“THE GOOD BOOK” (James 1:16-18) Kenny Burtch
Have you ever wondered why the Bible is referred to as “A Good Book?” Millions are the volumes of books written down through the ages. Listen to what James says in our text: “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. In the exercise of His will he brought us forth by the Word of Truth, so that we might be, as it were the first fruits of His creatures.Millions of people simply do not want the Bible to be true. However, regardless of the railing of its critics and the libel of its foes, the Bible is not only a good Book, but it is “The Good Book!” The human heart is rebellious, and we want to be the captain of our own ship, the ruler of our own souls, stiff-necked in the face of rebuke or correction. Why is it correct for us to call the Bible, “The Good Book?”
(1). It is “The Good Book” because of its inspiration. Without any challenge the Bible has inspired more beautiful art and music than any other source in the history of mankind. What inspired the Sistine Chapel in Rome, The Madonna, The Christ child? The music that brings comfort such as “In the garden,” and “Amazing Grace.” The Music that challenges the Christian to be on the offensive for Christ like “Onward Christian Soldiers.” The music that would give us hope when we are faced with the death of our bodies such as “No Tears In Heaven,” and “What a day that will be.”
The Bible is “The Good Book,” because it has had a humanitarian effect on mankind that has taught us to love, reach out, to seek the good of others before ourselves (Matthew 25:32-46; Philippians 2:1-5). It teaches us how to live the good life. It teaches us how to have happy families. How to be good husbands and wives. How to respect, and honor our parents, Yes, even, pray for our enemies. Certainly, the Bible is so much more than a Good Book. It deserves the title: “The Good Book.”
(2). It is “The Good Book” because of the comfort it brings in all situations. We are all, even the most mature Christians, in need of comfort in our lives. We are told to not just search for comfort for ourselves, in the Bible, but for others as well. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) Notice especially Vs. 18 “Therefore comfort one another with these words.”
I heard the voice of Jesus say, “Come unto Me and rest;
Lay down, Thou weary one, lay down thy head upon My breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was, Weary, and worn and sad.
I found in Him a resting place, and He has made me glad.
Horatius Bonar, 1846
(3). The Bible is “The Good Book” because it not only offers knowledge, but it offers never failing wisdom for this world, and the next. (2 Peter 1:3) “Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life AND godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.There is a vast difference between “Knowledge” and “Wisdom.” Knowledge is WHAT we know. Wisdom is how we USE WHAT we know. We know we are to speak the truth. However do we know how to speak the truth? The Bible tells us that the spoken truth MUST be spoken in love (Ephesians 4:13-16). The Bible teaches us that we study for knowledge (2 Timothy 3:16). However, (2 Timothy 3:15) says “And from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” Knowledge and wisdom are given to us through a study of “The Good Book.”
(Ecclesiastes 7:11,12) ”Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing, and benefits those who see the sun. Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: That wisdom preserves the life of those who possess it.”
(4). The Bible is “The Good Book.” because it explains matters of eternity. Jesus was out walking with the 12 one day, and many other of His disciples. He was teaching them some very hard lessons about what it meant to be His disciple (John 6:60-71). Because of this teaching in (Vs. 66) the Bible says, “As a result of this (teaching) many of His disciples withdrew, and were not walking with Him any more.” Notice that Jesus did not run after them, and beg them to return. He knew that at this time in His ministry there would be few who would be willing to make that sacrifice. So, what does He do? He turns to the 12, and asks this question, “You do not want to go away also, do you? (Vs. 67). Simon Peter answers Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (Vs. 68).
The Bible is not only a good Book, but it is “The Good Book-The Great Book because of the Good News! The good News of God’s love, the good news of God’s forgiveness, the good news of God’s Mercy and Grace. It reveals the incredible story of how God the Son became the Son of Man to die for the sins of the world And its greatest message is one of resurrection and eternal life-everlasting fellowship with the heavenly Father who thinks about us day and night. There is no other Book that can give us the very thoughts of God for the saving of our souls. That means the Bible is truly “The Good Book.”
The world needs this “Good Book!” So do you, and so do I! But there is more to scripture than the command to be a good Christian. It is teaching us to be a godly Christian. To become more and more like God Himself everyday. To give up our own thinking, and take on the very mind of Christ Himself (Philippians 2:5-11) “Have this mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus..." (Vs.5). Would it be strange to say we have to be out of our minds? Yes, that would be strange, but that is what we are to do. Stop thinking like man thinks, and start thinking like Jesus. (Proverbs 14:12) “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”
The Bible is the only “God-Given” Book. So, in a very real sense it’s the only “Good Book.” Let us stand strong in the glorious Word of our unfailing heavenly Father, and our Savior Jesus Christ.