Summary: The Word of God transforms lives.
There are thousands of books on the market today encouraging church growth. The Bible is the best church growth book of all time!
I. The Word of God Brought Power
A. The Word Must Be Preached
The Bible is not man’s word about God, but God’s word to man. I thank God that you believe His Word!
If I did not believe the Bible was the Word of God to teach, train, warn, witness, encourage, edify, I would not be in the ministry. I would not study it. I would not share it. I could be golfing, vacationing, sleeping, working, spending time with family, watching TV, etc.
Because the Bible is the Word of God and it is the truth, there is every reason in the world to study, share, speak, surrender to it.
God cannot lie.Paul tells is in Titus 1:2. God is the Author of this book. He is Faithful and True!
2 Timothy 3:16-17, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."
I thank God today for faithful parents, SS teachers, Pastors, friends who speak the Word of God. (Dr. John Sullivan, Dr. Mark Brister, Dr. Stephen Trammel, Pastor Tom Cobb). Through their faithful preaching of the Gospel, I came to believe that Jesus Christ loved me, died for my sins, was buried, rose again, and now lives in me by His Spirit! How about you?
Illus: God is in heaven and an angel comes up and God says, "My plan is to give the Good News to my children on earth and ask them to share it." And the angel says, "What if they don’t? What is plan B?" And God says, "There is no plan B."
B. The Word of God Must Become Personal
Some do not believe the Bible is really the Word of God or believe only the parts that are convenient
Many are watering down God¡¦s word to conform to their beliefs rather than letting God¡¦s word be truth in their life
Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. John 17:17
A man once said to a pastor, "I don¡¦t believe in hell.¨ The pastor said, "Your unbelief doesn’t cancel out the truth of God¡¦s word."
Do you personally believe (rely) on God’s truth - Jesus is God and the Only way to the Father? The Lord Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, died on the cross of Calvary, was buried, and on the third day rose again? That you cannot attain eternal life by your way, but must come before God as a sinner repenting of sin and trusting only in the Lord Jesus Christ? Do you believe His Holy Spirit lives in you, empowers you, leads you, gifts you? Do you believe Jesus is coming again for His own? You are not your own, but have been bought at a price? The Word must become personal.
Note - Theologian Norman Geisler taught why the Bible is to be trusted - Science verifies it. Before science believed these things the Bible said: the earth is round (Isa. 40:22); the earth is suspended (Job 26:7); the universe had a beginning (Gen. 1:1); it has been expanding (Isa. 42:5); it is running down (Ps. 102:26); human bodies are made of the earth’s elements (Gen. 2:7);
The Scribes or writers claimed the Bible to be God’ s Word
The Scriptures contents confirm the Word of God. There are hundreds of prophecies that have been 100% fulfilled (an interesting study is to look at the prophecies that Jesus fulfilled)
The Savior Testified to it. Jesus claimed to be God, He was confirmed as God by the acts of God, and He said the Bible is the Word of God.
The Stones Verify the Bible. Archaeology has found NOTHING that has ever refuted the Bible and thousands of finds that have verified things written in the Bible.
The Structure of the Bible. It is a book of great diversity but a supernatural unity. It was written over thousands of years by around 40 writers who all describe one problem (sin), one cure (salvation), through one person (Jesus) for one purpose (the glory of God)
The Spirit witnesses to our soul. God¡¦s Spirit testifies of the Bible¡¦s trustworthiness.
The Saved. Believers testify of the change the Bible has made in their lives.
II. The Word of God Brought Persecution
A. The Persecution of Saints
"For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Judeans, who killed both the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they do not please God and are contrary to all men, forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins; but wrath has come upon them to the uttermost." 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16