Using the Bible

by Dr. Mike Zachary

The Bible is clear about the fact that the Holy Spirit was the agent who inspired the writing of the Holy Bible.

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. II Peter 1:21

The Bible is also clear about what happens when our lives are controlled by the Holy Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22–23

When we consider both of these verses together, it certainly seems that if we are studying and learning the Bible correctly, we should see evidence that our lives are filled with the fruit of the Spirit. If we are studying the Bible incorrectly, we will notice that we are becoming more combative.

As we read the Bible, one of the ways we can “get it right” is to realize the kinds of things we need to change in our own lives. When we “get it wrong,” we develop the ability to serve as judge and jury for the limitations and failures of other people.

We must remember that the Bible wasn’t given to us so we could proudly demonstrate our knowledge and then use the Bible as a club to beat up other people. The Bible was given to us because God chose to communicate with us through the written Word, and He wanted His Word to transform us little by little to the image of Christ, to be “conformed to the image of his Son” as the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:29.

As you make your way through this week, maybe you should take inventory of what you are thinking when you hear the Word of God preached. Do you think, “I’m so thankful to hear this because I need to change,” or do you think, “I’m so thankful that the person across the aisle is hearing this because he surely needs to change”?

Remember, the Book that the Holy Spirit inspired should be generating the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives. If we are getting it right, our own lives should be characterized more and more by is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.

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