Wednesday, November 07, 2018

The Bible Is Not an End In Itself

Detroit Institute of Arts

I keep reading the Bible. Currently I am revisiting the gospels. My life focus is on Jesus. 

I study Jesus. One of my doctoral comprehensive exams was on ancient Christology. This is the study of Christ in the first few centuries of Christianity. I love studying Jesus. I want to know more about him. So that I might know him more.

The purpose of the Bible is not to know the Bible. It's not to quote the Bible. It's not to use the Bible on people. 

The purpose of the Bible is not to read the Bible. 

Reading the Bible is only good if it brings us into relationship with the living God. Because the purpose of the Bible is to bring us into experiential knowledge of God. To know him more, better, closer.

A. W. Tozer knew this. He writes:

"It is not mere words that nourish the soul, but God Himself, and unless and until the hearers find God in personal experience, they are not the better for having heard the truth. The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts."  (Tozer, A.W., The Pursuit of God, Kindle Locations 53-56 - today only $0.99 for Kindle!)

As Jesus said in John 17:3, this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 
I write extensively about this in my book Leading the Presence-Driven Church.