The final reason I believe the Bible is God’s Word is more experiential, but it is extraordinarily powerful. The reason is the very impact of the Bible. Its power to transform lives and nations is overwhelming. Wherever the Word of God goes, it brings life, health, and vitality. Despite those who have twisted its meaning to manipulate, control, or gain financially, the history of the Bible’s impact past and present is staggering.
Throughout history, there are individuals who responded to God’s Word and made a huge difference in the world. William Wilberforce played a significant role in eradicating slavery in England. Lord Ashley Cooper helped bring an end to abusive child labor in factories and mines. Open the Bible and read it for yourself. Where the Bible is believed and lived out, women become persons instead of property. Where the Bible is believed and lived out, equal rights and justice are championed. Where the Bible is believed and lived out, slavery is not an option because the dignity of humanity and the truth of Scripture wins. Where the Bible is believed and lived out, people are loved and needs are met.
The Bible has certainly had macro impact in the world for good. But what has amazed me personally and in my teaching for over thirty years is the power of God’s Word to change an individual’s life. When I was going through my deepest doubts about God and the Bible, there were two things I could not dismiss: the objective prophetic record that is undeniable and accurate, and the actual changes that had occurred in my own life.
After reading the Bible for a few weeks as a new Christian, my foul mouth was supernaturally cleaned up. I did not try to stop cursing or making lewd remarks, but I noticed about three weeks into my new life that they had simply disappeared. Little did I know then that the Bible makes a promise about itself and the transformation of individual lives: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Rom. 12:2).
I couldn’t help but notice after two years of reading the Bible that my deep insecurities that had manifested themselves in an arrogant attitude, always seeking to impress, and lack of concern for others had been replaced with quiet confidence, growing humility, and a genuine concern for the needs of others.
Jesus promised that if we would take in the truth of God’s Word and apply it to our lives, we would be free. “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). I have had the joy and privilege of watching that happen in thousands of lives—addictions broken, eating disorders healed, sexual abuse stopped, workaholism transformed, marriages restored, and peace and power replacing anxiety and fear. I have received thousands of emails as I teach God’s Word through Living on the Edge. This one I recently received out of the blue from a person I’ve never met is so powerful:
I am a dedicated listener and wanted to thank you for having such a positive impact in my life. Without writing a novel, I have been a believer of Christ since as long as I remember. But I don’t think I’ve been a “liver” of Christ until about 8 months ago. By purely the grace of God, I was driving home from work in my usual one-hour commute and listening to some filthy comedy on Sirius radio. I thought to myself that God doesn’t want me to do this. I searched the Sirius program and found your show. It was the series “Good to Great in God’s Eyes.” I was immediately drawn in and have been a listener, reader, supporter and follower ever since. So much so, I am sure my wife is tired of hearing me say, “Chip says . . .”
But mostly, with all due respect, it isn’t about you. It is about how you introduced me to a new relationship with God. Thanks to your suggestions, I spend time with God every morning first reading the Daily Walk Bible, then reading “something great” and then spending time in prayer. I have started to memorize scripture and feel a change in me.
I am a lawyer and have a busy, stressful life. I deal with the worst of people in so many ways. But knowing God is there for me makes it all okay. And I hope to show the light of Christ in my interactions with people. I know I am a better, happier person because of my new relationship with God. I know I am a horrible sinner (the worst I know) but I know my redemption is through Christ, I know God loves me, and I know He is in control.
I know you didn’t do any of these things, but you just pushed me in the right direction. I want to give you a heartfelt thank you for guiding me in this way. I appreciate you more than these words could express.
Thank you and God bless you and your family,
Matt Batezel, Cypress, California
Our journey through the last two chapters has been an amazing one. The Bible truly is a unique and extraordinary book. I have shared eight reasons why I believe the Bible is the Word of God, and I encourage you to further explore the Bible for yourself. Coming to a solid conviction about the Bible was a significant turning point in my life, and it can be for you as well.
Below, I leave you with a challenge. Depending on where you are in your personal journey, one of these will apply to you.
For the doubting Christian: These two chapters are critical to your growth. As it becomes more unpopular to be a follower of Christ, our beliefs must move to convictions. Consider digging into an area of doubt concerning the Bible or the resurrection and do some personal study and research for yourself.
For the honest skeptic: Examine the evidence in these two chapters with an open mind. Don’t take my word for it or buy what others have told you. Then commit to read the four Gospels—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John—to discover firsthand who Jesus is. You owe it to yourself to interact personally and honestly explore the Jesus of the New Testament.
For the new believer: Get in the Word of God on a regular basis. It will bring life to your soul. There are multiple Bible reading plans available on the YouVersion mobile app. Choose one that most fits your needs and begin to develop a daily habit of Bible reading and prayer.
For the mature believer: Go to the next level and memorize some Scripture. I highly recommend the Topical Memory System by the Navigators. For a bigger challenge, take a chapter like Romans 12 or Psalm 23 and memorize it and review it daily for thirty days.
Ingram, Chip. 2017. Why I Believe: Straight Answers to Honest Questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker.
We have just completed a 6-Week Bible Study Lesson Series on Chip Ingram’s book, Why I Believe. It is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions, as well as part of Good Questions Have Groups Talking Subscription plan. The idea is to invite each participant to purchase their own book and discuss it each week.
Why I Believe, Lesson #1
Chapters 1, 2
Why I Believe in the Resurrection
Did Jesus Really Die?
Why I Believe, Lesson #2
Chapters 3, 4
Why I Believe the Bible
Don’t Take My Word for It
Why I Believe, Lesson #3
Why I Believe in Life After Death
Why I Believe, Lesson #4
Chapters 6, 7
Why I Believe in Life Creation
Science or God?
Why I Believe, Lesson #5
Why I Believe in the God of the Bible
Why I Believe, Lesson #6
How is that Working for You?