Summary: The first of three sermons on the Bible and its importance.
A Sunday school teacher asked, 'Johnny, do you think Noah did a lot of fishing when he was on the Ark?' 'No,' replied Johnny. 'How could he with just two worms.'
A Sunday school teacher said to her children, 'We have been
learning how powerful kings and queens were in Bible times. But, there is a Higher Power. Can anybody tell me what it is?' One child blurted out, 'Aces!'
(Slide 2) (Slide 3) Then here are a couple of visual gems
Now, what do all of these humorous stories and pictures have in common? They all refer to a Bible story or character or the Bible itself. (By the way, you know that the disciples drove a Honda didn’t you? As we read in Acts, it says “they were in one Accord.” (Just had to get a good pun in this morning.)
Now I also have two questions that I ask at the beginning of this sermon not to embarrass you but as a way of focusing on our subject for this morning and this month.
Speaking of this month, I am going to be presenting three messages regarding the Bible and I do so to remind us of its importance for our faith and relationship in and with the Lord. Today however, I am going to offer a bit of history along with scripture, as I believe one of the greatest miracles was the formation of the Bible. Then, in two weeks, we are going to have a ‘hands on’ sermon that will allow you to study a passage of scripture in a small group of people (here in the sanctuary) as a way of learning a good study approach.
Now, here are those questions…
In your recent Bible reading, what has really caught your attention?
(Ask for responses)
What I have noticed in my recent reading has been the impact of family dynamics on the kings of Israel and Judah. (I have been reading through the Old Testament this year.) The impact of parents and grandparents (unfortunately, bad most of the time) caused a great deal of unnecessary pain and suffering for the people because of their disobedient influence.
(Slide 4a) What is your greatest frustration with reading and understanding the Bible?
• Lack of time
• Lack of a road map to help you get the big picture
• Lack of desire
• Lack of some tools to help you study the Bible
• Something else
(Ask for responses)
I have wrestled with all of these issues (and still do from time to time.) But I also want us to remember that a consistent reading of the Bible will help us move toward, with the Holy Spirit’s help, to a better understanding of it.
Our main text for this morning, that we shall return to later, is Hebrews 4:12.
(Slide 5) “For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.” (NLT)
The Bible is an important piece to our faith development and relationship with God. We cannot have a healthy and growing faith without reading, studying, and applying it.
But have you ever wondered how our Bible came to be?
To me, it is a miracle because our Bible, whether we read it in the King James Version, the New International Version, The Message, or the New Living Translation, came together, through the inspiration of God working in the hearts and minds of men centuries ago, over time.
(Slide 6) Yet how did the Bible come to be?
This is a challenging question and asking it (as well as answering it) is risky because it requires us to deal with the dynamic interchange between human thought and divine inspiration. In other words, the Bible is God’s word to us human beings who wrote it and compiled it under, we believe, the inspiration and direction of the Holy Spirit. This dynamic interchange has been the subject of much debate over the centuries as to how God inspired the Bible to be written and formed into what we call The Bible.
We now begin to answer this question with some simple facts that we can find in our Bibles. I invite you to take your own Bible or one of the pew Bibles and open it up to the table of contents that list the order of the Old and New Testaments.
Okay, it’s ‘Sunday School’ time!
How many books are there in the Old Testament? (39) How old are they?
(Oops, that’s not in the table of contents.)
As I did reading and research, it appears that much of our Old Testament was in place by the time Jesus was born.