From time to time surveys are undertaken asking people whether they believe in God. Surprisingly about 60% usually say they do, though only about 10% of them go regularly to a place of worship. But if the survey goes further, and asks these professed believers in God what they believe about Him, an almost incredible vagueness emerges.
Their general view of God reflects their view of themselves. Most people are inclined to be indulgent towards their own failings and they think of God as necessarily being the same.
“I like to think of God”,
“as infinitely kind, always forgiving and never condemning anyone, even wrongdoers.”
Others will say,
“Well, if God exists, and I do what I think is right, I shall get whatever reward there is.”
The fact is that modern man is largely pagan. He has lost any sense of the authority of God, because he has lost any basis for belief. Left to his own imaginings, he lacks all conviction; he is confused and indifferent.
Where is the Basis?
It is surely self-evident that if a religion is to have any power and authority for mankind, it must be revealed by God Himself. For there is only one alternative: if the message is not from God, it must come from man. But how can any man presume to tell other men and women what is true and right?
The teachings of the great majority of the religions of the world obviously come from human thinking. There is one notable exception. The religion of the Bible — the Christian religion with which this and the following articles is concerned — is emphatically a revealed religion, the word of God for man.
Its message is never presented as of human authority. “The word of the Lord” comes to the prophet and he delivers it as just that. Old and New Testaments are alike in this. When that Word is written down for the benefit of future generations, it is, says Paul,
“inspired of God”.
Literally he wrote,
“God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16),
“came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).
Notice the contrast: not “by the will of man”, but from God direct by His Spirit.
This is why the Bible is the book of supreme authority. It is God’s Word for us. But an important consequence follows: if this is so, we dare not neglect it. We must take it seriously.
Next: God’s Self-Revelation
- Grasping at Straws—A Lecture on Faith
- a letter to God (whatever that might be)
- Why Believe or Connect with God 2018-96
- The Many Denominations of Unbelief
- To Believe 2018-97
- The Word of God Guides Me Through the Snares
- God’s Love Guided Me Through the Trial of Illness
- The Testimony of a Christian | God’s Light Led Me in the Tribulation
- In a world where you can be anything, be kind.