God’s Guide Book for Life
-How Reliable is the Bible? –
Psalm 119:105 – “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”
Isaiah 40:6-8 “A voice says, ‘Cry out,’ and I said, ‘What shall I cry?’ ‘All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field, the grass withers and flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.”
The Bible, the Word of God, is God’s Guide Book for Life. Is the Bible reliable? Will it give you the right direction?
There is a guide I use on a regular basis. This guide gives me direction. It is called the Thomas Guide for Santa Clara County – Street Guide and Directory. Using the guide I can find my way to any street in San Jose and the County.
The Bible is given to give us direction in life. Do you want to know where you came from and why you were created? Do you want to know how to find your purpose in life? Do you want to find meaning in life? Do you want to get prepared for eternity? Look to God’s Guide book - the Bible. Only in God’s Word do you find how to live a life of victory over sin and Satan.
In Creation we know there is a Divine Creator. In nature we have General revelation of God. The Bible is God’s special revelation to guide us into truth.
A young lady comes to our church that lives on Peanut Brittle Drive. To find Peanut Brittle Drive I could get in my car and begin to drive around San Jose to find the address and after spending a day or two I might stumble onto the street. Or I can find a map or even better I can turn to the Thomas Guide and find the exact location of Peanut Brittle Drive.
Do you know the Bible well enough to find the guidance you need in life? Without adequate study the Bible is a vague book and even confusing.
The following statements about the Bible were written by children.
1. In the first book of the bible, Guinessis, God got tired of creating the world, so he took the Sabbath off.
2. Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. Noah’s wife was called Joan of Ark. Noah built an ark which the animals come on to in pears.
3. Lot’s wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball of fire by night.
4. Samson slayed the Philistines with the axe of the Apostles.
5. Moses died before he ever reached Canada. Then Joshua led the Hebrews in the battle of Geritol.
6. The greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him.
7. Solomon, one of David’s sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.
8. Jesus was born because Mary had an immaculate contraption.
9. The people who followed the lord were called the 12 decibels.
10. The epistles were the wives of the apostles.
From the beginning of creation God has given guidance and instruction to human kind. After God created Adam and Eve He gave them verbal instructions on how they were to live.
God gave the Children of Israel the Ten Commandments on how to live and honor the Lord God their Creator.
In the beginning God spoke directly to Adam and Eve and then he spoke to people through prophets and His ultimate communication and instruction were given through His Son Jesus and the written Word of God. 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.”
God did not create you and then leave you to wonder aimlessly through life. God gave you a guide and instruction book on life. God’s Word the Scriptures is a lamp for your feet and a light for your path.
You can trust God’s Word as your guide in life because ---
I. The Bible is Inspired by God.
What we have in the Bible is not the words of man, but the very Word of God.
Fiction writers can come up with the most interesting stories and captivate you page after page. I enjoy listening to books on tape as I drive from place to place. John Greshams book, “The Testament” became so interesting I had to take the last tape into our house and listen on our tape player. Fiction writers are inspired by their own creativity to write their stories.
Writers of Scripture did not write on their own they wrote as moved by the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Peter declared: “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:20-21
The Apostle Paul also declared that God inspired the Scriptures: “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.” 2 Timothy 16-17
God empowered and inspired different men and women to write the Scriptures as God revealed it. They wrote through their own personalities. The Bible is a supernatural book because God inspired the writings.
Archaeology, “the science of old things” is a great resource to give evidence of the validity of the Bible. Critics of the bible come and go, but the Word of God stands true.
At one time critics declared that Moses could not have written the earliest books of the Bible because he was not illiterate. But the investigations of Sir Leonard Woolley at Ur of Chaldees show that it was quite a civilized city. Some of the houses in Abraham’s time appear to have been two stories, built around a small central courtyard, with as many fourteen rooms. Brick stairs led to the upper story. A kitchen, reception room and private chapel can often be recognized in the ruins. Their books consisted of clay tablets; some were receipts for business transactions, some were laws; others were mathematical tables with formulae for calculating square and cube roots.
Several years ago Erick von Daniken used the Bible to back up his theory that planet earth has been visited many times by being form outer space. Daniken was convinced that the Great Pyramids of Egypt could not have been built by men on earth, but were created by aliens from outer space.
Daniken in his book, “The Chariots of the gods” sees in Ezekiel the vision of chariots were spaceships and the angels that saved Lot were robots. Jacob’s vision of the heavenly ladder was his eye witness account of Beings from outer space loading goods into their spaceship.
