The preacher today will do something he does every Sunday. He will walk up the pulpit steps, open the Bible, read from it and preach on it as the very word of God.
But you must not assume that this is the case in every church or even in the majority of churches across our land. Let us not be naïve about this.
A massive number of mainline denominations deny everything from the virgin birth to the resurrection of Christ to the Triune nature of God.
The miraculous accounts of the Bible are regarded as pious myths and most pulpits have shifted to social and political issues or to trendy psychobabble.
More than one generation has now grown up thinking this is normal.
We can wring our hands about it. Or we can believe that the word of God works and leave the results in His hands. We can recognize that every reformation of the church, every revival of a church body, every renewal of an individual soul has come about by a return to the Scriptures, by going back to the Bible.
We see this principle at work as Joshua goes forth to lead the people of Israel with the books of Moses in his hands.
We see it as good King Hezekiah sends forth men throughout the land of Judah to teach the people the Scriptures again.
We see it when the janitors in King Josiah’s day clean out the temple from past idolatry and rediscover the Bible.
We see it in Nehemiah’s account of Ezra who is told to “bring out the Book.” He gathers the returning captives, takes his stand on a wooden platform or pulpit, and reads the Old Testament Scriptures to the men, women and children from dawn till dusk.
We see it as Jesus enters a synagogue and opens the scroll of the prophet Isaiah and reads from it.
We see it in the Berean Christians in Acts 17 who search the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
We see it as Luther goes back to the Bible and so brings about the Reformation.
We see it in the life of man who perhaps hasn’t picked up his Bible in years, or who has read only a few scattered passages as sentimental favorites, who thinks he knows what is in this book – and then begins to read it again and is stunned by how much he did not know or remember – who is surprised by joy as he goes back to the Bible.
The Bible is the Holy Spirit’s tool by which He overhauls, maintains and sustains these hearts of ours. Read a chapter each day, prayerfully ponder a small portion each day. We shall, by God’s grace, wonder at what kind of poor lives we once put up with before we examined the Scriptures each day.
Are we looking for a real renewal in our weary congregation or in our own worn out lives? We need nothing new. We need to go back to what we have always had – back to the Bible!