspired Word of God?
THE fact that the Bible is God’s word, not man’s, has profound implications. It means that God really has communicated with humans. He has answered many of our questions and has shown the solution to many of our problems. It also means that the prospects for the future described in the Bible are genuine. God’s Kingdom really is ruling and in time will act to remove from this earth all injustice, oppression, and suffering.
2. The knowledge that the Bible is God’s Word should move you to do what?
2 Now, the question is: What will you do with this information? At the very least, the knowledge that the Bible is God’s Word should encourage you to look into it. The psalmist promised happiness for those who do so when he wrote: “Happy is the man that has not walked in the counsel of the wicked ones . . . but his delight is in the law of Jehovah, and in his law he reads in an undertone day and night.”—Psalm 1:1, 2.
3, 4. (a) As the Bible itself shows, what should we do when we find things in the Bible that we do not understand? (b) Who are always willing to help people understand the Bible better?
3 Likely, in your reading of the Bible, you will find things that you do not understand. (2 Peter 3:16) An event recorded in the Bible book of Acts shows that this should be expected. Soon after the death of Jesus, an Ethiopian was reading from the prophecies of the Bible book of Isaiah. The Christian evangelist Philip met up with the man and asked: “Do you actually know what you are reading?” The Ethiopian did not, so he invited Philip to help him understand.—Acts 8:30, 31.
4 A lady in the United States was in a similar situation. She was a regular Bible reader, but there were many important teachings of the Bible that she had not come to understand from her own reading. It was only when she had discussions with Jehovah’s Witnesses that she learned of basic Bible truths, including the importance of God’s Kingdom and the many blessings that the Kingdom will bring to mankind. If you invite them to, Jehovah’s Witnesses will be happy to help you too so that you can better understand what you read in the Bible.
Apply the Bible’s Counsel
5. According to the Bible, what course brings happiness?
5 We are encouraged not only to read the Bible but also to act on what we read. (Psalm 119:2) In addition, the Bible encourages: “Taste and see that Jehovah is good, O you people; happy is the able-bodied man that takes refuge in him.” (Psalm 34:8) In effect, it invites us to put God to the test. Try living according to God’s principles, showing that you trust God to know what is best for you. Only then will you see that this truly is the right way. Those with such trust in God are really happy.
6. Is it practical to try to live up to the Bible’s standards today? Explain.
6 Some claim that no one can live by Bible principles in this dishonest, immoral, violent world. The truth is, though, that many do. Who? A young man in Africa found a group of such ones. He wrote: “I have been observing over the past few years that here in Zimbabwe it is you people, Jehovah’s Witnesses, who are really trying to follow Christ’s own example . . . You are the only group, so far, that has managed to convince me of God’s love and the power of His gospel, through your living and not only through speeches and writings. You are living and preaching the gospel while many, many people are preaching the gospel but not living it.”
Accept Its Authority
7. What common practices today are contrary to what the Bible says?
7 The apostle Paul said that the Bible is “beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight.” (2 Timothy 3:16) Sometimes, however, what the Bible says is not popular. For example, the Bible condemns homosexual acts, but homosexuality is widely viewed as an acceptable life-style. (Romans 1:24-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Timothy 1:9-11) The Bible also says that the life of an unborn baby is important and should not be deliberately destroyed, but about 50 million abortions are performed worldwide each year. (Exodus 21:22, 23; Psalm 36:9; 139:14-16; Jeremiah 1:5) What if we personally find it difficult to accept what the Bible says on such matters?
8, 9. When we at first find it hard to accept some point in the Bible, what should we remember, and whose standards should we always accept?
8 Well, Christians have learned that it is always wise to follow God’s Word. Why? Because in the long run, following what the Bible says always works out best for everyone. (Proverbs 2:1-11) The fact is, humans are very limited as far as wisdom is concerned. They can rarely foresee the final consequences of their actions. The prophet Jeremiah confessed: “I well know, O Jehovah, that to earthling man his way does not belong. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.”—Jeremiah 10:23.
9 We have only to look around us to see that this assessment is correct. Most of the problems afflicting the world are direct results of people’s not following the counsel of God’s Word. The long, troubled history of mankind has shown that humans cannot successfully decide for themselves in moral matters. God is infinitely wiser than we are. Why not accept what he says, instead of relying on our own wisdom?—Proverbs 28:26; Jeremiah 17:9.
No One Is Perfect
10, 11. (a) What facts about the way we are made and the world we live in cause problems when we try to live up to the Bible’s standards? (b) What kind of association does the Bible encourage us to seek, and where can we find such association?
10 The Bible alerts us to another area in which we need help. We all have an inherited tendency to sin. “The inclination of the heart of man is bad from his youth up.” (Genesis 8:21; Romans 7:21) This problem is intensified by the fact that we live in a world that does not follow Bible principles. Hence, we need help not only to understand the Bible but also to practice the things we learn. That is why the Bible encourages us to associate with others who wish to live according to godly standards. The psalmist wrote: “I have hated the congregation of evildoers, and with the wicked ones I do not sit. . . . Among the congregated throngs I shall bless Jehovah.” And another psalm says: “How good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!”—Psalm 26:5, 12; 133:1.
11 Associating together is an essential part of worship for Jehovah’s Witnesses. They have several meetings each week, as well as periodic conventions, where they study the Bible together and discuss how its principles apply in their lives. They form a worldwide “association of brothers” in which each one is encouraged and helped to maintain these high Bible standards. (1 Peter 2:17) Why not attend one of their meetings and see how such a community can help you too?—Hebrews 10:24, 25.
Live by God’s Word
12. What blessings come from knowing that the Bible is God’s Word?
12 Hence, knowing that the Bible is God’s Word brings blessings and responsibilities. We are blessed because we get guidance for our daily conduct that is not available elsewhere. Further, we learn of God’s love in providing his own Son to ransom us so that we might have the hope of everlasting life. (John 3:16) We realize that Jesus is now ruling as King and soon will act to remove wickedness from the earth. And we confidently await the righteous “new heavens and a new earth” that God himself has promised.—2 Peter 3:13.
13. What responsibilities come upon us when we accept the Bible as God’s Word?
13 Bear in mind, though, that we have the responsibility to study the Bible and take to heart what it says. God himself urges: “My son, my law do not forget, and my commandments may your heart observe.” (Proverbs 3:1) Even if most view the Bible as just the word of man, we should courageously “let God be found true, though every man be found a liar.” (Romans 3:4) Let God’s wisdom guide your life. “Trust in Jehovah with all your heart . . . In all your ways take notice of him.” (Proverbs 3:5, 6) Wisely heeding God’s Word in this way will affect your life for good both now and for all eternity.
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We should not only read the Bible but also act on what we read
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Following what the Bible says always works out for the best