I have a confession to make: I absolutely love God’s Word.
When we play the “desert island” game, the first book on my list is the Bible. When I wake up in the morning, the first book I reach for is the Bible. When I am confronted with the irrationality of our modern world, the singular source of sanity that I can totally depend on is the Bible. And when I am looking for knowledge and answers to life’s vexing problems, the first place I get wisdom from is the Bible.
You may say that this makes for an “unbalanced” view of things. I once overheard someone say that “…sure, the Bible is true, but there’s a balance.”
I simply can’t agree with that.
The source of all wisdom
Since God has spoken through His Word, and God never lies (Titus 1:1-3), then the Bible is the ultimate source of all “true truth” in the universe. Don’t misunderstand: I’m not saying that non-Christians don’t have knowledge—of course they do! The problem is that they have no point of integration—no infinite reference point—and no reliable foundation on which to stand firmly and from which to rightly interpret the vast amount of information that we are bombarded with daily.
The Bible, speaking of Jesus Christ, says, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:15-17)
The apostle Paul almost exhausts the Greek language here in pointing out the realm of Christ’s Lordship over the cosmos. He uses the phrase “all things,” and then provides a detailed description of what he is referring to—and if that’s not enough, he goes on to say that this same all things “hold together” in Christ. In other words, the Lord Jesus exists as the infinite and ultimate integration point for everything that is created!
Paul continues this thought in chapter 2 of Colossians, where he writes in order that Christians will have “…full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Did you catch that? He’s saying that Jesus Christ, Who is not only the creator and sustainer of the whole universe (Hebrews 1:3), is also where all true wisdom and true knowledge is contained.
“Lest anyone should deceive you”
Paul goes on to say that he’s writing these things “…lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words” (vs. 4), and then admonishes us in vs. 8: “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”
Sometime these philosophies sound plausible at first, at least until their unfounded assumptions are exposed to the light of God’s Word.
What kind of deceptions are common to our experience today?
Ideas like “man doesn’t need God to determine right from wrong” may appeal to our own vaunted sense of self-importance, but only God’s Word can give a transcendent, absolute ethic, one that is not subject to the fickle whims of humanity.
In some cultures they love their neighbors, and in other cultures they eat them—who are we to judge?
Ideas like “we can discover everything we need to know by using the scientific method” also appeal to our own sense of independence (or “autonomy”), and yes, we can sure make better cars than we used to, but science has zero basis for telling us anything regarding good, bad, right, wrong, meaning of life, purpose, etc.
Of course there are many scientists who veer into these areas, but that’s not science—that’s philosophy (or ultimately theology), and these important questions of life just don’t fit into test tubes.
Christ had a very “unbalanced” view of life—He said and taught such things as “Scripture cannot be broken,” “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away,” and “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” We must not only live like Christians, but we must learn to think like Christians.
So when you’re tempted to doubt God’s Word, when the world is screaming “You fool!” at you, or when that college professor attempts to shame or ridicule your Christianity, remember what Jesus said every single time that He was tempted in the desert: “It is written…”
This article first appeared in the Aug. 30, 2013, issue of the Milford Mail-Journal. Photo courtesy of Free Images.