By Will Graham
In August of 1949, my grandfather—a largely unknown young preacher at the time—was at a Christian retreat center in the mountains east of Los Angeles, California. A spiritual battle raged inside of him. A friend who had gone to Princeton Seminary had repeatedly and passionately encouraged my grandfather to change his view on Scripture.
“People no longer accept the Bible as being inspired the way you do. Your faith is too simple,” the friend argued.
My grandfather, in his autobiography Just As I Am, shared, “I had no doubts concerning the deity of Jesus Christ or the validity of the Gospel, but was the Bible completely true? If I was not exactly doubtful, I was certainly disturbed.”
Ultimately, after intense and prayerful study of Scripture, my grandfather fell to his knees and cried out to God. He acknowledged that he didn’t know all of the answers or how to respond to his friends’ questions, but surrendered to the inerrancy of God’s Word by faith.
With the spiritual battle won, the difference in his preaching was immediately noticeable. He spoke with a newfound authority. By November, the Greater Los Angeles Crusade launched this obscure North Carolina evangelist into a household name.
By my grandfather’s own admission, you likely would have never heard of Billy Graham if not for his decision to accept the full authority of Scripture. Once the matter was settled in his soul, God used him to reach millions.
The apostle Paul, in his letter to Timothy, similarly encouraged his spiritual son to rely on Scripture and make it the center of his faith. Why?
First, it has a divine origin, with God as the author. “All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16a). Not some Scripture. Not just the parts of the Bible that we like and that make us feel comfortable. No, all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God!
It is the self-revelation of God, penned by human authors under the control of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the Bible is totally reliable for both you and I. As was the case for my grandfather, if you hope to gain anything from the Bible, this has to be a settled point. Scripture is totally from God—its origin is divine.
Second, as God’s Living Word, Scripture is “profitable” for us in all facets of life (2 Timothy 3:16b). The Bible is not only the road map to heaven, but also the compass for the Christian life. It provides everything needed to know God, to find salvation, to be convicted of sin, to be corrected and restored, and to guide followers in Christian discipline.
Finally, the Bible equips and completes us (2 Timothy 3:17). It gives us the prescription and cure for the disease of sin. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, NKJV). As we are convicted of sin, confess it, are forgiven, and pursue righteousness, we mature in our faith and in our walk with God. Each new day of a Christian life should find us more and more like Jesus. From there, we are ready for “every good work” on behalf of the Kingdom.
Though circumstances, relationships, politics and culture shift and move like shaking ground, the Bible is everlasting—a firm foundation. It lights our path and meets our needs. Commit to filling your soul with the Word of God, and allow Him to guide your steps.
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NKJV).
Have you ever asked Jesus to be the Lord of your life and Savior of your eternity? If not, visit PeaceWithGod.net to learn how you can take that step today.
Will Graham is the Vice President and Associate Evangelist at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. For more information on the BGEA, visit https://billygraham.org. This article was reprinted with permission.