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Why You Can Trust Your Bible
The gospel of Mark 16:9 to 20–part 1
I love the Bible. I am so privileged that part of my responsibilities is to actually study the Bible. I hope as I get older I will know more and more about the Bible, because it is God’s Word–it is the words of our Savior! But when I first became a Christian, I didn’t know much about the Bible. So when I started at Bible school, one of my professors asked me to tell him what I knew, and I said this–“Oh I know the Bible from cover to cover.”
“Well in the Bible, what book do you like the best?”
“My specialty is the gospel of Mark.”
“Then what part of the gospel of Mark do you like the most?”
I said, “I like the parallels the best.”
“Can you tell me which of the parables you love the best?”
And I said, “I love the parallel of the Good Samaritan.”
“Well Chris, tell us from memory the parable of the Good Samaritan.” This is what I said.
“Once there was this man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho and he fell among thorns. And the thorns sprung up and choked him. And as he went on, he didn’t have any money and met the queen of Sheba and she gave him a thousand talons of gold. And they got into a chariot and drove furiously, but as he was driving under a big juniper tree his hair got caught on a limb.
“And as he hung there many days, the ravens brought him food to eat and water to drink. So he ate five hundred loaves of bread and two fish. And one night as he was hanging there asleep, his wife Delilah came along and cut off his hair, and he fell on stony ground. But he got up and it began to rain, and it rained forty days and forty nights.
“And he hid himself in a cave and lived on locust and wild honey. Then he went on until he met a servant who said, ‘Come, take supper at my house.’ And he ate manna out of a lion carcass and drank water while sitting up, not laying down. After supper he went down to Jericho, and after he got there he looked out and saw old Queen Jezebel was sitting way up high in the windows, and she laughed at him.
“So he said, ‘Throw her down!’ And they threw her down. And he said, ‘Throw her down again!’ And they threw her down seventy times seven, and from the fragments that remained they picked up twelve baskets full, besides women and children. And then they said, ‘Blessed are the peacemakers.’ Now whose wife do you think she will be at the judgment day?”
I thought I was bad, but just listen to the retelling of Bible stories by child scholars from around the world, like:
The first book of the Bible is Guinness, and in that book God got tired of creating the world, so He took the Sabbath off.
Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree.
Noah’s wife was called Joan of Ark.
Lot’s wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball of fire by night.
Moses led the Hebrews to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients.
The Egyptians were all drowned in the desert. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the Ten Amendments.
The First Commandment was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple. The Fifth Commandment is to humor thy father and mother.
Moses died before he ever reached Canada.Then Joshua led the Hebrews in the battle of Geritol.
The greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him.
David fought against the Finklesteins.
Solomon, one of David’s sons, had three hundred wives and seven hundred porcupines.
Paul taught that a Christian should have only one wife–that is called monotony.
How deep are you in the Bible? What level is your trust? One of the scariest exams I give to the men of our church is to test how much they know on the opening day exam of the Training Center. It asks all kinds of basic questions as to where certain crucial information is found in the Bible. Guaranteed, it’s the most painful moment for first-year students because they realize, maybe for the first time, they don’t know the Bible as well as they thought.
How about you? Do you really know your Bible–God’s Word? We’ve been studying the gospel of Mark, and have finally arrived at the very end of the book. The truth is, we have already concluded our study, because the final verses in Mark, chapter 16, verses 9 to 20 do not belong in your Bible.
If you have a good study Bible, you will see that verses 9 through 20 are in brackets, usually with a side note stating that these verses are not in the oldest manuscripts. Before we explain why that is and what it means, by way of lengthy introduction today, I thought we would examine why we trust our Bible. Why should we trust the Bible?
#1 Because the Bible is amazingly UNIQUE
You realize the book you have in your lap is the best selling, first printed, first translated in more languages than any other book, most printed, most translated, most read book in the world. It was the first book sent by Morse code. It was the first book read in outer space. The book that has fetched the greatest price for any book sold.