Archaeological research gives evidence that the great Pyramids were built by people on earth. As early as 3100 BC the Egyptians had Copper saws capable of cutting the kind of stones used in building the Pyramids.
The Atheist French Philosopher Voltaire said to a friend, “It took twelve ignorant fishermen to establish Christianity; I will show the world how one Frenchman can destroy it.”
Voltaire openly criticized anyone making statements using the Bible as their authority. In a public meeting Sir Isaac Newton made a prediction based on Daniel 12:4 and Nahum 2:4 that “Man will someday be able to travel the speed of 40 miles an hour.”
Voltaire rose to his feet and said: “See what a fool Christianity makes of an otherwise brilliant man, such as Sir Isaac Newton. Doesn’t he know that if man traveled 40 miles an hour, he would suffocate and his heart would stop?”
Twenty-five years after Voltaire died his home was purchased by the Geneva Bible Society and became a Bible storage building. Voltaire’s printing press was used to print an entire edition of the Bible.
Dr. Robert D. Wilson, the great Old Testament Scholar, one time Professor at Princeton and Westminister Seminary knew 47 languages and dialects and in consultation used an average of 21 languages each day. He said that “No man is intelligent enough to destructively criticize the Bible.” In his book, “A Scientific Investigation of the Old Testament,” he concludes that all his studies show that the Bible has stood the test of every criticism and the test of authenticity.
An Author has penned: The Anvil-God’s Word
Last eve I paused beside a blacksmith’s door,
And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime;
Then, looking in, I saw upon the floor
Old hammers, worn with beating years of time.
“How many anvils have you had,” said I,
“To wear and batter all these hammers so?”
“Just one,” said he, and then, with twinkling eye,
“The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.”
And so, thought I, the anvil of God’s Word,
For ages skeptic blows have beat upon;
Yet through the noise of falling blows was heard,
The anvil is unharmed – the hammers gone!
The Bible is Inspired by the Lord.
II. God’s Word is Reliable.
The Bible speaks for itself. Internal evidence and external evidence give the assurance that the Bible is reliable. You can trust the Bible to be the Word of God.
Jesus said in Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
The 27 books of the New Testament were written for the most part by people who witnessed the life of Jesus, his teachings, his miracles, his death and resurrection. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John tell the life and ministry of Jesus and his disciples. The book of Acts is a written history of the early church by Dr. Luke. The Apostle Paul had a personal encounter with the risen Lord on the Damascus Road and wrote at least 13 of the N.T. books. John wrote the Gospel of John and the book of Revelation.
The New Testament Writers accepted the Old Testament books as the authentic Word of God. Jesus referred to the O.T. writings as God’s Word.
Jesus referred to Adam and Eve as the first created human family. Jesus said Satan was the great deceiver and liar that tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Jesus referred to the faithfulness of Job, and the times of Noah would be like the times on earth before his Second Coming.
Jesus referred to Jonah being swallowed by a great fish as a historical event.
Jesus proclaimed in Matthew 5:18, “Not one jot or tittle shall pass away until all Scriptures are fulfilled.” A jot would be like the dot above an “I” and a tittle like the crossing line of a “T.”
Jesus used Old Testament truth to defeat the temptations of the devil when he was tempted in the dessert after 40 days of fasting and prayer. Jesus was physically weak and hungry. Satan tempted Jesus: “Prove you power, turn these stones into bread.”
Jesus answered with a quote from Deuteronomy 8:3, “It is written, man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
Satan then tempted Jesus to do something show off his power to the world by jumping off the pinnacle of the temple and prove He was the Son of God by not getting hurt. Jesus made it clear that he did not come to earth to get self glory or impress the world or outdo Evil-Knivel. Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 6:16: “Do not test the Lord your God.”
Satan then took Christ up into the mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of this world and the splendor of them and said: “All this I will give you if you bow down and worship me.” Jesus answered: “Away from me Satan!” For it is written: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.” Deuteronomy 6:13.
Jesus believed the Word of God to be Truth. He prayed for his disciples in John 17:17, “Sanctify them by the Truth: Your Word is truth.”
Jesus said in John 8:31, “And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” God’s Word when applied to your heart and life sets you free from sin and the bondages of sin and Satan.
