Do you believe that university life is about more than classes, assignments, studying and weekends? Are you interested in finding more meaning and purpose in your life? Do you enjoy listening to and sharing ideas with others? Then, please join our weekly Bible discussion group.

Campus Bible Talk meets every Monday during the school year (except during holidays and during Reading Week Breaks) at Athabasca Hall, Heritage Lounge, at 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

You may also email us anytime at

Saturday, February 25, 2017

"Persistence in Prayer" by Eli Cole

I have previously written some posts on this blog about the importance of prayer and our perseverance in it.  A minister by the name of Eli Cole gave this sermon a few years ago about this very subject.  I found his message to be quite helpful when I myself was learning about this topic some time ago.

Some of his key points are:

- Keep faith
- Never give up - either in prayer or the Christian life in general

~ Christian

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Bible Lesson 2 – The Inspired Word of God

Last time we studied that the Bible claims that its writers were inspired by God through the Holy Spirit.  All the Bible is inspired by God and thoroughly equips us for everything we need to do good works on earth.  We studied that Jesus promised the Holy Spirit to the apostles and His promise came true in Acts 1:1-9 and 2:1-4.
The Bible contains the complete message from God.  The Bible’s message is for all time and is not to be changed.  This means there is no need for any further revelation ever.
What the Bible Can Do For Us
Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17Where does the Scripture come from?  God.  How much Scripture comes from God? All of it.  What does it mean to be thoroughly equipped for every good work? What is the Word capable of doing in your life?  All you need, lacking nothing.

Illustration:  If you are undergoing brain surgery, which surgical instruments do you want the surgeon to forget, or to not have?  None, of course!  You want him/her to have all the necessary instruments and equipment.  How would you feel if he/she had some automotive tools or kitchen utensils mixed in with the surgical instruments?  It is dangerous to mix together incorrect tools and the incorrect instruments.  It is the same when it comes to God’s teachings as revealed in the Bible.  We have all we need to know in order to live to please God.  We need it all, but it is all we need!
Now read Hebrews 4:12What kind of tool does this verse tell us the Word of God is?  Sharp, alive, capable sword.  This would be like a doctor’s scalpel, or other fine cutting instrument.  What is the Word capable of doing for us in our lives?  Cut out the evil.

2 Peter 1:3-4:  What has God done for us?  He has given us all we need for life and godliness.  Notice it is in the past tense -  complete.  How do we know how to escape evil and live godly lives?  Through our knowledge of God and His promises, which can be found in the Bible.  What will His promises do for us? Allow us to be partakers of the Divine Nature through the knowledge of Him.
To emphasize the importance of the Bible, we can read 1 Peter 1:25, which says that the Bible will be the standard by which we are judged.
The Word also endures forever.  What does that mean for us?  Read John 12:47-49.  Jesus is speaking to the people before He goes to the cross. What do these verses say?  The Words Jesus spoke that were from God will judge all people. Where do we find these Words that will judge us today? Found only in the Bible –the only place where Jesus’ Words are recorded.
How important is it then to know what the Bible teaches or says about itself?

More Evidence that the Bible is Accurate in Everything that is Checkable
  • Genesis 14:8-9 – Existence of 5 cities confirmed by the Ebla Tablets
  • Joshua 6 – Walls of Jericho falling flat; Rahab’s house built against the wall; Jericho being attacked during or after harvest; Jericho being burnt and not plundered by Israel.
Scientific Facts Recorded in the Bible – Long before scientists proved them
  • Psalm 8:8 – Lanes in the Ocean
  • Genesis 3:15 – Women Produce a “Seed”
  • Ecclesiastes 1:7 and Job 36:27-28 – The Water Cycle
  • Leviticus 13:1-4 and 14:1-9 – The Handling of Infectious Diseases

The Bible is the written Words of Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit.  It is the Words in the Bible that will judge us and so it is important to know what it says.  We also know that because the Word endures forever we can trust it and know that it will never change and always be useful and important for us to know.

The Bible – Lesson 1 –The Inspired Word of God

Today we are going to look at what the Bible says about itself and what the writers of it say.  We will also look at how the Bible is complete and is the perfect revelation from God for all mankind.

