“The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge, but to change our lives.”
This is a familiar Christian saying, “The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge, but to change our lives.” This quote, often attributed to the American evangelist D.L. Moody, captures an important truth about our relationship with God’s Word.
We don’t engage with the Bible to increase our knowledge about God. We read it, we study it, we memorize it, we ponder over it, and we apply it in order to know God Himself. And as we do that, God’s Word—and God Himself—transforms us. The way we view the world around us, life, other people and ourselves, changes. Some things that were always visible but ignored, now become visible to us as though it were completely new, and exhilarating to behold. Truths that were once hidden now become “so simple a child could understand it.”
In one of His testy exchanges with the Pharisees, Jesus pointed out the reason for their error when it came to their religious zeal: “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God” (Matthew 22:29).
Were the Pharisees committed to the Scriptures? Absolutely! Were they familiar with them? They read them constantly and heard them preached regularly in their synagogues. But they did not really know them, and they did not know the power of God behind them—power that was able to change lives. The Bible brings change or it brings nothing at all.
Contrast that with the way the Apostle Paul described the believers in Thessalonica, “ . . . when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). The Word of God was at work in the lives of these people—transforming the way they lived, and the very essence of their personhood.
“the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
“So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).
Can you see why the Bible is referred to as the Living Word of God? It’s the word of life for here and hereafter. -g.w
105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105
Psalm 42: 1-2
As a deer pants for flowing streams,
so pants my soul for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?