The Bible's Incomparability
In Isaiah 46:5, God asks to whom or to what can He be compared. Obviously, nothing or no one is comparable with God. He is incomparable. Likewise, God’s Word, the Bible, is incomparable. It is the book of books that defies comparison to all others.
The incomparability of Scripture is summed up well in an Introduction to an old Bible. This anonymously written tribute to the Bible is printed today inside New Testaments being distributed throughout our world by The Gideons International.
“This book contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy.
It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s character. Here paradise is restored, Heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand object, our good is its design, and the glory of God its end.
It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is given you in life and will be opened in the judgement and will be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labour, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.”
THE BIBLE IS THE SEED OF THE SECOND BIRTH
Besides the Bible, what other book in all the world today serves as the seed of the second birth, whereby we are born into eternal life? According to the Apostle Peter, we are born again into the eternal family of God by the incorruptible seed of the eternal Word of God.1
God, according to the Apostle Paul, has ordained that men be saved from their sin through the preaching of the Bible,2 which Paul affirms to be the power of God unto salvation.3 Without the Scripture there would be no salvation, and without the Word of God there would be no children of God.
THE BIBLE IS THE GUARANTOR OF OUR SALVATION
The Bible is not only the God-ordained means by which we acquire salvation, but also the means by which we may be assured of our salvation. According to the Apostle John, the Scripture was written by divinely inspired authors like himself to assure all who believe in Jesus Christ that they have eternal life.4
God has promised eternal life to all who trust His Son as their Savior. He has gone on record—the Bible—and given us His Word. If, John argues, we can take man at his word, despite the fact his word is often untrue and unreliable, then, surely we can take God at His Word, since His Word is always true and trustworthy. Well, God has given us His Word; He has promised eternal life to all who believe in His Son, Jesus Christ. Consequently, Christians can be confident of their eternal salvation simply because of what the Scripture says.
THE BIBLE IS THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL FOR LIFE
As no other book in the world today is the means by which we may acquire salvation, as well as assure ourselves of it, so also the Bible alone serves as our God-given instruction manual for life. In fact, according to Moses, as well as our Lord, the Bible is actually the prerequisite and essence of life itself.5
In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, the Apostle Paul teaches us that the Bible is the Christian manual for Christian living. It is our standard for faith and practice, instructing us in what to believe and in how to behave. In addition to teaching us Christian convictions and conduct, the Bible also, according to Paul, trains us for Christian service.
When I was a child, I often asked for some large toy at Christmas. After I unwrapped it, my father would lay its instructions to the side and start trying to put it together. A few hours later, having become frustrated and infuriated, my dear old dad would pick up the instructions, follow them, and assemble my toy. I always wondered why Pop never read the instructions to start with, since it would have saved him so much time and trouble.
Why is it that so many people today have so much trouble putting their lives together? Why are their lives in such a mess? Why are they so frustrated and infuriated with life? Is it not because they have laid life’s instructions to the side and decided to put their lives together without consulting the Scripture? How much trouble would they spare themselves if they only took the time to read the Bible?
THE BIBLE IS ABSOLUTE TRUTH
The Bible is incomparable with all other books in the world today in that it alone is the source of absolute truth. No other book can make such a claim and stand unscathed against its detractors’ innumerable attempts to discredit it. In all this world of uncertainty and confusion, the Bible, as Charles Haddon Spurgeon so eloquently exclaimed, is the one thing we can be certain and sure about.
“Since God wrote the Bible, mark its truthfulness…This is the Word of God. Come, search, ye critics, and find a flaw; examine it from its Genesis to its Revelation and find error. This is a vein of pure gold, unalloyed by quartz or any earthly substance. This is a star without a speck; a sun without a blot; a light without darkness; a moon without paleness; a glory without dimness. O Bible! It cannot be said of any other book, that it is perfect and pure; but of [the Bible] we can declare all wisdom is gathered up in you, without a particle of folly. This is the judge that ends the strife, where wit and reason fail. This is the Book untainted by error, pure, unalloyed, and perfect truth.”
