Summary: The bible must be the foundation we base our faith upon.
June 3, 2016
Text: John 17:17
Subject: What We Believe
Title: The Bible is Inspired
One of the most divisive discussions among churches and denominations is the topic of the bible. Some more liberal theologies state that many of the claims of the bible about Jesus as well as the time of the writing of many prophetic books are in error.
Some denominations do not believe that the bible is the inspired Word of God but that it does contain in some areas the Word of God… do you hear what I am saying? Some think that you can go through and pick and choose in order to back up their own rules and regulations, but anything that contradicts their interpretation is not Holy Ghost inspired.
Let’s take it a step further. There are those who believe that the whole bible is true, but that many of the things mentioned in it are no longer valid for today… that those things ceased when the last of the apostles died.
Hebrews 10:39 (NIV2011)
39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
I believe the whole bible and that it has value and purpose for us today – even the Old Testament – and that the things that we see in the scriptures about the early church is still in play for the church today.
Does it matter? If it doesn’t then what the bible says about itself has no validity. If it doesn’t then all the Old Testament prophecies that have been fulfilled are just coincidental. If it doesn’t matter then all the future events the bible speaks of may or may not happen. If it doesn’t, then the communion we just participated in and the song service we just had has no value… we were just performing rituals.
But it does matter?
It did to Jesus.
In the NIV there are 45 different places where Jesus quoted the Old Testament. Do you think that the Living Word considered the written word to be important?
Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
I believe this is God’s word…
I believe it is for me…
I accept it as mine…
I will appropriate it to my life today…
We have been focusing on the spiritual battle that is taking place as we speak…
And Jesus said you will receive power…
And Luke wrote in Acts 4… “and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the Word of God boldly…
And Paul wrote in Ephesians 5
18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit…
Do you see that? Can you get a grasp of it? The focus of our Christian walk and the ensuing battle is on being baptized in the Holy Spirit and speaking the Word of God boldly…
In order to do that we must get to the place where we can build ourselves up to where we believe that this is the whole inspired Word of God and that we can turn to it in times of trial and need, but also in times of battle against the unseen enemy.
When Jesus prayed in John 17, Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth…
Look at what He was saying.
1. Sanctify. hagiazo (hag-ee-ad'-zo) v.
1. to make holy … Our understanding of Sanctification is this… When we are saved we are sanctified – made holy. But it is not a completed work. We are continually receiving revelation from the Lord and His Word and are growing in grace. James 4:5-6 (NIV2011)
5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us?
6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” How are made holy?
2. Sanctify them by the truth… Truth indeed does mean "factual," something that is right and good. However, we need to understand it in a slightly different way. The Greek word that is translated as "truth" is also equally well translated into "real" or "reality." God's Word is reality. Another English equivalent is the word "genuine"—God's Word is genuine. The root of the Greek word literally means “not concealing” as in, something revealed. Luke 8:17-18 (NIV2011) 17 For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.
18 Therefore consider carefully how you listen… The word listen literally is hearing with the intent to understand… oh come on… are you getting this? If you are going to be sanctified by the truth, continually changed by the Word of God, there is something required of you. You must believe that this word is truth and then pay close attention to it with the intent to understand and then apply it to your life. It requires faith on your part… faith that this book is what it says it is and that you are becoming what it says you are. Romans 10:17 (NKJV) 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Do you believe this? Can you see that your sanctification, your working out of your own salvation with fear and trembling is a work of faith – faith that this is the Holy Ghost inspired Word of God.