Experience the power of God’s Word
The Bible is the undisputed best-seller of the world. Each year more than 30 million copies in 350 languages are sold in more than 170 countries. Many more millions of Bible portions are available in more than 2,000 dialects. The smallest Bible ever printed has the length of a match: 4.5 cm. It is 3 cm. wide and 2 cm. thick. This little 878-page booklet was printed in England. It weighs no more than 20 grams. I always carry with me a minuscule copy of the whole Bible. This 3 x 4 cm. microfilm contains the entire Bible on a scale of 1:48,400; its text is perfectly readable with a microscope or when projected on a screen. Quite a curiosity!
Yet the Bible is also the least understood book!
“He who believes knows more,” Erich Kästner once wrote. In a society characterized by crumbling values, creeds, and philosophies of all kinds, it is highly meaningful for us to rediscover the importance of God’s revelation, so as to fill the existential emptiness within us. The true knowledge that gives our lives meaning and makes us conscious of our responsibility within society can be found only in God’s Word. If we reject “the word of the Lord…,what wisdom is in them?” (Jeremiah 8:9, KJV ) “For the Lord gives wisdom” (Proverbs 2:6, NIV).
God reveals Himself in His Word. There we discover who He is, His plans for us, His promises, requirements, and judgments. The pursuit of that discovery, the face-to-face confrontation with the God of that discovery, gives our life purpose and meaning both individually and collectively. Accept Him, and life rises to new heights. Reject Him, and the results are unthinkable.
Where are we?
The need to be sure as to where we stand in relationship to God and His Word becomes paramount when we realize the seriousness of the controversy that is raging between the God of truth and life and the god of falsehood and death, between Christ and Satan. “Many look on this conflict between Christ and Satan as having no special bearing on their own life; and for them it has little interest. But within the domain of every human heart this controversy is repeated.”1
This controversy involves a battle for the allegiance of the human mind and heart. “Who has the heart? With whom are our thoughts? Of whom do we love to converse? Who has our warmest affections and our best energies? If we are Christ’s, our thoughts are with Him, and our sweetest thoughts are of Him. All we have and are is consecrated to Him. We long to bear His image, breathe His spirit, do His will, and please Him in all things.”2 If our allegiance belongs to Satan, the consequences for our life and purpose would be just the opposite. For Satan’s studied purpose is to misdirect our liberty and autonomy, free us from all restraints, and lead us to reject God and His absolute requirements.
Here’s where the Bible plays a crucial role. It not only gives us a proper perspective of where we stand and what we ought to do in this controversy, it also guides us in our decision making process. It shows us what is right and wrong, and helps us to choose that which is right. A mind dwelling on the Word of God, reflecting on its purposes, and obeying its directions cannot but be in tune with the Author of the Word. The apostle was right: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17, KJV).
Regardless of when in history we live, the spiritual state of God’s people has always depended upon their attitude toward God’s Word. No distinction as to the relevancy of the Bible can be drawn between Old and New Testament times, between the age when theology reigned as queen and the age when the electronic superhighway seems to push us up to dizzy heights, or between today and tomorrow.
The Bible will always be “a lamp” unto our feet and “a light” unto our path (Psalm 119:105). Confess its faith, study its theology, obey its call, practice its principles, and you will always find life on a better and more fulfilling course. You will always find yourself the wise man who built his house on the solid rock. Come wind, come rain, come chaos, come despair, the house will stand. “‘He that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven’” shall enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 7:21, 24-27).
What is important
Some 30 years ago, on Christmas eve, a man, far from being sober, walked out of a Paris bar with equally drunk friends. As they were about to cross the road, they came across a group of Christians singing carols. The drunk walked to this group, and even before he could say anything, one of the singers opened his Bible and read that great passage: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” Then the singer gave the reference: John, three, sixteen!
The drunk was dumbfounded and shouted to his friends: “That’s me! He spoke about me!” His name was indeed John. He was married three times. And he had sixteen children. At that moment, the Holy Spirit convinced him of where he stood in the great controversy. The man realized that it was time for him to make some changes in his life. The Bible passage spoke to him personally on God’s behalf. The day after, John narrated his experience to some of his friends. One of them offered him a Voice of Prophecy enrollment card. He began studying the Bible in earnest. His life was transformed completely. A few months later John gave a public testimony of his commitment to Christ through baptism. Ah, the power of God’s Word!
More than 30 years ago, I met a young woman whose eyes were the most beautiful in the world. She was a Seventh-day Adventist and I was not. We became friends, and she invited me to study the Bible with her pastor. I shall never forget that first Bible study. It was on Daniel 2. I was fascinated as the pastor unveiled God’s hold on history. For the first time, I learned that history has meaning and life has purpose and that God is in charge of it all. I discovered who I am and why I am here. I knew I had a sure future, with God leading me on. The Bible became my life guide. I was baptized. And the girl who introduced me to this great discovery became my life companion.
The same transforming power of God’s Word is available to all of us. Read it, without trying to manipulate its message. Embrace it, without weakening its demand over your life and lifestyle. Accept it as it is, without letting doubt and criticism erode its power. You will experience its transforming energy and find a new and fulfilling life.
Born in Switzerland and trained as an engineer, Ulrich Frikart is the president of the Euro-Africa Division of Seventh-day Adventists. His address: P.O. Box 219; 3000 Berne 32; Switzerland.
Notes and references
- Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages (Mountain View, California: Pacific Press Publ. Assn., 1940), p. 116.
- White, Steps to Christ (Mountain View, California: Pacific Press Publ. Assn., 1956), p. 58.