Inerrancy of the Bible. Most Southern Baptists will acknowledge this truth without flinching--but to what end? We believe that the Bible is God's word--"truth without any mixture of error," as our Baptist confessions have so aptly put it for so long. According to this article from Christianity Today, however, the vast majority of Baptists neglect their Bibles.
Apparently their is a disconnect between our affirmation of the doctrine and our understanding of its value. In this post, I offer four applications of our doctrine of the Bible. A following post will add four more.
1. Read or listen to your Bible daily. I know I already implied this one, but it bears repeating. This application is the one that most clearly and certainly follows from the teaching that the Bible is without error. If knowing God is the highest good, and we believe as a certainty that the Bible leads us to God perfectly, then we have no reason why we don't pick it up and seek that highest good.
2. Have confidence that you can understand the Bible with God's help. Along with inerrancy comes the important corollary of the clarity (or perspicuity) of Scripture. There are tons of helps out there to give you a boost on historical background, like this great Bible dictionary from Holman. Or the ESV Study Bible. But most importantly, we have the ultimate in guidance absolutely free of charge. The Holy Spirit that lives in the heart of every Christian has been sent to lead us into all the truth. Trust him and have confidence that you can understand your Bible.
3. If you are seeking God's will for your life, the Bible is the surest guide to finding it. Many Christians go through life confused because they are seeking God's will for their life by impressions or looking for "signs." They forget what they claim to believe about the Bible, that it is the "supreme standard by which all human conduct" is tested. So if you want to know what God thinks you should do next, your best bet is to check out the principles that he has laid out in his Word.
4. The Bible doesn't need to be defended--just unleashed! A wise pastor once said, "If you've got a lion in a cage, you don't have to talk on and on about how strong he is--you just have to let him out!" So it is with the Bible. These days, we spend a lot of time defending the Bible against its many critics. We are likely to be wasting our breath. Our energies are better spend understanding the Word, applying it, and proclaiming its principles as God's truth without apology. If we think the Bible needs our advocacy, we make our advocacy a higher authority than the Bible. Just preach it--it has its own power to convince its hearers.
Next post, we'll look at four more applications of the doctrine of the Bible.