I am spending a few weeks preaching on the Bible, asking questions about it so we might better understand how God speaks through it and grow in our love of Him. Last week we asked questions of "What?" This past Sunday we turned our attention to "Who?" Specifically, the questions raised were:
· Who wrote the Bible?
· Who should read the Bible?
· Who is the Bible about?
· Who is the Bible for?
· Who perfectly shows God's love to God's children?
Broadly speaking, the questions addressed the author of the Bible and the audience. And while the Bible itself identifies human authors for most of its books, it also teaches that the Holy Spirit is ultimately at work through each human author, so that God Himself is the true Author of the Bible.
And the audience? The Bible contains things that would be beneficial for anyone to read, ponder and follow, such as the second section of the Ten Commandments. People may not believe in God but nearly everyone would agree that instructions not to steal or murder make sense.
But just as there is an Author at work behind the other authors, so too is there a more specific audience for the Bible, and that is the people who believe in God and believe that He is speaking through His written word. These are the people who find life in things such as the first section of the Ten Commandments. These are the people who, as they read the Bible, find more than common wisdom. They find words of peace, of hope, of encouragement, to name but a few of the kinds of things they read. These things are precious to them because they are written in God's word, and intended for God's people.
And, perhaps best of all, the Bible shows one person in whom these two groups, Author and audience, meet. In Ephesians 1:7-10, Paul writes:
"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth."
That is a long and rich sentence about the work of Jesus Christ, and the two things I want to note here are these: First, in the work of Christ on the cross there is redemption for God's children, so that the debt their sin against God demands is paid for in the blood of Jesus, and second, that this work of Christ is a part of God's plan to unite His children with Himself.
Who perfectly shows God's love to God's children? Christ Jesus, that’s who.
May you know the presence of His love in your life today, and give to Him the praise that only He deserves.
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.