EMBRACING GODíS WORD AND LIVING BY IT

New believers who unite with a Biblical church will be encouraged to study the Bible because it is the inspired word of God.

However, in those times when they are out in the secular world they will often hear statements of disbelief and denial that the Bible is the inspired truth of God. Too often this results in shaking the faith of the new believer.

Opposition to belief that the Bible is Godís word is to be expected. Satan and his legions of fallen angels have made it their highest priority to create doubts about the teachings of the Bible. Fallen man, whose natural instincts are contrary to

Godís teachings are inclined to not believe the Bible because they donít want to believe.

In the brief time available I would like to give some reasons why every true Christian can confidently embrace the Bible as Godís word and live a full and abundant life according to its teachings.

THE BIBLE CLAIMS TO BE INSPIRED BY GOD

The Bible claims to be the inspired word of God some 2500 times. Our response might be, "That doesnít make it so." True, but from Godís side it is a challenge. God knew that this challenge would arouse the most brilliant minds in every age to put it to the test. Following are some of those claims:

"So Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD. . . " Exodus 24:3a.

"And Moses wrote all the words of the LORD. . .: Exodus 24:4a.

When we read the writings of Moses we are reading "The words of the Lord."

"I (God) have written for him (The Israelite tribe of Ephraim) the great things of My law, but they were considered a strange thing." Hosea 8:12.

"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." 2nd Timothy 3:16, 17.

". . .Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation (origin) for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." 2nd Peter 1:20, 21.


JESUS AFFIRMED THE SCRIPTURES TO BE INSPIRED BY GOD (Twenty-two different times).

When tempted by Satan Jesus answered, "It is written. . ." and He quoted Old Test6ament Scripture. Matthew 4:4, 7, 10.

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

When Jesus referred to the Old Testament He used terms such as "the commandment of God" (Mark 7:8), "The Word of God" (Mark 7:13; John 10:35) and "Scripture" (Luke 4:21).

Jesus endorsed the persons and events of the Old Testament as historical revelation:

Adam and Eve Ė Matthew 19:4, 5.
Noah, the Flood and the Ark, -Matthew 24:37-39.
Lot, Lotís wife and Sodomís destruction,- Luke 17:28-32
Jonah Ė Matthew 12:38-41

Jesus made clear that people will be held accountable for knowing and practicing the teachings of Scripture. See Matthew 12:3-8.

PROPHETIC FULFILLMENTS AFFIRM THE BIBLE TO BE INSPIRED BY GOD

The Bible records hundreds of prophecies about scores of nations and events. Over 90% of these prophecies have been fulfilled exactly as stated. Some examples are. . .

  • When Israel established their possession of Canaan Joshua called the leaders of all tribes together and reminded them, "Not one of the good promises which the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed; all came to pass." Joshua 21:45.

  • An unnamed prophet called King Josiah by name over 300 years before he was born and 360 years before Josiah fulfilled the prophecy. 1st Kings 13:1-3. The fulfillment is recorded in 2nd Kings 23:15-16.

  • Through the prophet, Isaiah, God called Cyrus of Medo-Persia by name 250 years before he appeared in history and told of his victory over Babylon and his special kindness to Israel. Isaiah 44:28-45-:4 (also Jeremiah 24:10).

  • Fulfillments are recorded in the 5th chapter of Daniel; 2nd Chronicles 36:21-23; Ezra l:1-8; 3:7; 4:3,5; 5:13-17; 6:1-5,14.

  • In the book of Daniel chapters two and seven, Daniel predicted the succession of four great world empires: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. He also predicted the exact day the Messiah (Jesus) would present Himself to Israel to be accepted (or rejected) as their King. Daniel 9:24-27. Fulfillment came on what we call "The Triumphal Entry" . Matthew 21:1-15; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-48; John 12:12-50.

    The Old Testament made 198 direct prophecies of Messiah (Jesus) and 333 indirect prophecies. Some examples are:

  • PROPHECY                                            FULFILLMENT

  • Isaiah 7:14,         Virgin-born                                Luke 1:26-35
    Micah 5:2,           Birth in Bethlehem                    Matthew 2:1
    Isaiah 7:14,         Called Immanuel                       Matthew 1:23
    Isaiah 9:1,2,        Ministry in Galilee                     Matthew 4:12-16
    Zechariah 9:9,     Triumphal entry                         Matthew 21:1-11
    Psalms 41:9,       Betrayed by a friend                  Matthew 26:20-25
    Psalms 35:11,     Falsely accused                       Matthew 26:59-68
    Isaiah 53:7,         Silent before accusers               Matthew 27:12-14
    Psalms 22:16,     Hands/Feet pierced                   John 20:25
    Isaiah 53:12,       Crucified with robbers                Matthew 27:38
    Psalms 22:18,     Lots cast for clothes                 John 19:23,24
    Psalms 34:20      Bones not broken                     John 19:33
    Psalms 22:15      Thirsted on the cross                John 19:28
    Isaiah 53:9,         Buried in tomb of a rich man     Matthew 27:57-61

    It is helpful to note that God informed the people of Israel that the test of how to know a prophet was speaking "the word of the LORD" was that his prophecy had to be fulfilled 100%. Deuteronomy 18:21,22.

     

    WHAT WE LEARN WHEN WE EMBRACE GODíS WORD

    The Bible is composed of 66 books. 39 in the Old Testament; 27 in the New Testament.
    We can follow the historical record of the Old Testament which can be summarized as. . .

    Creation of the Universe
    The Spiritual Fall and Death of Mankind
    The Great Judgment Flood on Corrupted Mankind
    The Patriarchs (Fathers) of Godís Chosen People: Abraham,
         Isaac, Jacob (replaced by "Israel").
    The History or Israel From Their Captivity in Egypt Until Their Return From Dispersion (Some 1500 years).

    The details of this history are given in the following five divisions:

    The Law (Genesis through Deuteronomy)
    History (Joshua through Esther)
    Wisdom (Job through Song of Solomon)
    Major Prophets (Isaiah through Daniel)
    Minor Prophets (Hosea through Malachi)

    Following the completion of the Old Testament there was 400 years in which there was no Scripture inspired by God.

    Our New Testament begins with the birth of Jesus and His introduction by John the Baptist. "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light. . ."

    The words with which John introduced were. . .
    "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" John 1:29.

    The four Gospels (Good News) provide us the record of the birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. Each one writes from a unique perspective:

    Matthew is especially addressed to Israel regarding Israelís promised King and His Kingdom. The key words are "It is writtenÖ"

    Mark emphasized the servant ministry of Jesus. The key word is "straightway" or "immediately".

    Luke emphasized the human compassion of Jesus

    Johnís emphasis is on Christís deity.

    The Book of Acts records the promised coming of the Holy Spirit who gave birth to the church, which began with outward witness of salvation by faith in Jesus, from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth.

    The 21 Epistles clarify our understanding of Jesus, His sacrificial redemption for lost sinners; His ministry as Great High Priest, the composition and ministry of the church, beliefs that are true and beliefs that are false, and our relationship with God, one another and the unsaved.

    The Book of Revelation reveals that status of the church, the end times of a false peace evolving into great tribulation, the defeat of Satan and his followers, the victory and reign of Jesus Christ and the eternal state of the lost in hell, and the believers of all ages in the New Creation.

    In one sentence the Bible is Godís story from eternity past to eternity future.

    Jesus came into this world to save sinners and give them life abundantly. As we study Godís Word we learn how to be participants in this abundant life.

     

     

     

     


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