The Bible is God-breathed literature

Published 8:52 am Friday, November 18, 2022

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: I’ve always heard that the Bible is the Word of God. If so, why are there so many terrible stories in it? Shouldn’t we take a more critical attitude toward it instead of swallowing it all? — S.S.

Dear S.S.: The world is made up of sinners. The Bible says that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The Bible isn’t an idealistic fairytale, but rather a record of God’s dealing with individuals from the beginning of time. There’s nothing that indicates the truth of the Scriptures more than the factual record of mankind and its failures and sin against God.
One of the greatest men in the Bible is King David. Yet, the Bible tells us he was guilty of adultery and murder. It also documents his repentance and turning back to God. All of these records are for our warning and instruction. They show us how sinful man needs God and His redemptive work in Christ. They tell us of many who accepted Him and were transformed. There’s one thing about the stories in the Bible where sinful acts are mentioned; they do not glorify sin, nor do they make people want to go out and copy them. The Bible always shows sin for what it really is, an offense against God and something to be repented of and turned from.
There are various definitions of the word “critical,” one of which can mean to be faultfinding or censorious. In the study of Scripture, the word means to evaluate and analyze. By the help of God’s Spirit, He opens the minds of hearts of readers, giving clarity to mankind.
The Bible should be approached with the assurance that this is God-breathed literature and God has given us this great gift and enormous privilege — and joy — of hearing His words that are filled with forgiveness and love.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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