Saturday, August 22, 2015

“Reasons to Trust the Bible”

“Reasons to Trust the Bible”
2 Timothy 3:16-17

Outline  today is based on Erwin Lutzer’s book, “Seven Reasons Why You Can Trust the Bible.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,   17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.   

On one level faith is a one sense a subjective response.
But genuine faith is a subjective response based upon an objective reality.

1 Corinthians 15:14 (NKJV)
“And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.” 

Jesus tells us.....
Mark 12:30
 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'”   

Love God with all your being and as the Apostle Peter tells us :

1 Peter 3:15
“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,” 

I. Logic - The Claims of the Bible

2 Timothy 3:16-17  
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”   

Yeah, but what about other writing that to be inspired?
Is it circular reasoning to accept the Bible because it claims to be God’s Word as God’s Word?

In evaluating the Bible, you start with what it says about itself.
If it didn’t claim to be inspired, we wouldn’t be having this message.

A. Unity of Scripture
1.In Genesis God creates the universe (Genesis 1:1).
In Revelation the universe is destroyed and replaced by a new one (Revelation 21:1)

2. Death enters the world (Genesis 2:17).
Death is abolished (Revelation 21:4).

3.    Man is cursed (Genesis 3:17).
The curse is removed (Revelation 22:3).

4.    Satan appears as the deceiver of men (Genesis 3:1-4).
Satan disappears forever (Revelation 20:10).

II. Historical - The Reliability of the Bible


III. Prophetic - The Predictions of the Bible

Deuteronomy 18:21-22 “You may say to yourselves, "How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?"  If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.”

Fulfilled Prophecy
1. Isaiah prophesied the virgin birth of Jesus (Isaiah 7:14).
This prophecy is fulfilled 700 years later (Matthew1:18,22,23).
2. Micah predicted the exact birthplace of the Messiah (Micah 5:2)
This prophecy was fulfilled 500 years later Luke  2:4,6,7).
3. David predicted Christ's crucifixion in detail hundreds of years before this method of death was used(Psalm 22)
4. Isaiah foretold Christ's suffering and atonement 700 years before Christ's death (Isaiah 53:4-6).

IV. Christological - The Authority of Christ

Matthew 28:18 “Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” 

The Testimony of Christ Concerning the Scriptures.
1. He believed the Law and the prophets (Matthew 5:17-19)
2. He believed in Solomon (Matthew 6:28-29).
3. He believed in Moses (Matthew 8:4).
4. He believed in Abraham (Matthew 8:11).
5. He believed the story of Sodom and Gomorrah (Matthew 10:15).
6. He quoted the Old Testament (Matthew 21:13,16,42; 22:28-33;36-40).

If you claim to be a Christian, and then claim that the Bible contains errors, is untrustworthy and has been mistranslated, then you have a different attitude toward that Bible than Jesus does.

If you claim to be a Christian, you should have the same attitude toward the Bible that Jesus had. Jesus said the Bible was trustworthy, true, and accurately preserved.

 The Lord Jesus Christ
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”    Luke 21:33

If I claim to be a Christian, I should have the same attitude toward Scripture that Jesus did. Any other view calls into question my claims to be a Christian.

V. Scientific - The Story of Creation

Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  

From Lutzer’s book, [135]
“In these ten words we have the foundation concept of time; this refers to a specific point in a continuum when Creation took place.
“God” is the basis for personality; “created” introduces the concept of energy, those forces in the universe that play such a large part in explaining life and the secrets of the planets. Finally, “the heaven” refers to the vast regions of space and “earth” affirms the existence of matter.

Lutzer continues,
In his book The Genesis Record Henry M. Morris points out that this opening statement in Genesis refutes (1)atheism because the universe was created by God. It refutes (2) pantheism, for God is transcendent to that which He created. It refutes (3) polytheism, for one God created all things. It refutes (4) materialism for matter had a beginning.
It refutes (5) dualism, for God was alone when He created. It refutes (6) humanism, for God, not man, is the ultimate reality. It refutes (7) evolution because God created all things.

VI. Providential - The Canonical Process

Luke 1:3-4  Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,  so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

Textual criticism studies the existing copies of Bible in an attempt to determine the original wording. Several thousand existing Greek manuscripts exist and have been studied so that we can be sure of having an accurate text. The oldest existing fragment of the New Testament (a portion of John 18) is only 25 years from the original.

2. "Canon of Scripture" refers to the books that are regarded as part of a complete and divine revelation. The word "canon" comes from the Greek language and means a measuring rod or rule. It eventually came to mean a list, or a catalogue.

3. A book to be included in the canon had to pass a test or had to measure up to a standard. Some of these tests included:
"(1)Was the book written or approved by an apostle?
 (2)Were its contents of a spiritual nature?
 (3) Did it give evidence of being inspired by God?
 (4) Was it widely received by the churches?"

B. Why are no more sacred writings necessary?

 The writer of the Book of Hebrews said God has spoken unto us in these last days by His Son.
Hebrews 1:1-2
"In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe."

There is no other revelation for faith in Christ. The entire body of revealed truth has been once for all delivered to the saints.

Jude 3
"I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints."

The Scriptures were written to explain how man and God could be reconciled. The question is, does it accomplish that purpose? If so, why add anything else to its inspired pages? Anything else would either be useless or contradictory and God will have no part with either. What is the point of having more “scripture”which simply corroborates what the Old and New Testaments already teaches? What is contained in the Bible is sufficient to both know God and grow complete in our lives.

II Peter 1:3
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”

VII. Personal - The Power of the Word 

Hebrews 4:12
For the word of God is living and active.
Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  

From a commentator
4:12. For the Word of God is living (zon) and active (energes). Not only that, its penetrating power is greater than any double-edged sword and reaches the innermost being of a person so that it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. In doing this, it is able to discriminate successfully between what is spiritual in man and what is merely “soulish” or natural (it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit), and does so even when these often-contradictory inner elements are interwoven as closely as joints and marrow.
The inner life of a Christian is often a strange mixture of motivations both genuinely spiritual and completely human. It takes a supernaturally discerning agent such as the Word of God to sort these out and to expose what is of the flesh. The readers might think that they were contemplating certain steps out of purely spiritual motivations when, as God’s Word could show them, they were acting unfaithfully as did Israel of old.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty.

Imagine that you are with your family on a trip to Disneyland. You get completely lost and end up with in South Central Los Angeles with your car breaking down at 10:00 o’clock at night. You pull out your cell phone to call AAA. Then looking at the dead phone and you remember having forgotten to charge it and you had no car adapter. You have this sinking feeling that you need to walk back 15 block to a Seven -Eleven in order to find a phone.
At ten o’clock its dark and you notice by the light of a street light a block away a group of about a dozen young men who were talking loudly and enjoying themselves. They notice you and your family in the car, they quiet up and start walking directly toward your car.

How do you feel at that moment?

They get closer and closer to your car. You tell everyone to make sure your doors are locked. You tell everyone to start praying.

This group of young men arrive at your car and knock on the window.

Then you notice these men are all carrying Bibles.

How do you feel now?

A car load of atheists in south Central Los Angeles in similar conditions would be just as relieved as you are.

The Bible is reliable, it is completely trustworthy.

We have reason for the hope that is within us.

That act of faith is not blind. It is a reasoned faith.