What’s Your Relationship with the Bible?

1 Thessalonians 2:13 – And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.

In 2 Corinthians 3:16, Paul speaks about the Word (or Law) of God saying, “the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” The letter of the law is works-based, erroneous Bible teaching about what you must do to earn God’s favor, and how your failure will remove it from you. Fear-based Bible teaching produces fear bonds. The Spirit of the law is healthy Bible teaching that tells you how God works for you, in you, and through you to fulfill His law in your life by the power of the Holy Spirit. This kind of healthy Bible teaching produces joy bonds. 

1 John 4:18 teaches that it is God’s love, not fear, that produces joy bonds, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.” God loves us; His perfect love overrides our fear bonds and replaces them with joy bonds as we love Him because He loves us. This is the cycle of joy bonds rooted in a loving relationship with God. 

God saved me while reading the Bible in college. Soon, I joined a very wonderful church where the pastor was a gifted Bible teacher. He taught me all that God had done for me at the cross of Jesus Christ – that He had now adopted me as His son to be securely loved forever, placed the Holy Spirit within me to live by His power, surrounded me with a loving church family, and gave me His perfect Word to inform and transform all of my life. 

At that church, I took classes on how to study the Bible and how to apply it to my relationship with God, Grace (who would be my wife), our eventual five children, and everything else in life from my finances to my friendships. I was spiritually brought up on joy bonds in the Spirit with the Scriptures. I don’t read the Bible because I have to; I read it because I love to. It is freedom and fun for me – like a great adventure to find the heart and will of God to live under God’s blessing. 

Do you know anyone who has joy bonds with Scripture? If so, how can you learn from them? Do you know anyone who has fear bonds with Scripture? If so, how can you pray for them and come alongside them to help their fear bonds switch to joy bonds?

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