God uses the Bible to change us
By Dr. Matthew Harmon
Psalm 19:7-11“The law of the Lord is perfect, it quickens the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making the simple wise; the precepts of the Lord are just, gladdening the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is pure and hard forever; the rules of the Lord are true and just on the whole. They are more desirable than gold, even a great deal of fine gold; sweeter also than honey and honey juices. Moreover, by them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is a great reward.
The Bible unlike any other book in the world. Nowhere else has God manifested himself so clearly. But God didn’t give us the Bible just for informational purposes. God gave us the Bible to transform us so that our lives more clearly reflect His Son, Jesus Christ. But before we can understand how God changes us through his Word, we must examine why we need to be changed.
The Bible is clear that God created human beings in his own image (Gen 1:26-27). Because we are image bearers, he also gave mankind a commission to live: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and over every living thing. that moves on the earth” (Gen 1:28). God created human beings to reflect his beauty as we fill the earth and rule it under the ultimate king, God himself. By worshiping God, mankind would reflect his character.
But things went horribly wrong. adam and eve rejected their identity as image bearers by rebelling against God. Instead of joyfully submitting to God, they placed themselves at the center of the universe (Gen 3:1–24) and committed idolatry (Rom 1:21–23). Now, instead of worshiping God and reflecting his beauty, we pursue vain things like idols and become like them (Ps 115:3–8; 135:15–18; Isa 44:1–20). Thus, because of Adam’s rebellion against God in the garden, we enter this world with a deep-rooted tendency toward idolatry. We are like the shopping cart with the twisted wheel that always pulls the shopping cart in the wrong direction. The way idolatry manifests varies from person to person. But no one is immune to it. Unless someone intervenes at the deepest level of our heart and soul, we will continue idolatry in some form or way.
Glory to God, that’s exactly what he did! As the true and complete image of God, Jesus Christ lived the life of perfect obedience that we could not live. He died the death that we should have died for our sins. He rose from the dead three days later to defeat our greatest enemies: sin, death, and the devil. Forty days later he ascended into heaven and shortly thereafter poured out the Holy Spirit upon his people. Besides making us spiritually alive, the Holy Spirit is the one who opens our eyes to see “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:6). As a result, we are transformed into true worshipers who worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24). By worshiping the one true God in Jesus Christ, we become like him. When we see who Christ is and what he has done for us, we are transformed to more fully reflect the image of Jesus Christ himself (2Co 3:18; 1 John 3:2-3).
So where do we most clearly see the beauty and glory of Jesus Christ? In the Bible. God gave us the Bible to tell us who he is, what he has done for us, and how we should live. He uses the Bible to change us so that our lives demonstrate that we bear his image. Reading the Word of God reveals our sin to us and calls us to confess it and turn away from it. It inspires in God’s people a desire to continue their spiritual growth so that what we say, think, do, and feel reflects who is our rock and our redeemer.
Editor’s Note: Content taken from the article “How God Uses the Bible to Change Us,” written by Dr. Matthew Harmon. You can read this article in full here. All rights reserved. Discover his new book, Ask the right questions here!
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