Christ followers often say, “It is important that you attend a Bible believing church.” We want to be part of a church where the words of scripture are honored as being the word of God. We are correct to hold tenaciously to the doctrine of the inspiration of scripture that God breathed His word through the human authors of scripture and so controlled them that what they wrote was exactly the words God wanted. We have an accurate record of God’s revelation to us. That’s why the Bible is our final authority for all we believe and practice. But let me ask you a question. “Do you believe everything the Bible says?”
One of the amazing things about Jesus’ disciples is how they missed what He plainly said. He told them in advance that He would suffer and die and be raised again. Why is it then that when these things happened to Jesus they were at first so unbelieving? My hunch is they didn’t really believe what Jesus said about His own suffering because they didn’t want to hear it. They didn’t like what He was saying. It wasn't what they wanted to hear.
I wonder if we don’t suffer from the same malady today. We who say we believe the Bible, do we balk at some of the things it says?
There are some hard sayings in the Bible and some of the hardest came from Jesus Himself. “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:26) I realize this needs to be carefully interpreted but my point is that many of us simply read over verses like this or even ignore them because we don’t like what they say. Yet, “every word of God is pure” (Proverbs 30:5)
There may be Biblical passages we ignore because the content speaks of things we don’t want to wrestle with. We may even have a fear associated with what it is saying. We may even think, “What’s that doing in the Bible?” Sometimes the problem is that what the Bible says doesn’t fit into our preconceived ideas and traditional ways of interpretation. We end up “making” texts say what we want them to mean rather than simply believing what it says. Oh, we would probably never actually say, “I don’t believe that,” but we’re precariously close to saying that when we ignore parts of the Bible or when we want to make it say what agrees with our own perceptions. Again I ask, do you believe everything the Bible says?
So, how do we correct this malady? I believe it begins with an attitude of humility that says, “God obviously is all wise and all knowing and even though there are times I may not like what His word is saying I will humbly admit that the problem is with the one who reads the word not the One who wrote it.” It would do us all good to acknowledge, “I could be wrong.” Such an admission releases the Holy Spirit to fulfill His role of “guiding us into all truth.” After all, He’s much better at interpreting the Bible than we are. He’s the One who wrote it!
Let us who claim to believe the Bible actually start believing it. Let’s not “twist the scriptures” to our own destruction (2 Peter 3:16). Let’s approach the word of God with a humble heart that seeks the guidance and wisdom of the Holy Spirit to give us meaning of what we read in the Bible. Let us say with the Psalmist, “Let God be true and every man (including me) a liar” (Romans 3:4). For every word of God is pure.