Yes, this year is the Four Hundredth Anniversary of the Authorized Version of the Bible, the King James Version, completed in the year 1611. Yesterday at our church was Word of God Sunday, and we heard much teaching and preaching on Canonicity, Inspiration, and Preservation. What a precious treasure we have!
God reveals Himself to us in several ways. We see Him in Creation, in His workings in people’s lives, and in His workings in our own lives. But there is no place we see God better than in His Word. And without His Word, we could never be sure that what we perceived of God through the other avenues was true. For example, we could believe God loved us by seeing how He provides for our daily needs, how he gives friends along the way to help us, and how He draws us to Himself, but how would e know it was God doing and giving these things without knowing from His Word that “God is love” (I John 4:8) and that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” Not only that, but all of those other ways of seeing God are not nearly as all-inclusive as God’s Word is. Within the pages of the Bible, we have everything we need to know about God spelled out for us with illustrations and examples included! What a loving and merciful God to reveal Himself to us, and to do it in such a clear way! (We are so unworthy…)
Not only that, but the Bible reveals our Saviour Jesus Christ to us. It would have been great to have lived during the days Christ walked this earth…I can think of things I would have liked to ask Him. But, wait, I can ask Him now –just as they could then –through prayer. How do I know this? Philippians 4:6 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” He told me so…in His Word. And how do we know anything about Christ, not having seen or met Him physically, in person? Through His Word. The whole message of the Bible is Christ, who came to save sinners. And we can find that salvation in the Bible. Paul said in II Timothy 3:15 that the Scriptures “…are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” So we see the Saviour and the way of Salvation through the Scriptures.
It is also through the Scriptures that God the Holy Spirit speaks to us. The Bible is God’s instructions to us about how to live a Godly life, and how to deal with each problem we face. And it is the Holy Spirit who speaks through it to mold us and make us into what He wants us to be.
Beside all these ideas, men have died for the Bible. They have given their lives that we might have the very Word of God in our language and in our own hands. Men such as John Wycliffe and William Tyndale gave the greatest sacrifice…but what does it really mean to me? Is the Bible precious to me? Precious enough to read every day…precious enough to study, and obey more than any other book? It is the expression of God’s love to me and His highest hopes for me, a gift worth dying for to others…but what is it worth to me?