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The Bible: God’s Perfect Word - Sermon #1
2 Timothy 3:14-17
THE PERFECTION OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES
Series Intro: We have met here tonight because we believe the Bible. We believe in the God of the Bible; the Christ of the Bible; the plan of salvation revealed in the Bible; and everything else written in the Bible. To a finer point, we believe the King James Version of the Bible to be the very Word of God in the English language.
We hold up our Bibles and we say, “This book is the Word of God! I believe it is true from cover to cover. It is without error and it is absolutely perfect.” I believe that too, but I fear that many do not know why they believe that. Friends, everything we believe either stands or falls on the accuracy of the Bible. Therefore, it is imperative that we know why we believe what we believe about the Bible.
I would like to take the next few mid-week services and preach a topical series entitled The Bible: God’s Perfect Word. I would like for us to consider the doctrine of “Bibliology”. That is a word that means “The study of the Bible.” I think it would be good for us to get to know our Bibles better. We need to know where it came from; why it can be trusted and why it carries ultimate divine authority. So, have your Bibles ready and follow with me as we study The Bible: God’s Perfect Word.
Sermon Intro: A good word that describes the Bible is the word “unique”. The dictionary defines the word “unique” as follows, “1. only one: being the only one of its kind 2. better than others: superior to all others 3. unusual: different from others in a way that makes something worthy of note.” It is the only book of its kind in existence! Several features point out its uniqueness, and by way of introduction, I want to share those features with you today.
· The Bible was written over a period of 1,500 years
· The Bible was written by over 40 different authors (Among them were kings, military leaders, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, tax collectors, poets, statesmen, musicians, scholars and shepherds.)
· The Bible was written in many different places, at many different times and by people experiencing many different moods.
Bible was written on three continents: Asia, Africa and
· The Bible was written in three different languages: Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic.
· The Bible is written with many different literary styles: Prose, poetry, historical narrative, romance, law, biography, parable, allegory and prophecy.
· The Bible addresses hundreds of difficult issues without a single contradiction.
· The Bible is a book of great diversity, yet, in spite of this, it unfolds a single continuous story, and it does so without ever contradicting itself.
· The Bible has for its main character God Himself, made known through the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Yes, the Bible is a unique book! But, this uniqueness was not accidental, it was purposeful. How can this be? The Bible achieves its uniqueness through a process known as Inspiration. It is that process that I would like for us to investigate together today. Our text, verse 16, says that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God”. The word “inspiration” literally means “God breathed”.
If God has given His Word, delivered by His very breath, then it stands to reason that the scripture He has given us is absolutely perfect. Let’s look into the matter of inspiration and think together for a while about The Perfection Of The Holy Scriptures.
I. THE PROCESS OF BIBLICAL INSPIRATION
A. Revelation - The first step in getting the word of God on paper is the process known as revelation. This is the process whereby a man hears from the Lord just what the Lord wants written down. At varying times, God used varying means to give His revelation to men.
· He spoke through angels - Gen. 18; 19; Luke 1-2; Matt. 28; etc.
· He spoke through an audible voice - Gen. 3:9-19; 6:13-21; 12:1-3; Ex. 20:1-17; Josh. 1:1-9; 1 Kings 17:2-4.
· He spoke in a still, small voice - 1 Kings 19:11-12
· He spoke through nature - Psalm 19
· He spoke through animals - Num. 22:28
· He spoke in dreams - Gen. 28:12; Matt. 1-2; Matt. 2:19-22
· He spoke through visions - Isaiah 6:1-6; Daniel 7; 8; 10; Acts 16, 19
· He spoke through Christophanies – Gen. 18:1-33; Ex. 3:2; Dan. 3:25; 1 Kings 19:7
We do not know the exact process by which God spoke to the original authors, but we have God’s Word on the fact that He did, 2 Pet. 1:21, “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.” So, revelation is God telling a man what He wants written down.
B. Inspiration - The second step in the process is inspiration. This is man writing on paper what God has told him to say. As we have already seen this process is said to be “God breathed”.
· The Bible clearly claims inspiration for itself, 2 Tim. 3:17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; Heb. 1:1.
· Paul believed his writings were inspired, 1 Cor. 4:2; 15:3; 1 Thes. 2:13; 4:15.
· Peter believed his writings were inspired, 2 Pet. 3:2.
· Peter believed the writings of Paul to be inspired, 2 Pet. 3:15-16.
Somehow God superintended the process of getting His word into a man and then through that man onto paper. Inspiration has been defined as, “God’s superintendence of the human authors so that, using their own individual personalities, they composed and recorded without error His revelation to man in the words of the original autographs”, Charles C. Ryrie.
