Summary: Jesus urges us to remain in His Word: 1. Because we will follow Christ more fully (vs. 30-31). 2. Because we will truly know the truth (vs. 31-32). 3. Because we will be made free forever (vs. 32-36).
to cast doubt on the Word of God. Many basically question all the miraculous parts of the Bible. For example, they teach that the creation story, Noah's Ark, and Jonah's whale are all myths.
*They would teach that the burning bush was only on fire in Moses' imagination, and that Jesus appeared to Paul only in his mind. Many also teach that Jesus wasn't born of a virgin, never performed miracles, didn't die on the cross, and never rose again from the dead. (1)
*People with that kind of doubt have fallen into the trap God described in Hebrews 4:2. There the Bible says, "For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it."
*A low view of the Bible will always lead you in the wrong direction. But when you have a high view of the Bible, you will find it always leads you in the right direction. And you can echo what the Psalmist said to God in Psalm 119:105, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
*God's Word is pure, powerful, eternal, and absolutely true. It was written by holy men who spoke as they were inspired by God's Holy Spirit. The Bible then is a one-of-a-kind miracle of a book, because it was written by God Himself, written by the Holy Spirit of God.
*The Apostle Peter explained this in 2 Peter 1:19-21, and said:
19. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
20. Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
*God gave some holy men the incredible blessing of helping to write His Word, but the ultimate author is God Himself. The Bible affirms this truth many times. Alex McFarland and Elmer Towns wrote that the human authors claimed their message was from God over 1,900 times! (2)
*For example, in the KJV you will find the phrases "God said" 43 times, "the Lord spake" 144 times, and "thus saith the LORD!" 415 times! (3)
*Listen to a great example from Isaiah 43:1-3:
1. But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
2. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.
3. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.
*The Holy Spirit of God is the primary author of the Bible, and yes, God used men to help get the job done. But those men were all moved by the Holy Spirit to say exactly what God wanted them to say.
*Peter and Paul both confirm this truth for us in the book of Acts. Their statements are great confirmations at the beginning and end of Acts saying: "This is the Word of God!" So in Acts 1:16, we hear Peter say, "Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus." Then in Acts 28:25 Paul said, "The Holy Spirit spoke rightly through Isaiah the prophet to our fathers."
*Again, the Holy Spirit of God is the primary author of the Bible. That's why there is divine oneness in this Book even though it was written through a wide variety of men.
*Lewis Chafer tells us "it was written over a period of at least 1,600 years by as many as 40 different authors. They differed in language, culture, background and experience. Nevertheless, the Bible, like no other composite book in the world, is one book. . . Among the authors of the 66 books in the Bible are kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, a doctor, statesmen, scholars, poets, and plowmen of such diverse backgrounds that one could hardly expect their writings to form any continuity. . .
*Obviously the Bible had a divine Editor, -- the Holy Spirit of God, who guided the writers so that all they wrote in perfect harmony." (4)
*The Bible is a miraculous book, and it can have a miraculous impact on our lives. No wonder Jesus urges us to remain in His Word, and in tonight's Scripture, He tells us why.