Daniel, a Chinese brother from Singapore, sat in the chair still shaking his head in unbelief. He had just returned from his first extensive visit to the People’s Republic of China. Now in the freedom of his home city, he was trying to assimilate and communicate all the impressions and messages he had received.
“How would you summarize what you learned on your visit, Daniel?” I asked him. He continued to shake his head and smile. Finally he began to speak.
“Probably by my visit to one particular house church,” he slowly replied. “It numbers several hundred believers who have had a lot of persecution over the past years. I asked them how they had been victorious and even grown in numbers during such terrible experiences. They quickly replied, telling me three things,” he continued. “First, obedience to the Word of God; second, communication with God, that is, prayer. And third, love for the brothers and sisters.”
This group memorized one chapter of the Bible every week. They began doing this because of a lack of Bibles, but continued doing so after they realized the blessing it brought to their lives.
The Bible is God’s written revelation of Himself and His desire for a relationship with people. It is more than just a revelation of God’s character. It is also a revelation of His intricate plan for the world. We could never have understood our great God if He had not chosen to reveal Himself.
His greatest revelation of Himself was when He came to live among us in a human body and was known as Jesus Christ. But even our knowledge of that revelation depends upon His written Word, the Bible.
Satan has conducted a massive propaganda campaign in the last century in an attempt to discredit the Bible. He would love to see Christians lose faith in the Word of God. In spite of his efforts, however, no one has ever been able to disprove its reliability. It remains the only absolute truth known to humankind.
The Bible is our God-given basis for faith, doctrine and practice. Many times Christians have knowingly departed from its teachings and suffered because of doing so. Many times when Christians depart from the Word, it is because they do not know or understand it.
The church can only be true to the revealed Word of God when its people know what it teaches. Study of God’s Word is an essential part of the Christian life. When Christians doubt, ignore or fail to understand the teachings of Scripture and depart from its principles, they lose their spiritual power.