Speaking For a Friend

When a trustworthy companion is maligned or accused, the truth must be defended.

I speak for a friend downgraded by some, laughed at by others. I speak for a friend, the victim of unjust criticism, picked apart here and rejected there. But I speak for a friend greatly loved and proved true and trustworthy over the years, by me and countless others.

I speak for the Bible, the written Word of God.

The integrity and authority of this friend, the Holy Scriptures, are at stake. Little by little, men are whittling away at both, and in so doing they are striking at the Son of God, revealed in the Word.

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Above all, we believe the Bible because of the Christ revealed therein. The Lord must become experientially real to all Christians, but only in the Bible do we find who He is, what He did, and why He did it, and our overwhelming need of Him. Eliminate the biblical record and only vain speculation is left. Accept that record and there is revealed—in all His beauty and power—Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God.

I speak for the Word because our Lord Himself did not hesitate to make use of the Old Testament Scriptures, referring to them as accurate and authoritative. I speak for the written Word because the apostles in their writings refer again and again to the Old Testament Scriptures in such a way as to affirm their complete truthfulness and authority.

I speak a word for the Holy Scriptures because of the claims they make for themselves. They claim the inspiration of the Holy Spirit for what was written. Again and again we read the word of the prophets: “Thus saith the Lord,” and we sense that only God could so speak.

There are those who sneeringly say that some of us worship the Bible, that we are “bibliolaters.” How foolish men can get! I know of no person who worships the Bible, but I know of many who worship the Christ revealed therein. A surgeon does not worship his scalpel, but he trusts it. So those who have approached the Word of God with faith, who through the Holy Spirit have come to understand it and by the help of God have tried to obey it, are convinced that the Bible is what it claims to be, the written Word of God.

Finally, I speak a word for the Scriptures because I have tested God’s marvelous promises and found them true. He promises to guide, and when we turn to Him, He does just that. He offers to help us in every contingency of life, and He makes good his offer.

This is a love affair that has grown with the years. Where once a verse or a short passage made up the day’s reading, now there is joy in extended study. As in praying, so in reading the Holy Scriptures one meets God face to face. He brings rest for the soul today and hope for the future, in the person and work of His Son. D

L. NELSON BELL (1894-1973) was the father of the late Ruth Bell Graham.

This article was adapted from While Men Slept: A Concerned Layman’s View of the Church Today (Doubleday 1970), with permission from East Gates Ministries International.

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version.