It was written over a 1,600-year time span, over sixty generations, by forty different authors, including kings, peasants, philosophers, poets, military generals, prime ministers, doctors, businessmen and rabbis. It was written in the wilderness, in dungeons, palaces and on the road–during times of war and during times of peace.
The Bible was written when some were experiencing the heights of joy, while others wrote during their deepest sorrow. It was written on three different continents–Asia, Africa and Europe. And in three different languages–Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Can you imagine how difficult it is to write a book telling a single story with no contradictions over every important and controversial issue that exists, but writing it over 1,600 years with forty different authors who had no contact with each other?
And yet the Bible has amazing unity and no contradictions. It’s as if one person was directing its writing for 1,600 years. The Bible is the most accurate historical book, repeatedly shown to be true by outside documents and by archaeology. The Bible has survived the greatest attacks and harshest criticism.
Roman Emperor Diocletian tried to wipe out Christians and burn all Bible scrolls. Philosopher writer Voltaire said in 1778 that Christianity would be swept away in a hundred years. In the 70’s, John Lennon of the Beatles said Christianity will vanish. Yet they are all gone, and the Bible and Christianity remain. The Bible stands alone as amazingly unique–you can trust it. Why else trust the Bible?
#2 Because the Bible is amazingly CONFIRMED
As with all ancient papyrus documents, we do not have the original manuscripts, so how do we know we have the real thing? There is a bibliographical test designed for all ancient documents which determines how solid that document is. You test it by how close in time the copies are to the original, how many copies we still have, and do those copies maintain a unity with the other copies?
So, 1) how close to the original are they, 2) how many do we have, and 3) how similar are these copies to each other in content? How close, how many, and how similar are they? Take a look at the manuscript chart in your outline.
AUTHOR Time Span to Earliest Copy Number of Copies
Herodotus, Greek historian (480-425 BC) 1,300 years 8
Plato (428-347 BC) 1,200 years 7
Aristotle (384-322 BC) 1,400 years 5
Caesar, Golic Wars (100-44 BC) 1,000 years 10
New Testament: 25,000
John’s death (fragment P-52) 10 years (AD 100)
John and Luke (Bodmer Papri) 110 years
4 gospels and Acts (Chester Beatty Papri) 110 years
entire New Testament (Sinaiticus) 210 years
entire Bible (Vaticanus) 210 years
No one has the original manuscripts of the Bible. We don’t have Paul’s original handwritten letters. But what we do have is 25,000 various copies. These very old (close to the original) manuscripts, are also extremely consistent with each other. The Bible is confirmed.
No one was trying to preserve those other ancient documents, but there were many unknown saints, monks, copyists who did everything they could to preserve the Scriptures for us. Even during early persecutions the Bible was preserved. Because they loved the Bible and the God of the Bible, by hand they would copy word for word, count the number of letters in each line, and confirm they had copied each line accurately.
Amazingly, not only do we have all these ancient copies, but they are incredibly similar–and because of that you can trust the Bible you have in your lap. One of my favorite Greek Scholars, A.T. Robertson says, “The vast array of manuscripts has enabled textual scholars to accurately reconstruct the original text with (listen to this) more than 99.9 percent accuracy.” More than 99.9 percent accuracy.
“But,” you ask, “with all those copies, there are NO errors?” No, I didn’t say that. Some of these scribes made errors. They put in a wrong word, put in a wrong spelling, left something out, or occasionally (like with the end of Mark), they even tried to clarify something. But guess what? We have so many manuscripts, we know when they’re doing that. Plus, if something shows up in a later manuscript and it’s not in any of the earlier ones, we know it was added later. That’s what happens at the end of Mark–it isn’t brain surgery.
The Bible has no equal! In 25,000 copies, there are 200,000 variant readings. Yet there are only 10,000 instances of discrepancy, and most of those are the difference between one letter on a single word. There are only 400 places where there’s any doubt about the textual meaning, and only fifty of those have any real significance. No variation in language or grammar affects any major doctrine of the Scriptures. It is amazing the Bible is so well preserved before the invention of the printing press. This confirmation of the Bible started at its inception.
