What does it mean to live according to the Bible?
The new TV sitcom, “Living Biblically” seeks to explore this question in a humorous way.
Chip Curry, the main character, is shaken by the death of his best friend and further stirred up to be a better man by the news that his wife is expecting their first child. In pursuit of this goal of becoming a better man, Chip decides to live strictly in accordance with the Bible.
The problem is that Chip does not really understand the Bible, and therefore misapplies the Bible (which supplies part of the humor for the show).
Nevertheless, the question of how we can live biblically is vitally important and deserves careful reflection and a serious answer. This brief article can only begin to scratch the surface by pointing to two further questions we must rightly answer if we are to live biblically.
First, what is the Bible? Some people see the Bible as a rule book for how to live a good life. Others see it as a collection of interesting stories that teach moral lessons like “Aesop’s Fables.” Still others see the Bible as a record of the religious thoughts of ancient peoples.
But what is a biblical view of the Bible? In other words, what does the Bible say about itself?
The Bible’s testimony to itself is that it is the very word of the Living God, revelation from God given to humanity. As the Apostle Paul writes, “All Scripture is breathed out by God” (2 Timothy 3:16a).
Certainly, God used the instrumentality of His apostles and prophets to give us this revelation, “but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21b). God used men from various times and places who wrote in different styles and types of literature to communicate His revelation. Behind the numerous human authors of the Bible stands one divine author, God Himself, and in the Bible He gives us His revelation.
This leads to a second question, what is the Bible about? Does God merely reveal helpful tips for a better life or rules to follow to improve yourself? Not according to the Bible itself.
Jesus taught the disciples on the road to Emmaus that the Bible is primarily about Him. As Luke states, “And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27).
Later with other disciples, Jesus “opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Luke 24:45-47).
In summary, the Bible is primarily about God’s great plan enacted throughout human history to save sinful and rebellious people from the judgment they deserve, by the work of Jesus Christ in his righteous life, atoning death, and life-giving resurrection on behalf of all who repent and believe in Him. As Paul states, the scriptures “are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).
While much more could be written, these brief thoughts show that if we would live biblically, we must first have a biblical view of the Bible and its message that true life is found only in Jesus Christ.
As the Apostle John reminds us, the scriptures “are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31).