The Bible is God’s revelation. It’s not speculation. God’s revelation focuses on one person—Jesus Christ.
Many have asked why an itinerant preacher two thousand years ago is important to us today. Most people know of him. Sadly, they use his name when they are surprised, frustrated, or angry. Yet they consider him irrelevant for their lives.
Yet those who saw him, walked with him, and talked with him considered him very important. Peter said it so clearly, “To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:58,59). Some of them wrote what they had seen and heard. From their accounts, others soon recognized Jesus as the only source of eternal life.
But many today ask if what they wrote is true. That’s been happening since Jesus first spoke to the fishermen in Galilee. In Nazareth, his hometown, the people questioned his message (Luke 4:14-30). Who does he think he is? was on their minds. What makes him so special? they thought. He claimed to be the Holy One of God who came to give eternal life to all who believed in him. “No!” they said. Later in Jerusalem, Jesus made similar claims. “No!” they also said. They wanted to punctuate their refusal with stones. Jesus continued teaching about eternal life, but at the next Passover these naysayers would maneuver the Romans to crucify him, keeping their hands free of his blood.
We want to help our readers remain confident that the Bible is God’s revelation to us and still matters today.
But that was not the end of Jesus or his message. He arose from death and sent his disciples out into the world with his message. That’s when they wrote what they had seen and heard.
Unfortunately, rejection of Jesus did not lie silent among the stones in Jerusalem. Often wherever the disciples went to share the message Jesus taught, stones were hurled at them. They were accused of being enemies of the state, crucified, abused, tortured, and dismissed as proclaiming a message threatening the status quo.
We learned about Jesus from the record left behind by those eyewitnesses and consider him important. Yet our world is no more eager to hear the message than it was in the first century. Critics attack the Bible as an unreliable record of unverified dreams. Many still respond to the message of God’s grace in Christ with an emphatic, “No!”
Others don’t attack the Bible. They simply ignore it. Because they dismiss Jesus and the Bible, they never read or hear the message of forgiveness, life, and salvation. They end up whistling in the dark when confronted with death and trials. They comfort themselves with vain hopes that all will turn out well or that they can appease God with a good life and good behavior.
We at Forward in Christ magazine take the Bible seriously and want to make this year the year of the Bible for our readers. We will be addressing the challenges to the Bible our contemporary world spins. We want to help our readers remain confident that the Bible is God’s revelation to us and still matters today. Besides the articles on the Bible, we are introducing a new monthly Bible reading schedule that traces God’s story of our salvation throughout the Scriptures.
The Bible still matters even in a contemporary world that has little time or interest in Jesus.
Author: John A. Braun
Volume 108, Number 1
Issue: January 2021