"The Bible - The Word Of God" Lesson I
It is so important for a young Christian to start right; therefore, the first message is designed to help establish your faith in the Bible, for it is the Word of God.
Keep in mind that the Bible is not a book of philosophy, although it is philosophical. Do not go to the Bible for a scientific treatise. However, there is no discrepancy between ascertained facts of science and the Bible. The Bible is not a book of history, but is found to be accurate when recording history. The Bible was given to man from God, and God the Son, the only Savior John 14:6; He is the center and the circumference. It is Christ from Genesis to Revelation John 5:39.
The Bible is as high above all other books as the heavens are above the earth. Someone has said of the Bible: "Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be right."
The Bible Claims To Be The Inspired Word Of God
2 Timothy 3:16, 17 - 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
(1.) What is the excellency of the scripture. It is given by inspiration of God, and therefore is his word. It is a divine revelation, which we may depend upon as infallibly true. The same Spirit that breathed reason into us breathes revelation among us: For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men spoke as they were moved or carried forth by the Holy Ghost, 2 Peter 1:21.
The prophets and apostles did not speak from themselves, but what they received of the Lord that they delivered unto us. That the scripture was given by inspiration of God appears from the majesty of its style,--from the truth, purity, and sublimity, of the doctrines contained in it,--from the harmony of its several parts,--from its power and efficacy on the minds of multitudes that converse with it,--from the accomplishment of many prophecies relating to things beyond all human foresight,--and from the uncontrollable miracles that were worked in proof of its divine original: God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will, Hebrews 2:4.
(2.) What use it will be of to us.
[1.] It is able to make us wise to salvation; that is, it is a sure guide in our way to eternal life. Those are wise indeed who are wise to salvation. The scriptures are able to make us truly wise, wise for our souls and another world. "To make thee wise to salvation through faith." The scriptures will make us wise to salvation, if they be mixed with faith, and not otherwise, Hebrews 4:2. For, if we do not believe their truth and goodness, they will do us no good.
[2.] It is profitable to us for all the purposes of the Christian life, for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. It answers all the ends of divine revelation. It instructs us in that which is true, reproves us for that which is amiss, directs us in that which is good. It is of use to all, for we all need to be instructed, corrected, and reproved: it is of special use to ministers, who are to give instruction, correction, and reproof; and where can they fetch it better than from the scripture?
[3.] That the man of God may be perfect. The Christian, the minister, is the man of God. That which finishes a man of God in this world is the scripture. By it we are thoroughly furnished for every good work. There is that in the scripture which suits every case. Whatever duty we have to do, whatever service is required from us, we may find enough in the scriptures to furnish us for it.
The Bible Is A Difficult Book
1 Corinthians 2:14-16 - 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.
The Bible is a difficult book because it came from the infinite to the finite (from the unlimited, all powerful God, to limited man). Therefore, you cannot understand the Bible as you would understand the writings of Plato or Socrates. You can study the great philosophers with the natural mind, and by diligent application, grasp their profound meanings. If the Bible could be understood by natural man, it would be a natural book, and could not be the Word of God. Since the Bible is from God, and therefore spiritual, before you can receive its teachings, you must be born of the Spirit John 3:6 and filled with the Spirit Ephesians 5:18). Always approach the Bible praying that the Spirit will be your teacher and will guide you to a better understanding of His Holy Word, or it will remain a difficult, closed book John 16:12-15.
The Bible Is A Book Of Oneness
2 Peter 1:21 - 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.
The oneness or unity of the Bible is a miracle. It is a library of 66 books, written by over 35 different authors, in a period of approximately 1,500 years. Represented in the authors is a cross section of humanity, educated and uneducated, including kings, fisherman, public officials, farmers, teachers, and physicians. Included in the subjects are religion, history, law, science, poetry, drama, biography, and prophecy. Yet its various parts are as harmoniously united as the parts that make up the human body.
For over 35 authors, with such varied backgrounds, to write on so many subjects over a period of approximately 1,500 years in absolute harmony, is a mathematical impossibility. It could not happen! Then how do we account for the Bible? The only adequate explanation is: ... men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God".
Seeing it is so absolutely necessary that persons be fully persuaded of the scripture's divine origin, the apostle tells us how the Old Testament came to be compiled, and that,
1. Negatively: It came not by the will of man. Neither the things themselves that are recorded, and make up the several parts of the Old Testament, are the opinions of men, nor was the will of any of the prophets or penmen of the scriptures the rule or reason why any of those things were written which make up the canon of the scripture.
2. Affirmatively: Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Observe,
(1.) They were holy men of God who were employed about that book which we receive as the word of God. If Balaam and Caiaphas, and others who were destitute of holiness, had any thing of the spirit of prophecy, upon occasion, yet such persons were not employed to write any part of the scriptures for the use of the church of God. All the penmen of the scriptures were holy men of God.
(2.) These holy men were moved by the Holy Ghost in what they delivered as the mind and will of God. The Holy Ghost is the supreme agent, the holy men are but instruments.
[1.] The Holy Ghost inspired and dictated to them what they were to deliver of the mind of God.
[2.] He powerfully excited and effectually engaged them to speak (and write) what he had put into their mouths.
[3.] He so wisely and carefully assisted and directed them in the delivery of what they had received from him that they were effectually secured from any the least mistake in expressing what they revealed; so that the very words of scripture are to be accounted the words of the Holy Ghost, and all the plainness and simplicity, all the power and virtue, all the elegance and propriety, of the very words and expressions are to be regarded by us as proceeding from God. Mix faith with what you find in the scriptures; esteem and reverence your Bible as a book written by holy men, inspired, influenced, and assisted by the Holy Ghost.
