The Bible Is Your Manufacturer's Instruction Manual
by Alex D. Ogden

The above sentence sermon was seen outside a religious meeting house some years ago. I was first told of the sign by another who remembered it a little differently. They thought it had said, The Bible Is Your Manufacturer's Owner's Manual. I thought it was a good sentence sermon and thus I fixed it up and printed it in the bulletin I then edited. When I saw the sign for myself and saw the sign actually said the Bible is our Instruction manual, I began to realize that the Bible is not our owner's manual. The thought of a manufacturer's owner's manual is for something to be the creation of a company and they then sell that item to an individual who learns how to use it by the owner's manual (so called because they are now the owners of the item). But stop and think about it for a moment. We are the creation or Jehovah, no disagreement there, but the Bible has not been given to us as an owner's manual because we do not own ourselves. Paul said, " are not your own; for ye were bought with a price: glorify God therefore in your body" (1Cor.6:19,20). We do not belong to ourselves but to the Lord and, therefore, the Bible cannot be thought of as our owner's manual.

But the thought of the Bible being given to us as our Instruction manual is a very good one. The Lord created us and placed us on this earth. But man needs guidance in how to live his life. Jeremiah the prophet put it this way, "0 Jehovah, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" (Jer.10:23). Man needs guidance or instructions in how to live his life. It's like many of the gifts our children receive for their birthdays or other occasions. Special instructions are included to aid the parent in the assembly and operation of the toy. Without some type of instruction, many toys would be useless. Likewise, without instruction from our creator our life on this earth would be totally useless, without any real value.

The Bible gives us full and complete instruction in how to live our life here on the earth in preparation of an eternal life with the Father in heaven. Notice the words of the apostle Paul, "Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness: that the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work" (2 Tim.3:16,17). Although it is not in man to direct his own steps, our creator has supplied us with a manual to instruct us in how to live our life here and how to prepare for an eternity with Him in heaven.

The Bible instructs us how to become a child of God, a Christian. It shows us the love our creator has for us, His creation, by the sacrifice He made of His only begotten Son, Jesus. This immeasurable love of God motivates us to become all He would have us to be. Thus, we follow His instructions to become one of His children. He tells us to believe in Jesus as His Son and as the Messiah promised throughout the Old Testament (cf.Jn.3:16). He tells us to believe in His Son to such a degree that we will repent of our sins (Acts 17:30), confess our faith to others (Rom.10:10), and be buried with His Son in a watery grave called baptism (Mk.16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16). If we will follow His instructions found in the Bible, we will become a Christian, a child of God.

The Bible also instructs us of our responsibilities as a child of God. It shows us the responsibilities we have as individual Christians as well as the responsibilities we have as we work together as a congregation. If we will follow the instructions found in the Bible we will individually become mature children of God (cf.Eph.4:11-16) and as a congregation we will become strong and influential, like the church in Thessalonica (1 Thess.1:7,8).

The Bible instructs us how to live in every relationship we may enter into in this life. It gives instructions pertaining to our relationship to our government (Rom.13:1-8), the relationships of the home (Eph.5:22-33; 6:1-4; 1 Pet.3:1-7), economic relationships (Eph.6:5-8; Col.3:22-25), social relationships (Gal.6:10; 1 Pet.2:12; Col.4:5), and of course our spiritual relationship with the Father (Eph.4:1-16).

Since the Bible is our manufacturer's instruction manual, doesn't it make sense that we should study it more often and thoroughly than we do? Why not dedicate yourself to a regular study of God's word? This week, with our Gospel Meeting, we are privileged to have an opportunity each night to meet and to study further God's word. Why not be present for every service as we gather to study God's instruction manual to man?

This page is Copyright 1998 by Alex Ogden, All Rights Reserved.
This page was last updated on Wednesday, November 04, 1998.

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