Summary: This weeks sermon in our "What We Believe" series deals with why we can believe the Bible as divinely inspired and can be trusted with our lives.
What We Believe
This morning in our “What We Believe” series, I’d like to talk about the Bible, or God’s word, and how it can be trusted as authority and give directions for our lives.
Whenever I do teachings, my proof and certainty of whatever it is that I’m saying is found within the pages of the Bible. Without this certainty, then whatever we say we believe cannot be trusted, and whatever we say we know about God and His salvation goes right out the window.
And so, whenever I am asked about whether the Bible can be trusted, my response is that I trust the Bible with my life.
But how much of the Bible do we really know? Here are some things children have said about what they’ve learned from the Bible.
• Noah’s wife was called Joan of Arc
• Lot’s wife was a pillar of salt by day, and a ball of fire by night
• When Mary heard she would be the mother of Jesus when went out and sang the Magna Carta.
• A Republican is a sinner mentioned in the Bible (Democrats don’t get to respond)
• The first commandment was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple (and man has been taking commandments ever since)
In speaking of the how little the Bible is read, some have remarked that the worst dust storm in history would happen if all those who owned a Bible dusted them off at the same time. And while this is somewhat humorous, I find it incriminating.
Now this stat I found somewhat telling. In 1996, and I believe it has gotten worse since then. This survey found that 42 percent of Americans say they believe that the Bible is the literal word of God, but almost half of them believe that the Bible is too hard to understand, so very few of them actually read the very book they claim as God’s word.
Clearly there is a discrepancy between what we say we believe and what we actually do believe. And when it comes to the Bible, this is why I have this as a chapter in my upcoming book, “Wells of Living Water,” which looks at those doctrines that Satan has or is covering up within the church.
Donald Witney, author of “Spiritual Disciplines” said,
“No spiritual discipline is more important than the intake of God’s word. Nothing can substitute for it. There is simply no healthy Christian life apart from a diet of the milk and meat of God’s word.”
The writer of Hebrews provides an analogy revealing just how useful and powerful God’s word is when it comes to keeping us on the straight and narrow path leading to eternal life.
“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 NKJV)
God’s word is living and powerful. Like a scalpel in the hands of a surgeon, it cuts through the philosophies and thoughts of man that are filled with contradictions and lies. It gets to the heart and the spirit of God’s thoughts, will, and ways.
The Bible pierces our hearts and touches our souls to change the direction and course of our lives.
And so we come to that ever-present question when it comes to the Bible, “Can it be trusted?”
A standard statement of faith says, “We believe the Bible is fully inspired by God and is without error in its original manuscript and is therefore the infallible (incapable of being mistaken) rule of a Christian’s faith and practice.”
To Timothy the Apostle Paul said,
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16 NKJV)
Literally what Paul is saying is that the Bible contains God’s answers and directions for life in a world filled with sin. And that’s the key. The Bible is God’s word, not just a religious book with the morals and stories of man. The Bible is God’s word for our lives, and without it our lives would be without meaning and without purpose.
Now, the word, “inspiration,” is literally the word “breathe,” which is why you will see some Bible translations say that the Scriptures were “God-breathed,” that is, God is the source and origin of the Bible.
The Apostle Peter said,
“For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:21 NKJV)
So the Bible, while written down by the hand of man was authored by God, the Holy Spirit, or as the Holy Spirit is often referred to as the Breath of God.