Earlier this week I was sharing some stories of transformation I am aware of taking place in our church. And those stories are connected to people who are new to the faith spending time in the Scripture. As we talked, we reflected on the reality that the Word does a work on us. The Word reads us more than we read it. It grips us more than we grip it.
D.L. Moody famously quipped that “the Bible will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from the Bible.” George Mueller said, “The vigor of our spiritual life will be in direct proportion to the place held by our Bible in our life and thoughts.” Both of these incredible spiritual leaders would strongly agree that we cannot and will not build spiritually healthy people in our churches, in our groups, and in our families apart from the Scripture. Here are four voices that remind us that discipleship, the core mission of the church, will not occur apart from the Word of God.
The Voice of History
When people have discovered or re-discovered the beauty and power of God’s Word, they are liberated and encouraged. When Martin Luther reflected on the reformation, he wrote: “I simply taught, preached, and wrote God’s Word; otherwise I did nothing… I did nothing. The Word did it all.”
The Voice of Research
I have been involved in multiple research projects about spiritual transformation and what leads to a person being changed. Every research project I was involved in found that Bible engagement is the number one predictor of spiritual growth.
The Voice of Experience
If you listen to the lives of people who describe seasons of spiritual growth, you will hear stories of “the Word became alive,” or “I started to read the Bible on my own,” or “I made a commitment to read through the New Testament.” The Lord uses all spiritual disciplines to bring us closer to Himself. He uses circumstances and trials and struggles. But in the midst of those disciplines, trials, and struggles is the solid foundation of His truth.
The Voice of the Word Itself
The Scripture testifies that the Lord will use it to change us. The apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 3:16: “Let the word of Christ dwell richly among you, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another through psalms, hymns, and spiritual song, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” The result of the Word dwelling richly among us is wisdom, rejoicing, and gratitude.