So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 1 John 4:16
Laying a deep apprehension of God’s nature increases the peace of conscience and gives a measure of the joy of the Holy Spirit. Under the law, God revealed himself in grace (Exod. 34:6-7). Also, ‘As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live’ (Ezek. 33:11). Do not think of God’s mercy with diminishing thoughts, for his mercy is as great as his power. There is great advantage to the soul that has a proper estimate of his goodness. It makes God appear more wonderful, and you will love him more readily and abundantly. Affections will follow the understanding. If you think God is against you and delights in your misery, it is impossible for you to love him. The great reason many do not love God more is because they look at him in an odious shape, and tremble at the thought of him. Doing this strips God of his divine nature in our thoughts. We must write his love deep in our understanding. When we consider his mercy and lovingkindness, our thoughts of God will be sweet and delightful. We are bidden to love and delight in him above all. His is infinitely and inconceivably good. This will draw you to God as a magnet toward iron. If you conceive of God as ten thousand times more gracious and loving than any friend you have in the world, it will make you love him above all. This takes away weariness in duty, and gives more delight in prayer and meditation. When God becomes more lovely in our eyes, it produces growth in all of our graces, and encourages further familiarity and confidence. A clear sight of God’s merciful nature gives assurance of our happiness. If you fix deep in your understanding the natural goodness of God, even this will fall far short of God’s actual graciousness.
The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable?
Can we trust the New Testament? Hasn’t it all been disproved? Doesn’t modern scholarship show that it was all made up much later, so that the supposedly historical foundations of Christianity are in fact a figment of the imagination?
This sort of thing is said so often in the media, in some churches, and in public life in general that many people take it for granted that nothing can be said on the other side. But, as so often, this is where careful, accurate historical scholarship of the type in which F.F. Bruce excelled has a quiet, thorough, and complete answer. Yes we can trust the New Testament. For a start, the documents themselves—the manuscripts from which our knowledge of the New Testament comes— are in far, far better shape than the manuscripts of any other work from the ancient world, by a very long way. Examine the New Testament, and you’ll find that our knowledge of it rests on a very large number of manuscripts, several hundred in fact, which go back as far, in some cases, as the early second century, less than a hundred years after the books were first written. There is better evidence for the New Testament than for any other ancient book.
This Modern Classic in the Field of New Testament Studies offers a compelling defense of biblical truth. F. F. Bruce, one of evangelicalism’s most respected scholars, makes a clear case for the historical trustworthiness of the Christian Scriptures, drawing on evidence from the New Testament documents themselves as well as extra-biblical sources. Concise chapters explore the canon and dating of the New Testament, the nature of the Gospels (including a look at miracles), the life and writings of Paul, and archaeological and literary evidence. Including here a completely updated bibliography. Bruce’s long-standing affirmation of the New Testament is still as authoritative and engaging as ever.
“Fred Bruce was a tower of strength in the worlds of scholarship and faith, and in particular to those who, like him, were and are determined not to separate the two. There are many recent books which explore the New Testament from a wide variety of angles. But this book is far from being out of date. Indeed, it remains one of the best popular introductions [to the topic of New Testament critical study] available. Enjoy it; think about it; use it as the basis for further exploration.” —N.T. Wright
Paperback; 149 pages