Why Is the Bible and Not Some Other Religious Book the Word of God?

Why Is the Bible and Not Some Other Religious Book the Word of God?

Dr. Craig von BuseckBy Dr. Craig von Buseck9 Minutes

As my children were growing up, I taught them that Christianity is different from every other religion in the world in one key point – a concept revealed to us in the Bible. That point is that every other religion is based on salvation by the “good” works of man, while the Bible reveals that man can never do enough good works to be accepted by a holy and righteous God. Scripture tells us:

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Romans 3:23, NLT)

Every other religious book teaches that salvation must be earned by the “good works” done in life. In these religious systems, it is as if celestial scales hang over each person’s head with good works on one side and bad works on the other. No one knows if enough good things have been piled on to earn heaven. The joke is that old people are nice because they are trying to add good works to the scale to earn salvation.

The problem is that when a person dies, they carry with them all of their sins, along with all of the good they have done. When approaching a holy God – which means one who is perfect – just one sin is enough to keep you outside His presence. The Bible gives us this sobering declaration:

No one is righteous – not even one. (Romans 3:10, NLT)

While the other religious books teach that you can work your way to heaven, the Bible says you cannot. No one can.

Without Hope

This truth may lead you to believe that you are without hope, but the entire Bible declares the message that hope for salvation can only be found by placing your faith in the work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

There is an old saying that “all history is ‘His Story.’” The Bible in its entirety is the story of a loving and holy God reconciling sinful mankind by the death and resurrection of the Son of God.

The Old Testament points forward to the coming of the Messiah – the promised Lamb of God who would take upon Himself the sins of all people. The New Testament openly tells that story in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus – and then the letters of the early apostles tell us how to live as one of His disciples.

Banner Man

If you’ve ever been to a sporting event, or watched one on TV, you have likely seen someone holding up a banner showing the Bible verse John 3:16.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16, ESV)

This one verse encapsulates the message of the entire Bible.

  • First, the God of the Bible is a God of love.
  • Second, the love of God is not a general good feeling toward mankind, but love for each individual person – as seen in the word “whoever.”
  • Third, because of this love, God provided a way for sinful mankind to have a path to salvation and reconciliation with their Heavenly Father.
  • Fourth, that pathway is made possible by the gift of God’s Son and His sacrificial death on the cross.
  • Fifth, this salvation is received by faith.
  • Sixth, when someone receives Jesus as their Savior, they receive eternal life and can enter into the presence of a loving God.

The Holy Spirit: A Personal God

Another major difference between the Bible and other religious books is the concept of a personal God who lives in the hearts of believers. The Bible identifies this part of God as the Holy Spirit.

In the Old Testament, the prophets foretold of a time when God’s dwelling would be among men – they used the name ‘Immanuel,’ which means ‘God with us’ (Isaiah 7:14) At the time, the prophets didn’t understand what they were writing – how could they? Jesus provided the explanation when He declared:

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever. (John 14:16, NIV)

And again:

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John 14:26, ESV)

He clarifies what the Holy Spirit will do in the life of a believer in John 16:

But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment. (John 16:7-8, NASB)

The biblical concept of God living among his people goes back to the Garden of Eden, with God walking and talking with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8).

In the Old Testament, God showed his presence to the people of Israel in several ways:

  • Within the burning bush (Exodus 3)
  • As in the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night (Exodus 13:21–22)
  • God’s presence remained in the Ark of the Covenant, which the Israelites kept with them until the Babylonian captivity. (Exodus 25:8)
  • The cloud of glory that filled Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings 8:10-11)

Before his ascension to heaven, Christ made this promise of God’s ongoing presence clear to His followers: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20, NIV).

This promise of God is repeated in the last book of the Bible, in Revelation 21:3:

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. (NIV)

Before Jesus returned to heaven, he told his followers that the third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, would dwell with them:

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. (John 14:16, NIV)

It is this personal, loving God, who desires to walk with you in this life – to care for, guide, protect, and empower – that makes the Bible different from any other religious book. Jesus declared, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) He is not only the God of all the world, but He desire to be a personal God in your life as well. Would you like to invite Jesus into your life?

Learn How to Have a Relationship with God