Summary: This message deals with the origin of the Bible, the content, the makeup, the different translations, and what makes it different from other books.
I am grateful to Timothy Peck on Sermon Central in his message “What Christians Think About the Bible” for much of the content for this message. Great Job Timothy
"Do We Have To Follow The Bible?"
How many of you grew up with a large bible in your home? I can remember we had a great big thick bible. It started with a place for you to put your Family Name and the list of the children and grandchildren. It had a place for you to list weddings, baptisms and funerals. It had pictures of stories and events in the bible. It stayed in the living room. But in all my years, I do not have a single memory of us ever opening the bible together and actually reading it. We treated the bible as a holy book, but we didn’t actually use it, unless we thought somebody was lying and we wanted to make them swear on the bible. We even have presidents swear on the bible to be installed and then ignore what’s in it once they get into office.
It’s sort of sad that we didn’t get around to reading it, because it had a lot of good practical information for life inside. It contains information on how to make our money go further. It has information on how to have a great marriage with great sex. It has information on how to be healed from emotional problems. It has information on how to avoid debt. It has information about choosing a marriage partner or what you can do if you choose to be single. It has information on understanding why you like doing some jobs and not others, and why you are strong in some areas and weak in others. It has information on dealing with difficult people in your life. It talks about the pain and suffering we see in the world and what is our responsibility toward the poor. It has information on changing your life and starting over. It contains information on who God is, how much God loves you, and how you can be in a right relationship with God.
My sermon title is “Do We Have To Follow The Bible.” Well the answer to that should be obvious to everyone. All we have to do is look around us in the world and even in the church. We immediately realize that, “no” we don’t have to follow the Bible. God gives us a choice as to what and whom we follow. He created all of us to follow Him, but if we do not follow God, we will follow someone or something else. Don’t be deceived, everyone is following something. Even those of you who are not believers yet, you follow something that tells you this is right and this wrong. You even have a theology that you believe about the after life.
For instance if someone asked you, “ how do you get to heaven?” Some of us would say, well if you just try to do the right thing, and live by the good book, you will make it to heaven. Did you know that is not a biblical teaching? The teachings from the bible indicate, not a single one of us will go to heaven because we tried to do the right thing and lived by the good book. We find in the bible, that everyone of us has blown it, and messed up our relationship with God by choosing to do wrong. We disqualified ourselves from being able to enter into heaven and no matter how good we try to be, we will never be good enough.
I want us today to have a better understanding of the Bible and its message, so that we don’t worship the Bible, but we use it as the tool God intended for it to be. Now some of you dismiss the Bible as maybe having been written by a person who lived many years ago and this person fooled everybody into thinking it was from God. Well there are a couple of problems with this theory. If a person did this, they would have had to have lived for 1500 years, and been able to speak and write in Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic. Do you know any 1500 year old people who could have done this.
Let’s look at some misconceptions about the bible. First of all the bible is not a book that someone wrote in consecutive order like you would a novel or a system of rules. It is a collection of 66 different books divided into two sections called the Old and New Testament, and were written by over 40 different authors. There are 39 books in the Old Testament which were written between 1500 BC and 400 BC going from Genesis to Malachi. Those books deal with the message of God’s plan for all humanity and God’s love for people. There are 27 books in the New Testament written over a 50 year period and they deal with Jesus’s Christ’s birth, life, death, and resurrection as well as the beginning of the Christian church and how live as a follower of Jesus Christ.