Sunday, May 26 2024 - 12:07 AM
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Re-imagining the Bible

Rules. Rigidity. Stories and illustrations so old that they are no longer relevant to the real world we live in. The reasons are endless why the Bible remains somehow both the best-selling book of all time and yet the least-read book on our shelves. Yet that contrast shows that there is something there, but perhaps the Bible’s reputation is the enemy.

Story of Redemption

In fact, it’s upon closer inspection that we find out something surprising: that the Bible is as real, understandable, and applicable as anything else we can read. One cursory glance at the text reveals story after story of people just like us who lose heart, who never follow through, who seek instant gratification, who make poor choices, and who can’t seem to get their act together. But the difference between the Bible and other books that we can relate to is what makes it so beautiful.

Redemption. That’s the word that separates the Bible from a simple memoir that makes you laugh, cry, and nod your head. God somehow continually chooses these men and women despite their faults and uses them to accomplish His purposes. God makes heroes out of the ordinary. It’s really quite incredible.

Just Like Us

Most people neglect reading the Bible because they don’t want to feel bad about themselves. Reading a list of “to do” or “not to do” only serves to condemn us. Yet the opposite is really true. The so-called heroes we hold up are really just like us. David? Murders a woman’s husband so he can marry her. Noah? He ended up a naked drunk after the famous flood resigned. Abraham? He gave his wife up sexually to Pharaoh so his life would be spared. Peter? He denied even knowing Jesus even when he was warned ahead of time.

The list is really quite shocking, and the church tends to downplay these behaviors, so we can keep them on a holy pedestal. In reality, allowing these characters to be what the Bible says gives them an authenticity that you and I can relate to. The ultimate truth is that all of us end up messing up, and all of us need a God who wants to redeem us and use us despite ourselves.

Redemption Is Ours

Think of it this way. Why would God give us a book of exceptions? Why give us people whose stories in the Bible we cannot relate to? Or promises that really aren’t meant to come true? Yet we treat it as some cosmic prank that God has played, and we maintain a safe distance from something that’s meant to bring life, hope, and love to the world around us. It’s the literary equivalent of not utilizing a bank account that’s full of money or playing inside when you live on beachfront property.

Redemption is ours for the taking and readily available if we will find it. And one of the best places to find it is in the very book we’ve been neglecting the whole time.

If you liked this, you may also like Why Should I Study the Bible? 

Written by Matt Conner.

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About Matt Conner

Matt Conner

writes about a lesson he learned from his father.

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