Summary: An apologetic for the authority of the Bible

You've all played a game called "gossip" that points out the weakness of spoken words:

A minister, a few years ago, tells his associate: "Next Sunday, at 10:00 p.m., Hailey's comet will appear here. This happens only once every 75 years. Have the SS classes arrange everyone outside to watch this phenomenon. If it rains, then cancel this day's observation and have everyone assemble inside to see a movie about this comet created by our God.

-The SS tells the teachers, "Next Sunday, at 10:00 a.m., the minister will appear in our parking lot with Hailey's comet - something that occurs once every 75 years. If it rains, the minister will cancel the comet and order us all into the phenomenal fellowship hall for a movie about God."

-A SS teacher told his class, "When it rains next Sunday, our phenomenal 75 year old preacher will cancel all classes and appear in the fellowship hall with Bill Hailey and the Comets."

I'm a writer. If I don't write it down, I won't get it done. I'm one of the few people I know who brings note cards to the dinner table just so I'll remember what to talk about! Ha!

A written word is a good thing. It can't change. It doesn't depend on my memory to say what it means.

-Have you ever thought about what a great thing it is that God gave us His word in written form?

The truth we’re going to dwell on today is one that's very near to my heart. I really want for us to regain the reputation for being a people of the Book - especially today when so many churches feel free to let it go. 2 truths:

I. The Bible is Inspired

We hear the word inspiration used a lot. Someone might say, "You're words were inspirational!" or "Your actions inspired others to follow." Maybe you sing a song and someone will say, "That song inspired me to not give up!" That's one way we talk about inspiration -- another way of saying, "It motivated me." That's "inspiring."

Now, when we talk about something being "inspired," that's a different story.

If I listened to Dinelle or Marsha or Cindy or Joni playing the piano on Sunday morning, and it motivated me to take up piano lessons, then I got up here and tried to play chopsticks for you, would you say that music was "inspired?" Let’s try it! I feel “inspired” to play something right now! (attempt this)

-Was that inspired playing? Sort of! But there has to be more to "inspiration" than that!

*II Tim 3:16-17

-Hear this: The Bible claims for itself that it's inspired by God. Does that mean that God just motivated people to write some really good things, or does it go beyond that? The answer to that question completely controls the way I regard this Book.

The word here, that we often refer to as "inspired" literally means the "out breathing" of God. Peter says it another way, *2 Pt 1:20-21.

-Inspiration is the supernatural influence of the HS on men which insured that they wrote exactly what God wanted them to write for our salvation and service.

Is God able to do that? He made a donkey talk to deliver a message to Balaam! He spoke from a burning bush to Moses! He made a floating hand write a message on the wall to Belshazzar.

-Heb 1:1 "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways"

1. God used humans give us His word -- about 40 different humans, over a period of about 1500 years. But recognizing how He did that is important. It's the difference between really interesting writing, and writing that's the very breath of God.

2. Was it God, overseeing that every note I played on the piano was the right note, or was it me, feeling really moved, attempting to get up here, untrained, and play this morning?

3. Was it Godly men, motivated to attempt to set the truth into words? Or was it God making sure that everything they wrote was exactly what He wanted? Or was it somewhere in-between?

In the NT, time & time again, the writers look back to the OT and talk about it being the very words of God. At least 56X the NT quotes from the OT and says that God said that -- not just Moses or David or Jeremiah. All throughout the NT, the writers of the NT regard the OT as God's word, not just good writing.

Acts 4:25: "You spoke by the HS through the mouth of your servant, our father David, (Ps 2)."

In the same way, Jesus looks back and believes the story of creation, as it's found in Gen, to be true. He believes the story of Jonah, as it's found in the book of Jonah, to be true. He says in Jn 10:35, "the Scripture cannot be broken," When He was tempted by the devil in the wilderness, His reply each time was a quotation from the OT: "It stands written..." Jn 17:17 "Your word is truth." (DYBI?)

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