To What Extent Do We Use Our Bibles?

In Uncategorized on December 30, 2007 at 2:49 pm

The Houston Chronicle is running a story titled “Condemned killer says Bible helped jury decide his death sentence“. It seems a convicted killer on death row in Texas is appealing his trial on the basis that the jurors were using their Bibles as references in determining his fate:

“Several of them carried Bibles in and out like my daughter carries her “Seventeen” magazine,” she said. “It was just their reading material.”

It seems there is debate as to how much the jurors used their Bibles to render their decision in the case though:

At a state district court hearing two months after the trial, four jurors testified about the presence of Bibles in the jury room and gave varying accounts, ranging from one Bible to several being present. One juror testified he and fellow jurors carried the books with them because they would go to Bible study in the evenings following the day’s court proceedings,

Another juror testified any reading from the books came after they had reached a decision. A third said the reading of Scripture was intended to make people feel better about their decision.

So, the issue at stake in this particular case is this:

“Unless there’s a suggestion they used religious law as opposed to the Code of Criminal Procedure and the instructions the judge gave them, but that wasn’t an issue in this case.”

Whether or not the jurors physically opened up their Bibles while they were deliberating doesn’t really make much difference, how do you stop someone from following after the Word that is written on their heart? It may be the case someday that Christians will not be allowed to bring a Bible into the courtroom or any government workplace. It may even be the case that the Bible will be classified as “hate literature” as we see some beginnings of in Canada. But Christians should live by the Word of God in all things that we do. God’s Word should direct all areas of our lives, regardless of our ability to physically carry around a book with us.

So, what does this look like? What does it look like for someone to live by the Word of God?

We must know the Word of God

“These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. “You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9

We cannot teach them to our children and talk of them night and day if we do not know them. So we should seek to know God’s Word, study it, memorize it, talk about it with our friends and family. I can’t think of a better way we can spend our time than digging through the Scriptures to learn of the riches found in them.

We must see Christ as the Word of God

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
John 1:1-3

If all things came into being through Him, then we should see Christ in all things. This means looking at life through the lens of Scripture and not through our own worldview. As we read through the Bible, we should Christ as the foundation of everything we read and this will shape our perspective.

We must live out the Word of God

He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD
Deuteronomy 8:3

We should not rely on anything other than the Word of God. This means that in all situations in life, we should look to Him for guidance and provision. When decisions need to be made, we should look to the wisdom found in the Scriptures. When doubts arise, we should look to God’s promises found in the Scriptures. When temptation comes our way, we should look at the commandments found in the Scriptures. There is no area in our lives that is without the need for prayerful consultation of the Word of God.

So, I’ve been purposely brief here, I would like to know what you think about the extent of God’s Word in our lives or some practical ways that you have made the Scriptures direct areas of your lives. Feel free to comment and add to this list.

  1. Here are two more for your list:

    Praying the Word of God
    Loving the Word of God – I struggle with this one, tending to look for the counsel of men before the counsel of Scripture

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