Basic Bible #4: The Bible is the Word of God.

Intro # 1: The Bible is the Word of God.

The Bible as Word of God is divine in origin, absolute in authority, sufficient in its message, dynamic or alive in communication that pierces the soul and conscience, self interpretative through the ASPI of I Peter 1:21,22, as modern and up to date as air and water that God also made.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged 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.
Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.” (Hebrews 4;12,13)

2 Peter 1:20-21 New King James Version (NKJV)

“..knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

Intro #2: Major Sounds of the Bible, or where Basic Bible is going.

2-1. The Bible (II Timothy 3,4) 35
2-2. God (Matthew 5,6) 41
2-3. Christ (Ephesians 1,2) 47
2-4. Salvation (Ephesians 4) 52
2-5. Holy Spirit (Acts 2) 58
2-6. Faith (Hebrews 10-11) 64
2-7. Gospel (Luke 4) 69
2-8. Assembly (Hebrews 12) 73
2-9. Day of the LORD (Acts 2) 79

Sound 2-1: THE BIBLE (II Timothy 3,4)

Some people like to start their apologetics of Christianity with God. How reasonable it is to assume a God–as Dr. R. G. Lee has said, “God is the fundamental postulate of all rational thinking.” Or in some cases even proofs of the existence of God as in Mosma’s EVIDENCE OF GOD IN AN EXPANDING UNIVERSE, where over 40 scientists from government, education, and business give testimonies to the existence of God from their individual scientific disciplines. Still other apologists like Simon Greenleaf, former Dean of the Harvard Law School, like to start more along the Christian Evidences approach, as in his book THE TESTIMONY OF THE EVANGELISTS, to prove that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the Son of God, Greenleaf proving that the testimony of the evangelists–Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John–is such that would stand up in any court of law. The approach that I prefer is to start with the Bible: this book of 66 books which itself claims to be “the Word of God” and the Word from God, and which has been accepted as such by many of our loved ones, respected teachers, and verified by the testimony of great and small from personal experience. This also was the approach of Irwin Linton in his book A LAWYER EXAMINES THE BIBLE, who stated that if any person would honestly read the Bible for themselves, they would come to accept Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. This likewise was the apologetic approach of former Governor of New Mexico, Lew Wallace, who after reading about Jesus for himself because convinced that He is indeed the Son of God; and based on his studies also wrote the novel BEN HUR.
By the way the vast field of study known as Christian Apologetics and the perhaps sub-field of Christian Evidences has two contributions to make to the world: (1) It tends to start exactly where people are in terms of unbe- lief and even agnosticism and atheism, then lead them intellectually step by step to the point where intellectual clutters is removed, and Christ can be accepted in simple faith; (2) When doubts come to believers, especially those caused by intellectuals, then Apologetics and Evidences, can above all prove that there is a solid mental foundation to belief. In other words, you can turn to the testimonies of men of science like R.A. Millikan and Mosma, to men of literature like C.S. Lewis, to men of law like Linton and Greenleaf, and so on that are intellectual and believe as will as the opposite, men in those fields who do not believe.
Anyway, let’s start with the Bible and what the Bible says about itself in II Timothy 3:16,17. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

1. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God…”

