By Scripture alone: Our Foundation
45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things (Luke 24: 45-48 NIV).
Additional passage: 2 Timothy 3: 16
Christ is at the center of God’s word and it is he, Jesus Christ, who reveals it to us.
After being raised from the dead, Jesus meets two of his disciples on the road to Emmaus. Jesus explains to them through scripture why he, the Messiah, had to suffer, die and come back to life. There are references pointing towards Jesus throughout the whole Bible, testifying to Christ’s coming, awakening faith in those who read it and hear it.
It is easy to forget how privileged we are to have the Bible available to us in our own mother tongue. There are those who still do not have access to it and those who cannot read it. When the Bible is translated for the first time in a language, it can bring so much joy to the native speakers. Something I witnessed in Turkey is how another language can give you a new perspective on God’s word, for example in the imagery used. The following is a literal translation of a passage in Turkish:
“Today, when you hear his voice, do not allow calluses to grow on your heart.” (Heb, 3:15).
Hardened skin growing on your heart…. that is quite a vivid picture. It warns us of devaluing the Bible’s message and closing our heart to God’s word. It is a warning against disobeying the scriptures and devaluing certain passages by saying that they are irrelevant and outdated for modern society.
Years ago, an Indian theologian stated that ever since we have learnt how to read the Bible, we have forgotten how to listen to God’s word. He said: “When I read the Bible, my eyes are always above the scriptures. However, if I listen to God’s word I must place myself below it.” We can put our trust in God’s Word. Preaching based on the Bible awakens faith, for faith comes from hearing and from the things heard (see Romans 10: 17).
- that the Bible has been translated in so many different languages
- for preachers who put Christ at the center of their message, awakening faith
- for worship songs and hymns based on the holy scriptures
- for when we didn’t listen to God’s word. When it hasn’t been the foundation of our church
- that the Bible can be translated in continually more languages
- that God’s word is preached and listened to at our churches
- that we learn more Bible verses by heart
Writen by: Detlef Garbers, Sinsheim