We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men who were divinely inspired, and that it is a perfect treasure of heavenly instructions. It has God for its author; salvation for its end; and truth, with no admixture of error for its matter. It reveals the principles by which God will judge us; and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tested. (New Hampshire Confession of Faith)
That statement expresses my belief concerning the Bible. The reason that I believe is based on five principles relating to how the Bible came, how it is recorded, how it is understood, how it applies today, and how it has been preserved for us from the times of its writing to this present day. I refer to those five things as revelation, inspiration, illumination, application, and preservation. Do not allow those theological terms to disturb you. Let us examine them one by one and by so doing, we can be assured that the Bible that we have today is the word of God as it was given originally through the men of God who wrote it by inspiration of God.
Notice the term revelation. It means to disclose; to make clear; to bring to sight or mind. It is the turning on of the light of understanding so that what was unknown is now made plainly manifest. The Bible began with God, not with man. It was not man seeking God, but it was God showing man that produced the Bible. The Bible is the written record of the revelation of God.
The source of that revelation is the written record of what God himself made known concerning himself. He revealeth the deep and secret things (Daniel 2:22). There is a mystery of His will ... which he hath purposed in Himself (Ephesians 1:9) and no man can know that apart from God making it known. The truth is, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered unto the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His spirit (I Corinthians 2:9,10). Apart from his divine initiative in showing to us the things of God, we would never have known him in truth. God is beyond our capacity to fully understand. God is so great!
Yet, we can and do know him. It is possible because he revealed himself to us in ways that we can understand. What he revealed to us about himself is recorded in the Holy Bible. It can be understood.
One of the ways that God revealed himself to man is through nature. The heavens declare the glory of God: and the firmament showeth his handiwork. (Psalm 19:) The heavenly bodies are objective proof that a powerful, creative God does exist. The heavens are Gods preachers in the sky who proclaim 24 hours each day the truth that God does exist and they speak a universal language which can be understood by all who want to understand their message.
Kelton F. Richardson has a doctorate in social psychology and has worked with individuals and families experiencing marital problems. A student of the Bible, he lives in Cortez.