And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”
We all know that it was God who preached the gospel to Abraham and it was also God who promised him all the nations will be blessed through his seed (Genesis 12:1-3), so isn’t it curious that Paul would say it was the Scripture which did all that? And even more puzzling is that he wrote the Scripture had foreseen God’s plan for the Gentiles.
Isn’t the Scripture (or Bible) just a book containing the written word of God? How can a book preach the gospel, talk to people and even perceive the thoughts of God? It was as if Paul sees the Scripture as a living person rather than an inanimate object.
Let’s look at another verse:
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
I used to think the author of Hebrews was using figure of speech about the word of God being alive and powerful, but in light of Galatians 3:8, I realized he was being quite literal. In fact, like Paul (assuming it was not Paul who wrote Hebrews), he also ascribed the ability of reading minds to it.
From the above verses, we can infer that the Bible, more than just God’s written word, is a personification of God Himself. Meaning when we say, “The Bible says this”, it is the same as saying “God says this”. What is written in the Bible is exactly what God would have said in person!
Given the importance and authority of the Holy Book, I personally find it quite astonishing to know there are Christians who never bother to read it. Not that one’s salvation is dependent on reading the Bible, but without proper knowledge of God’s word how can we ever be sure what is right or wrong? After all, right believing leads to right living
What if a preacher tells you the disease you are suffering from is a result of some sins in your life? What if a pastor teaches that you need to keep the Law to “maintain” your salvation? What if a ministry leader admonishes you for making “too much money”? What if a self-styled prophet tells you to do certain things because the Holy Spirit “spoke” to him? How will you respond? How would you know if they are truly from God or just manipulations?
Only by arming ourselves with the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17), can we prevent ourselves from being “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting (Ephesians 4:14)”.
(This post is inspired by the writings of a theologian, VC.)