But, the question comes, how did He do this? Well, of course, there are many different views, but only one correct view. Let me share a few of those with you.
Natural Inspiration – This theory holds that there was
nothing supernatural involved in the writing of the Bible. Men we inspired in the same fashion as
· Spiritual Illumination - People who hold this view believe that the people and the words were inspired. They believe that any devout Christian can be inspired to write more Scripture.
· Partial Inspiration - This view says that only the elements in the Bible related to faith are inspired. There may be scientific or historical error, but God has preserved the massage of salvation. The problems with this view are clear! If you cannot believe even a part of the Bible, how can you believe any of the Bible?
· Conceptual Inspiration - The concepts of scripture and not the words are inspired. God just gave a man an idea and he wrote what he thought about that topic.
· Divine Dictation - The biblical writers were merely automatons in the hand of God. He came upon them and overrode them. He moved the pen and merely used their body as a vehicle to write His Own Words. If this is true, then why do John, Paul, Peter, James, Matthew, Moses, etc all reveal differing styles?
All of these, among others, are false views of inspiration. Allow me to share with you the biblical view of inspiration. Most fundamentalists believe in what is called the “Verbal, Plenary Inspiration of the Bible.”
This simple means that we believe that “all” (plenary) the very “words” (verbal) of the Bible are inspired. This is the claim of the Bible, 2 Tim. 3:16; Matt. 4:4; John 6:63, and it is the position we gladly affirm this evening.
What this means is that God gave His Word to human authors. But, He did not override their personalities. He did, however, guide their choice of words. When they had written down all that God had given them in His revelation, they had produced a perfectly inspired record of God’s revelation. God breathed His Word through human vessels giving the world a perfectly inspired statement of His Word to men!
C. Illumination - The third process is getting the Word of God to men is the process known as illumination. This is “the process by which God uses the inspired written record of His revelation to speak to the hearts of individual people.” This is when the Holy Spirit causes the light to come on in the human heart and men see themselves as they are and Jesus as the need of their heart. It is also the process whereby the Spirit of God allows us to understand the truth of the Word of God. Thus, the cycle of inspiration is complete. Since inspiration is our topic this evening, we will leave the subject of illumination until a later time.
II. THE PROOFS OF BIBLICAL INSPIRATION
A. It Passes The Historical/Archeological Test - For many years people laughed at Bible believers because the Bible referred to places, people and events that had no basis in recorded history. However, through the good grace of God, He has allowed the archeologists’ spade to uncover many items from the ancient past that confirm the factual nature of the Word of God. Not a single piece of evidence had ever surfaced that contradicts the Bible at only point of its history.
(Note: Consider these important discoveries:
years men said that a place called
historicity of Joseph’s rule in
· The seal of Baruch, Jeremiah’s scribe has been found.
· Jezebel’s makeup saucers have been found.
· The death of Jesus has been proven to be a historical fact.
· The list could go on for hours, but suffice it to say that the Bible has been and continues to be proven accurate in every detail it records!)
(Note: This kind of accuracy is
something else that no other religious text in existence can claim.
B. It Passes The Scientific Test - Others have mocked the Bible and claimed that it was woefully inaccurate in matters of science. However, time has once again vindicated the accuracy of the message of the Bible.
· The Bible says the earth is a sphere, Isa. 40:22. Man discovered this in the 15th century.
· The Bible says the earth is suspended in space - Job 26:7. Sir Isaac Newton discovered this in 1687.
· The Bible claims the number of the stars is innumerable, Gen. 15:5. Abraham could only see about 1,200 stars in his day. Now, we know that there are trillions of stars in the heavens.
Bible contains rules regarding medicine and sanitation that where thousands of
years ahead of their time. (
· Many, many more specific items could be mentioned here, but these should suffice to show the superiority of the message of the Bible.
The Bible can be trusted!
C. It Passes The Prophecy Test - There are literally thousands of prophetic predictions made in the Bible. Some of these prophecies are quite dramatic in nature. For instance, Isaiah mentions Cyrus the Persian King, by name, 125 years before he was born.
Not a single one prophecy made in the Bible has ever failed, or will ever fail, to come to pass! Some of the most remarkable prophecies are those related to the Lord Jesus Christ.
