From: Bob Williams
Our lives consist of the decisions we make whether good or not so good. The better informed we are on a particular matter, the higher quality the decisions we make are in that subject area. The same could be said of making frequent decisions on your own; it’s easier to come to a conclusion and be confident in that decision. In no aspect of our lives is this more important than decisions related to spiritual matters.
It begins by believing or choosing not to believe the Word of God. That is the substance of our faith, for “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God,” (Romans 10:17). Jesus said in John 6:45, “every man, therefore, that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” Paul tells us in Ephesians 1:12-13, “... who first trusted in Christ, in whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of Promise.” The key elements, according to the Bible regarding faith, are hearing, learning, then believing the Word of God.
Psalms 12:6 tells us that God’s words are “pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.” We should approach and respect God’s Word as being “pure words,” for God “hast magnified thy word above all thy name,” (Ps. 138:2). But unfortunately too many have little regard, understanding and use for the Bible. Yet God’s will is that “all be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth,” (1 Timothy 2:4). In 1 Corinthians 1:21 we’re told: “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.” There’s that word “believe” again in conjunction with “God’s will.” To believe is to make an informed and conscious decision on a matter; in this instance, what God says, or wills in His Word.
God’s Word is eternal, not just for an age, or today, for Jesus said: “heaven and earth shall pass away; but my words shall not pass away,” in Matthew, Mark and Luke. Psalms 119:89 says, “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” Therefore it makes sense to get into and intimately familiar with the Book. Many read commentaries about the Bible with far fewer actually reading the Bible itself, let alone studying it. The comments as to why revolves around not understanding how to read and study the Bible and which of the many versions available is appropriate for reading.
As a test, take a look at Mark 1:2 in your Bible. The King James Version (KJV) says: “As it is written in the prophets ...” then the verse quotes from Malachi 3:1. Most Bible versions state “It is written in Isaiah the prophet ...” then quotes Malachi 3:1 followed in the next verse by Isaiah 40:3. This is not a transcription error, it is simply interpreting what is found in the textual matter being transcribed. This is an example of just one of many hundreds, if not thousands of differences between the KJV and newer versions. How can you make quality decisions without a Bible you can trust? Are you sure you have the right Bible?