McLendon Day wrote a marvelous book called THE WONDER OF THE WORD in which she covers many of the classic proofs for acceptance of the Bible {all Scripture} as the Word of God as for example: the testimony of great men to the Bible; the proof of prophecy–predictions accurately fulfilled like the very fact that not a bone in the body of Christ would be broken at crucifixion; testimonies of personal experience with the Bible {like the Chinese translator said during his work on the Scripture, “The one who wrote this book is the one who made me as He knows things about me no one else knows.”}; the survival of the Bible through history in spite of the opposition of enemies and the neglect of friends; and on and on. {Perhaps you would enjoy reading her book or the other good Evidence books that prove the Bible as the Word of God. Also many books are likewise available on how the Canon came to be, the 66 books of the Bible as we know them; and I would recommend as a start the book by F.F. Bruce entitled THE BOOK AND THE PARCHMENTS.}
In the name of “intellectual honesty” {from Elton Trueblood, a Christian Apologists and scholar of the philosophy of religion}, Paul when he wrote “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God…” was primarily talking about the Old Testament scriptures of 39 books; however, Paul was aware that he also after the call from Christ was writing Scriptures, and the Apostle Peter gives a testimony to Paul was the author of Scriptures inspired by God. (2 Peter 3:15,16)
For me personally, after over 50 years of Bible study, the two indisputable proofs for the Bible as the Word of God are: (1) the messages it has for me every time I turn to read or study the pages–it is the kind of messages that come only come from God; and even as my spirit says “Abba” for Father when I am praying, this process is often repeated as I read the Bible; and (2) the primary ministry of Paul, I think, to be the chief editor of the Bible; and how after meeting with the Ascended Christ in Saudi Arabia, and while back at Tarsus he re-read the Old Testament writing a parchment of all the quotes that he desired to include in the New Testament, and then personally wrote 14 of the 27 New Testament books, and left parchments and sponsored John Mark and Dr Luke on three other New Testament books. This really dawned on me as a read the New Testament again, noting and recording each quote from the Old Testament; then as I re-arranged those quotes with the New Testament explanations into a Topical Outline based on the most probably Old Testament ordering. Marvelous was the way God through Christ called the lawyer, the Apostle Paul, out of the persecution of Christians to allow him to put the cap from Christ on all Scriptures where other apostles like Peter, and James, and Matthew had already made contribution. {You can see this in detail in my commentary: LEARN CHRIST FROM THE APOSTLES AND PROPHETS, volume 1: “The Great Maker of History, the Old Testament according to the New Testament.”}
God is used in the very generic sense here just like “man” is used often in the Scriptures in the very generic sense to include both men, women, and young people or children. The exact mode God used to write Scripture is through the Holy Spirit, called the Spirit of Christ often. The Apostle Peter clarified this for us when he wrote, “…holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:21) And what “inspiration” comes down to, since it came from God through the Spirit, is: (1) it is divine in origin, and you should treat it like an authoritative, current, complete, and immutability daily broadcast from the Great God of the Universe that currently sits on the Great White Throne; (2) it should have from you and all others, as it has been for me for over 50 years, the respect of absolute authority (when God Himself speaks as He has done in the Bible and continues to do for the reader, and it is simple to understand, how much weight should be put with the opinion of any man, intellectual, governmental, or otherwise; (3) it is sufficient in message, in other words, God has made the Bible adequate for both salvation and the living of a proper life; and (4) it is high fidelity, and by that I mean, it is very easy to dig out the original meaning that God put in the Bible through the Spirit as long as the principles that the Bible itself lays down for understanding are met.

2. “and is profitable…”

It is not enough to have the respect for the Bible such as where you leave it in the home, or even how you treat it and carry it to church. It must personally and daily and always be PROFITABLE to you. That is the way God meant it: that is the way you should honor and practice it. During my interim pastorate ministry at over 16 Southern Baptist and interdenominational churches, I would preach a series of messages which included on the Bible called “The Bible as A Guidebook for Living”. I will not try to repeat that message here; however the point was the uniqueness of the category of the Bible as contrasted to other books. The Bible is not an intellectual treatise or scholarly dissertation. It is a guidebook for living meant to be read and understood by all. Even as Christ said the “poor have the Gospel preached to them”, so also do the poor, and humble, and non-scholarly primarily have the Bible delivered to them as the Word of God.

3. The Bible is “profitable” for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.

Oh yes, doctrine is a good Bible word. It also means “teaching”, and recall that it was Jesus who told the disciples in John 14-16 that they were indeed His disciples if they read and kept His commandments or teachings. If you ignore and neglect doctrine, you are ignoring and neglecting the teachings of Christ; and if you are ignoring or neglecting the teachings of Christ, Jesus Himself said that you are not one of His. {Read John 14-16 now if you doubt or do not want to wait until the chapter on the Holy Spirit.}
“Reproof” and “correction” are not words personally directed toward us that we like to hear; indeed, among those who will not endure sound doctrine during the Falling Away, these are tones and words which they refuse to hear. Instead two things happen: (1) they are motivated by their “desires” instead of sound doctrine; and (2) out of those “desires” they become highly motivated to heap out away from themselves the teachers of sound doctrine, and to heap into themselves, like a fortress, the teachers with itching ears. The end result of this neglect of the sound doctrine of the Bible as “profitable”, is that they turn away from the truth and turn into fables.
Have you ever seen a time in America when there are so many new, novel, and different sounding teachings and teachers? Well, that is what is meant by “itching ears”. No longer do church members or the public in general want to hear sound doctrines about God, Christ, and the Bible; rather, the “desires” of their itching ears lead them aggressively to seek out book teachings and teachers that will satisfy and comfort those itching ears. I don?t want to list these teachers now by names, but it will be inevitable that they come up later. You have to be careful about listening to new and novel teachers. It can sound new and novel to you for one of two reasons: (1) it is new and novel, unsound doctrine; or (2) you have not heard that part of the Bible before.

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