This is something I wrote for Koinonia Bible College’s 23rd annual banquet:
I want to speak to you tonight about the word of God, the Scriptures, the collection of sixty-six books that we call the Bible. Now concerning these scriptures there are three words I would like to focus on: power, protection, and propagation. First of all, power.
In 1839 the English author Edward Bulwer-Lytton wrote, “The pen is mightier than the sword”. In this he was most certainly correct. Ideas have moved the masses ever since words were fashioned as vehicles to transmit thoughts from one individual to another. Think of all the world’s religions; ideas. Think of all the forms of government; ideas. Think of all the political movements: democracy, Nazism, communism, insurrections, all ideas. Ideas with the power to move people to action. Ideas with the power to shape history for good or bad. But when it comes to this type of power, there is nothing that compares to the Bible. It is, quite simply, the most influential book in the history of the world. The Old Testament scriptures were instrumental in founding the nation of Israel. They have molded Israel and have given it its unique identity. With the addition of the New Testament, the completed Bible has given us Western Civilization as we know it today. And when the institutional church lost its bearings and descended into corruption and deception, it was a passage from Romans that inspired a young monk named Martin Luther to challenge the corrupt practices of that church and in so doing, brought about the Protestant Reformation, returning biblical truth to the people of Europe. This is the power of scripture. We add to this the power to transform individual lives, the power to free from the grip of sin, the power to bring about answered prayer and even miracles. This is truly the power of the words of God Himself.
Let me next speak of protection. God’s word gives instruction as to how we should live our lives. There is protection for those who heed God’s warnings. How many people are in prison because they disobeyed the commandments against stealing or murder? How many families have been torn apart because of failure to obey God’s word regarding sexual fidelity? How many have even lost their lives by engaging in practices that the word of God describes as sinful? There is great protection afforded by scripture. There is also protection from the proliferation of cultic groups that have arisen like so many blemishes on our social landscape. Groups that teach the most outlandish ideas and doctrines, whose only intent is to separate gullible souls from common sense and trap them in the confines of their man-made religious structures where they will be exploited and often, abused. Some have even gone to their deaths by coming under the sway of deceptive religious gurus. A basic working knowledge of sound biblical doctrine is sufficient protection from the cults that are ever looking to beguile unstable souls.
Finally, I will mention propagation. A book as powerful and protective as the Bible must be disseminated far and wide. We owe it to the people of the world to put the words of the creator in their possession. If history is any guide, this activity will not go unchallenged. Many brave souls have forfeited their lives because they dared to put God’s word in the hands of others. They considered their own lives a small price to pay to spread the gospel message to a lost and dying world. Even in our own day, many communist and Muslim nations place severe restrictions if not outright prohibition on the distribution and possession of the scriptures. Yet for all this the Bible is the most widely distributed book in the history of the world. It was the first book ever printed on the printing press. It is the best-selling book each year worldwide and more Bibles are given away than are sold. The Bible: May we ever access its power, accept its protection, and undertake its propagation.