Day 19: Bible vs. the Bible?

John 3:1-21 (AD 27)  – Part 2

When I direct people to our house, the last part of my instructions vary.

To one person I might say, “Turn right towards the supermarket”; to another, “Turn left when you get to the supermarket roundabout”. I will then tell them to get on to a specific road, saying that they must carry on for nearly three-quarters of a mile. I might mention a turning they must NOT take, or a roundabout that they have to go over. I might mention the colour of the house opposite. Other times I’ll just send them a location pin on WhatsApp.

But what if they compared notes? What if one of them insisted I had revealed to them and only them, the full truth of my location to which nothing can be added or taken away? It would result in an unresolvable dispute. The fact is, I gave the full truth to all of them. There is only one road that will get them to our house and they must go on that road. But my descriptions, whilst entirely compatible with each other, vary.

Much of the confusion about what God says is due to our desire for one Biblical truth to be more true than others. For example, to some people the fairest thing seems to be for Jesus to save everybody, regardless of what they believe, maybe so long as they’re trying to be good or haven’t done anything awful. Others feel the opposite way, that we are not worthy of anything so it would be the height of presumption to claim that we are safe, or saved, in God.

We must believe that Jesus is God, and came to earth as a man. That he lived a perfect life, died to take the punishment for our sins and was raised to life, gaining victory over sin and death. We must ask God for forgiveness from sinfulness. (That’s repentance.) God works in us so that we are fundamentally different – as if we had been ‘born again’. Then our desire is to live according to the truth of God’s Word.

i.e. all of John 3 is true, not just parts of it.

Jesus preached a simple gospel to simple people, and we simply need to believe it and share it with others

Like John the Baptist also preached.

And Peter.

And Paul…

…like God’s people have shared and preached for two thousand years.

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