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Individuals With Remarkable Faith In The Bible

Faith in the Bible has motivated and guided many extraordinary individuals throughout history. The scriptures have served as a source of inspiration, wisdom, and divine truth for countless believers seeking meaning and purpose.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: The Bible has been a powerful force in the lives of many impactful figures, including Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, and Mother Teresa, who displayed tremendous faith in its message and lived according to its principles.

In this comprehensive article, we will explore the stories of various influential people from different walks of life who derived immense strength, conviction, and direction from their steadfast belief in the Bible.

Martin Luther King Jr. – American Civil Rights Activist

Deeply inspired by the Bible’s teachings on justice, love, and nonviolence

Martin Luther King Jr. was profoundly shaped by the Bible and its message of God’s love and equal dignity for all people. As a Christian pastor, he believed deeply in Jesus’ teachings to “love your neighbor as yourself” and “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Dr. King was especially moved by the biblical calls for justice and nonviolent resistance found in the Old and New Testaments. Passages like Amos 5:24 – “Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” – reinforced his conviction that nonviolent civil disobedience could be used to oppose segregation and inequality.

Viewed Jesus Christ as the greatest example of moral courage

For Rev. King, Jesus represented the supreme model of moral courage in the face of powerful oppressive forces. By fearlessly speaking truth to power and willingly sacrificing himself on the cross, Christ displayed a standard of spiritual strength and love that King sought to emulate.

In his sermons, Dr. King often reflected on Jesus’ nonviolent direct actions targeting injustice, such as turning over the tables of the money changers at the temple. This example steeled his resolve to lead boycotts, marches, and other peaceful demonstrations against segregation, voter suppression, and poverty.

Frequently referenced scripture in sermons and speeches

Scriptural verses and Christian theological ideas pepper most of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legendary sermons, writings, and speeches. His “I Have a Dream” speech alone contains multiple references to biblical passages like Isaiah 40:4-5 and Amos 5:24 about establishing justice and equality.

King drew on Christ’s teachings so often because he believed integrating them into the fight for civil rights would help touch people’s hearts and inspire the nation towards positive change. Scripture provided a moral and spiritual framework for why ending segregation was so necessary – because it offended God and violated Christ’s command to love others as ourselves.

Abraham Lincoln – 16th President of the United States

Read the Bible daily and quoted it often in written works and speeches

Abraham Lincoln had a deep respect for the Bible and read it daily throughout his life. According to historians, Lincoln quoted the Bible hundreds of times in his written works and speeches. He saw it as a source of wisdom and moral teaching, often using Biblical quotes and imagery in communication.

For example, in his famous Gettysburg Address in 1863, Lincoln stated that the nation was dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, echoing the Biblical idea that all people are made in God’s image.

In a written correspondence about slavery in the 1850s Lincoln stated: I take it that it is best for all to leave each man free to acquire property as fast as he can. Some of you deny the possibility of this, but what I say is true.

Lincoln saw slavery as a violation of the principles of equality and justice found in the Bible.

Saw the Bible as a source of divine wisdom and guidance for his presidency

As president during the American Civil War, Lincoln frequently sought comfort and guidance from Scripture. He saw the Bible as a source of divine wisdom in times of crisis and uncertainty. For example, after his election in 1860 but before taking office, he declared: I shall take leave to say I think there is no reason now for its falling…if I go down, I intend to go down with colors flying.

This echoes the Biblical teaching to stand firm in faith despite hardships.

Lincoln also saw Biblical principles of justice and human dignity as the moral basis for policies like the Emancipation Proclamation. As he put it: In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free.

Lincoln issued the Proclamation in 1863, declaring over 3 million enslaved persons in rebelling states to be free. He saw this fight for freedom as morally aligned with Scripture.

Viewed the scriptures as providing the moral basis for emancipation

Lincoln rejected the idea that the Bible condoned slavery. He believed Scripture clearly contradicted the claim that one person can rightfully own another, stating: Whenever I hear any one arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.

He saw no Biblical justification for the owning of slaves, once declaring: My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side.

So while Lincoln did not see himself chiefly as an abolitionist early in his career, his moral opposition to slavery continually strengthened, informed by the scriptural idea that all people have sacred worth.

His eventual policies enacting emancipation for enslaved persons were undergirded by Biblical teachings on human dignity and equality. As Lincoln said, he viewed emancipation as an act of justice…and was held to it by obligations of faith.

He saw these policies as fulfilling scriptural moral imperatives.

Mother Teresa – Humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize Recipient

Believed she received her calling to serve the poor through passages in the Bible

Mother Teresa, born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in 1910, reported having a life-changing experience in 1946 while riding a train in India. She said she heard Christ calling her to serve the poor. This experience led her to dedicate herself fully to those in need, inspired by passages in the Bible like Matthew 25:35-40 about serving “the least of these.”

Mother Teresa believed firmly that in ministering to the poor and destitute, she was serving Christ himself.

Found inspiration to dedicate her life to those in need from Jesus’ teachings

The core of Mother Teresa’s motivation came from the teachings of Jesus in the Bible. Passages like the Sermon on the Mount and the many accounts of Jesus showing compassion to the sick and dying convinced her that she was called to dedicate her life completely to emulating Christ.

She felt that in her work with the Missionaries of Charity, she was living out Jesus’ message of radical love and service to others. Her tireless care for lepers, drug addicts, orphans, and the dying was a direct result of the inspiration she found in scripture.

Brought comfort to the destitute and dying through reading scripture

Mother Teresa and the other sisters in the Missionaries of Charity spent time daily reading and praying over scripture. The words of Christ guided their actions as they went out into the streets of Calcutta and other cities to minister.

