The Bible clearly gives everything that is necessary to come to saving faith in Jesus and to live the Christian life.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”
2 Peter 1:3
Paul asks us in Romans 10:14, “how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?” The answer is that one cannot believe without hearing. The follow up then is, “how can one hear about God?” This is precisely why Scripture is necessary.
There are two ways that God has revealed Himself to humanity:
The knowledge of God’s existence, character, and moral law, which comes through creation to all humanity. General revelation comes through observing nature, through seeing God’s influence in history, and through an inner sense of God’s existence and his laws that he has placed inside every person (Jeremiah 31:33).
This refers to God’s words addressed to specific people, such as the words of the Bible, the words of the Old Testament prophets and New Testament apostles, and words of God spoken in personal address, such as at Mount Sinai or the baptism of Jesus.
To summarize: General revelation is what we can know about God through creation, and special revelation is what we can know about God only through the Bible. This places the Bible in a place of importance, value, and necessity.
Not only is the Bible necessary to know about God, but it is necessary to live the Christian life. Jesus, in Matthew 4:4, reminds us that “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” If, as believers, we neglect feeding our soul with God’s word it will become malnourished and feeble. No wonder so many believers are weak, they are being strengthened by taking in the word of God–which is necessary for spiritual strength.
I have been asked often about discerning God’s will. Let me state this simply: the basic will of God is found in the Bible. There are definite actions that He has called His children to take.
- Matthew 5:44–“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
- Romans 6:22–“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.”
- Galatians 6:9–“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
- Hebrews 10:24-25–“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
- 1 Thessalonians 4:3–“This is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality.”
- 1 Thessalonians 5:18–“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
- and many others…
Most often I am asked, “what is God’s will for my life?” Really, this is two questions. The first is, “what is God’s will?” The second is, “what is God’s will for MY LIFE?” When we are fulfilling the answer to the first question, we will find the answer to the second. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” When we are living in the light of the scripture, the path God has for us will be illuminated.
When we are living in the light of the scripture, the path God has for us will be illuminated.
There are definitely things that we can know about God without the Bible.
- Psalm 19:1–“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”
- Romans 1:19-20–“since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
- Romans 2:14-15–“(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)”
Anyone can know that God exists without having the Bible, but only the Bible can show us the exact character of God.