sundered and sealed

Why do you believe the Bible is the book it claims to be? Why do you believe it is the very Word of God?

Scholars say it can be trusted because of manuscript evidence, archaeological evidence, prophetic accuracy, and the statistical probability that a message could be written so consistently across so many different authors and so many years. M-A-P-S. I’ve taught that acronym many times, and it is reassuring to think about even now. Knowing there is objective proof that the Bible is the book it claims to be appeals to my love of reason and my desire to keep reason and faith inseparably joined. But I have a deeper reason for believing the Bible is what it claims to be: I believe it to be the Word of God because it has done exactly what it said it would do.

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

And this it has done: it has divided me. It has cut me to the bone.

It has severed the offending hand of my greed and gouged out the offending eye of my desire.

Over and over again.

True to its diagnosis, I am a creature of a thousand grasping hands and a thousand roving eyes. Yet it continues its ministry of a thousand faithful amputations, parsing the sin from the sinner, separating the lie from the truth, dividing the darkness from the light.

And in the dividing, miracle of miracles, it is rendering me whole.

So, yes. I believe the Bible is true. It says this is who you were and it is right.

It says this is who you are and it is dead on.

So when it says this is who you shall be I can readily hope.

And when it says this is who I AM I can readily worship.

No blind leap required. This book has not lied to me. Not once.

It knows me. I am known by it.

I thank God for dusty scrolls and artifacts and fulfillments and probabilities all raising their voices in a chorus of affirmation: this book is what it claims to be.

And I add my own voice to the clamor: “You have sanctified me by the truth: thy word is truth.”

I believe because I have been sundered. I believe because I have been sealed. Living Word, cut and cut again, that truth may be found in my innermost parts. Separate me from my sin. Seal me unto salvation. And what you join let none put asunder.