For instance, if you were to take just a few of the most specific prophecies concerning the Lord Jesus and His birth and earthly life, you can see how astonishing the accuracy of the Bible truly is. Consider just these seventeen prophecies:
would be born in
2. He would be preceded by a forerunner, Isa. 40:3
4. He would be betrayed by a friend, Psa. 41:9
5. His hands and His feet would be pierced, Psa. 22:16
6. He would be wounded by His enemies, Isa. 53:5
7. He would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver, Zech. 11:12
8. He would be spit upon and beaten, Isa. 50:6
9. The betrayal money would be cast down in temple and would be used to buy a potter’s field, Zech. 11:13
10. He would be silent before His accusers, Isa. 53:7
11. He would be crucified with thieves, Isa. 53:12
12. People would gamble for His garments, Psa. 22:8
13. His side would be pierced, Zech. 12:10
14. No a bone in His body would be broken, Psa. 34:20
15. His body would not decay, Psa. 16:10
16. He would be burial in the tomb of a rich man, Isa. 53:9
17. Darkness would cover the earth, Amos 8:9.
Someone has calculated that the odds of just these seventeen prophecies coming to pass is 1 chance in 480 Billion X 1 Billion X 1 Trillion! That is the number 480 followed by 30 zeros!
In other words, it would be like taking one grain of sand, painting it gold, and hiding it somewhere among the 200 million stars and the millions of planets, moons and asteroids of the Milky Way, then blindfolding a person and sending him out to find that one golden grain of sand. The odds are the same that he would find it!
if you just take eight of the prophecies that refer to Jesus, it can be
illustrated by the following. Suppose we filled the entire state of
The Bible can be trusted!
D. It Passes The Unity Test - What God begins in Genesis, He ends in Revelation. (Ill. Gen. 1:1; Rev. 21:1; Gen. 1:27-28; Rev. 21:9, etc.) This is in spite of the fact that it took 1,500 years to write the Bible. It is the unfolding of a single story from beginning to end. This could never be duplicated by any human work!
The Bible can be trusted!
E. It Passes The Honesty Test - If this were merely a human book, it would gloss over the failures of the people found within its pages. However, the Bible does not hide Noah’s drunkenness, Samson’s lust, David’s adultery, Elijah’s depression or Peter’s denial. It tells the truth from cover to cover!
The Bible can be trusted!
There are many other areas in which the Bible could be put to the test, but I just want you to know that it passes them all with flying colors! No human book could accomplish this! Just what I have mentioned this evening is proof positive that we have in our hands a divinely inspired Bible!
III. THE PRODUCT OF BIBLICAL INSPIRATION
A. The Bible Is Infallible - This word means that the Scriptures are incapable of failing! Everything the Bible says is truth and all everything it promises will come to pass! The Scriptures are in every sense perfect and they are a perfect revelation of the mind of God to man!
B. The Bible Is Inerrant - E.J. Young defines inerrancy this way, “By this word, we mean that the Scriptures possess the quality of freedom from all error. They are exempt from the liability to mistake, incapable of error. In all their teachings they are in perfect accord with the truth.”
When people say that the Bible contains mistakes and errors, they are calling the very character of God into question! We are told that God simply cannot tell a lie, Heb. 6:18. If He claimed inspiration for His Word, then that Word must be inerrant. If it isn’t then God lied when He claimed to have inspired the original text.
C. The Bible Is Complete - When the Apostle John laid down his pen at the close of the book of Revelation, the revelation in the Scriptures was perfect and fully complete. There has not been a single inspired word since that time and there never will be. God has finished His Scriptures and we hold in our hands the perfect and complete record of that revelation. If you lived 10,000 life times and read every book ever written and that would ever be written, you would never again encounter another book like the Bible. In fact, you would never again encounter any other Scripture. The Bible is complete!
(Note: The final analysis is this: when you read your Bible, you are reading the very words of God! You can base your faith upon it! You can trust your eternity to it. You can embrace its message knowing that it reveals the very mind of God to man! It cannot fail! It cannot err! It will never be corrected, updated or amended! It is complete and it is perfect!)
Conc: I trust this hasn’t been too academic. I hope this message has served to help to further anchor your faith in the blessed Word of God. I thank Him for His perfect Word! I am thankful that this book has revealed the sin of my heart and pointed out that I was headed to Hell! I am also thankful that God illuminated my heart to allow me to see not only myself and my need, but also Jesus Christ, the solution to my problem.
There may be someone here that has never been saved. Jesus loves you my friend and He wants to reveal Himself to you. Won’t you come to Him and be saved today? Others here are guilty of neglecting their Bibles. Won’t you come and confess that to Him and begin a new love affair with the inspired Word of God? Others may like to just come and bow before Him and thank Him for His perfect Book!