We know the Bible is true, because the human writers and the people they spoke to were eyewitnesses to what happened and what was said. Listen carefully to Luke 1:1 to 3, “Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, 2 just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, 3 it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus.”
Second Peter 1:16, “We did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.” First John 1:3, “What we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son.” John 19:35, “And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe.”
The New Testament accounts of Christ were being circulated in the lifetimes of those who witnessed the events. The people of the first century could certainly confirm or deny the accuracy of the accounts. And in every case, the apostles appealed not only to themselves as eyewitnesses, but those they proclaimed Christ to as eyewitnesses as well.
They would say things like, “We saw Christ do that, and heard Him say that.” But the apostles often said to the crowds they spoke to, “You who’re listening, you also know these things are true.” Like Acts 2:22, “’Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know.’”
Or Acts 26:24 to 26, “Festus said in a loud voice, ‘Paul, you are out of your mind! Your great learning is driving you mad.’ 25 But Paul said, ‘I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I utter words of sober truth. 26 For the king knows about these matters, and I speak to him also with confidence, since I am persuaded that none of these things escape his notice; for this has not been done in a corner.’”
Both friend and foe they spoke to had witnessed these events–they knew them to be true. They were there–they had heard, they had seen, and they knew what the apostles were proclaiming had actually happened. They could not deny it, telling us the Bible stands alone as being amazingly confirmed. Why else should you trust the Bible?
#3 Because the Bible is amazingly SUPPORTED
Does other external evidence confirm or deny the Scripture? What sources are there, apart from the Scripture, which substantiate its accuracy, reliability and authenticity? Two friends of the Apostle John confirm the Scripture.
Eusebius preserves the writings of Papias from AD 130, saying, “The elder [Apostle John] used to say this also; ‘Mark having been the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately all that he [Peter] mentioned, whether sayings or doings of Christ, not, however in order. … Mark made no mistake… for he paid attention to this one thing, not to omit anything that he had heard, not to include any false statement among them.’”
Irenaeus (the student of Polycarp, who had been a disciple of John the Apostle) in AD 180 wrote, “Matthew published his gospel among the Hebrews in their own tongue, when Peter and Paul were preaching the Gospel in Rome and founding the church there. Mark the disciple and interpreter of Peter, himself handed down to us in writing the substance of Peter’s preaching. Luke, the follower of Paul, set down in a book the Gospel, preached by his teacher. Then John, the disciple of the Lord, who also leaned on his breast, himself produced his gospel, while he was living at Ephesus in Asia.”
One commentator writes, “These are the Early Church Fathers. They are called Ante-Nicene Fathers because they lived before the Council of Nicea in 325–they lived in the 100’s and 200’s. They recorded a lot of sermons, theology, Bible study material and history. If you were to read all those Church Fathers prior to 325, you’d find about 32 thousand quotes from the New Testament.
We have so many quotes from the New Testament in the writings of these Early Church Fathers held in libraries, that from them we can reconstruct a complete New Testament from nothing but the writings of the Fathers. And the writings of the Early Church Fathers confirm the accuracy of the Gospels. There are over nineteen thousand quotations from the gospels in the writings of the Early Fathers.
So whether you’re reading a Greek manuscript, a Syriac Bible, or looking at a Latin Vulgate or a quote from a Church Father, it is crystal clear they all had the same thing. They’d be reading essentially in their language what you’re reading today in yours, because yours is drawn from those same ancient manuscripts that they are quoting from.
Even archaeology repeatedly supports the accuracy of the Bible. For years critics denied that the person of Pontius Pilate, governor of Judea even existed. This claim was silenced in 1961 when an excavation of Caesarea, the Roman capital of Palestine, uncovered an inscription bearing both Pilate’s name and title.
Sir William Ramsay is regarded as one of the greatest archaeologists of all time. He had read modern liberal criticism of the book of Acts and dismissed Acts as a key source. But as he continued to dig up New Testament locations in our modern age, he completely rejected the liberal opinion and began to use Luke and Acts as his main historical reference, to the point that he wrote this, “Luke is a historian of the first rank … this author should be placed along with the greatest historians.” And Ramsay conceded that Acts could not be a second century document, but was rather a mid-first century account.