How vital is the sure-footing of Scripture in the shifting sands of today’s volatile moral relativism? Relativism—the belief that there is no such thing as absolute truth—has won the world and given rise to worldwide political correctness. Intolerance, which once meant denying everyone an equal right to their opinion, now means denying that everyone’s opinions are equally right. The only intolerable belief readily condemned in the world today is belief in absolute truth, since it drives a stake through the heart of relativism and pulls down the amoral house of cards propped up by political correctness.
The absurdity of today’s pervading relativism is easily proven. For instance, its preposterous proposition that there is no such thing as absolute truth is a statement of an absolute truth. Relativism is therefore proven to be a harebrained hypothesis disproved by its own profession, which is a contradiction of its own claim.
Truth must be either absolute or nonexistent. If it is not absolute, it doesn’t exist, since there is no such thing as relative truth. If truth does exist, where can it be found?
The Psalmist said that God’s Word “is true” and that His “righteous judgments endure forever.”6 The Lord Jesus, in His High Priestly prayer, prayed for us to be sanctified by God’s truth, which He defined as God’s Word.7 And the Apostle Paul taught Titus that God’s promises are sure and certain, since God “cannot lie.”8
Absolute truth is the Word of God. It is only found in the Bible. Contrary to today’s relativists, truth is not purely subjective, a mere matter of personal opinion. Instead, it is objective, a matter of divine oracle. It is not as wishy-washy as the fickle thinking of fallible men, but as sure and certain as the eternal truths of God’s divinely inspired Word. Whereas men are subject to error and prone to lie, God, who is never wrong and cannot lie, has given to us on the sacred pages of the Holy Bible His immutable, eternal, and absolute truth.
THE BIBLE IS INEVITABLE TRUTH
Being absolute truth makes the Bible inevitable. In His famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”9 According to our Lord, everything God has ever said will certainly come to pass. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about the Bible. All of its promises and predictions will come true. Nothing or no one—no angel in Heaven, no demon in Hell, no man on earth—can keep God from fulfilling His Word.
THE BIBLE IS UNCONQUERABLE TRUTH
In addition to the absolute truth of the Bible being inevitable, it is also unconquerable. In his last New Testament epistle, written from Rome’s infamous Mamertine Prison shortly before his execution, the Apostle Paul attempted to encourage his young protégé Timothy by assuring him that God’s Word, unlike God’s servants, could never be bound.10 The Word of God can never be chained nor incarcerated. Man cannot, as he has futilely attempted to do throughout human history, silence the Gospel by persecuting, imprisoning or even executing Gospel preachers.
In Isaiah 55:11, the Lord declares, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Nothing or no one can prevent God from accomplishing through His Word all that He pleases to accomplish in this world. God’s Word—the Bible—will prevail and prosper, since it is unbound and unconquerable.
THE BIBLE IS A LIE DETECTOR
Since the Bible is absolute truth, its incomparability is seen again in that it serves as our only dependable lie detector. How can we know for sure what is right and true? How can we know for sure what is wrong and false? According to the ancient Prophet Isaiah, we can know it by the Word of God. In Isaiah 8:20, we are taught that anything anyone says in contradiction of God’s Word—His “law” and “testimony”—is wrong and untrue. It is void of the “light” of God and therefore should not be believed lest it lead us into the darkness of deception.
In Acts 17:11, we are told about the noble believers in Berea, those who “received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, [to make sure] those things [they heard] were so.” How can we be sure when sound doctrine is preached rather than false doctrine? By being like the Bereans, noble believers who scrutinize the sermons we hear with the Scripture we diligently and daily study. But what if we don’t study the Scripture or know the Bible? How will we then be able to detect truth from error?
I’m told that FBI agents are trained to spot counterfeit money by studying the genuine article alone. They become so familiar with real money that they can immediately detect a counterfeit bill the moment they see one. Likewise, Christians should study the Bible until they are so familiar with its absolute truth that they can spot any contradiction of it the moment they hear or see it.
THE BIBLE IS A SWORD
Unlike any other book in the world, the Bible is the world’s most powerful weapon. The old adage, “The pen is mightier than the sword,” finds its ultimate fulfillment in the Bible, which is actually a penned sword. Penned under divine inspiration, the Bible wields incredible divine power.
