Summary: Kicking off our Christianity 101 series exploring the basics of Christianity, we look at why we can trust the Bible as our standard of faith and conduct.
Is the Bible Reliable?
Christianity 101 Series
CCCAG September 1st, 2019
Today we begin our Christianity 101 series. Part of the format of this series is that at the end of the each message, we will have a Q&A session regarding that lesson first, and then open it up for other questions concerning our faith.
So write down your questions on the back of your bulletins, and we can address it at the end, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The video we watched introduced us to a question that is very important in today’s world, and it’s a question those outside the faith are asking about Christianity- Is the Bible Reliable?
We're going to begin our series by discussing the source of our faith. When I say source, I’m talking about an objective way to deciding what is true and what is not.
Objective truth is provable, factual, and repeatable. Subjective truth is a feeling or intuition and is personal to the person experiencing it.
If we are talking about something that we are hanging our eternal destiny on- we obviously want objective truth. Show me the proof.
A true Christians objective rule of faith and conduct is the bible.
Everything that Christians know about sin, Salvation, faith, God, Jesus , or anything else spiritual comes from a the Bible.
Even secular historians will acknowledge that without the bible, Western culture and history would be vastly different than it is today. Western history is European and American history. In fact, if it wasn't for the bible and the faith it contains it can easily be said that you and I would not be existing in a country called America today. The entire western civilization and culture derives itself from the truth found within the Bible.
The bible has survived numerous attempts to destroy it, discredit it, or marginalize it. It’s truth about the creator God, the condition of humanity, the origin and source of evil, and the way to salvation has brightened the existence of Billions of people throughout history.
It is the first of 16 Fundamental truths that we as an Assembly of God fellowship recognize-
“The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct.”
Today we will be exploring this truth and answering a lot of questions you may have about the bible but were afraid to ask.
So why do we hold this book in such esteem? Why do we follow the words of a book that was finished almost 2000 year ago? Why is a book over 2000 years old relevant to our lives today?
Why does it matter if I believe the bible? Why do I have to know how to defend it’s truth?
Because the bible commands those who follow it’s words to be ready to give and answer for the hope that they have, so having a basic understanding of how the bible came to be and why it’s reliable is critical toward being able to give those answers.
This morning we will look at some Bible facts and the history behind how we arrived with this book we treasure so dearly.
We will also see with the Bible has to say about itself and why it is so important for us to continue to study it and even more importantly let it study us and our spiritual lives today.
Let's begin today with the word of prayer
The question I want to answer for us today is twofold-
1. Can we trust the bible as being the authentic and truthful revelation of God and His plan for humanity?
2. How does it affect our lives today
We will begin by looking at some very basic Bible facts before we get into the specifics
Basic Bible Facts
The Bible is a library, not a single book. The bible is really 66 different writings or books, divided into sections called the Old and New Testaments. This is an extremely important distinction when it comes to reading it and understanding it as in order to understand what you are reading you have to understand the reason, time, and culture in which that particular writing is referring to in order to appropriately interpret what it is saying and why it is saying it.
This is why people outside the faith that attempt to critique the bible always get it wrong- because they try to take it as a single volume and not a collection of books with a unified message.
So the bible is really is 66 books, divided among the Old and New Testaments.
There are 39 books in the Old Testament. There are 27 books in the New Testament.
The word Testament means “covenant” or “contract.”- again, another important distinction as why you can’t apply much of the Old Testament ceremony and law to a New Testament believer. It would be like digging up a law book written in 17th century America that may have tossed you in jail for spitting tobacco on the sidewalk on a Sunday and applying it to today.