Reportedly, when Scotland's famous novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) was on his death bed, he said to his son-in-law, "Bring me the book." Looking at the more than 20,000 volumes in Scott's library, the younger man asked, "What book?" Sir Walter replied, "Need you ask? There is but one book, the Bible."
Most religions have an authoritative source of information about the precepts and practices of those religions. For those who are Christians, it is the Bible. If there is a God who is the creator of our world and universe (and there is no reason to doubt his existence), then it is only reasonable that he would communicate with his creation. Throughout Biblical history, God communicated with men in many ways, including visions and dreams, events in nature and inspired prophets. The writer of Hebrews tells us he has communicated through the greatest of prophets: "Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days, he has spoken to us by his son" (Hebrews 1:1-2).
Of course, there is no reason why men cannot confidently believe in the Bible as the inspired word of God, as boldly claimed by the apostle Paul: "All Scripture is breathed out by God" (2 Timothy 3:16 ESV). Although the actual text has been written by men, it was inspired by God, and everything about it indicates that God is its primary author. And while there are some things we do not understand about how and when some of it was written, there is nothing that upholds the argument that it contains any error that destroys its claims to be from God.
As to its nature, the Bible is its own best witness. The language used in its pages is designed to portray it as being from God. Among other things, the Bible refers to itself as the "book of the Lord" (Isaiah 34:16), "holy Scripture" (Romans 1:2), "the law of the Lord" (Psalm 1:2), "the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17), "the word of life" (Philippians 2:16) and "the word of truth" (James 1:18). And in an effort to impress us with its power and purpose, the Bible compares itself to a truth-revealing lamp (Psalm 119:105), to crop-producing seed (Matthew 13:38) and to a sharp, two-edged sword, capable of revealing the thoughts and intentions of hearts (Hebrews 4:12).
Again, since the Bible conveys God's message, it is authoritative in the things it says to us. This places several requirements relative to God's word on those who want to follow the Lord. First, as the song says, we are to "trust and obey" every word of God: "While we do his good will, he abides with us still, / And with all who will trust and obey." Second, Christians are to be totally loyal to the word of God, living by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 8:3, Matthew 4:4). Third, God's word is to govern every area of life (Psalm 1:1-3).
We should be challenged by these principles to not only make Bible reading and study a daily habit, but also to have the courage to apply its words to every aspect of our lives.