Is there a danger of worshiping the Bible? Yes, but not if we abide in Christ. Let me explain...
Jesus accused the unbelieving Jewish religious leaders of thinking they had eternal life in doing the work of searching the Scriptures.
"And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.
But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.
You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.
But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life." John 5:37-40
They were reading the words of the Scriptures, but lacking the power of the Holy Spirit who brings light to them.
The One the Scriptures were talking about, was standing right in front of them and they did not see Him.
What Jesus was saying to them was that they did not have the word of God abiding in them and therefore they did not have eternal life.
But I see, even in his rebuke, He was offering them eternal life!! Telling them, they just needed to be willing. That's because He is gracious, loving and kind. : )
Jesus is that Word. And we must abide in Him, and He in us.
"Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me." John 15:4
If Jesus abides in you then you are not worshiping the Bible, but Him, as you read, study, learn and grow in His Word.
"Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed." John 8:31
A.W. Tozer discusses this topic in his book 'The Dangers of Shallow Faith: Awaking from Spiritual Lethargy.'
He says here:
"...have you noticed that there are whole generations of so-called Christians who are drilled in the catechism, who know the doctrine, who can recite the gospel as well as the law and still never manage to break through to the new birth? They never come through to that shining wonder of inward renewal.
The reason is, they are taught that the power lies in the words (of the Bible), and if you get the words right, you are all right. Whereas, Paul says, the kingdom of God does not lie in the words at all.
The kingdom of God lies in the power that indwells those words.
You cannot have the power without the words, but you can have the words without the power, and many people do.
The gospel is the power of the Spirit operating through the Word."
"For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake." 1 Thessalonians 1:5
Tozer continues here:
"The Holy Spirit is an absolute necessity in the Church. I am grieved in the Holy Spirit because there is a power in the Spirit to expose sin and revolutionize and covert and create holy men and women, and nothing else can do it. Words will not do it. Instructions will not do it. Line upon line, precept upon precept will not do it; it takes the power of God to do it."
When the power of the Holy Spirit illuminates the Word of God something beautiful and powerful happens. Here is an example...
I recently finished reading a book called 'Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus' by Nabeel Qureshi, and what God has done in his life shows that the power does not lie in the words but in "the power of the Spirit operating through the Word."
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."
(This was not the first time he had read the Bible. He had read much of it as a Muslim.)
He then says:
"The words were like a current sent through my dead heart, electrifying it once more. This was what I was looking for. It was as if God had written these words in the Bible two thousand years prior specifically with me in mind.
It was almost too incredible to believe. To a man who had seen the world only through Muslim eyes, the message was overwhelming. I am blessed for mourning? Why? How? I am imperfect. I do not perform to His standard. Why would He bless me? And for mourning, no less. Why?'
I continued reading fervently. 'Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness?' Not 'blessed are the righteous?' but 'blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness?' I hunger and thirst for righteousness, I do, but I can never attain it. God will bless me anyway? Who is this God who loves me so much, even in my failures?'
Tears flowed from my eyes once more, but now they were tears of joy. I knew that what I held in my hands was life itself. This was truly God's word, and it was as if I was meeting Him for the first time...
...I could not put the Bible down. I literally could not. It felt as if my heart would stop beating, perhaps implode, if I put it down. I ended up skipping the whole day of school, but I really had no choice in the matter. The Bible was my lifeline."
God's Word is life when His Holy Spirit brings it to light for us. Then we see that...
His Word is divinely in-breathed, infallible, inerrant and authoritative.
It is a love letter from Him to you. It's about Him inviting you into His story. Sharing who He is and how much He loves you.
Joni Eareckson Tada says here:
"Our testimonies won't really reach - or even change - the life of the reader. Only the Word of God can do that."
I really believe this. God uses us to lead the way, but it's the Holy Spirit, through God's Word, that reaches people.
"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Hebrews 4:12
You can read more stories of how Scripture, empowered by the Holy Spirit, has changed lives in my post...
'The Power of Scripture'
And HERE is one more great story from Charles Spurgeon.
*Note - Joni Eareckson Tada's quote was found in the forward of the book "The Hardest Peace" by Kara Tippetts.
Buy The Dangers of Shallow Faith HERE on Amazon
Buy Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus HERE on Amazon