Prick him anywhere, and you will find that his blood is Bibline,
The very essence of the Bible flows from him.
He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his soul is full of the word of God.
CH Spurgeon speaking of John Bunyan, writer of The Pilgrim’s Progress
What are we made of?
You may answer this question:
- In a physical sense: as in, I am made of cells which in turn make up the blood, bone, skin and other tissues which comprise a human. That is an all too literal interpretation of the question.
- From the cosmic perspective: I am constructed of the very elements from which the stars are made. When the Big Bang exploded the universe into being, the elements of which I consist were thrown out into the cosmic void and somehow (obviously without design, but by chance) came together to form me. A very chancy and unlikely proposition.
- According to certain philosophies: really not sure where I come from, where I am going or whether I am actually here at all. But I reason that I have some intellect and, thus, that is what I am made of and from. A foolish perspective.
- As a member of some religion: I am part of the celestial whole (we are all one being), or I am a member of the celestial whole who is becoming and my journey is not yet done, or I am the product of a single Intelligence (we can call him God) who made me and either directs my ways or does not. A wishy-washy belief in what we are that is unsatisfying, filled with punishment or only hopeful and never sure.
- From the Christian perspective: I am of God and to Him I will return. Better, much better, at least it’s sure. Hopefully it is a complete following and not just a half-hearted, lukewarm sort of following.
All of these are possible, when human reasoning is applied to the question, and there are many more conjectures upon the question “What are we made of?”
But, I like to think about what Spurgeon said of John Bunyan. “His blood was Bibline.”
There are some things that this doesn’t mean and one that it does. It doesn’t mean:
- That the Bible is preeminent and we should hold it up as something that it is not. The Bible is the word of God, but it is not the Word of God. Don’t confuse the two. God’s word came through inspired men who wrote it down so that we could have a continuous prophecy. But Christ, the Word of God, is the very God we worship. Spurgeon, in this statement, did not place the Bible on a pedestal that it did not deserve. Our life is Christ not the revelation of Christ.
- That we should elevate any person, save Christ, above his or her station. We have all probably made the mistake of placing too great a faith on an individual. Unfortunately, we are all fallible. Spurgeon was holding Bunyan up as an example, just as Paul tells the Philippians in the epistle to that church (Phil. 3:17), but only as a fellow human being who closely followed the Savior with justice, humility and mercy (Micah 6:8).
- That the Bible comes from any one source. Although an individual may know the Bible, preach only the Bible and trust completely in the Bible, they are not the only individual God has gifted to spread His word. Although some may follow closer and are especially gifted, ALL who follow Christ are commanded to spread the message and to teach.
So, what does it mean then?
Charles Spurgeon realized who John Bunyan was in Christ. He was someone who, as Jeremiah said “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart; for I am called by Thy name, O Lord God of hosts.” (Jeremiah 15:16) The words of God were so “hid in his heart” (Psalm 119:11) that it was as if he was made up of them. Of Bunyan it could be said, “But his delight was in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.” (Psalm 1:2). Spurgeon is talking about a knowledge of God’s scriptures such that he seemed to always speak in terms of them. It is a total reliance on God’s Holy Spirit and the word He gives, rather than a reliance on the feeble wisdom that man can concoct.
One more thing. Remember that Spurgeon says the “very essence of the Bible flows from him”. What is the essence of the Bible: Christ. I want to know God’s word to such an extent that every moment of every day is saturated with His thoughts rather than my own. This is to my benefit and, God willing, to the benefit of those with whom I come in contact. I want my blood to be Bibline in the same way Spurgeon speaks of Bunyan. So that every thought I think, every word I speak, every action I take is motivated by Christ and not by self.