Even though the Bible was written just shy of 2000 years ago, the words on those pages have remained accurate and applicable to the lives of believers for all these millennia. The Bible is our sole and primary source for every revelation and principle for life given to us by God, and it serves as an infographic of His plan for humankind. Oh, and one more thing: IT'S ALIVE.
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” —Hebrews 4:12
One of the most mystifying things I have ever encountered in my spiritual journey is how God's Word is truly alive. When we are open to God's guidance, the words speak to us in different ways at different times of our lives. A passage you read three years ago may mean something completely different to you today. The story of Abraham and Isaac was merely interesting biblical trivia for me until I had my own children and asked myself, "How committed am I to doing God's will? Am I willing to risk their lives for Jesus' sake?"
God's Word never changes, but WE do. And how we perceive God's love letter to us changes, depending on what we need in that moment. It's a beautiful mystery and an extraordinary way for God to speak directly to us—with actual words in our eyes.
In the Natural World: The first time I read through the Old Testament, I was in my 20s. I was astonished at how much detail God gave His people regarding the natural world around them and how to care for it well. This is all stuff that science has confirmed with research and today's technology, but God was giving advice about it from the beginning of time. (See Leviticus 17:11; Ecclesiastes 1:6-7; Job 36:27-29; Psalm 102:25-27 and Colossians 1:16-17.)
In Human Nature: We also see a centuries-long study of human nature in the Bible. As God's plan for redemption does its slow burn over time, we can observe men and women following Him, not following Him, messing up, succeeding, falling into depression, getting carried away by pride, loving their children, abusing their children, making stupid mistakes, making giant leaps of faith, and so much more. Just by being humans ourselves, we know that this is an accurate depiction of the human condition. Read about the rise and fall of God's people in the Old Testament, and you might as well be reading a psychology textbook on how to (and not to) interact with varying people.
In Historical Events: Christian and non-Christian historians have confirmed many facts that have been laid out in the stories of the Bible. Secular historical research often shows many parallels between biblical and non-religious accounts of the same events.
The Bible is so much more than a source of scientific, historical, or psychological information. It's God's love letter of redemption, written to each of us individually. He tells us who He is and what He desires most of all for humankind—the restoration of a relationship with our Creator.
"He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed." —1 Peter 2:24
The Bible tells us exactly how sin separated us from God, and how God has ordered all the events of time so that every person has an opportunity to restore their relationship with Him (1 Timothy 2:4; John 3:16; John 14:6). Through the Bible, we discover that God has provided redemption from sin through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, on the cross. The world's need for salvation is timeless and definitely relevant today.
Once redeemed, we can turn to God's Word to learn the keys to living a life NOW that is beneficial to us and pleasing to God. The Bible gives us so many principles that can be applied to any issue or aspect of life we may encounter today. (That's the whole point of 412teens—to show how God's Word speaks into our lives today!) The Bible may not mention the exact style of life we know today, but God never changes, and human nature has remained the same from the beginning of time. God's Word is truth, and there is relevant wisdom to be gleaned from those words for every generation.
From observing the mistakes and successes of God's people in the Old Testament to the lessons Jesus taught in the gospels to the early churches' letters of tough love advice from the apostle Paul, our understanding of God, the world, and the people within it is enriched and clarified by the Bible so we can live the best life possible today—for us, for others, and for God.
Yes, the Bible is relevant for us today. From observing the mistakes and successes of God's people in the Old Testament to the lessons Jesus taught in the gospels to the early churches' letters of tough love advice from the apostle Paul, our understanding of God, the world, and the people within it is enriched and clarified by the Bible so we can live the best life possible today—for us, for others, and for God.
Cat is the web producer and editor of 412teens.org. She loves audiobooks, feeding the people she cares about, and using Christmas lights to illuminate a room. When Catiana is not writing, cooking, or drawing, she enjoys spending time with her two kids, four socially-awkward cats, and her amazing friend-amily.