Summary: A message on the value and authority of the Bible.
INTRO: How much is your Bible worth? A person can buy one very cheaply. I have paid as little as $4 for one and as much as $75 for another. A pulpit Bible costs about $100 Some German Bibles are worth $40,000. A Gutenberg Bible is worth $100,000. An original manuscript would be worth millions.
The cost of a Bible is determined by it’s version, it’s binding, the type of leather grain, the type of paper, and whether or not reading aids and supplements are included. Actually, your Bible is priceless, worth far more than you paid for it.
I. THE AUTHORSHIP OF THE BIBLE.
The Baptist Faith and Message says: “The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is the record of God’s revelation of Himself to man....It has God for it’s author.”
It is important who authors a book. The Bible claims God as it’s author, that God’s Holy Spirit inspired it. What does that mean? It means that God so controlled the biblical authors that they wrote only the truth God wanted and without destroying the writer’s personality or style.
The Bible says: “All scripture is inspired by God” (2 Tim. 3:16). It says, “Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).
There is no greater evidence of the Bible’s inspiration than its message. Its message is unlike that of any other book. The Bible defies comparison with any other literary work of man. It contains truth not found anywhere else. You can never exhaust its contents.
No man can be more liberal than the Bible and be true to Christ. The less principle a man has the more liberal he can be with truth and sacred things.
ILLUS: A woman read a book and stated it was the dullest book she had ever read. Then she fell in love with its author. From then on she found the book fascinating. For the unsaved, the Bible can be dull reading. But when you fall in love with its author, it is inspiring, interesting reading.
II. THE ACCURACY OF THE BIBLE.
The Baptist Faith and Message says: “It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction...truth, without any mixture of error.”
A difference of opinion exists among Baptists as to whether the Bible is accurate in it’s science and history. The Bible never claims to be a book of science, religion, philosophy or literature. Yet it contains true elements of all these and more. The really important matter concerns the authority of the Bible, which is accepted by all.
At the very least, the Bible is the final authority on all matters of faith and morals. As the Bible says: “All scripture...is profitable for doctrine...”
1. The Bible speaks of God’s redemptive purpose. It reveals how God proposes to bring sinful man back into his fellowship.
2. The Bible speaks of God’s judgment against sin. It reveals the principles by which God judges sin.
3. The Bible tells the story of God’s mingled love and wrath. God hates sin, but he loves sinners.
III. THE AUTHORITY OF THE BIBLE.
The Baptist Faith and Message says: “It reveals the principles by which God judges us...will remain the supreme standard by which all human conduct...should be tried.”
As we have already stated, we believe the Bible to be the final authority on all matters of faith and practice. Not community standards, not television morality, but God’s Word.
What we believe and how we live is to be determined by the Bible. Our doctrines and our duties are to be determined by the Bible. Our theology and our ethics, our morals, are to be determined by the Bible.
We cannot trust human speculation. We can trust only the Bible. Nor can we trust reason or experience. We trust only the Bible. And by it we shall be judged. Not on what we do know. We will be judged on what we should know and could know if we read it as we should.
Suppose God had come from heaven in human flesh. Suppose he had written a book about true religion. Suppose he made it accurate and authoritative. Would you be interested in buying it and reading it? Well, that is exactly what God did. And men have died to give us that book, our Bible.
How much is your Bible worth? It’s value is determined not by how much you paid for it. It is determined by how much you read it, understand it, and obey it’s teachings.
CONC: I challenge you, as those who love the Bible’s author, to read it daily. To study it. To make it the guidebook in your daily living. Open Windows can help your personal reading. Home Life can help you in your family worship.