O Lord, You have given us Your word, and you have blessed us with minds that can comprehend.  Give us more grace so that we will understand the deep truths you have hidden in Your word, that we will more perfectly love you and give glory to Your holy name.  Amen.

The bible is not like any other book.

I’m sure you have heard this statement before, but why is the bible important?  We call it God’s word, but aren’t other religions pretty excited about their versions of “God’s Word”?  Sure, but are all other such books as impressive as the Bible?  I don’t think so.  Consider:

The Koran was written by one author, Mohammed, over the course of his lifetime.  By contrast, the Bible was written by more than 40 different authors, over the course of 1500 years by people from all walks of life (from common laborers to Kings), in many different places, under many different circumstances, and in three different languages.  And yet, there is an unparalleled unity in the word of God.

This unity comes because those people that wrote it were inspired of God to write exactly what He wanted them to write.  As such, the Bible alone can claim that its source is the only transcendent source ever in the history of the world.  My friends, if the Bible is the word of God, then it speaks to us as the only absolute and final authority on matters it addresses.

In the Bible, God reveals Himself to us.  I’m going to slightly change an illustration Sproul uses to illustrate this point.  Dennis Walaker is the mayor of Fargo, North Dakota.  I have never met Dennis (I didn’t even know his name, but I figured Fargo had a mayor, so I looked him up on the Internet) but let’s assume I have some pretty good connections and want to learn about him.

First, I could get on the Internet (as I did) and research all about Dennis.  Since his name is an unusual spelling, I might have some success at finding out basic information on him.  From the information I gather, I might call the schools he attended and get his grades (I have connections, remember…) and comments from his teachers.  So far, I’m thinking Dennis is an okay guy.

Since Dennis is a public figure, I might learn something about him if the FBI and IRS and CIA have any info on him.  So I pull a few strings there and get more info.  Following that I might even travel to Fargo (it is summertime, so I reckon I’m good) and meet a few of Dennis’ friends.

Once I have all this info, I head over to the Barnes & Noble bookstore to reflect on all my intel on Dennis.  At this point I have a pretty good picture of him, but do I know him?  Maybe my picture would clear up a bit more if I went over to city hall and watched how Dennis responds to people.  My picture is a lot clearer after that…but again, do I really know him?

If I am going to really know Dennis Walaker, he is going to have to reveal himself to me.  I can ask all the questions in the world to everyone around him, and I can even ask him those questions.  But until he talks to me and reveals his thoughts, opinions, ideas, beliefs, hopes, fears, etc., I won’t really know him.

In the Bible, God reveals Himself to us – his nature, character, motivations, thoughts, desires – everything.  If you want to know God, you must study His word.