Summary: In this sermon, we examine the internal and external evidence that the Bible truly is the Word of God.
A. The story is told of a Sunday school teacher who asked his class, “What is Faith?”
1. A young boy raised his hand and answered, “Oh, that’s easy. Faith is believing something you know is not true.”
2. Unfortunately, that little boy’s definition summarizes what many people think about faith.
3. For them, to believe is to make a “blind leap of faith.”
4. In their thinking, they have to give up the rational for the irrational.
B. But the truth of the matter is, Christianity is a reasonable faith.
1. As we will discover in this sermon series, Christianity is based on a set of rational, historical facts.
2. Contrary to being a form of intellectual suicide, given the facts and the evidence, believing in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is the most reasonable choice a person can make.
3. But I must be quick to add that certain matters of faith go beyond reason, but they don’t contradict it.
C. So far in our series “Got Questions? Answering Faith’s Great Questions” we have addressed a couple of important questions.
1. In the first sermon we answered the question: What does God think about the questions of doubters and skeptics?
a. We discussed the fact that doubt is a universal experience and that God is okay with us having doubts, asking questions, and looking for good answers.
2. In last week’s sermon, we answered the question: Does God exist?
a. We explored the evidence and clues that point to the existence of God.
b. We examined the clues of the cause, design and regularity of the universe.
c. We also considered the evidence of moral law or conscience that we all possess.
3. All of these clues are strong evidence for a God who caused, designed, and sustains the universe and who placed within us a strong sense of moral law concerning right and wrong.
D. Today, we turn our attention to the question: “Is the Bible Truly the Word of God?”
1. As you know, there are many books or writings that are looked to for spiritual direction.
a. In addition to the Bible, there is the Koran (the Islam holy book).
b. There is the Book of Morman which claims to have divine origin.
c. The Hindus believe the Bhagavad Vita is the source of eternal truth.
d. Other people look to the writings of Confucius, or to Tony Robbins (self-help guru and motivational speaker), or to L. Ron Hubbard (who began Scientology).
2. So what sets the Bible apart from all these and other books and writings?
3. Can we be sure that the Bible is unique and different from all the rest? I believe that we can.
E. But before we look at the evidence, let’s briefly describe what we mean by the Bible.
1. The word “Bible” is from the general Greek word for “book,” but it is revered as “The Book” or the “Holy Book.”
2. The Bible is a collection of 66 different books divided into two sections (the Old and New Testaments).
3. 39 Books make up the Old Testament, which was written between 1,550 B.C. to 400 B.C.
a. The Roman Catholic church also includes 15 other books in their Old Testament called the Apocrypha, which means “hidden books.”
b. The Roman Catholic church added these books about 500 years ago at the council of Trent.
c. However, for the first 1500 years the Apocrypha was considered good devotional literature, but did not deserve to be considered part of the Bible.
4. 27 books that make up the New Testament were written over a 50 year span.
5. As to different kinds of literature, the Bible contains history, poetry, prophesy, biography, songs, laws, and letters. So it is a library of different kinds of literature.
6. The Bible was the first book ever printed on the printing press, and is the best-selling book of all time.
a. Portions of the Bible have been translated into over 2000 languages.
7. As modern Americans, we are Bible rich.
a. We have over 30 different English translations of the Bible available to us.
b. 24% of Americans own at least 5 Bibles.
F. Now, with that introduction in mind, let’s turn our attention to the evidence that supports the belief that the Bible is the Word of God.
1. I like what C.H. Spurgeon said after being asked if he could defend the Bible, he said: “Defend it! I would as soon defend a lion. Let it out, it can defend itself.”
2. That’s what we want to do today – allow the Bible to defend itself.
3. The evidence for the authority of the Bible falls into two major categories: internal evidence and external evidence.
4. Let’s begin with the internal evidence, and then we will consider the external evidence.