THE BIBLE–GOD’S REVELATION TO MAN
by Wayne S. Walker
Christians believe that the Bible is the "word of God which liveth and abideth forever" and that "this is the word which by the gospel was preached unto you" (1 Peter 1.23-25). A question that is sometimes asked is, "How do you know that God would reveal Himself to man? And if He would, how do you know that the Bible is His method of doing it?" Actually, this question is very old, but it is still relevant today. People all over the world are pondering how we can know that what the Bible says about God or anything else is true. Our purpose in this article is to discuss the Bible–God’s revelation to man.
If a person grants that God exists, then revelation from God is entirely within the realm of possibility, "for with God nothing shall be impossible" (Luke 1.37). With this understanding, logic and the very nature of God then show the probability of revelation. If God exists, then we are His offspring (Acts 17.28). And He expects us to give Him an account of our lives someday (2 Corinthians 5.10). It is unreasonable for a father to hold his children accountable for something which he did not tell them, and the same is true of God. Sin separates man from God (Isaiah 59.1-2). Moreover, sin will cause eternal death in hell (Romans 6.26). But God wants all men to be saved (2 Peter 3.9). Therefore, it is only reasonable that He would reveal unto man how to rid himself of sin and live so as to gain eternal life. Jesus said that He did just that, through the words of Christ (Matthew 11.27, John 12.48, Hebrews 1.1-2).
Not only is revelation possible and probably, but it is also necessary. Man cannot save himself. Salvation does not come from within man (Jeremiah 10.23). Human intuition will not bring him to God, for "there is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 14.12). Neither will man’s own wisdom (1 Corinthians 1.21). Our own works, devised by our own minds, are worthless in God’s sight (Ephesians 2.8-9, Titus 3.5). We must turn to something outside ourselves. Many turn to nature. It is true that nature reveals the existence and deity of God (Romans 1.20). Yet man left solely to nature for his information concerning God has always degenerated into worshipping and serving "the creature more than the creator" (Romans 1.25). The reason is that the physical universe does not reveal the mind or the will of God. So a special revelation from God to man is necessary.
This revelation would, of course, be understandable. Again, no sensible father would hold his children responsible for doing exactly what he told them when he spoke in ambiguous terms. Neither does God. He does expect us to do exactly what He commands (Matthew 7.21-23). Thus, it must follow that He can be understood. This is precisely what the Bible teaches. Paul said that when we read what he wrote by revelation, "Ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ" (Ephesians 3.3-5). Jesus said that if a man wants to do God’s will, he can know the truth (John 7.17, 8.31-32). And He said that being saved is conditioned upon our understanding (Matthew 13.15-23). Everyone who so desires can understand God’s revelation to man, if he will give diligence to handle it aright (2 Timothy 2.15).
God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10.34-35). For God to give a special revelation to one and leave another without that revelation would make Him a respecter of persons. The Bible declares that He has "given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness" (2 Peter 1.3). It is only proper that He give one standard to all men by which He reveals Himself to them today. The Bible is the only record claiming inspiration that purports to be the revelation from God instead of just a revelation. It is the only book of religion that is completely consistent and reasonable; the only one irrefutably validated by miracles and prophecy; the only one in full harmony with archaeology, topography, and true science; and the only one that presents to the world a God who is worthy of the worship and service of mankind. We urge all people to accept the Bible as God’s revelation to man and to search its pages for His will in their lives. (—originally published in Truth Magazine; June 8, 1978; Vol. XXII, No. 23; p. 2; slightly adapted for With All Boldness; October, 1994; Vol. 4, No. 10; p. 14)