In Ecclesiastes 12:12, Solomon said, “Of the making of books there is no end …” That’s certainly true even in our day. But of all the books ever made, from every part of the world and every period in human history, there’s no book like the Bible. Never has been and never will be.
The Word of God stands alone as the most unique book of all time and makes claims for itself no other book has, ever can or will make. For example, the Bible says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” In other words, Scripture is not only inspired by Almighty God, but is also extraordinarily sufficient to equip us completely and fully for every good work. The Word of God is perfect and penetrating with the power to revive the soul (Hebrews 4:12; Psalm 19:7). It is unchanging and eternal (Isaiah 40:8), completely trustworthy (Psalm 111:7) and will endure forever (1 Peter 1:25).
But some in our day, as in days gone by, are again questioning the veracity and even the necessity of the Bible. Dr. James Montgomery Boice said, “In Martin Luther’s day, sola Scriptura had to do with the Bible being the sole ultimate authority for Christians over against challenges to it from the traditions of the medieval church, church councils, and the pope. The Reformers wanted Scripture to stand alone as the church’s true authority. Today, at least in the evangelical church, that is not our chief problem; we assert biblical authority. Rather, our problem is in deciding whether the Bible is sufficient for the church’s life and work. We confess its authority, but we discount its ability to do what is necessary to draw unbelievers to Christ, enable us to grow in godliness, provide direction for our lives, and transform and revitalize society.”
Regardless of what men may do, God will always have the final word.
“So we substitute such things as Madison Avenue methodology for biblical evangelism, special ‘religious’ experiences rather than knowledge of the Word to promote and guarantee sanctification, special revelations for discerning the will of God for our lives, and a trust in the power of votes and money to change society. In other words, in the sixteenth century the battle was against those who wanted to add church traditions to Scripture, but in our day the battle is against those who would have us use worldly means to do God’s work.” 1
Shockingly, there are pastors in pulpits around the country today who don’t even have a Bible with them when they stand to preach. In fact, many of them wouldn’t call what they do “preaching.” Instead, they say they are giving a “talk.” If we were talking about a civic club, a country club, or a parent/teacher organization, no problem. But we’re talking about the church of the Lord, Jesus Christ and the absence of a Bible when it comes to our pastors, our pulpits and/or our people is a HUGE problem.
Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse, former pastor of the Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, said, “It is my prayer that no man shall ever stand in this pulpit as long as time shall last who does not desire to have all that he does based upon this Book. For this Book does not contain the Word of God, it is the Word of God. And though we may preach the Word with all the stammering limitations of our human nature, the grace of God does the miracle or the ministry, and through human lips speaks the divine Word, and the hearts of the people are refreshed. There is no other explanation for the continuing power of a church that is poorly located, that is without endowment, but which continues to draw men and women to the capacity of its seating arrangements, morning and evening, summer and winter, and which sends its sons and daughters by the score to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ throughout the world.” 2
Whenever someone, no matter who, attempts to minimize or marginalize the Bible, Christians need to stand up and speak up, especially when it happens in a church or church-related setting. For those who think we’re making too big a deal out of a book or would accuse us of bibliolatry (worshiping the Bible), listen to these words from my friend, Dr. Bob Moorehead:
“This book contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy. Its precepts are binding. Its histories are true and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s character. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, ruffle the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It’s given you in life, will be open at judgment, and remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, rewards the greatest labor, and condemns all who trifle with its holy contents.” 3
Regardless of what men may do, God will always have the final word. 1 Peter 1:25 says, “But the word of the Lord stands forever. And this is the word that was preached to you.”
Paul told Timothy the time would come when people wouldn’t want to hear the Word anymore, that they would desire to hear other things instead. In spite of that, his responsibility would always be to “Preach the Word!” (2 Timothy 4:2)
That’s still our responsibility today and still the only hope for our world.
Not the words of men, but THE WORD OF GOD!
© 2017. Barry Cameron
1 Boice, James Montgomery. Whatever Happened to the Gospel of Grace?: Rediscovering the Doctrines That Shook the World. Crossway Books, 2009. 66.
2 Ibid., 68.
3 Moorehead, Bob. Counsel Yourself & Others from the Bible: the First Place to Turn for Life's Tough Issues. Multnomah Books, 1994. 102.
Barry L. Cameron has been the Senior Pastor of Crossroads since 1992 when the church was averaging 188 in morning worship. Pastor Cameron and his wife, Janis, have three children and two grandsons. He’s the author of the bestseller: The ABCs of Financial Freedom, Contagious Generosity, and The Financial Freedom Workbook. The Cameron family has been completely debt free since November 2001.