Liberal critics also doubted the description of King Solomon’s wealth until archaeologist Henry Breasted, between 1925 and 1934, unearthed the remains of just one of Solomon’s chariot cities near Megiddo in northern Israel. Henry uncovered just one of Solomon’s stables holding over 400 horses, with barracks for chariot battalions to guard a key route into Israel around 1,000 BC.
These are but a few of the thousands of external confirmations of the truth, accuracy and authority of the Word! It is supported, and you can trust your Bible . . .
#4 Because the Bible is amazingly INSPIRED
What you hold in your hand is more than what Christ would say if He were here physically. This book is what Christ is saying to you right now. This book is alive. Read Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
The Bible is living and active revelation from God. The Bible is God revealing Himself to us. The Bible is the truth–not part of the truth, nor does it merely contain some truth. It is the truth. The Bible is the message of salvation, and the means of sanctification. Romans 10:17, “Faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” John 17:17 says, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.”
The process of God recording His Word, the Bible, was carefully preserved and protected by God Himself. Second Peter 1:20 and 21, “Know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
And every word of the Bible–every letter is inspired by God. The prophets and apostles and those under their leadership were directed and carried along by the Holy Spirit, resulting in the inspiration of the Bible. Every word of your Bible is God-breathed. Second Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” As a result, the Bible, in the original documents, is the inerrant, living, Word of God, making the Bible the ultimate authority over all of life and godliness. It’s the Creator’s word for His creation.
The Bible will mature you in Christ. It’s your food, and as you grow you’ll learn to feed yourself, and move from milk to meat. True believers “long for the pure milk of the word” (1 Peter 2:2). And like Job 23:12, “treasure the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.” The Bible will clean you and keep you from sin (Psalm 119:11), “Thy Word have I hid in my heart that I may not sin against Thee.”
The Bible will also give you direction. Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Like a car manual that tells you not to travel 60 mph, then throw the car in reverse. Like a map that guides you to your proper destination, or a warning label that stops you from making a fatal mistake–the Bible gives you direction.
And the Bible allows you also to personally know God. Philippians 3:8 says, “More than that I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.” Everything other than knowing Christ is human refuse—poop. And the Bible is the path to knowing God and so much more. The Bible is living, active and life-changing. Raise your hand if . . .
1 How many of you here were weighed down with a ton of guilt, but then you were hit by the grace of God and were forgiven in Christ through the message of salvation from God’s Word?
2 Which of you this morning were at one point completely sick over the person you had become, but when God saved you through His Bible you became a new creature in Christ–the old things passed away and everything became new?
3 How many of you, even as a believer, though you are far from perfect today–you’re no longer the same person you were when you were first rescued by Christ, but through His Word you have been dramatically transformed?
The Bible changes lives. Millions of people, from heads of state to blue-collar workers, from scientists to students, from generals to privates, from Republicans to . . . well let’s not get radical. The Word of God changes people and transforms lives. Typically, a Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to somebody who isn’t.
You can trust the Bible because it is amazingly inspired and life transforming. You can also trust the Bible . . .
#5 Because the Bible is amazingly PROPHETIC
All throughout the Word of God, God’s prophets predicted future events in such a detailed manner, the only possible explanation is that the God who exists out of time predicted it. Turn to Ezekiel 26, and listen to what the prophet says about the city of Tyre. In 700 BC, Tyre was a great city in the ancient world. Phoenicians were the greatest sailors, navigators, explorers and colonizers of their day.
Tyre was the capital city of the Phoenicians and their trade center. The main city on the mainland was a fortified city with a 150-foot high wall, which was also 15-foot thick. They had the strongest, biggest fleet of ships in the world in their day. Look at what Ezekiel predicts.
1 Many nations will rise against Tyre in waves like the sea Verse 3
Ezekiel 26:3, “Thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I am against you, O Tyre, and I will bring up many nations against you, as the sea brings up its waves.’”