A special speaker at a conference told of watching a building being constructed. He said first they put down a cement pad and then several days later they brought in a huge, heavy silver box and set it down on the pad. The next few weeks they began to frame and then add drywall. Curiosity overcame him he wondered why the silver box and why install it first.
So he asked what was going in there, and he was told it was going to be a bank. And then it made sense to him. The huge, heavy silver box was the vault. It was the most important thing. And because of its size, weight, and importance, they had to build everything around it. Later it would not have fit through the door, so when you build a bank, you construct that which houses what’s most important to a bank, the valuables, and then you build everything around it.
What a vault is to a bank, Christ is to Christianity, and this book the Bible, is to the Church. Christ is the living Word, the Bible is the written word. Together, they’re the foundation, and contained within them are the valuable treasures that open the door to forgiveness from sin, rules to live by, a pattern for the abundant life, and the pathway to eternity with Jesus Christ.
The Bible is inspired by God. The Bible is reliable.
III. The Bible is Relevant.
Centuries come and go, generations come and go, but the Word of God is relevant to every generation. Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”
The Bible is relevant to you life. Past leaders have looked to God’s Word for their guide regardless of what the ACLU believes.
Herbert Hoover said: “We are indebted to the Book of Books, for our ideals and institutions. Their preservation rests in adhering to its principles. The study of the Bible is a rich postgraduate course in the richest library in human experience.”
Andrew Jackson: “The Bible is the rock on which our republic rests.”
Thomas Jefferson: “The Bible is the cornerstone of liberty.
Abraham Lincoln: “In regard to the great Book, I have only to say that it is the best gift which God has given to man.”
Daniel Webster: “There is no solid basis for salvation but in the Word of God. If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on to prosper. I make it a practice to read the bible through once every year.”
If the Bible is your guide book for life then what should you do with God’s Word? Lay the Bible on a shelf and let it gather dust? Dust it off and bring with you to church and look at it once a week?
The Apostle Paul admonished young Timothy and his words apply to each of us: “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
Joshua 1:7-8 states that studying and meditating on the Word of God gives you success in life. Moses handed the leadership of the Children of Israel over to Joshua and the Lord spoke to Joshua: “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of Law depart form your mouth: meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous, and successful.”
W.H. Griffith Thomas an outstanding devotional writer has written: “All Christian experience testifies to blessing, power and prosperity in spiritual life and service in exact proportion to meditation on the Word of God.”
To meditate means to “soap up like a sponge, to examine from every angle, study, evaluate, ponder, chew up, rethink, turn over and over in you remind and digest the Word of God. In meditation on God’s Word you discover how to apply the truths to your every day life.
Meditation on the Word of God is your answer to spiritual dryness and spiritual staleness. Study, meditation and memorization of God’s Word keep you fresh in your Christian life. Psalm 1 – the Christian is like a tree, alive, fresh, producing fruit – “His delight in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.”
Study and meditation on God’s Word helps you from taking Biblical teaching out of context.
You can take any verse out of context and twist and distort it to say what you want it to. We remember that Satan himself did that when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness. He tried to answer Jesus with Scriptures. He knew the Scriptures; he just took them out of context. Cults are notorious for doing this.
The story is told of a farmer who was walking along the road with his horse and dog. A pickup truck came racing by and knocked them off the road, and into a ditch.
The farmer sued for damages, including loss of work time, claiming he had a broken leg. He also had facial injuries and several cracked ribs that kept him bedridden.
The defense attorney told the judge, "Your Honor, shortly after the accident occurred, my client heard the farmer say he had never felt better in his life!"
The farmer explained, "Your Honor, after he ran me and my dog and horse off the road, we were lying in the ditch. The driver of the truck got out of his truck. Seeing that my horse had a broken leg, he took out his shotgun and shot my horse. Then noticing that my dog was bleeding and suffering terribly, he shot my dog. Then he stood over the top of my mangled body, holding his gun and asked, ’How are you feeling?’ I said, ’Never felt better in my life!’ "
This story drives home the point that context is so important If you take the text out of context, and you’re left with a con.
Every Chapel service the children in our Christian School give the pledge to the American Flag, the Christian Flag and the Bible:
"I pledge allegiance to the Bible, God’s holy Word, a lamp unto my feet, a light unto my path. It’s words will I hide in my heart that I might not sin against God."
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
The Bible is God’s Inspired Word
The Bible is Reliable
The Bible is Relevant.