Along with its inestimable value being proved by its divine instrumentality in the salvation of souls, the Bible’s inestimable value is also proven by the fact that it serves as the saints’ assurance of salvation.
In 1 John 5:9-13, the Apostle John speaks of how we take men at their word, despite the fact that men are often wrong and often lie. John then proceeds in this passage to admonish us to take God at His Word, since God is never wrong and never lies. Surely, John argues, if we can believe what fallible and frequently fraudulent men say, we can believe what an infallible and faithful God says.
What is it that God says about His Son Jesus Christ? It is simply this: Whoever believes in Him has eternal life. God has gone on record—the Bible—that all who trust in His Son for their salvation are promised by Him eternal life. If you’ve trusted Christ as your Savior, you can be sure of your salvation and of God’s promise of eternal life. You can know so, simply because the Bible says so!
When accompanied by the Spirit’s convicting power, the Bible becomes a sharp double-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). It cuts the repentant sinner one way, with conviction unto salvation. It cuts the unrepentant sinner another way, with the fatal wound of condemnation.
When accompanied by the Spirit’s convicting power, the Bible becomes a fire and a hammer (Jeremiah 23:29). It is a fire that can melt the coldest heart. It is a hammer that can break the hardest heart.
According to the Apostle Paul, faith does not come from reading the Word of God, but from “hearing” the word of God (Romans 10:17). Furthermore, it is not hearing the preacher preach the Bible that produces faith in our hearts. Instead, it is hearing the Spirit speak personally to our hearts that graciously imparts to us saving faith. Granted, the Spirit may speak to our hearts while we are reading the Bible or hearing a sermon, but it is still the Spirit’s voice alone that instills within the human soul saving faith.
While this truth does nothing to take away from the inestimable value of the Scripture, it teaches us that the miracle of salvation is wrought by God’s Spirit. Although reading and preaching the Holy Scripture is necessary for the salvation of souls, neither is sufficient for the soul’s salvation apart from the accompanying and regenerating work of the Holy Spirit.
Often missed, but nonetheless taught, in the oft quoted words of the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 2:8-9 is the scriptural truth that saving faith is “the gift of God.” Contrary to popular belief, saving faith is not something we can work up within ourselves. Instead, it is something God must give to us.
In Romans 10:17, Paul explains how saving faith is graciously granted to us by God. According to Paul, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” The Greek word Paul uses for “word” in Romans 10:17 is not the Greek word “logos,” which means “written word,” but “rhema,” which means “spoken word.” The incredible truth Paul is teaching us in this verse is that God’s written Word—the Bible—must be quickened (made alive) to our hearts by being personally spoken to us by God’s Spirit. Then, and only then, will saving faith be born in our hearts, enabling us to come to Christ by faith and be saved.
In Romans 1:16, the Apostle Paul teaches us to be unashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the power of God unto salvation. As Paul taught the Corinthians, no man is ever won to Christ by the power of human persuasion, but only by the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:1-5). It is by the simple Gospel that men are saved, not by the latest Madison Avenue marketing techniques or the eloquence and tact of a Gospel preacher (1 Corinthians 15:1-2).
According to R.C. Sproul, “The greatest weakness in the church today is that almost no one believes that God invests His power in the Bible.” As a result, Sproul laments the fact that the contemporary church “looks for power in a program, in a methodology, in a technique, in anything and everything but that in which God has placed it—His Word.” It is only God, Sproul argues, who “has the power to change lives for eternity, and,” Sproul adds, “that power is focused on the Scriptures.” Is it not then the Scriptures that should be the church’s focus as well?
In Christ’s important parable of the sower, it is worth noting that Jesus clearly identifies the seed in the parable as “the Word of God” (Luke 8:11). Have you ever thought about the fact that the seed has everything in it? It contains the stalk, the leaf, the ear, and the kernel. Everything needed is in the seed. Likewise, everything man needs is in the seed; that is, in the
Word of God. The Bible is all we need to come to life in Christ and to live our lives for Christ.
In Christ’s parable of the sower, we are taught to sow the seed of the Gospel indiscriminately in this world (Luke 8:1-15). Being unable to discern barren ground—soil by the wayside, rocky soil, and thorny ground—from good ground—fallow human hearts broken up and prepared by God’s Spirit for the seed—we must preach the Gospel everywhere to everybody.
Granted, the Gospel, which is the incorruptible seed of the Second Birth, must be implanted in a fertile human heart to ever come to fruition— salvation (1 Peter 1:23; James 1:21). Still, we must not assume which hearts are fertile and which are fallow, but preach the Gospel to all people without prejudice or presumption.
In Romans 10:13-15, the Apostle Paul teaches us how men need to simply call upon the name of the Lord to be saved. He then asks an important and enlightening series of questions. How can men call upon the name of the Lord if they don’t believe in the Lord? How can men believe in the Lord if they’ve never heard about the Lord? How can they hear about the Lord without a preacher? And how can a preacher preach to them unless he is sent to them? It is a plain, but poignant point that the Apostle Paul pens; namely, that salvation is an impossibility in this world without the preaching of the Gospel within it.
In light of the above, how can anyone question the inestimable value of the Scripture? If there was no Bible there would be no Christians. Without the Word of God, there would be no children of God.
According to the Apostle Paul, it is impossible to come to know God through the wisdom of this world (1 Corinthians 1:20-21). Instead, God has ordained that men come to know Him through “the foolishness of preaching.” A man will never come to know God by figuring God out for himself. He can only come to know God by faith in the Gospel’s simple message of salvation.
To acknowledge the ineptness of our intellect to bring us to a saving knowledge of God is an offense to our pride. However, it is a prerequisite to our humble acceptance of God’s revelation of Himself in Scripture, which alone can acquaint us with Him.