Summary: The Old Testament is the seedbed for the New Testament and salvation and truth is the fruit thereof. Let your love of and trust in God’s divine revelation to humanity be renewed!
What About The Bible? Part-2, II Timothy 3:16
The New Testament – Truth
A clergyman took a seat in a dining car on a train traveling along the Hudson River. Opposite him was an atheist who, seeing his clerical collar, started a discussion. “I see you are a clergyman.” “Yes,” came the reply. “I am a minister of the gospel.” “I suppose you believe the Bible.”
The clergyman, orthodox in his views, responded, “I certainly do believe the Bible to be the Word of God.” “But aren’t there things in the Bible you can’t explain?” With humility the minister answered, “Yes, there are places in the Bible too hard for me to understand.”
With an air of triumph as though he had cornered the preacher, the atheist asked, “Well, what do you do then?” Unruffled, the clergyman went on eating his dinner, which happened to be Hudson shad, a tasty fish but noted for its bony structure.
Looking up, he said, “Sir, I do just the same as when eating this shad. When I come to the bones, I put them to the side of the plate and go on enjoying my lunch. I leave the bones for some fool to choke on.”
Indeed, the Bible is the word of God though the critics often do find themselves choking on the finer points of Scripture. Today we pick up where we left off last week in answering the question, “What about the Bible?” Last week we discussed the reliability of the Old Testament.
We saw examples of how the Old Testament provides reliable historical accounts and if it provides accurate accounts of history then it can be trusted as a reliable document. If the Old Testament can be proven to be historically dependable then great weight is lent to its trustworthiness as an internally consistent record of God’s dealings with His people and its message in regard to salvation through Christ can be trusted as well.
This morning we will discuss the trustworthiness of the New Testament. The Old Testament is the seedbed for the New Testament and salvation and truth is the fruit thereof. This morning it is my hope that you will leave this place encouraged and renewed and refreshed in your love of and trust in God’s divine revelation to humanity – the Bible!
After Jesus had been arrested and accused before the Jewish religious leadership, he was brought before the local Roman authority – Pontius Pilate. The Jews had no love for the Romans, but Pilate was the only one with the authority to put Jesus to death, which was what the religious authorities had wanted to do all along.
Jesus had challenged the establishment. Jesus had told us to lay aside wrath and revenge in favor of love and forgiveness. Jesus had said that the Kingdom of God is primarily invisible as it is made up of genuine believers and not worldly powers.
What Jesus had done was basically to undermine the power that the Jewish religious establishment had massed unto itself. In short, he had threatened their authority and control over the people and I think it was this, more than any other thing, which caused them to bring him before Pilate.
Surely, they also thought him to be a blasphemer – calling himself equal with God – but there were lots of blasphemers in those days, what Jesus had done most of all, was to expose them to the light of truth and when the ugliness of the human condition is exposed to the beauty of that light, that light must be extinguished.
In John 18:33-38 the conversation between Jesus – the light of God in the world – and Pilate – the local representative of worldly authority – is recorded. (READ)
In this conversation we see the Kingdom of Heaven conversing with the Kingdom of the world. In a very real sense Pilate, as a representative of perhaps the greatest worldly empire of all history, speaks on behalf of all worldly power when he asks what I believe is the most powerful and most important question that was ever posed to Jesus by anyone during His earthly ministry. “What is truth?” (v.38)
Indeed, from eternity past and ever since Pilate uttered this most important of questions, humanity has been seeking its answer. Postmodernism is the common philosophy of our day. It tells us that it is not possible to know truth. Truth is relative to what you want it to be. Truth is not so much a concrete reality as it is a subjective view point.
To be sure, people have stopped looking to the Church or to the Bible as their source of truth. Media drives our culture doesn’t it? For most people it is the television which gives them their news, their entertainment, and in many ways it is the media which drives our entire civilization and shapes the way in which we view and understand the world around us.