What does the Bible primarily teach?

Question 3Question 3 of the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “What does the Bible primarily teach?

The answer given is, “The Bible primarily teaches what man must believe about God and what God requires of man.

There are arguments that can be used to prove that the existence of God is probable. While these are helpful in bolstering our faith, they cannot tell us very much about who God is and what he is like.

To understand what we should believe about God, we need help, we need revelation, we need the Bible. Christians have been people of the book from the very beginning because they understood the Bible to be the very words of God.

As creatures, we also need to know what our creator expects from us. How are we to respond to him? What obligation do we owe him?

These are questions that the Bible clearly answers. In his book 18 Words, J. I. Packer writes this:

” . . . God discloses Himself to us by talking to us about Himself, and about ourselves as He sees us. He tells us of  His own past achievement, how He has created, judged, redeemed, raised up men to serve Him, and created a people for Himself. He tells us of His present work, now He orders and governs all things fo the fulfilling of His purposes. He tells us His future plans, sketching for us in mysterious but glowing terms the coming climax of history and the final destiny of His people. He tells us what He thinks about human life and the different ways in which men live it. He gives us directions, and counsel, and makes promises and announces warnings. He teaches us His own scale of values, detailing for us the things that He approves and the things that He hates. Thus, by talking, He reveals Himself. He discloses Himself by telling us about Himself. His revelation is personal just because it is propositional; for it is precisely by making true statements about Himself to us that God makes Himself known to us, and if He did not speak in this way we could never know Him at all.”

The very real question I have to ask myself is whether I am willing to submit to what God has revealed to me. Am I willing to acknowledge him as creator and sustainer? Am I willing to be obedient to how he has revealed I should act?

When I approach the Bible, I find that most of my intellectual problems with it are, at their core, volitional problems. In other words, I find that I want to remain in the position of judge and jury regarding what I am reading. My heart is at times unwilling to submit.

I am thankful that God has revealed himself to us through the Bible. For it is the Bible that tells us of the provision that God made to bring us back into relationship with him through Jesus Christ. Not only does God tell us how we ought to live, he provides us with the ability to do it.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6, NASB)