The impotence of the contemporary church to impact today’s world for Christ can be largely attributed to the fact that its God-given sword—the Scripture—is sheathed. According to R. C. Sproul, “The greatest weakness in the church today is that almost no one believes that God invests His power in the Bible.” Sproul goes on to lament the fact that contemporary Christians are “looking for power in a program, in a methodology, in a technique, in anything and everything but that in which God has placed it—His Word.” It is, Sproul argues, “God alone who has the power to change lives for eternity, and that power is focused on the Scriptures.”
When wielded by the church in its fight for men’s souls, the Bible is a sharp double-edged sword.11 It cuts two ways. First, it cuts the repentant sinner with conviction unto salvation. So powerful is it, when wielded with the accompanying conviction of the Holy Spirit, that the sharp convicting edge of the Scripture also becomes a fire and a hammer.12 It becomes a fire capable of melting the coldest of hearts and a hammer capable of breaking the hardest of hearts.
While it cuts the repentant sinner with conviction unto salvation, the double-edged sword of the Scripture cuts the unrepentant sinner with the fatal wound of condemnation. This explains the ferocious opposition to the Bible found throughout today’s Christ-rejecting and unrepentant world. Being condemned by the Bible for refusing to turn from their sin with a broken heart and to the Savior with all of their heart, sinners simply can’t stand the Scripture. Consequently, they are on a constant crusade against it. They feel they must rid themselves of its foreboding condemnation lest they be forced to confront its foretold and forthcoming day of judgment.
Not only is the Bible a powerful double-edged sword to be wielded by the church in its fight for men’s souls, but it is also the sword of the Spirit to be wielded by Christians in spiritual warfare. In Ephesians 6:11-17, the Apostle Paul teaches us that the whole of our spiritual success hinges upon our success in spiritual warfare, which necessitates our suiting up in the full armor of God. Interestingly, in Paul’s description of our armor in this important passage of Scripture, all the pieces, with only one exception, are defensive rather than offensive. The only offensive weapon specifically mentioned by Paul in this passage is “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”
It is the Word of God that we must wield to ward off our spiritual foe. Our only hope of withstanding the wiles of the devil and standing our ground against Satan’s onslaughts is to skillfully brandish the saber of the Scripture. However, if we are ignorant of God’s Word we are essentially unarmed against our spiritual archenemy. An unstudied Bible is a sure sign of an unarmed Christian soldier!
When tempted by the devil in the wilderness during His earthly sojourn, our Lord defeated the devil with the Word of God.13 To each temptation Christ responded, “It is written.” He countered the tempter’s temptations and conquered the tempter by simply quoting the Scripture. If Christ defeated Satan by quoting Scripture, how will you, if you’re ignorant of the Bible and incapable of readily reciting it, keep yourself from being tricked by the trickster or tripped up by the tempter?
THE BIBLE IS A SPIRITUAL GPS
Besides the Bible, what other book in the world today is a spiritual GPS, guiding us through the twists and turns of this life? The Bible claims to be “a lamp unto [our] feet, and a light unto [our] path.”14 It not only shows us the right steps to take, as well as the right paths to travel, but also alerts us the moment a wrong turn is taken. By hiding its words in our heart and heeding them in our daily walk we can avoid sin’s potholes and dead ends.15 We can also assure ourselves that we’re headed in the right direction toward our desired eternal destination.
THE BIBLE IS SOUL FOOD
Another incontestable proof of the Bible’s incomparability with other books is found in its provision of spiritual sustenance for this world’s wayfaring strangers. The Bible is real soul food! It is the Christian’s daily and sustaining spiritual sustenance. As Israel was sustained in the wilderness of Sinai by manna, which was daily bread from Heaven, the Christian is sustained in the wilderness of this fallen world by daily devotions, by daily partaking of the bread of life, which is God’s Word the Bible.16
The Bible is the needed spiritual nourishment for both the new convert and the grown-up Christian.17 It is milk to be bottle-fed to babes in Christ. It is meat for mature believers to feast upon. Regardless of one’s present spiritual station, subsisting on the Scripture is the secret to ongoing spiritual development.
