Discover The Book (Part 2. The Bible: God's Love Letter)
Although this article is in a series, it is a Complete study on its own. (2 of 4 in series)
An eternity ago, God had an idea. He decided to create life. It wasn't as if He was lonely (as we know loneliness) because loneliness suggests a need and God needs nothing. He is complete in Himself. He existed, always alone, from forever ago until that first day He spoke life into existence.
"God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high." (Hebrews 1:1-3)
"By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible." (Hebrews 11:3)
He was (and is) Creator God with a master plan and He could (and can) do anything. That is called omnipotence. So with a spoken word, "Let there be..." He made everything there is. He made the universes as the angels looked on in amazement.
"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone?, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?" (Job 38:4-7)
He created such beauty that there were no feelings to express its depth and richness, no words to describe fully what was done. Then He pronounced it very good.
"Then God saw everything He had made, and indeed it was very good." (Genesis 1:31)
When ultimate perfection says very good, the excellence of that work is beyond our simple minds to comprehend. He is infinite, we are finite. Though our imaginings be as high as the clouds, as big as our dreams, as far reaching as the human spirit, God is infinite. His thoughts and His thinking are far above anything of which humans are capable.
"Great is the Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite." (Psalms 147:5)
"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think, according to the power that works in us." (Ephesians 3:20)
"And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account." (Hebrews 4:13)
"For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things." (1 John 3:20)
God makes no mistakes and knows all things. That is called omniscience. He never intended for sin to creep into His sinless creation, but He allowed for it. Why would God allow for imperfection to mar His perfect work? God wanted to create creatures with attributes like His own. He created His creatures with the ability to reason out their course of action and come to a conclusion, right or wrong. He endowed His creatures with volition, the right and ability to choose for themselves their fate. And, perhaps most obvious, He treats all of His creatures with personal dignity reflective of His love, no matter what their choice. He will not exercise His omnipotent power to wrest control of their mind. He reasons with them. offering them a choice, then pleads with them to make the right one. He agonizes over their final decision, trying desperately to convince them. He loves all of His creation and mourns the loss of each precious life due to their own sin and foolishness.
"I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live." (Deuteronomy 30:19)
"Come now and let us reason together," says the Lord, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah 1:18)
"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing." (Luke 13:34)
Knowing all things, the beginning from the end, He knew that sin would come between Mankind and Himself. In the Word is spoken of the Son's affection for Mankind. He has felt compassion for them from the beginning of time. He said His delight was with the sons of men.
"Remember the former things of old, for I am God and there is no other; I am God and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, "My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure." (Isaiah 46:9-10)
"Rejoicing in His inhabited world, and My delight was with the sons of men." (Proverbs 8:31)
He knew all of Mankind that was to be, was contained within the sinner Adam. He knew that that sin would pass like some horrible blood disease to all of Adam's children. (Science has long known, that the male carries the gene for blood and not the woman).
From within the race of man could come nothing to purchase his own redemption. Man was cursed, condemned with no hope, at least that was the devil's plan. God said to Adam, "For dust thou art and to dust shalt thou return." (Gen 3:19) But God, who so beautifully worked His creation, also had a plan for salvation. This too, He beautifully worked through His Son Jesus, the Christ.
But first, God would have to reveal His plan to man. How did He do it? He decided to speak it to the woman Eve first. He told her of a promised Messiah to come. We know He told her along with the statement in Genesis 3:15 because her children knew of it. Abel believed it, Cain did not. (Abel made the "hall of faith" chapter in Hebrews 11:4) There has been a constant line of people that believed it since our human mother Eve, and the oral tradition was born. Each man-child Eve bore was greeted with, "now I have gotten a Man from God. Her hope was that each would be the One foretold to redeem mankind. The premise "without the shedding of blood is no remission" of sin (Hebrews 9:22) has been in the oral tradition from the very start.
Then God, probably through the man Job, (the oldest book of the bible), began to write down "God-breathed" words. In this way He could give a greater knowledge of Himself and His love for us than ever before. He preserved this written record in the 66 books we know as the Bible, though there were many, many attempts to destroy it.
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." (2 Timothy 3:16)
There were other written works that contained factual information that was part of the oral tradition but these are not included in the canon of Scripture. How do we know the Bible is complete? Nothing added and nothing taken away? Because the Lord spoke of a curse that was to be placed on anyone that added or took away from the words of Scripture. The Bible is complete revelation. God promised to preserve the canon and said not one word would pass away without being fulfilled. Every jot (Hebrew letter) and tittle (the lines that make up each Hebrew letter) would be inspired and cared for by God. That is why all stories that some of the canon is left out or "lost" is false.
"I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." (Revelation 22:18-19)
"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away." (Mark 13:31 and the same quote is in Luke 21:33)
God said to Israel and to all of His children, "Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee." (Jer. 31:3) He said, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
God loves us so much. We are told in His Bible that He longs to show us things too wonderful to know, things beyond our scope of understanding, eternal things.
"That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height - to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." (Ephesians 3:17-19)
The Holy Bible is God's love letter to His children. He made it alive, to be specially applicable to each person individually. Written thousands-plus years ago, the Bible speaks to the moment, to individuals that need God's love, guidance, and comfort. He has something to say to you! Imagine God writing a love letter to you, that you have never opened. Perhaps you blow dust off of it once a week and let someone else tell you about this letter meant for you. Don't do that! Open it up and let God love you through its pages. Don't push God and His Word off to the side. Make this love letter from God truly yours, because it is.
What is in a love letter? Sweet things, things that endear, things that would warn (if need be), pleadings, emotions; these are all things one writes in a love letter. So too, God has done this in His Bible. He pleads for all to come to Him before it is too late. He has given all for you, the reader. He has given the most precious sacrifice, He has died for you. He has told you the truth, how to get out of the mess passed to you through Adam. He has promised blessings and a forever with Him as your Husband.
Do you feel lonely, unloved? Do you long to have a peace and joy in your life that you couldn't even describe to someone if you tried? These are things God has promised for His children. He is our Father. He is our brother. He is our bridegroom and we are His bride. All of these promises and incouragements are written for those who have received Him as personal Lord and Savior.
Perhaps you have never ever realized what God was offering you in the Scripture. Perhaps you never have come to Him and asked Him to forgive you and cleanse you from your sin.
If you never have come to Him it is easy to do. Pray this believing and mean it with all your heart:
Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and I was born a sinner. I know that You died to pay for my sin and to bring me home with You to be Your bride. Jesus I believe You are God in human flesh. I believe You came to earth, You were nailed to a cross and You were buried but three days later You rose from the dead. I am turning from my life of sin and turning to You, Jesus, as the only way of salvation. Please forgive me and save me. Be my God, my Savior, my Lord and I will follow You all the days of my life. I thank you God. I pray this in Jesus' holy name. Amen.
Others in this series of independent articles:
Discover The Book (Part 1. Why Should I Read The Bible?)
Discover The Book (Part 3. God's Warning To The World)
Discover The Book (Part 4. God's Promises To Believers)