2 Tyre will be made bare like a flat rock Verse 4
Ezekiel 26:4, “‘They will destroy the walls of Tyre and break down her towers; and I will scrape her debris from her and make her a bare rock.”
3 Fishermen will dry their nets there Verse 5
Ezekiel 26:5, “‘She will be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea, for I have spoken,’ declares the Lord God, ‘and she will become spoil for the nations.’”
4 Nebuchadnezzar will destroy the mainland city of Tyre Verses 7 to 8
Ezekiel 26:7 to 8, “For thus says the Lord God, ‘Behold, I will bring upon Tyre from the north Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses, chariots, cavalry and a great army. 8 He will slay your daughters on the mainland with the sword; and he will make siege walls against you, cast up a ramp against you and raise up a large shield against you.’”
5 All rubble of the city will be cast into the sea Verse 12
Ezekiel 26:12, “’Also they will make a spoil of your riches and a prey of your merchandise, break down your walls and destroy your pleasant houses, and throw your stones and your timbers and your debris into the water.’”
6 Tyre will never be rebuilt Verse 14
Ezekiel 26:14, “’I will make you a bare rock; you will be a place for the spreading of nets. You will be built no more, for I the Lord have spoken,’ declares the Lord God.”
What actually happened was, Nebuchadnezzar lay siege to Tyre for thirteen years (verse 12)—he smashed her walls and towers. But everyone and everything moved to an island a half-mile off shore. Like Ezekiel predicts in Ezekiel 29, Nebuchadnezzar gained no plunder. They destroyed the mainland city, but it remained as rubble.
Then 250 years later, as Alexander the Great conquered the known world, he laid siege to the island. They refused to surrender, so Alexander built a 2,000-foot long causeway, 200 feet wide, made from leftover debris from the destroyed mainland city. Then Alexander built 160-foot high movable towers on wheels, rolled them over the causeway to the wall of the city. He also conquered neighboring coastal nations to gain a fleet to use against the island.
He finally conquered the city—8,000 were slain, 7,000 were executed and 30,000 were sold into slavery. He reduced the entire region into ruin in 332 BC. Though worn by the sea, the causeway to the island still exists to this day. And the mainland city has never been rebuilt. Could this all be human guesswork? To answer that question, Peter Stoner, a scientist and mathematician, utilized what he called the principle of probability that says, if the change of one thing happening is one in M, and the change of another thing happening is one in N, the change that they both shall happen is one in M times N.
This is not radical stuff, since this equation is used today in fixing insurance rates. Stoner asked 600 of his students to apply the principle of probability to the biblical prophecy of the destruction of Tyre, and they calculated the chances of all the parts of this prophecy coming true were one chance in 400 million. Yet all of it did come true in detail. And friends, that is just one prophecy.
There are over 300 prophecies about Christ. Examine just eight of them predicting Christ’s first coming, and the probability of those prophecies coming true in one person is one chance in ten to the seventeenth. That’s a one with seventeen zeros after it chance. Just eight prophecies about Christ–that’s a big number.
Let me help you visualize the probability–that number that only Christ would fulfill those eight prophecies about Him written hundreds and thousands of years before He was born. And again remember, the entire Hebrew Old Testament was translated into Greek about two hundred years before Christ, so no one is messing with these predictions and making them somehow come true in Christ.
Fill the face of the entire state of Texas with silver dollars two feet deep. Drop one silver dollar painted red from space in the middle of the state. Spend ten years stirring the silver dollars with giant bulldozers. Then blindfold one man, and have him wander the state for ten years—then have him pick up just one of the silver dollars. The probability of him getting the red one is one in ten to the seventeenth for just eight of the Old Testament prophecies (and that’s just eight of the three hundred).The Bible is amazingly prophetic. And finally, you can trust the Bible . . .
#6 Because the Bible is amazingly CHRIST-REVEALING
As you treat the Bible, so you treat Jesus. There is such a close relationship between Jesus and the Word of God, when you misinterpret one you are misunderstanding the other. When you ignore one, you are ignoring the other. When you distort one, you’re distorting the other. When you don’t obey one, you’re not obeying the other.
