We began with God and shall end with God. We began with the testimony of the second person of the Trinity, and shall close with that of the third person of the Trinity.
The Holy Spirit sets His seal in the soul of every believer to the Divine authority of the Bible. It is possible to get to a place where we need no argument to prove that the Bible is God’s Word. Christ says, “My sheep know my voice,” and God’s children know His voice, and I know that the voice that speaks to me from the pages of that Book is the voice of my Father. You will sometimes meet a pious old lady, who tells you that she knows that the Bible is God’s Word, and when you ask her for a reason for believing that it is God’s Word she can give you none, She simply says: “I know it is God’s Word.”
You say: “That is mere superstition.”
Not at all. She is one of Christ’s sheep, and recognises her Shepherd’s voice from every other voice. She is one of God’s children, and knows the voice which speaks to her from the Bible is the voice of God. She is above argument.
Everyone can have that testimony. John 7:17 (R. V.,) tells you how to get it. “If any man willeth to do His will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it be of God.” Just surrender your will to the will of God, no matter where it carries you, and you will put yourself in such an attitude toward God that when you read this book you will recognize that the voice that speaks to you from it is the voice of the God to whom you have surrendered your will.
Some time ago, when I was speaking to our students upon how to deal with sceptics, there was in the audience a graduate of a British University who had fallen into utter scepticism. At the close of the lecture he came to me and said: “I don’t wish to be discourteous, sir, but my experience contradicts everything you have said.”
I asked him if he had followed the course of action that I had suggested and not found light. He said that he had.
Stepping into another room I had a pledge written out running somewhat as follows: “I believe there is an absolute difference between right and wrong, and I hereby take my stand upon the right, to follow it wherever it carries me. I promise earnestly to endeavour to find out what the truth is, and if I ever find that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, I promise to accept Him as my Saviour and confess Him before the world.”
I handed the paper to the gentleman and asked him if he was willing to sign it. He answered, “Certainly,” and did sign it. I said to him: “You don’t know there is not a God, and you don’t know that God doesn’t answer prayer. I know He does, but my knowledge cannot avail for you, but here is a possible clue to knowledge. Now you have promised to search earnestly for the truth, so you will follow this possible clue. I want you to offer a prayer like this: ‘Oh, God, if there be any God, and thou dost answer prayer, show me whether Jesus Christ is thy Son, and if you show me He is, I will accept Him as my Saviour and confess Him before the world.'”
This he agreed to do. I further requested that he would take the Gospel of John and read in it every day, reading only a few verses at a time slowly and thoughtfully, every time before he read asking God to give him light. This he also agreed to do, but he finished by saying, “There is nothing in it.” However, at the end of a short time, I met him again, and he said to me, “There is something in that.” I replied, “I knew that.” Then he went on to say it seemed just as if he had been caught up by the Niagara River and had been carried along, and that before long he would be a shouting Methodist.
A short time ago I met this gentleman again, and he said to me that he could not understand how he had been so blind, how he had ever listened to the reasoning which he had; that it seemed to him utterly foolish now. I replied that the Bible would explain this to him, that the “natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God,” but that now he had put himself into the right attitude towards God and His truth, everything had been made plain. That man, who assured me that he was “a very peculiar man,” and that methods that influenced others would not influence him, by putting himself into the right attitude towards God, got to a place where he received the direct testimony of the Holy Ghost that this Bible is God’s Word; and, any one else can do the same.