Is this the right way?
Route 66: The Bible - 66 books, one story, His story

Pretty well everyone has heard of the Bible, but very few know the purpose or the value of this most unique collection of writings.

In fact some might categorise the Bible along with fairy tales, myths and legends, a sort of spiritual folklore well suited to their vague, nice-old-man-up-in-the-sky impression of God, but deserving no regard by modern man.

Others have a sneaking suspicion that there could well be truth in there, but studiously avoid investigating any further – after all, if these were truly words from the Maker of the universe, then we would have to do something about them, wouldn't we?

Here are four important points about the Bible:

A. What is it?

The Bible is a collection or library of 66 books (writings or “Scriptures”) by different authors, written at different times and for different readers. Considering some of the authors were totally unaware of the writings of others there are amazing correlations between different books, and themes are found to emerge and reappear throughout the narrative. Its scope of time and place is vast, and the styles of writing are varied: there is history, narrative, records of prophecies spoken to individuals and to nations, personal letters, the story of the early church and much more. As far as prophecies which have already been fulfilled are concerned, its accuracy is spot on – 100% reliable. Originally written in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic, it has been translated into the majority of the world's languages and regularly features on its list of best-selling book titles.

B. What can the Bible do?

It can give us understanding about the Lord God – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It tells us His history of the world, from beginning to end. It explains where mankind came from and why life is full of problems. As well as the big picture, it shows us what we are like as people; it tells us why we are separated from God and what has been done about that from God's side. It also shows us what we need to do from our side. In fact, it is a great source of wisdom, as it explains God’s contracts and dealings with mankind over the centuries. So it can point a person in the right direction and save them endless journeys of enquiry into places which turn out to be spiritual roads to nowhere.

C. There is one thing which the Bible cannot do.

Of itself, it cannot give anyone spiritual life. It is incredibly useful to us as noted above - as a written record, it tells us what we need to know about God's rescue plan - usually called salvation. But to find that salvation we need to put our faith in Jesus Christ, who is the living Word. In fact, we could call the Bible a signpost – something which points people along the right road, to the right person. Some people get stuck at the Bible, thinking that they'll find life there. No, the Bible points you to Jesus, who can salvage you from the consequences of being born a sinful person into a messed-up world. The road leads to Him – He's the one to give you life. Your attitude to the Bible can often reflect your attitude to Jesus though – are you willing to listen to them and believe what they tell you, or do you think you know better than God?

D. Why should the Bible matter to me?

Car insurance, home insurance, life insurance – we like to think we are well-protected against all eventualities in the future, don't we? Strangely enough though, when it comes to eternal matters people seem remarkably unprepared. Along with 21st century Brits' wishy-washy views about God and the Bible come a multitude of sentimental and uninformed views about death and the after-life. Not surprisingly, the Bible has lots to tell us about all these topics, including how to be ready for that very important appointment – one which every single person who's ever lived will have no option about keeping. One New Testament writer tells us that God has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained – that same Jesus Christ to whom the signpost points.

Route 66 – His story

So we commend the Bible to you as our Maker's travel guide for life on this planet – the most important journey you will ever take. It is the signpost to Jesus Christ Himself, who is Lord of Lords and King of Kings.

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All written material in this section is copyright © Randall & Mary Hardy, 2015.