How can I say that? The Bible is called the Word of God, and so is Jesus. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and the Bible was given by the Holy Spirit. Both are perfect, both are without error in the original, both have unique authority, both are rejected by men, both make God known, and both Jesus and the Bible are judges of mankind.
Because the Bible is the Word of God, it means if Jesus were present physically, the Bible is what He’d say. Jesus would speak the truths and verses of the Bible. They are His Words, therefore we’d better not mess them up, ignore them or fail to live them. The path to intimacy with Jesus is through the Word of God. It is not thoughts about the Word, not stories used in a sermon, music, not ideas that spring from the text, but the Word of God itself. Do you trust your Bible–really trust it? If you do, you will . . .
A READ it, study it, and meditate on the Bible faithfully
Don’t you hate it when you are talking to someone, but they ignore everything you say? It’s almost as if you’re not even there. How is that different than a Christian who occasionally prays, but never reads, studies or thinks deeply about the Word? You are just like that person who does all the talking and no listening. The sweetest moments of communion with Christ are my study. The most intimate times with Christ are while in His Word.
Do you love His Word more than your necessary food? Do you long for His Word like a baby longs for milk? Do you really know Christ through His Word?
B Seek to LIVE the Bible zealously
Read these verses. James 1:22, “Prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” Matthew 7:21, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” Luke 6:46, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” Luke 8:21, “But He answered and said to them, ‘My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.’”
Jesus says My children live my Word–do my Word. In fact, Christ says through John in 1 John 2:4, “The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” Be careful, church attender–Jesus is not telling you to be moral. You know the guy who says, “I don’t drink, smoke, or chew, or go with girls who do.” It is not merely that you don’t disobey-God’s Word is actually calling us to obey His Word.
Do you SERVE faithfully in ministry in a local church?
Do you GIVE sacrificially to a local church because you want to?
Are you LOVING your wife, SUBMITTING to your husband?
Are you TRAINING and MODELING for your children because you want to?
Are you SHARING with the lost?
Are you WORKING as if for Christ?
And are you READING, studying, meditating on God’s Word?
You can’t do any of this in your own strength–you must turn to Christ to be born again and transformed.
C Do you DEPEND on the Bible wholeheartedly?
Some of you have come this morning in the midst of a great trial. Others of you are experiencing intense strain in relationships. Some are battling health, are losing hope, or have great heartache. A few of you are lonely, depressed, unhappy, weary, or discontent. Are you by faith turning to God’s Word for help?
Psalm 19 tells us God’s Word is perfect, restoring the soul. Scripture is trustworthy, imparting wisdom. The Bible is right, causing joy. The Word is pure, enlightening the eyes. The Scripture is clean, enduring forever. The Bible is true and altogether righteous. Turn to God’s Word on your own. Turn to friends, RMG leaders, elders and pastors and ask for verses. Cling to God’s Word. Depend on God’s Word. Get your answers from God’s Word. Take the classes that teach you how to study God’s Word.
D Do you TRUST the Bible relationally?
It is the Bible that can bring you to Christ. And it is the Bible that will make you more like Christ. And friends, you will never trust the Bible until God has awakened your heart. In fact, if you find the Bible dull, boring, distant, super difficult, frustrating or not understandable–that’s an indicator you are not a Christian.
First Corinthians 2:14 says, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” It is the Spirit of Truth who must awaken your heart to hear truth and heed truth. First you’ll realize you are a horrible sinner in need of a Savior. You’ll embrace Christ as God who came to save you from your sins. Then you’ll believe Christ took your punishment on the cross for your sins, died in your place, and proved it was all true by rising from the dead.
You will do anything to be saved–anything. So you will surrender your life. You will exchange all that you are for all that He is. And Christ will invade your life and cause you to be born again and indwelt with His Spirit–the Spirit of Truth. When He indwells you, you will love God’s truth–love God’s Word. I pray this morning that is true of each of you. Let’s pray.