Summary: The Bible is the Word of the Living God, the Christian’s best and most important spiritual tool, and the seed of the Spirit.
What Is the Bible? (You Can Understand the Bible I.) II Tim. 3:16, 17
INTRO.: How many times have we heard people say, "I can’t understand the Bible?" There are many people who will say this. Some of them have never really tried to study the Bible. Some have happened upon passages really hard to understand. Others have opted to listen to teacher who have led them astray. I want you to know, you can understand the Bible. This message begins a series I hope will provide enough introduction to encourage you to continue studying and learning.
Do you have trouble destroying a Bible? I do. We sense it is more than just paper and ink. It’s important, even sacred. We accumulate Bibles and keep them lying around for generations because we feel threatened to send them to the land fill or burn them. Of course, this is inappropriate because we don’t worship the Bible. We rely on it to tell us Whom and how to worship.
Illustration: A Church member, visiting in the home of a nonchristian man laid his Bible on the carpet beside his chair. The unbeliever became upset and scolded him for it, saying he was acting disrespectful toward the Bible. Even though he never read the Bible, he had a deep respect for it. He knew it is something sacred and special.
Today, let’s look at a few thoughts about just what the Bible is.
I. It is the Word of the Living God and reveals to us that God has spoken to His people in many different ways. Heb. 1:1, 2
A. God’s word came first spoken:
1. His first words, "Let there be light."
2. He spoke face to face with Adam and Eve in the garden.
3. He spoke to men like Moses and Elijah, who were especially close to Him. Num. 12:6-8
B. Later, it was written.
1. Moses wrote the ten commandments on tables of stone and later wrote the entire first five books of the Bible
2. Prophets wrote as God directed and their writings were passed on through generations.
3. Then God’s final revelation came in the New Testament, the history of Jesus and His Church.
4. We find the purpose in John 20:31, where John refers to his own Gospel, but his words apply to all the Bible.
C. In all this, God’s Word is a living Word.
1. It lived in Jesus of Nazareth. John 1:14
2. It lived before the beginning of time. John 1:1
3. It lives on in spite of concerted efforts made by men from time to time to destroy it.
4. Hebrews 4:12 - More than just paper and ink, it has a life of its own.
II. It is the Christian’s best and most important spiritual tool. (Text)
A. It reveals the way of salvation:
1. The Philippian jailor provides an example of the necessity of the Word in God’s plan of salvation. Acts 16:32
2. If you want to know God and what He expects of you, go to His word.
B. It provides guidance for the godly life:
1. "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." Ps. 119:105
2. "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." Ps. 119:11
3. The New Testament contains infallible principles for living life in this modern age.
4. It touches on family life, sexual morality, business ethics, spiritual life, etc.
C. It provides information for witnessing to others about Jesus:
1. Some say, "I don’t know enough Bible to witness to others." If this is true, you need to learn.
2. You really don’t need to know that much. As long as you know why you came to Jesus, you can tell others.
3. The narrative parts of the Bible, the Gospels and Acts, are easiest to understand and most important for witnessing.
4. Of course, you can study a lifetime and not know it all. Don’t wait till you know it all.
III. It is the seed of the Spirit. "For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God." I Pet. 1:23
A. Remember the story Jesus told of a farmer who sowed seed. Matt. 13:3ff
1. In His explanation, He tells His disciples the seed represents the Word. Vv. 19-23
2. His point: different hearers react in different ways to the Word.
3. But, clearly, God wants His seed (word) scattered everywhere.
B. There are many New Testament examples of men and women who came to Christ because of the word planted in their hearts.
1. The Jews on Pentecost. Acts 2
2. People of Jerusalem. Acts 6:7 - "So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith."