It is so important that we emphasize both truth in itself and truth for us. Here are a couple of illustrations I have found helpful. The first one emphasizes that the Bible can only become the Word of God for us when, quite apart from our faith, the Bible is the Word of God. The second one emphasizes that the affirmation – “The Bible is the Word of God” does not really mean very much if it is not accompanied by regular study of the Scripture which is grounded in the earnest prayer that we will really hear God speaking to us through His Word.
(a) The Bible is like a record. The message is on the record, but you will only hear it if you play the record. God’s message is in the Bible, but you will only hear it if you read your Bible. How do we hear the message on the record? We bring the needle and the record into contact with each other. How do we really hear God speaking to us? We bring the reader and the Author into contact with each other.
(b) I heard the story of a woman who was most adamant in her belief, “The Bible is the Word of God.” She said, “Yes. I believe that the Bible is God’s Word.” This is what she said. She spoke these words with such emotion. It would have been difficult to question the sincerity of her belief. There was, however, one very serious question mark over her belief. there was one disturbing fact which raised the question, “How much difference does this strongly held belief really make to her life?” What was this strange contradiction at the heart of the woman’s life? On the one hand, she insisted, “I believe the Bible is God’s Word.” On the other hand, there was the strange fact that she did not even own a Bible. you could have searched her house from top to bottom. You would have found many things. Even after searching high and low, you would not have found a Bible. For all her professed belief, she had never even taken the trouble to purchase a Bible for herself. she said that she believed the Bible, yet she never read the Bible. It does not make sense to say, “The Bible is God’s Word”, and then neglect to allow God to speak to you through His Word.