Communicating with God I: The Bible as God’s Word
Over the next four meetings, we’ll be learning about our communication with God: what it is, how it works, and how we can make it full and consistent. This week we’re talking about God’s primary mode of communication with us: the Bible.
Obvious question: what makes the Bible so special? Obvious answer: it’s a real record of God’s words to humanity.
What does this mean? It means that the Bible originated with God, not with man. Consider 1 Thessalonians 2:13. In this verse the Bible refers to itself as “not…human word” but rather “as it actually is, the word of God.”
The Bible is thus “divinely inspired,” which means that everything in the Bible was put there on God’s command, not just because of decisions made by human recorders.
Look at 1 Corinthians 14:36-37. Paul says he is writing on the Lord’s command. We can compare this to a boss having an employee copy down some order or command. The words are those of the boss, not the employee, despite the fact that the employee is writing them.
How should we treat the Bible, then?
As authentic communication from God to man. The words in the Bible are what God wants us to know and what He has actually said to mankind. Look, for instance, at Isaiah 45:19. God speaks directly to us and validates His words as true.
Why do you suppose God chose a book out of all the ways He can communicate with us?
Remember that the Bible isn’t only given to Christians. Non-believers can read it too, and it’s easier for them to read the words of God than to talk to Him directly.
It’s a very tangible thing, which helps us humans relate to it more easily.
It’s something that’s relatively easy to memorize and write out—a permanent record of God’s actual words for us to carry around and read.
We can look at the Bible as God’s primary mode of communication with us.
What exactly do you think that means?
Personally, I think it means that God wants to communicate with us. Since He gave us His actual words, He must want us to read them and respond to them. This is a very important point!
Obviously, communication—and especially conversation—is a crucial part of any relationship.
How does the Bible create a conversation between God and the reader?
Gives us questions to ask God, as well as answers from Him.
Allows us to intimately understand God, allowing for easier communication. Think of good friends or married couples—they know each other well and can communicate well because of that.
Think about how you talk with your parents, siblings, or friends. When you’re having a conversation with them, you (hopefully) don’t just stand around after they say something to you. You give an answer.
We can view the Bible as God’s prompt to us, something that He has said to us that we should respond to.
How do we respond to the Bible?
Consider James 1:22-25. Here we see that the most obvious way of responding to what God tells us in the Bible is by following His commands. This has its benefits, too—James refers to God’s commands as the “perfect law that gives freedom,” and we gain this freedom when we obey those commands.
What other ways can you think of to respond to God’s words and join in a conversation with Him?
So what happens when we’ve read through the whole Bible? Have we heard all that God has to say to us?
No. The special thing about the Bible being God’s words instead of man’s is that it continues to teach us no matter how many times we read it, because God is infinite. Consider Hebrews 4:12. The Bible is an active force in our lives.
Look at John 17:25-26. Jesus is praying here and says that He “has made [God] known to [Christians], and will continue to make [God] known to [Christians].”
How does it make you feel knowing that God has intentionally given you His words so that you can get to know Him?
What can you do to get to know God more intimately through the Bible, as you would get to know a friend? Write some specific ideas—maybe even a plan of Bible study.
Now it’s time to respond to God! Write a prayer responding to God’s words, preferably about something you’ve recently heard or are wondering about. What questions do you have for Him? What things do you want to talk about? He wants to hear them!
Calvary Belmar Cedars