What is The Bible For?

NOTE: This testimony was sent to me by this person’s mother. The young man is 23 years old, and is growing in the Lord, which is making his mom and dad ecstatic. Rejoice with them (Rom. 12:15).
 
Austin Chapman’s Notes
What is the Bible for?
10-22-08     2:48a.m.
 
What is our Bible for? It is for instruction and guidance, yes?  If this is true, then the next question is how does it instruct?  How does it guide?  It’s methods are many, but it’s foundation is not.
 
I used to believe that the crux of Christianity was to love, to love unconditionally.  All of the teachings I found surrounded around love and I was under the assumption that’s what it all boiled down to.  Love God, love others and love oursleves in the ways that Christ teaches us.  However, I recently have changed this thinking.  I still believe that love is important and a very large part in what Christians are and should be.  Although, I do think that the larger purpose that Christ came for was to explain who he is; who God is.
 
We needed God to be explained to us because since the beginning of time, God has been giving us the chance to be like him or to be like the world.  He has tried to get us to be like him as much as he can while still giving us free choice.  He made us in his image and we blew it in the garden of Eden.  The next think he did was give us the ten commandments.
 
There are laws in the world because without them we have anarchy.  Without government or law, who does one answer to?  There is no authority higher than yourself if there is no law.  It is in this light that God gave Moses the ten commandments so that we would have laws, order.  These laws may seem obvious at times, a nuisance at others, but all in all, I believe that most, even non-Christians can agree that these laws build the framework of a good person and good society.  But the commandments aren’t right based on practicality, they are right because they are God.  God’s goal was not to create good people.  His goal was to create God people.  He wants us to be like him in everything.  He has beckoned us to be so close to Him that others can feel him through us.  That’s what those laws are for.  They are to guide our spirituality, so that we don’t have spiritual anarchy inside of us.  They are to make us more like God.
 
However, once again, we didn’t listen.  So, he gave us his son, Jesus.  He told us once, we were dumb.  He wrote it down for us, so we wouldn’t forget, we were dumb.  Finally, he came to earth himself to show us what to live like.  Christ came, according to John 18, to testify to the truth.  This truth was God, it was to reveal God’s nature and his personality and his thoughts and wisdom and love to us.
 
So, as my view of the path of Christianity has changed, I have realized that what the real essence of being a Christian is found within the Word itself: Christ, Christian means little messiah or little christ.  That is what we are to be.  We have been called to be living, breathing, incarnations of God himself.  This was God’s goal from the very beginning.  He created us in his image.  He created us to be God people.  He created us to be little christs.  So, what is the Bible for?  It is our handbook on how to transform ourselves into Christ’s image.
 
Father, please help me to be you,  Show me and reveal to me more and more who and what you are, so that I can take on your nature and imitate you.  You are such a powerful and mighty God.  I thank you for being patient with me and with all humans as we have struggled from the very beginning to get it right.  I want to get rid of the sinful desires inside of me.  Please make your will my will, your good, pleasing, and perfect will.  I trust you with everything and in everything let your will be done. Amen.

Blogged Bible Study–Nothing (John 15)

Jn 15:5
 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.       KJV

Nothing.

I can’t do a thing apart from Him.

I know the context of the verse is talking about bearing fruit. Of course, it is true that I cannot bear any kind of quality fruit if I am not in the Vine.

But, the reality that the Lord is driving home for me is that I am not capable of anything apart from Him.

Nothing.

What is excluded from “nothing?”

Nothing.

Anything I do is included in that. Everything I do is included in that. Nothing is excluded from that.

Without Him I am useless.

Aside from the fruit-bearing and the normal spiritual stuff we relate to the concept, I am being turned to look at the realities of my existence on this plane at this time.

I can’t even brush my teeth without Him.

The Lord is to be in and a part of absolutely everything that I do.

The following may be somewhat crass, but it is still a good illustration of the point:

My wife came into the room all excited one day, because she had been able to have a bowel movement. No, there had not been any problems before. Yes, she was doing well at the time. But, it occurred to her while in the midst of the business that the Lord had made her body, and He had made it to function well. For that she was giving Him the glory.

That made me realize how often I take things for granted about this life.

It is for certain that if we were to have a difficulty with that particular function of the body, we would get all excited and praise the Lord when it was restored to its proper health.

Then, why not give thanks when it is working properly–before it goes awry?!?

He is my all and in all.

Apart from Jesus, I can do nothing.

Apart from Jesus, I am nothing.

 

Note: there are others who are writing on themes contained within the 15th chapter of John’s gospel. Check it out and be blessed.

It’s Not Mine

Eph 2:8
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:    KJV

This verse stood out to me this morning in a way like never before.

The Lord is showing us through the language here that the whole thing–grace, salvation, faith–the whole kit and kaboodle is of Him.

I can’t even brag about or claim any part in the faith that I have, because it is not something that I have. It is something that I have been given.

I have been given the faith to believe. I have been given the grace to receive. I have been given the salvation from sin, from dead works, from going my own way in my own strength.

It is all of Him.

I bow myself before the Father.