But How Can A Man Know Assuredly That The Bible Actually Is The Word Of God?
Yes, this is the great and important question upon which everything depends.
The answer is simple, plain, and brief.
It is this: –
If you want to know assuredly, if you wish to gain the certain and undoubting conviction that the Bible is God’s Word, and its doctrine God’s own truth and revelation, then, – hear now and take to heart what I say! – then you must seek God in full earnest, according to His will; and with such earnest and with such a desire you must read the Bible and learn to know its teachings. Then you will most assuredly gain the certain and undoubting conviction that the Bible is God’s Word, and that its teachings are God’s truth and revelation. Then you will find God in the Bible; you will know God in all truth, and in such a manner that you can cheerfully and happily take comfort in Him in life and death, in time and eternity; you will find God your dear, reconciled, and gracious God, who saves you for evermore.
Will you also consider well what I have just now said?
That these things are as I have just presented them, is testified by the true and only Prophet and Apostle,1 whose servants all Prophets and Evangelists and Apostles are, and concerning whom they all wrote, and in whose name and power they all wrote, viz., Jesus Christ. He says: “My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me. If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself,” John 7:16. 17.
Let us consider these words of Jesus Christ a little.
First He says: “My doctrine is not mine, but His that sent me.” Jesus Christ in these words says that His doctrine and that of all of His Prophets and Evangelists and Apostles, in short, the doctrine of the Bible, is not gotten up and invented by them, but is the doctrine of God, of God, who sent Him.
Then He says: “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” In these words He tells us how a man may know assuredly, and gain the certain and undoubting conviction that the Bible is God’s Word and teaching, and not man’s word and teaching. How? If a man will so read and contemplate the Bible and its doctrine that thereby he wants to do God’s will. But what is the will of God? We know what it is, for we have already heard of it. The will of God is, that we seek God, that we seek God in full earnest, that we might truly know Him and find Him. He, therefore, who reads and contemplates the Bible and its teachings in such a way that in so doing he seeks God, shall assuredly know, and gain the certain and undoubting conviction that the Bible is God’s Word and teaching.
So says Jesus Christ.
And this is what He means when He says: “Search the Scriptures!” John 5:39.
Now, then, do the will of God, my beloved fellow-man! Seek God! Seek God in the Bible! Seek your God, fellow-man, in full earnest, with strong desire! Do be instructed by God’s Book! Do the will of God! Seek God in the Bible! Doing so, you will find Him. Yea, most assuredly you will find Him! You will know Him in all truth, and in such a manner that you can cheerfully and happily take comfort in Him in life and death, in time and eternity; you will find in Him your dear, reconciled, and gracious God, who saves you for evermore. And thus you will know assuredly, and gain the certain and undoubting conviction, that the Bible is God’s Word and teaching.
Did you fully understand me?
But if one reads the Bible differently; if he does not read the Bible in such a way that thereby he desires to do the will of God, and to seek and to find God; if he reads the Bible merely for pastime; or if a man even reads the Bible in such a way as to allow human reason to sit in judgment over this book, or to contradict it, – such a one will not find God in the Bible, nor will he gain the conviction that the Bible is God’s Word; on the contrary, he will be offended at the Bible, it will be a stumbling-block to him, and he will become more and more estranged from God.
Do you want to read the Bible in such a way as to seek God therein, and find Him?
Then continue to read in this book. It will place before your eyes, very briefly and simply, the chief doctrines of the Bible, and so introduce you into the Bible.
“We have also a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts,” 2 Pet. 1:19.
– Zorn, Carl Manthey. Handbook for the Beginner in the Word of God 1907.
Deut. 18:15–19; Heb. 3:1. ↩︎