vrijdag 27 september 2013

The authority of Scripture 2

Bible and revelation
God has created heaven and earth. After the fall of man, God has revealed himself to men to redeem him from sin and guilt. God sent his servants the prophets. He revealed himself in mighty acts. The climax of God's revelation was the sending of his Son. The Bible is the record of God's saving acts. In the Bible, we find the interpretation of God's mighty acts. But, we must even say more. The Bible is not only a record of revelation. It is revelation itself. The Bible is the Word of God.
In every biblical statement (which we must take always in its context) God reveals some aspect of himself and how we have to honour and worship him. To give an example: the Psalms are more than human confessions of guilt and praise. They are inspired records of the work of the Holy Spirit in the hearts and lives of men. The Bible is not only the stan­dard of what we have to believe to be saved. But God has revealed to us how men experience their faith in him, too. The Bible is also the standard and rule of the experience of faith.          
In and through the Bible we meet the living God. The revelation of God has a personal charac­ter. At the same time we must say that the Bible is the revelation of God, about his nature, his will, and about God's way of salvation. We can call that the propositional aspect of revel­ation, that means revelation as revealed truth with an objective content; truth about God. The personal and propositional aspects of revelation do not con­tradict each other, but they presuppose each other.
To say it in other word: faith in God and in Jesus Christ has a distinct content. Faith is not feeling or emotion without content. To believe in Christ means trust in him, but also to know that he is God revealed in our flesh, the eternal and only begotten Son of God, who propitiated with his death the wrath of God against human sin.
When we deny the propositional aspect of biblical revelation, the element of knowledge in faith is not longer thought to be essential. All thoughts about God and Christ are seen as principally of the same value. Their remains just one sin: to have your doubts about the sincerity about the faith of others.
The denial of the Bible as the infallible Word of God has a universalistic tendency. Regardless of the content of their faith all men calling themselves Christians, are seen as Christians, or even further every man is seen as a child of God.
Our view on the Bible itself and on the biblical message is inter­re­lated. Sometimes it is said: "The way you see the Bible is not of pri­mary importance. The matter is: what means Christ for you? Do you love him?" But that is a wrong approach. After the close of the canon we can only come in contact with God in and through his Word. When we love God, we also love the book in which he speaks to us.
In Psalm 119 we find a clear witness of the interrelationship of love to God and love to the scriptural record of his revelation. A view on the Bible, that is not in accordance with its self-witness, leads to another view on God and on the way of salvation. Faithfulness to God can never be separ­ated from faithfulness to the book by which God speak to us and reveals himself to us.