Summary: The idea of preservation holds that God has faithfully superintended His Word down through the ages, so that even today, some 3,500 years after portions of the Bible were written down, we can say that what we possess, what we love and what we read are the
God’s Perfect Word
The Preservation of the Holy Scriptures
Intro: The last time we meet, we examined evidence for the inspiration of the Word of God. We learned the blessed truth that God literally “breathed” His Word through man to give us an inerrant, infallible and inspired record of His revelation of Himself and of His Son Jesus Christ.
Lets review some of the terms we talk about last week in our study, and I would like to add a new term to list.
Revelation - The process by which man heard from God exactly what God wanted written down.
Inspiration - The process of man actually writing down what God wanted said. This is God filtering His Word through human personality.
Illumination - The process by which God uses the inspired record of the revelation of Himself to speak to the hearts of humanity.
To this list, I would like to add the word Preservation. This is the process by which God has supernaturally protected His word through many reproductions and translations. The idea of preservation holds that God has faithfully superintended His Word down through the ages, so that even today, some 3,500 years after portions of the Bible were written down, we can say that what we possess, what we love and what we read are the very words of God!
Now, we have already discovered the tremendous truth that the original manuscripts, that is, the writings of the original authors were divinely inspired. Sadly, none of those original manuscripts have survived to this day. In other words, you can’t go anywhere in this world and find a scrap of paper containing the actual writings of Paul, John, Moses, Peter, James, Daniel, Isaiah or any of the other biblical writers. Since that is true, how can we be confident that the Bibles we possess today are in fact accurate and are the very Word of God? Just as the inspiration of the Scriptures can be decisively proven using both the internal evidence of the Bible itself and the external sources of historical and scientific evidence, it can also be proven that the Bible has been divinely preserved down to this very day. With that in mind, let’s take some time this evening to examine this issue of The Preservation of the Holy Scriptures.
I. Scripture has been Preserved by God’s Promises
Let’s examine the internal evidence from the Bible itself. The Bible contains several passages that affirm God’s intention to preserve His inspired Word for all generations.
A. Old Testament Promises Of Preservation
• Psalm 12:6-7, “The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.”
• Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?”
• Psalm 89:34, “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.”
• Isaiah 40:8, “The grass withers, the flower fades: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”
• Psalm 119:89, “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.”
B. New Testament Promises Of Preservation
• Matthew 5:18, “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one title shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
• Matthew 24:35, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
• Titus 1:2, “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;”
• 1 Peter 1:25, “But the word of the Lord endures for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”
C. To my mind, the conclusion from these verses is crystal clear: God had indeed promised to preserve His Word!
• The internal evidence is overwhelming!
o I have given you nine passages that explicitly state God’s intentions in this matter.
• The question I have for you is this: How many times does God have to say anything before we can conclude that He means it?
• We have the promise of God, Who cannot lie, Heb. 6:18, Who identifies Himself as the “Faithful and True Witness”, Rev. 3:14, that He will forever perfectly preserve His Word, and that is good enough for me.
o However, while that may be all the evidence Bible believers need, that is not all the evidence we have!
II. SCRIPTURE HAS BEEN PRESERVED BY GOD’S POWER
A. Jeremiah 36:1-32 tells the story of God giving Jeremiah revelation and inspiration to write a portion of the Word of God.