Friday, October 24, 2014

Why I Trust the Bible

(First let me say that John Piper addresses this exceptionally well at and it was John Piper that sort of 'inspired' this post.)

Why do Christians, in the face of opposition, and an abundance of critiques against the Bible,  still trust the Bible and believe it? 

Psalm 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul; 
the testimony of the LORD is sure,
making wise the simple; 
8 the precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart; 
the commandment of the LORD is pure,
enlightening the eyes; 
9 the fear of the LORD is clean,
enduring forever; 
the rules of the LORD are true,
and righteous altogether. 
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold; 
sweeter also than honey and drippings
of the honeycomb. 
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned; 
in keeping them there is great reward. 
12 Who can discern his errors? 
Declare me innocent from hidden faults. 
13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; 
let them not have dominion over me! 
Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. 
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart 
be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. 

Why do I believe the Bible? Is it smart to believe the Bible? Does it do any good to give Bibles to people? Are there any good reasons to not believe it?
You know what I have found about trusting God’s word? It’s hard to remember all the arguments for it if someone was to ask you. I have books on apologetics where I can look up good info on it's trustworthiness. But if I run into a man on the street who asks me why I believe it, not only can I not remember all those details, but I don't think they are likely to convince him anyway! I mean, I guess I should be able to, I am a preacher! I went to Seminary!
I can tell you details about the Bible. How many prophecies fulfilled, how many authors there are and yet they all agree about things. But in a few days, you’d have trouble remembering all that too! 
For instance, one group of scholars counted, 1,817 prophetic predictions in scripture. Most of which have already been fulfilled in incredible detail and the remainder we fully expect to come to pass as well, they just haven't happened yet. 191 of those are prophecies about the coming Jewish Messiah. Close to 100 of those have been fulfilled, accurately, and the remainder we expect at His return and in eternity.
But 3 days, from now, ask yourself, how many prophecies are there? Do you still remember?

Now it is good to know and hear these things. It is good to know that Geisler and Howe wrote The Big Book of Bible Difficulties, taking on the accusation of 800 errors in scripture and refuted each one of them. Good info! But I believe there is another approach to this whole question.

So I want to take a whole different approach to this.
First, what do we trust it for? What does it Do for us?  
It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is…the true center of Christian 
union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions 
should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is…the focus of divine revelation[1].
Bottom line: The Bible gives us the Law, which tells us about the Holiness of God! And it tells us how far we fall short of God’s Holiness!
     It’s the basis for Christian union. I find myself in agreement with Baptists the most. But, guess what, I also have a lot of agreement with Presbyterians, Methodists and Yes, even Pentecostals – well some of them. If they are true believers and hold to the same gospel of Salvation by Grace thru faith I do. I know the Founders of the Lutherans, Presbyterians and Methodists believed that! But it also means I’m wary about other groups. While I have much in common with Catholics and the Church of Christ, in my opinion, they add works to the process of salvation. That is a big problem for me. Don’t get me wrong; There are true Christians among the Catholics and Church of Christ. And, there are lost people among the Baptists! But if we adhere to the clear teaching of scripture on salvation, on the nature of God and man, then we can have true Christian union. But, It also tells me some groups Like Mormons & Jehovah’s Witnesses are Not Christian at all.
   Also, it gives us a basis for our Behavior and Beliefs! How we should act, how we should think and believe is directed in the Scriptures. Even with all the technology, and the way the world has changed, you can't find a moral or ethical question the Bible doesn’t have something to say about it!
   And Most Important: The Bible Tells us about Jesus! Not Just the New Testament! Genesis 3 tells us about Him. The rituals of Leviticus, Psalms of David, Joshua, Isaiah, Hosea, Jeremiah, even Malachi do, too. Then of course Matthew, Mark, Luke and John do it Supremely Well! There’s not a book on earth that can tell us about Jesus and how He came to save like the Bible!

