Symbols & Scripture

The Codex Gigas from the 13th century, held at...
The Royal Library, National Library of Sweden

“Bible” is from the Greek word biblios, meaning “a book.” Since the Bible is God’s revealed will to man, it may well be called “The Book” (Hebrews 10.7). It is also called the “Word of God” (Ephesians 6.17; Hebrews 4.11-12), the “Oracles of God” (Romans 3.2; Hebrews 5.12; 1 Peter 4.11), and “the Scriptures” (John 5.39; 2 Timothy 3.16).

In addition to these references to the Bible, numerous symbols define the purpose of the Scriptures:

1. Lamp and Light.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and light unto my path (Psalm 119.105; also Proverbs 6.23). Ignorance is darkness; darkness is sin. The one in sin is under “the power of darkness” (Colossians 1.13) and the world is unable to create its own spiritual light …we have the word of prophecy made more sure; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a lamp shining in a dark place (2 Peter 1.19).

2. Mirror.

But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3.18). The Bible is a mirror in that it reveals us to ourselves. Thoughtful, prayerful study will enable us to see ourselves as we really are. Spiritual and moral

3. Fire.

Is not my word like fire? Saith the LORD…? (Jeremiah 23.29). Fire is the greatest purifying agent known. It is also an energizing agent. When we become full of the Word of God, it is like a fire within us so that we cannot remain silent, rather we must speak. David said, The fire burned; then I spake with my tongue (Psalm 39.3). When we become filled with the Word of God, there will be no lack of gospel heralds. A savage persecution was inflicted upon the infant church in Jerusalem and the Christians fled for their lives. As they ran, they preached the Word, because they had been filled with its unquenchable fire.

4. Hammer.

Is not my word like fire? Saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? (Jeremiah 23.29). The human heart is often presented as hard and stony. Inasmuch as God’s Word subdues the hard and rebellious heart, it is called a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces.

5. Sword.

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6.17). The sword is a symbol of war. Christians are soldiers, but our weapons are not those of carnal warfare, rather we fight against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places, so our weapon is that of the spiritual realm – “the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. It is sharp and double-edged, able to discern the thoughts and intents of the human heart (Hebrews 4.12).

6. Seed.

The seed is the word of God (Luke 8.11). The human heart is the field into which the Word of God, the seed of the kingdom, is planted. Just as there is no life in natural soil until seed is planted, so there can be no spiritual life in the heart of a person until the seed, the Word of God, is sown.

The Scriptures make known to us the nature and consequence of sin. They reveal God’s love and show us the way to life and happiness. They provide the model and standard and way for us to shape our lives, mold our characters, and seal our destinies.

For ever, O LORD, Thy word is settled in heaven.

– Bill

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