6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: You can’t master the Bible, but the Bible can master you. This sermon teaches how to study the Bible.

[This sermon is contributed by Hal Seed of New Song Church in Oceanside, California and of www.PastorMentor.com. Hal is the author of numerous books including The God Questions and The Bible Questions. If you are interested in The Bible Questions Church-wide Campaign, please visit and watch Hal’s video at www.PastorMentor.com.]

How Can I Master the Bible?

The Bible Questions, Part 5

Ezra 7:10; Deuteronomy 32:46-47

Good morning everybody!

Remarks about Anniversary and people’s “Add Ones”.

Are you ready to do some learning today? If so, say, “I am ready.” – Say it like you mean it.

Tell the person next to you, “I AM READY.”

We are learning about the Bible these days.

So far in our study we have learned that the Bible is a book like no other. It’s

• it’s a book of 66 books, written over a period of 1500 years, by over 40 different authors from 10 different countries, on 3 different continents, in 3 different languages, yet with one message and without contradictions from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22.

• It’s the best-selling book of all time. Last year, 55 million Bibles were printed and sold throughout the world. The Bible is such a front-running best-seller that it’s never even listed on the best-seller lists. It’s the hands-down winner every week.

• We’ve learned that the Bible is unique:

• It was the first book translated into a foreign language.

When the Jews scattered from their native land of Israel, they began speaking Greek, so in 250 BC, 70 Jewish scholars got together and translated the Hebrew OT into Greek. We still have this translation today. It’s call the “Septuagint.” “Septuagint” means 70, because 70 scholars translated it. And the apocryphal story is that each of these scholars translated the whole OT by themselves, and when they got together, all 70 of them had the extra same wording for every chapter and book of the Bible. – I don’t necessarily believe that, but it’s a story that has weathered centuries of telling, and it’s interesting and kind of intriguing, if it were true.

• The Bible was the first book printed on a printing press, - Johan Gutenberg did it, and today, one page of one of his original Bibles sells for $100,000. – Which makes it the most expensive book in history.

• The Bible was the first book transmitted by a telegraph.

• the first book in Outer Space,

• the first book on the moon,

• It’s the most visited book in the world. Trinity University in Dublin, Ireland has an 8th century illustrated Bible called, “The book of Kells” that is visited by ½ a million people on yearly.

• Abraham Lincoln called it “God’s best gift to man.”

• Thomas Jefferson said it makes better citizens, homes, fathers, and husbands.

• Benjamin Harrison said it develops for you a system that makes life sweet.

• And Teddy Roosevelt said that understanding the Bible is better than a college education.

• It’s the book that reads you

• and the book you never stop reading.

If there is any one book in the world you ought to read, it’s the Bible. This morning, I want to teach you how to master the Bible.

Open a Bible to the book of Ezra in the OT. It’s on p. 338 for those of you with a copy of one of our black Bibles from under your chairs.

If this is your first or second weekend with us, The Bible Questions is a whole learning experience that includes weekly sermons like you’ll hear today, plus daily readings from this book, and weekly small group times to discuss what we’re learning. So I invite you to join one of our small groups this week by visiting the Information Desk in the lobby where they can help place you in one of over 90 groups this week.


Let’s pray. Repeat after me:

Lord Jesus

Speak to me.


One of the heroes of both ancient and modern Judaism is an Old Testament scribe by the name of Ezra. Everybody say, Ezra.

Ezra had an incredible thing come true in his life. In Ezra 7:9, the Bible says, “The gracious hand of his God was on him.” – Ezra 7:9

Wherever he went God blessed him. He was born in exile, and God blessed him there. He went to visit King Artaxerxes, and God blessed him there. He decided to emigrate to the land of Israel, and 2,000 of his closest friends decided to move with him.

Because he asked, the King sent with him 4 tons of gold and 25 tons of silver to make sure that Ezra could do everything Ezra wanted to do back in Israel.

The gracious hand of his God was upon him. Wouldn’t you like to have the gracious hand of God on you?

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