In August 2012, my daughter Esther began English lessons with a college student who isn't a Christian. The student assigned her some essay topics such as "I Have a Dream," "My Favorite Book," and "Opportunity and Challenge." I encouraged Esther to approach each topic from a biblical perspective and even wrote a few essays myself. I aimed to provide her with a model to follow as well as possibly enlighten the student about our faith, and it also gave me a chance to practice my English. The student raised some questions about my viewpoint, and I responded to her.
Later, I sent this article to some Christians abroad for evaluation. They provided encouraging feedback, saying that the piece greatly uplifted them. May the Lord use this for His glory!
My favorite book
My favorite book is the Holy Scripture, otherwise known as the Holy Bible. I hold it dear because its author is the Sovereign God, the omnipotent entity who created everything. This God is all-knowing and reigns over all. When such an author imparts wisdom, it is nothing but the unadulterated truth. He is the sole keeper of the ultimate truth and never engages in falsehood. He fears no one and lacks nothing; thus, he has no reason to lie. While others may unintentionally mislead you with their ignorance or deliberately deceive you out of malicious intent, the Almighty God would never do such a thing.
I am fond of the Bible because it reveals the deepest secrets of God and His actions. It elucidates why and how He created the world, what's wrong with it, what He is doing about it, and its eventual fate. We exist in a world that stems from Him, sustains through Him, and ultimately leads to Him. The only way to live righteously and experience life in its fullest sense is to abide by His guidance. This guidance is beautifully encapsulated in His holy word, the Bible.
I love the Bible because it serves as a family letter from my heavenly Father. My Father, through this scripture, professes His love for me. He crafted me in His image and likeness, enabling me to perceive His actions, comprehend His words, understand His intent, and foster a deep love for Him and others. His love for humanity was so profound that He gifted His one and only Son to the world, promising eternal life to those who believed in Him. He dispatched His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in my stead, thus demonstrating the magnitude of His love for me and His abhorrence for the sin that separates me from Him and has the potential to destroy me.
I love the Bible because it affirms the divinity of Jesus Christ, the Nazarene, who was crucified. It presents convincing evidence that Jesus is indeed the Christ, the Son of God, and the promised Lord and Savior of Israel and all humankind. He was rejected and killed by His own people but resurrected from the dead and now sits enthroned at the right hand of the Father, reigning as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.
I love the Bible because each time I open this divine book, the Holy Spirit enlightens me through its verses. It nourishes me with God's truth and love, transforms me into a likeness of Jesus, and guides me on the path to eternal life.
So, I love the Bible because it is the absolute truth—every word is essential. It imparts life-altering truths, serving as the ultimate authority for life. Lastly, it acts as a conduit for life-giving love that originates from God, guides us back to Him, and unites us with Him forevermore.
The girl responded: Is the Bible the whole world of Christians?
First, thanks for your participation in our teaching activities. I do appreciate both you and Mrs. Jiang, for you guys make every effort to help Esther grow up in a healthier and more positive way.
Second, I’ve noticed that all of your family members are Christians. Through your compositions, a strong overflow of devoutness for Jesus strikes me deeply. I’m not a believer in any religion. But I respect your beliefs and have an interest in getting a deeper understanding of Christianity. I have no idea whether the Bible is the whole world to you Christians. Nevertheless, as a bystander with some kind of sophisticated experience, I do hope the Bible is a huge encouragement for Esther instead of confinement. In other words, I believe Esther is a young girl whose parents influence her future to some extent. And you lead her into a new world called the Bible and Jesus. However, it is better for her to experience more interesting things, not just the world of God. She is worth exploring new things at this age and making a choice for herself. It is worth mentioning that here I have the slightest intention to make any judgment on you or even criticize you. All I want to stress is a piece of advice. If there is any offense, please forgive me.
My Response to the Inquiry: Why the Bible is the Complete Universe for True Christians
Thank you for your continued support and generosity. Your constructive comments and thoughtful suggestions are much appreciated, as is your clear and expressive English. Here, I will attempt to address your question concerning the bond between Christians and the Bible.
Is the Bible a Christian's entire universe? Indeed, it is. However, does this insinuate that we only read the Bible and nothing else? Certainly not. Does it imply that the Bible restricts us? The answer is both yes and no.
Firstly, a Christian undergoes a transformative change of heart. Imagine encountering something so enlightening or astonishing that it transcends your understanding and introduces you to a new reality. Such an experience would permanently alter your life, making it impossible to revert to your former self. This is what occurs when an individual encounters Christ and embraces Christianity. Witnessing the glorious life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, a person's old self is shattered, making way for transformation into a new person in the likeness of Jesus Christ. The Bible states, "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation." Being in Christ signifies possessing the same life and spirit as Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Formerly dead to the realm of God, a person now finds God at the center of their existence. Their primary passion and pursuit now become God—His will, His beauty, His awe-inspiring dignity, and His boundless love. They read God’s word, contemplate it, dream about it, converse about it, and live by it. The Bible thus provides a new language for this newly transformed heart.
Secondly, with this new heart comes a new perception. Once blind, the person now sees. Previously, they might have stumbled in the dark, dependent on a walking stick, a guide dog, or another blind individual. Now, they can perceive everything with their own eyes, feeling liberated rather than confined by their newfound sight. They have freed themselves from reliance on walking sticks or dogs. They are not deprived of these aids but have simply outgrown their need. Consider this analogy: we value the dim light of a candle, a lamp, or even a firefly in the darkness of the night. However, when the brilliant sun rises, we willingly confine ourselves to this one great light. This isn't a limitation, but rather a liberation.
Recognize that God created the world for and with him. If God doesn't rule the throne of your world, chaos ensues, and your life is doomed. The world's wisdom is foolishness to God, as it disregards His role. The world neglects heaven and hell and is ignorant of the world's beginning and end. The concept of the final judgment is scoffed at. People behave as if they were the centers of the world. Their shortsightedness is like being confined to a two-dimensional world, while Christians perceive heaven in multiple dimensions.
The Bible affords me the ability to see and the light by which to see.
Thirdly, the new heart bestows a new identity in God’s family. When His one and only begotten son transforms us, God adopts us as His sons or daughters. As members of the royal family, we must speak with a tone of royal dignity and discuss matters of royal significance. As the bride of Christ, we must maintain purity and chastity, refraining from flirting with the world. As His servants, His word becomes our supreme commandment.
God instructs us to treasure His words, meditating day and night, like a tree planted by a stream. God's word, the Holy Bible, is life-giving water. It is my light, my food, my air, my familial letter, my love letter, my map for a pilgrim journey, and my guide to triumph in the battle of life and death.
However, this doesn’t mean that we are ignorant of or excluded from valuable things outside the Bible and Christianity. We appreciate every classic work through the lens of the Bible, detoxifying its essence rather than diminishing it. A spiritual person perceives everything but remains enigmatic to others. Every good thing is from God, but without the Bible, it's impossible to differentiate good from evil. Unsaved individuals occasionally glimpse the light, but their truth, tainted with deception, is merely a subtle lie. If the essence can't be separated from the dross, it will lead to eventual destruction.
The Bible is either absolute or obsolete. If the Bible isn't your entire universe, it means nothing to you. If God doesn't dominate everything, He becomes a lifeless idol or a pointless concept. If Christ is not the lord of lords and king of kings, He is a deceiver. Faith must be radical, and we should be radically faithful!
(The author is a freelance Christian writer.)