The DaVinci Code has created another opportunity to talk about the historical, academic, spiritual, and social reasons why the Bible is trustworthy. As a student of the Bible for my entire life, I have studied it not only as a sacred text for its spiritual content, but also as literature and as theology from historical and critical viewpoints. After all these years, I still trust the Bible completely as my foundation for living and as the truth by which reality is framed and understood. So here are my top 21 reasons why I trust the Bible:
1. It is truth aimed at freedom. It’s not just truth for a certain set of people to use it to restrict the lives of others, or to condemn or keep them out. The truth of the Scripture leads to freedom. As Jesus said, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” So I love the truth that the Scripture teaches because it’s truth that leads to freedom.
2. It explains reality. The very first verse of the Bible is “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” When you look around and see a world of order and sophistication, you begin to see that the reality behind what we see and experience every day is a God who is creative and loves to create with His creation. It’s logical then, that He would communicate to us in a way we can understand, through the written word, and that He would sustain and perpetuate it.
3. It’s a solid foundation. Jesus warned about the man who built his house on sand and when the rains came, it was destroyed because the foundation wouldn’t hold. Each life needs a foundation for its ethical decisions and its moral behavior. The Scripture provides a solid foundation of ethics that will lead to the kind of morals that not only please God, but bear the fruit of a well-lived life.
4. It’s a first-hand account. The writers of the Scriptures were people who were there, who saw for themselves. They were giving us eyewitness accounts of exactly what happened. These were not people removed, talking to people about what they heard someone else say. They were there. They saw it. They smelled the smells. They had the emotional responses. They saw the life-change. They saw who Jesus was. These are the people who saw the Red Sea part, they saw the staff become a snake, and all the other amazing miracles and stories of the Bible were written by those who lived them.
5. It’s historically accurate. One of the major writers of the New Testament was a guy by the name of Luke who was a physician and also a historian. He talks about in the first chapter of his gospel how he had undertaken to write the accounts of things they had seen, things they had investigated from the beginning, things that were true, things that were verifiable by outside sources.
6. It warns of false teachers. The Bible is very careful to tell us that there will be people who will take the truths of God spirituality and twist them into religious rules in order to gain a following by manipulation. Our need and hunger for God are powerful forces that can be easily used for destructive purposes. And the Bible warns us about how truth twisted can be damaging.
7. It equips us for life. The Bible says that it is the very “breath of God.” And as we read it, it is the kind of thing that will help prepare us for every point of life. It will equip us to do every good work that God expects and we desire. The Bible equips us to live with ourselves, in families, and in society.
8. It’s tested truth over time. As the Scriptures say, “The grass withers and the flower fades away, but the Word of God stands forever.” The truth in this Bible that was written over a 1400-year span by 40 different contributors has one theme and describes the behavior of mankind today as though it were the morning headlines. It’s as relevant and fresh with what we face, how we feel, and how we behave as it was in its own generation. As the old saying goes, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”
9. It endures change. Think of how the world is different today from the Biblical world. Who would ever dream in the first century that we would have cars, planes, travel to the moon, internet, heart transplants, and genetic engineering? And yet for all the changes, cosmetically and technologically, the Bible still endures because the human heart still longs for God..
10. It keeps your life out of the ditch. I love what Mark Twain said. “Most people are bothered by passages in Scripture they can’t understand. The Scriptures that trouble me most are the Scriptures that I do understand.” I’ve always felt the same way. It’s not the Scripture that I don’t understand that gives me problems. It’s the Scripture I do understand but am not doing that hangs me up. The more I ignore the Bible’s truth, the more I am apt to take the wrong exit on the freeway of life and wind up at a dark destination.
11. I trust the Bible because of its influence. An Associated Press article recently said, “The heads of a thousand major American companies and 1200 universities were asked which book had the most influence on their lives and by far and away the number one book is the Bible.” If it’s good enough for CEO’s and University Presidents and academicians, surely it’s good enough for me.
12. It feeds my soul. I love what David said in Psalm 119. “I’ve kept my feet from every evil path so I might obey your word. I’ve not departed from your laws for you yourself have taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth.” I agree.
13. It’s living and active. The sacred text reads, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword. It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” The more I read the Scriptures, the more they read me.
14. It blesses whoever obeys it. The promise of Scripture is, “More blessed are all those who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” I want God’s blessing and when I do what He says, I attract more of what He gives.
15. It warns of judgment. Everything in my soul tells me I will stand accountable one day for my life. The Bible tells me exactly what to expect. In Christ, I will never stand in judgment for my soul. Even then I will stand in judgment for my good works; how I’ve lived my life, how I’ve made my choices. It reminds me that all the blessings of God come with responsibilities.
16. It predicts the future. The Bible says that in eternity there will be a new heaven and a new earth. In that space where God dwells He will live with us and be our God. We will see Him face to face. He will wipe the tears from our eyes. Heaven will be greater than anything we could ever imagine. No more war, no death, no sorrow, no pain, no suffering, no cancer, no child abuse, no murder, nothing but joy and bliss greater than what we can ever imagine.
17. It promises us a future. I love what Paul says when he said, “no eye has seen or ear has heard, nor has it entered into the mind of man what God has prepared for those who love Him.” God, I have a great big imagination. I know it’s going to be an awesome place.
18. It offers hope. To the young it teaches us how to live our life. To the old it teaches us how to die. To the ignorant it gives us wisdom. To the learned it gives us humility. To the rich it gives compassion; to the poor it provides comfort. To the dreamer it provides inspiration. To the practical it provides counsel. To the weak it gives strength. To the strong it gives direction. To the proud it gives a warning. To the humble it provides exaltation. To the troubled it gives peace. To the weary it gives rest.
19. It establishes my worth. It is in the pages of Scripture that I learn God’s opinion of me. God values me. I am worth all the trouble He has gone through to redeem me. I am not worth my job, my money, my power, or my pedigree. I am worth loving because the Bible teaches me. Jesus loves me.
20. It teaches me to trust. In a world bent on its own selfish ends, who do you trust? When you can’t trust your government, your co-workers, or even your family, you can trust God. Without the Bible, I wouldn’t know the one thing God demands of me – trust. I’m saved by my trust, I’m sustained by my trust, and I’m freed-up and joy-filled by trusting Jesus, the lover of my soul.
21. I trust the Bible because to tamper with it comes with a warning. Few people remember that at the end of the Scriptures we are given a warning that says, “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. If anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share of the tree of life in the holy city.”
Bottom line, we all need direction. We need guidance. The Bible provides that guidance. The Bible is the owner’s manual for the human life. When we buy a car, a motorcycle, any vehicle, it comes with an owner’s manual that tells us exactly what to do to not only operate, but maintain the vehicle. The Bible is the very same way. It is God giving to us the owner’s manual that teaches how to live and how to die. It teaches us how to be free and how to set others free. It teaches us how to end wars, to build families, to work well, and to leave a legacy forever. That’s why I trust the Bible. The question is, what do you trust? What are you building your life’s foundation on and will it hold in the time of storm which is surely to come?