Summary: This sermon looks at the Bible as our foundation of faith. It also helps us know how to read and understand scripture.
This second message in our series “Building a foundation for Life” deals with the Bible as our book for life. The Bible that you have in your hands is like no other book in the entire world. This is because there are only two things in this world that are eternal – God’s Word and people. Isaiah tells us that the grass will wither and the flowers will fade but the Word of God will last forever. (Isa. 40:8) Scripture also says that it is God’s very breath in print. (2 Timothy 3:16) It is God’s gift to you. Why? Because God’s desire is that we not just know about him, but we know Him. Today, let’s look at the Bible as our book for life.
The Process of the Bible
There are 66 Books that make up the Bible – it is the story of God making himself known to us. Look with me at Psalm 19. In this psalm, God tells us that he has given us two ways for us to know him. These two ways are known as General & Special Revelation. General Revelation is God using nature to reveal his character and qualities. This is seen in verses 1-4. This truth is echoed as Paul was inspired to write in Romans 1:15-18. (Read text) Consider the beauty and order of nature. It is impossible to see the complexity and orderedness of all that is around us and say that it all just happened by chance. The vastness of the universe to the uniqueness of the human body, there had to be a creator. Just the understanding of the human eye is amazing. Science, with all our technology and ability is nowhere close to replicating the complexity of the eye. Sight is a miracle. For children, it is natural for them to accept and believe that there is a God who created all that there is. It is though you have to teach a child not to believe in God. Nature testifies to the handiwork of God.
The second revelation that God has given to us is the Word or Special Revelation.
What will studying the Bible Produce?
Psalm 19:7-11 tells us that it will (v 7) revive the soul. Just like David shared in Psalm 32, when I sin and do not confess it to the Lord, I feel guilt and remorse. My soul feels empty and dry. I feel that my strength is sapped and any spiritual power I had has wasted away. It is only when I read God’s Word and apply the truth of God’s process for forgiveness ( 1 Jn 1:8) that I am revived. It will (v 7) make us wise. When you need direction or you ask, what do I do now, the answer will always be found by reading the Bible. When I needed to know if God really wanted me to become a Pastor, I fasted and prayed. The Lord answered my prayer by making Ezekiel 34 come alive to me. I was driving in the car and I could see the passage right before me in my mind’s eye. I knew that that passage was for me! God’s word gave light to my eyes as I needed specific guidance and direction before I took steps of faith. It is like having God’s word come alive to you as though it jumped off the page and said, this is for you!
(joke) There was a man that I heard of who didn’t know the Lord, and every time he saw an open Bible he would go over and close it. He was asked why he did that and he said, “I heard that things jump out at you.” Well, when you want God to speak to you, he will through his Word.
In verse 8 it will give joy to your heart. In verse 11 we are instructed that the Word will warn us so that we will not sin, and in keeping it we will have great reward. Reading and applying the Bible will give us insight, joy, guidance, instruction and blessing.
Moses was the author of the first five books of the Bible – Deuteronomy 31:24-26. He faithfully wrote what God gave him and told him, for he spoke with God as a man talks with his friend.
The writing of the Prophets are included because their messages came from the Lord: “Thus saith the Lord.” Peter gives us insight into the words of the prophets as the Spirit led the prophets: 2 Peter 1:20-21 (Read verses)
As the scriptures were copied over the years, how was it done? The Scribes’ process of faithfully copying the scriptures was to do letter by letter. Not word for word or phrase for phrase. They took their job so seriously, and they reveared the scriptures to the point that they would wash their hands after they wrote each letter of God’s name. If they made a mistake, they destroyed the entire parchment and started over.