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HANDBOOK OF LIFE

By the time you read this the first Bible Study Group will have taken place and the scheme of study will have been decided. Perhaps you may have forgotten or decided that Bible Study Groups are not your cup of tea.
To many people the Bible is just a collection of myths and fairy tales with no reference to modern day living. To some people it is just a stupid document, dealing with super saints, who walked about in strange clothing, muttering strange chants into their beards... NOW FALSE.
As well as quite ordinary folk in the Bible, we meet the homosexual, the alcoholic and the prostitute, the broken homes and family feuds, the international struggle for power and prestige. Whatever else can be said about the Bible, it certainly deals with real people in real situations. Granted it is a difficult book, or rather collection of books, to understand. Essentially it is a collection of booKs of history, expressed in thought forms strange to our times. Perhaps this is why we magnify our difficulties about the Bible as reasons for not reading it.
In a nutshell, the Bible is the story of God, and the people of God redeemed in Christ. The Bible teaches what man is to believe about God, and what duty requires of man. God communicates his message through the prophets to his people Israel. Their history, then, is important for us today, because it culminates in our Lord Jesus Christ. If it had not done so, there would have been no Bible. The Bible only has meaning for us today, because God has communicated himself to us through Jesus Christ who offered us life in all its fullness.
The Bible recalls us to the fact of the living God in the experience of a nation, a Church and countless individuals. It begins with the great and wonderful statement in the book of Genesis "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." It tells us that the universe is not an accident of nature, but a creation with an Intelligence behind it. Granted, tne story is pre-scientific, but after all men can only picture God in the thought forms of their day. Modern science has not overthrown those great insights into the creation story. It has shown that God is even more wonderful than those writers of Genesis ever imagined.
The Bible also reminds us that God is intimately involved in His universe, responsible for it, caring for it, loving his creatures and earing to give us freedom, which was and is still abused. Yet God is willing to restore man's sanity and wholeness. This is the Gospel of the Bible - the GOOD NEWS.
No, the Bible is not all outdated document. It is like a mirror, and when we look through the pages of the Bible, we can see a reflection of our modern society as it is today. We may be more sophisticated,



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but human nature has not changed all that much. There are still the racial issues, world problems, matters of health, the cares of the individual. we still have the family feuds and the struggles for power at home and internationally. The Bible reminds us that God is involved in all these situations. This leads to the heart of the Bible, that man is inadequate without God. Man needs a greater power than himself to save him from disaster.
The Bible introduces us to Jesus Christ, in whom man's inadequacy is met. The New Testament writers were absolutley convinced of this. Jesus speaks to our need of forgiveness and we learn of this power of forgiveness in the Bible and find this inner peace, if we allow him into our hearts and lives.
Why not think again about Bible Study Groups, so that together we can learn, think afresh and be ready for the great tasks that lie ahead?
R.E.

 

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