What is it that stunts the spiritual growth of so many new converts? Why do so many never mature beyond spiritual infancy? Is it not because they are never weaned from the bottle? They never get to where they can digest solid food—the sound doctrines and profound truths of the Scripture—but demand to be spiritually suckled all their Christian lives.
Why are so many contemporary Christians spiritually weak and sickly? Is it not because they are spiritually malnourished? Neglecting a steady diet of God’s Word leaves them spiritually anemic and emaciated. They become spiritual invalids incapable of progressing any further in their Christian lives or of performing any fruitful Christian service.
THE BIBLE IS THE BEST MEDICINE
In addition to providing us with the needed spiritual nourishment for healthy Christian living, the Bible is also medicine for all our maladies. In Proverbs 4:20-22, the wise King Solomon speaks of his divinely inspired words as life-giving, as well as health-giving. He says that they are “health to a [man’s] whole flesh.” Biblical living is healthy living and the Bible is the best medicine for all that ails us.
THE BIBLE IS A MIRROR
Unlike any other book in the world today, the Bible is a mirror. In James 1:22-25, we are taught how looking into the Scripture, which shows us our identity in Christ, is like seeing ourselves in a mirror. Afterward, we are to go out and live up to all that we are in Christ. According to James, if we fail to do so, by not being “doers” of the Word, but by being mere “hearers” only, we are like someone who looks at himself in a mirror and then forgets who he is.
Before my brother and I could leave the house to go out somewhere, my father often warned us, “You better remember who you are.” Dad knew, just like James, that knowing who you are is your only hope of acting like you should. Our only hope of living a Christian life is to look daily into the Bible, which is the mirror that shows us who we are in Christ.
The problem with most Christians today is that they don’t know who they are. Failing to look daily into the Bible to see themselves in Christ, they fail to live up to their identity in Christ in their daily lives.
THE BIBLE IS THE GREATEST LOVE STORY EVER TOLD
Although many a love story has been penned by many an author, the Bible stands out from them all as incomparable. It is the greatest love story ever told. It is summed up for us in the Bible’s greatest verse: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”18
The Apostle Paul explains to us how God’s love for us has been clearly manifested. According to Paul, it is made evident by the fact that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”19 The Apostle John echoes the Apostle Paul by presenting the following proof of God’s unconditional love: “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”20
God’s love for us, as taught by the Apostle Paul, is incomprehensible.21 It is beyond human knowledge. Its heights cannot be scaled. Its depths cannot be fathomed. And its breadth cannot be spanned. It is truly beyond the grasp of our comprehension how God could love us, unlovely sinners, so much as to give His Son for our sakes. How foreign to this fallen world is the perfect love that nailed the sinless Savior to the Cross of Calvary for the salvation of loathsome sinners like you and me?
There is an old hymn that never fails to stir my heart. It is entitled, “The Love of God.” It’s final stanza and refrain, which I’ve written below, was found scribbled on the wall of an insane asylum.
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.
I don’t know about you, but as far as I’m concerned, the writer of these words was anything but crazy. What is crazy, however, is the fact that the Bible, which is the greatest love story ever told, is condemned in today’s politically correct world as hate speech. What greater proof could there possibly be of this dark and depraved world’s spiritual deception and delusion than its condemnation of the very message that serves as its only means of salvation?
1 1 Peter 1:23
2 1 Corinthians 1:21
3 Romans 1:16
4 1 John 5:9-13
5 Deuteronomy 32:46-47; John 6:63
6 Psalm 119:160
7 John 17:17
8 Titus 1:2
9 Matthew 5:18
10 2 Timothy 2:8-9
11 Hebrews 4:12
12 Jeremiah. 23:29
13 Matthew 4:1-11
14 Psalm 119:105
15 Psalm 119:11
16 Deuteronomy 8:1-3
17 Hebrews 5:12-14; 1 Peter 2:2
18 John 3:16
19 Romans 5:8
20 1 John 4:10
21 Ephesians 3:17-19