Second, Why is this important today
1) More people today deny the existence of Truth. Oh there is your truth and my truth but there is No Universal truth to a lot of people. That idea begins to trickle down to all of us! In fact, It is taught that if someone comes along claiming truth, then really they just have an agenda to control you!
2) Others say there is truth but the Bible is a mixture of truth and error. To them the Bible is so full of myths, contradictions, absurdities, and even Divine Sins, where God got things Wrong!
3) There are more books competing with the Bible as Holy Books. Used to be the Quran was way over in the Syrian and Iraq. Now it’s here. And the Bhagavad Gita, the Vedas etc. These are flooding the world! We need to flood the world with the Bible! 
4) And, it’s Important today because the Bible DOES make exclusive claims! It claims to be inspired by God! Look at these claims:

2nd Timothy 3:16  All Scripture is breathed out by God...
John 14:6 (Jesus says) I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father, but by me
Act 4:12 ...neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven... 
whereby we must be saved.

Last, Why Trust it? Is it just a blind leap of faith? Or is there something more?
John Piper gives a great example of why ‘blind trust’ doesn’t honor God. 
Suppose you were walking down the street and a guy comes up with a brown bag full of cash and says "go put this in the bank for me, here’s the bank and my account #" and then he runs off without explaining. What would you think? This guy is crazy. Not only that he’s stupid. He doesn’t know me. I know I’m trustworthy but he doesn’t. There’s nothing about that situation that gives you any credit. It’s all about his foolishness. 
But, suppose he runs up gives you all that and you stop and say, "why are you doing this? You don’t know me." And he says, "Oh yes I do. I have watched you. You’re a man of integrity. I've asked many about you and each of them says you are trustworthy. So I've done my homework and I know I can count on you. Now I have to take care of an emergency…"
Now it’s about Your character, and your trustworthiness. Many Christians don’t really do their homework. The preacher says, “Trust God” so they’re like "OK, we’ll do it." I don’t think that works well for them when troubles come, but it’s good enough for now. 

So why trust the Bible? Why Trust that it’s God’s Word?
Look at:
2nd Corinthians 4:2 But we have renounced disgraceful,
underhanded ways. 
We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's
word, but by the open statement of the truth 
we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience 
in the sight of God. 

3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those
who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world
has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, 
to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel
of the glory of Christ, 
who is the image of God. 

5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves,
but Jesus Christ as Lord, 
with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 
6 For God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," 
has shone in our hearts to give the light
of the knowledge of the glory of God 
in the face of Jesus Christ. 

Notice Paul is talking about the Word of God, the gospel and the knowledge of the Glory of God. 
All of these phrases refer to scripture. But there is a single, watershed event that makes all the difference. Has this event has happened to you?
6 For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," 
has shone in our hearts
to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God 
in the face of Jesus Christ. 

Let me talk about me a second. WHY DO I BELIEVE THE BIBLE? Because God has pierced the darkness of my heart with the light of His Glory, and this glory takes on the Face of Jesus Christ. Bottom line? I Have Met Jesus Christ! I know the “Living Word”! You say, “well that’s just your subjective experience!” 
True, but I have found the Word of God “Self-Authenticating.” I appreciate all the “Reasons” like how many Bible prophecies have been fulfilled, how accurate its history is, and how beautifully its written and how all these writers from over hundreds of years all have the same view of God. Great!
But I know Jesus! I have met Jesus! He has changed my life! I have encountered the Glory of God. The outshining of His Shekinah Glory in the Person of Jesus Christ! HOW CAN I NOT BELIEVE?

And if you have met him, you know you can trust His word, too.
I didn’t answer the Question why should everybody in the world believe the Bible. I answered the Question why I do and you should!
You desperately need an encounter with God, where you have been convinced by the Holy Spirit, that you are a sinner.
And because you are a sinner you are headed for an eternity of separation and suffering.
But Jesus communicates His Love for you in that while we were all sinners Christ Died for us!
And if you will Repent and Believe the Good news, that Jesus Christ has paid the penalty for your sins by shedding His own blood..
And if you will place your trust in Christ...
 He Will Forgive! He will give Eternal Life.
And you will Know the Truth and the Truth Will set you free!

John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth...

[1] BF&M 2000

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