Mother Teresa would read aloud from the Bible as she sat with those who were dying in the gutters, seeking to comfort them with the hope found in passages like Psalm 23. She believed strongly in the power of scripture to change hearts and give strength to the weak and dying.

Her whole ministry was infused with the spirit of the Bible.

William Wilberforce – British Politician and Abolitionist

Credited the Bible with providing motivation to campaign for abolition of slavery

William Wilberforce was a devout evangelical Christian who believed that the Bible clearly taught that slavery was morally wrong. He often spoke of how studying the Bible convinced him of the importance of abolition.

In a famous speech to Parliament in 1789, Wilberforce said, “So enormous, so dreadful did the slave trade’s wickedness appear that my own mind was completely made up for abolition. Let the consequences be what they would, I from this time determined that I would never rest until I had effected its abolition.”

Throughout his decades-long campaign to abolish the slave trade and slavery, Wilberforce frequently cited biblical principles and verses as motivation for his tireless efforts. He believed Christians had a moral duty to fight against slavery, once saying, “God Almighty has set before me two great objects, the suppression of the slave trade and the reformation of society.”

His strong Christian faith was a driving factor in his lifelong work to pass legislation ending slavery in the British Empire.

Argued for equality of all people based on biblical principles

Central to Wilberforce’s opposition to slavery was the biblical teaching that all human beings are created equal before God. In his book A Practical View of Christianity, Wilberforce wrote, “No part of the human species can be supposed to be inferior to another in the general distribution of mental qualities, without a proof; still less can it be inferred that they were destined by the Creator for a state of hereditary degradation and bondage.”

Wilberforce believed that discrimination by race directly contradicted biblical principles. He argued that the Golden Rule from Christ’s teaching to “do unto others as you would have them do to you” applies to people of all races and backgrounds.

His biblically-based belief in human equality was foundational to his decades-long fight to abolish slavery.

Established numerous charitable organizations based on Christian ideals

Inspired by biblical teachings on justice and compassion, Wilberforce founded dozens of social reform and charitable organizations over his lifetime. Groups he established include the Society for Bettering the Condition and Increasing the Comforts of the Poor, the British and Foreign Bible Society, and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Wilberforce gave generously of his money and time to charitable causes. He believed Christians have a duty to care for the poor, oppressed and mistreated. On his deathbed, Wilberforce told a friend that one of his life’s greatest joys was “to serve my Savior in relieving the necessities of my fellow creatures.”

His philanthropy changed countless lives and demonstrated his deep Christian commitment to serving those in need.

Desmond Tutu – Anti-Apartheid Activist and Human Rights Champion

Viewed the Bible as a source of strength during the anti-apartheid struggle

Desmond Tutu, the charismatic South African Anglican archbishop, was a towering figure in the anti-apartheid movement. Throughout his activism against the racist system of apartheid in South Africa, Tutu drew great strength and inspiration from the Bible (1).

He believed that Scripture gave moral justification for the struggle against injustice and oppression. Even in the darkest days of apartheid, when it seemed that change may never come, Tutu’s faith in the biblical message of freedom and human dignity inspired him to keep fighting the good fight.

In his speeches, sermons and writings, Tutu frequently incorporated scriptural references and themes to mobilize the masses in the anti-apartheid struggle. He often highlighted biblical passages such as “Let my people go” that resonated strongly with black South Africans yearning for liberation.

The moral authority of the Bible framed the anti-apartheid struggle as more than just a political battle, but a spiritual and ethical imperative (2).

Frequently incorporated scriptural references into speeches and sermons

As a prominent faith leader, Desmond Tutu was able to ignite and inspire anti-apartheid sentiments within South Africa’s religious communities. His sermons urging defiance of unjust laws were infused with biblical references and analogies that spoke powerfully to his Christian audience (3).

For example, in one memorable sermon Tutu compared the apartheid regime to the pharaoh of the Exodus who refused to let God’s people go.

Tutu also gave hope to activists by framing the righteous anti-apartheid cause as an expression of Christian morality and compassions. He cited Jesus’ activism in the temple and other biblical acts of protest against corruption as spiritual precedents for their struggle.

By grounding the fight against apartheid in Scripture, Tutu motivated many believers to see activism not just as a political act but also a religious obligation.

Saw Christ’s teachings as a model for reconciliation in post-apartheid South Africa

After the end of apartheid, Desmond Tutu drew on Christ’s teachings to promote racial reconciliation and forgiveness in South Africa. Despite the injustice and oppression blacks endured under white rule, Tutu urged his compatriots not to retaliate but rather follow Christ’s example of “turning the other cheek” (Matthew 5:39).

He chaired the historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission which offered amnesty for perpetrators of violence in exchange for the full truth.

In this spirit of restorative justice, Tutu advocated following Christ’s model of redemptive love and the biblical concept of ubuntu – the idea that our shared humanity makes us dependent on each other.

He believed that just as Christ suffered for humanity’s sins, South Africa’s future depended on all sides – victims and perpetrators – sacrificing, forgiving and moving forward together. Desmond Tutu’s faith-based vision of reconciliation offered hope for healing the wounds of the past.


Throughout history, the Bible has profoundly shaped the lives of individuals who changed the world. Despite their vastly different backgrounds and roles in society, figures like Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, Mother Teresa, William Wilberforce, and Desmond Tutu shared an abiding faith in the scriptures.

They looked to the Bible as a wellspring of inspiration to fight injustice, serve humanity, and create positive change. The lessons and examples from biblical texts gave them courage, conviction, and purpose.

Their remarkable stories are a testament to the monumental impact faith in the Bible has had on moral leadership and social progress.

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