Summary: So, how do we know the Bible is authentic and not just a collection of opinions? There are two ways chiefly, and I would like you to consider them with me today:
One Sunday morning, while sitting next to her first grade daughter in church, Susan Wright noticed the little one looking at the open Bible in her lap. In a low whisper, she asked, "Did God really write that?" Susan quietly whispered back, "Yes He did." Looking down at her mother’s Bible again, the little girl said in amazement, "Wow! He really has neat handwriting!"
To a little first grader, perhaps the most critical thing about the Bible is the ‘neat handwriting,’ but for the rest of us…well, the most critical issue is its authenticity! This is a fact even more important when you realize how much is resting upon it! You see-a proper understanding of any area of theology depends upon the truthfulness of what God has revealed about Himself. If you deny the truthfulness of His Word, all that remains is human opinion (which is a hopeless resource for anyone seeking to know God).
So, how do we know the Bible is authentic and not just a collection of opinions? There are two ways chiefly, and I would like you to consider them with me today.
[First of all, I know the Bible is authentic because of:]
I. The Claims of Scripture About Itself.
A. One of those claims is that it is INFALLIBLE.
1. The term ‘infallible’ refers to every verse of Scripture in the Bible (Genesis to Revelation), and is defined as: ‘incapable of failing—incapable of mistake.’ (Turn with me to Psalm 19:7)
2. The concept of infallibility is applied to the Bible in many passages:
a. In Psalm 19:7 we read: “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.”
b. The next verse draws our attention to another claim:
1. ‘Inerrant’ means ‘without error.’
a. Psalm 19:8 says, “The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.”
[Not only do we know the Bible is authentic because of its claims of being infallible and inerrant, but also:]
C. It claims to be AUTHORITATIVE (Turn with me to Isaiah 1:2).
1. The Bible has the authority of God Himself! When it speaks we are to listen and respond correctly.
a. In Isaiah 1:2, the prophet says, “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken.”
b. In Revelation 19:9 and 21:5, an angel said to John, “These are the true sayings of God…these words are true and faithful.”
c. Scripture is infallible and inerrant; therefore, it is authoritative.
[That’s not all. Turn with me to Deuteronomy 4:2:]
D. It claims to be COMPLETE.
1. In Deuteronomy 4:2 Moses writes, “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it.”
a. God forbids any altering of His Word.
2. John writes in Revelation 22:18-19 these words: “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
3. Scripture is complete. It is not to be increased or diminished.
E. It also claims to be EFFECTIVE (notice Isaiah 55:10 with me).
1. The prophet Isaiah records the words of God in chapter 55:10-11. Listen to what God says about His Word, “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”
F. These are the claims of the Bible! It is infallible, inerrant, authoritative, complete, and effective. These are amazing claims, but how do we know they’re true?
II. The Verification of Scriptures both by internal and external evidence!
A. Consider first, the INTERNAL EVIDENCE:
1. We begin with the testimony of the writers themselves (turn with me to Galatians 1:11-12). For the most part the N.T. writers were common, ordinary people, yet they claimed to be inspired by God.
a. Notice what the apostle Paul said in Galatians 1:11-12, “But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.”