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Summary: The Bible makes at least four statements about itself, and each one of these describes one of the reasons it was given to us. Let's take a look at God’s four reasons for giving us the Bible.

THE BIBLE:

WRITTEN WITH A PURPOSE

INTRODUCTION

A. HUMOR

1. One Sunday morning, while sitting next to her first grade daughter in church, Susan Wright noticed the little one looking at the open Bible in her lap.

2. In a low whisper, she asked, "Did God really write that?" Susan quietly whispered back, "Yes He did."

3. Looking down at her mother's Bible again, the little girl said in amazement, "Wow! He really has a neat handwriting!"

B. THESIS

1. Tonight we're going to study the purpose of the Bible. Many people have their opinions about why the Bible is given and what its purpose is are, but tonight, I want us to see what the Bible says about itself.

2. The Bible makes at least four statements about itself, and each one of these describes one of the reasons it was given to us. Let's take a look at God’s four reasons for giving us the Bible:

I. AUTHENTICATE THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST

A. TEXT: John 20:31

“But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

B. JOHN’S PURPOSE IN WRITING

1. John, in writing, intended to show that Jesus was not just a man, a prophet, or a great leader. In fact, John was portraying someone who was not really even human; but God.

2. John showed how Jesus changed water into wine (2), changed people from the inside (3,4), healed the incurably crippled (5), had power to multiply food to feed thousands (6), had the power to forgive sins (8), to heal those born blind (9), to raise the dead (11), and finally to overcome death after his suffering for us (20).

C. STATEMENTS OF CHRIST'S DEITY

1. Isaiah (7:14) predicted a child would be born who would be "God with us"; Micah (5:2) said that in Bethlehem would be the birthplace of this Everlasting Ruler. The apostle John called Him "God the Word" (1:1); Thomas called Him "My Lord and My God" (John 20:28); Paul called Him "God manifest in the flesh" (1 Timothy 3:16), and Peter called Him "Our God and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:1). Abraham saw Him (John 8:56), Moses saw him in the Burning Bush (Exodus 3:14; John 8:58; Hebrews 11: 26-27), and Jacob saw Him by the Heavenly Staircase (Genesis 28:13; John 1:51).

2. Like Josh McDowell said, "If Jesus Christ is not God, He deserves an Oscar!"

II. TO GIVE HOPE TO MEN

A. TEXT: Romans 15:4

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

B. DESCRIPTION OF HOPE

1. Hope - According to Christian ethics: one of the three virtues (faith, hope, and love) created by God to round out the natural virtues.

2. HOPE DESCRIBES:

a. The happy anticipation of good (future) [Titus 1:2,1 Peter 1:2]

b. The ground upon which hope is based (Acts 16:19; Colossians 1:27).

c. The object upon which the hope is fixed (1 Timothy 1:1).

3. HOPE & DESPAIR -- OPPOSITES

a. hope - be optimistic; be full of hope; have hopes; "I am still hoping that all will turn out well"

b. despair - abandon hope; give up hope; lose heart; "Don't despair--help is on the way!"

4. N.T. VERSES USED IN:

a. Ephesians 2:12, "you were... without hope and without God!"

b. 1 Thessalonians 4:13, "we don't want you to grieve, like those who have no hope."

c. Acts 27:20 in the storm, "we finally gave up all hope of being saved."

d. Jonah 4:8 Jonah despaired, "It is better for me to die than to live."

5. What a terrible thing it is to be without hope! Hope is what gets us through trials and difficult circumstances in life. It is the necessary ingredient for endurance. We must have hope!

6. Thank God that our God is called the "God of Hope" (Romans 15:13).

C. POWER OF ENCOURAGEMENT

1. Millions of people watched as Greg Norman blew a huge lead in the Masters golf tournament in the spring of 1995, losing to Nick Faldo. After the debacle, the golf star says he experienced "the most touching few days" of his life. People from all over the world

contacted him with words of encouragement. The mail ran four times the volume of what Norman received when he won the British Open in 1993.

2. "It's changed my total outlook on life and on people," Norman says of the defeat. "There's no need for me to be cynical anymore. My wife said to me, "You know, maybe this is better than winning the green jacket. Maybe now you understand the importance of it all." I never thought I could reach out and touch people like that. And the extraordinary thing is that I did it by losing."

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