The Bible Claims Special Power
Hebrews 4:12 - 12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
1. "For The Word of God is living and active..."
The Bible claims dividing power as a sword Hebrews 4:12.
The Bible will
separate man from sin Psalms
Sin will separate man from the Bible Isaiah 59:2.
The Bible claims
reflecting power as a mirror James
In the Bible we see ourselves as God sees us, as sinners Romans 3:23.
The Bible claims
cleansing power as water Ephesians
David prayed that God would wash him from iniquity and cleanse him from sin Psalms 51:2.
The Bible claims
reproductive power as seed 1
Peter 2:2. We
are children of God, because we have been born into the family of God
by the imperishable seed of God.
This is the new birth John 3:1-7.
The Bible claims nourishing power as food 1 Peter 2:2. The Bible is spiritual food for the soul. No Christian can remain strong in the Lord and not study the Word of God.
2. From the great help and advantage we may have from the word of God to strengthen our faith, and excite our diligence, that we may obtain this rest: The word of God is quick and powerful. By the word of God we may understand either the essential or the written word: the essential Word, that in the beginning was with God, and was God (John 1:1), the Lord Jesus Christ, and indeed what is said in this verse is true concerning him; but most understand it of the written word, the holy scriptures, which are the word of God. Now of this word it is said,
(1.) That is quick; it is very lively and active, in all its efforts, in seizing the conscience of the sinner, in cutting him to the heart, and in comforting him and binding up the wounds of the soul. Those know not the word of God who call it a dead letter; it is quick, compared to the light, and nothing quicker than the light; it is not only quick, but quickening; it is a vital light; it is a living word. Saints die, and sinners die; but the word of God lives. All flesh is grass, and all the glory thereof as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away, but the word of the Lord endureth for ever, 1 Peter 1:24, 25. Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live for ever? But my words, which I commanded the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? Zechariah.1:5, 6.
(2.) It is powerful. When God sets it home by his Spirit, it convinces powerfully, converts powerfully, and comforts powerfully. It is so powerful as to pull down strong holds (2 Corinthians.10:4, 5), to raise the dead, to make the deaf to hear, the blind to see, the dumb to speak, and the lame to walk. It is powerful to batter down Satan's kingdom, and to set up the kingdom of Christ upon the ruins thereof.
(3.) It is sharper than any two-edged sword; it cuts both ways; it is the sword of the Spirit, Ephesians 6:17. It is the two-edged sword that cometh out of the mouth of Christ, Revelation 1:16. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, for it will enter where no other sword can, and make a more critical dissection: it pierces to the dividing asunder of the soul and the spirit, the soul and its habitual prevailing temper; it makes a soul that has been a long time of a proud spirit to be humble, of a perverse spirit to be meek and obedient. Those sinful habits that have become as it were natural to the soul, and rooted deeply in it, and become in a manner one with it, are separated and cut off by this sword. It cuts off ignorance from the understanding, rebellion from the will, and enmity from the mind, which, when carnal, is enmity itself against God. This sword divides between the joints and the marrow, the most secret, close, and intimate parts of the body; this sword can cut off the lusts of the flesh as well as the lusts of the mind, and make men willing to undergo the sharpest operation for the mortifying of sin.
(4.) It is a
discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart,
even the most secret and remote thoughts and designs. It will discover
to men the variety of their thoughts and purposes, the vileness of
them, the bad principles they are actuated by, the sinister and sinful
ends they act to. The word will turn the inside of a sinner out, and
let him see all that is in his heart. Now such a word as this must
needs be a great help to our faith and obedience.
Bible is Jesus Himself.
The Bible Commands The Believer To Study The Scriptures
2 Timothy 2:15 - 15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God"; is a command. As you study the Bible, you will discover that it does not just contain the Word of God, it is the Word of God. You must also keep in mind that the Word of God contains the words of God, as well as the words of Satan, demons, angels, and man, both good and bad. God is truth and cannot lie, Satan ... is a liar, and the father of lies John 8:44. Man is natural and is therefore limited, and does not always speak the truth. To illustrate: Matthew 22:15-46. In this portion of Scripture, we have the words of Jesus, of the Pharisees, of the Herodians, and of the Sadducees. The Pharisees, Herodians, and Sadducees were trying to entangle Jesus in His teachings, that they might accuse Him of breaking God's law. Their words were spoken with evil intent, revealing the thinking of the natural man, along with the words of God that came from the lips of Jesus.
--Study to show thyself approved unto God.
The care of ministers must be to approve themselves unto God, to be accepted of him, and to show that they are so approved unto God.
In order thereunto, there must be constant care and industry: Study to show thyself such a one, a workman that needs not be ashamed. Ministers must be workmen; they have work to do, and they must take pains in it. Workmen that are unskillful, or unfaithful, or lazy, have need to be ashamed; but those who mind their business, and keep to their work, are workmen that need not be ashamed. And what is their work? It is rightly to divide the word of truth.Not to invent a new gospel, but rightly to divide the gospel that is committed to their trust. To speak terror to those to whom terror belongs, comfort to whom comfort; to give every one his portion in due season, Matthew 24:45.
1. The word which ministers preach is the word of truth, for the author of it is the God of truth.
2. It requires great wisdom, study, and care, to divide this word of truth rightly; ministers must study in order to do this well.
As you study the Bible, ask yourself these questions: