What the Bible Is(from Lesson 2 of God's Plan for Man)
The Bible is God's inspired revelation of the origin and destiny of all things. It is the power of God unto eternal salvation and it is the source of present help for body, soul, and spirit (Rom. 1:16; John l5:7). It is God's will and testament to men in all ages, revealing the plan of God for man here and now and in the next life. It is the record of God's dealings with man; past, present, and future. It contains God's message of eternal salvation to all who believe in Christ and of eternal damnation to those who rebel against the gospel.
As a literary composition, the Bible is the most remarkable book ever made. It is a divine library of sixty-six books, some of considerable size, and others no larger than a tract. These books include various forms of literature -- history, biography, poetry, proverbial sayings, hymns, letters, directions for elaborate ritualistic worship, laws, parables, riddles, allegories, prophecy, drama, and all other forms of human expression. They embrace all manner of literary styles. It cannot be excelled from any standpoint.
It is the book that contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts binding, its histories true, and its decisions immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword and the Christian's charter. Here Heaven is opened, and the gates of Hell disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill your memory, rule your heart, and guide your feet in righteousness and true holiness. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully, meditatively, searchingly, devotionally, and study it constantly, perseveringly, and industriously. Read it through and through until it becomes part of your being and generates faith that will move mountains. It is a mine of wealth, the source of health, and a world of pleasure. It is given to you in this life, will be opened at the judgment, and will last forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the least to the greatest labor, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.
It is a mirror to reflect (Jas. 1:2?); hammer to convict (Jer. 23:29); fire to refine (Jer. 23:29); seed to multiply (I Pet. 1:23); Waver to cleanse (Eph. 5:26; John 15:3); lamp to guide (Ps. 119:105); and food to nourish, including milk for babes (I Pet. 2:2), bread for the hungry (Matt. 4:4). meat for men (Heb. 5:11-14), and honey for dessert (Ps. 19:10). It is rain and snow to refresh (Isa. 55:10); a sword to cut (Heb. 4:12); a bow to revenge (Hab. 3:9); gold to enrich (Ps. 19:7-10); and power to create life and faith ( I Pet. 1:23; Rom. 10:17).