What the Bible Claims About Its Writers
Where does the Bible claim that the prophets got their message?  The Holy Spirit
Read Acts 27:15-17.  This text tells us that the ship is “driven along”, “moved by” or “carried along” by the storm, the men didn’t have any control over where the ship was going.  The apostles in 2 Peter 1:20-21 are said to have been also “carried along” by the Holy Spirit and those words are the very same words in the Greek used in Acts 27.
What does this tell us about the things that the prophets said and wrote?  Controlled in what they wrote by the Holy Spirit.
Why does the writer say “above all”?   What is most important to understand about how the prophets spoke and wrote the Bible?  The apostles were not sharing their own ideas; they were relaying God’s message.
Turn now to 2 Timothy 3:16-17.  What do you think the writer means when he says “All Scripture”? Every word.  Where does the writer say that all Scripture comes from? All Scripture comes from GoWhat does this passage tell us the Scripture is able to do for us?  It thoroughly equips for every good work.  What does that mean for us today? You get everything you need to please God from the Bible.  And finally, do we need anything else to please God other than the Bible according to this verse?  No!
Read John 14:25-26; 16:12-16.
Who is Jesus going to send?  The Holy Spirit.  What was the Holy Spirit going to give the apostles?  All truth - the teachings Jesus taught His Disciples.  This promise of Jesus is fulfilled in Acts 1:1-9 and 2:1-4.  Paul says this about his own teachings in 1 Corinthians 2:6-13:
What does Paul say about the wisdom of the message that he is giving us?  It is not from the world but from God.  This wisdom was hidden for some time, but now has been revealed by God through Jesus, Paul and the other apostles.  Thus Paul says that he is getting his message from God, the Holy Spirit.  So if we disagree with what Paul writes, with whom are we really disagreeing?  God.
How does the Bible and its writers claim they were inspired?  
Who testified that this was true?  
Do you trust that the Bible is the only Holy message of God for all mankind? There is plenty of evidence in the Bible to prove that the writers could not have been writing from their own ideas. Some examples include:
There are no historical mistakes or errors in the Bible.
Genesis 15:20 – The Hittite nation of people is mentioned as existing, but even as recently as 1900 there was no archeological evidence of their existence.  Finally, in 1906 ruins and remains were found in Turkey as evidence and the Bible proved accurate.
Writers were inspired and couldn’t have come up with these by themselves.
Job 26:7 – Job is one of the oldest books of the Bible.  What does Job claim that the earth is sitting on?  Nothing; it is suspended.  At that time Job wouldn’t have known what we know.  Scientists only proved this to be true 4000+ years after Job said it.  How did Job know this?  God, as Job, was inspired.  Newton proved what Job had said in 1650 – thousands of years after Job has said it.
How does this apply to us today?  This shows that if the Bible was inaccurate it wasn’t inspired but everything so far is accurate
Does this evidence support the claim that the Bible writers were inspired by God?
The Bible is Complete and Not to Be Mishandled|
Deuteronomy 4:1-2, Revelation 22:18-20, and Psalm 30:5-6
These are at the beginning, middle and end of the Bible.  What are all these verses warning about?  Mishandling by adding or taking away from the Words in the Bible.  The people need all the Words and the Words are all the people need to now how to please God.
In Galatians 1:6-9, Paul is speaking to the Galatians because some of the Jews had come to them and wanted them to conform to the Jewish traditions even though they were in the Christian age.
What was Paul astonished about?  They were straying from the gospel that had been given by him earlier.  Who has the authority to change anything in the Word?  No one – not Paul, not angels, not church leaders, etc.
Read John 16:13What was the Spirit going to give the apostles when He came?  All truth – spiritual truth.  "All truth" would imply that it is the complete message of God.

How does this apply to us today?
Who is responsible for making sure we do not add or take away from the Words in the Bible?You are.  What if someone tells you something that is not in keeping with the Word of God  How do we know if someone is telling us something that is not in keeping with the Word of God?

How Should We Receive the Word
Read 2 Timothy 2:15.  What does it say about our responsibility to the Word/the Bible? How can we be diligent?  How can we be approved?  How can we be a worker? How can we be confident rather than ashamed?  What does it mean to rightly divide the word of truth?  Make sure you know what is and isn’t from the inspired Words of God!  Understand and apply it correctly.
Now turn to Acts 17:2-5 and 10-12How did the people in Thessalonica react to the apostle Paul’s teachings?  What was different about the people of Berea?
Notice Paul is reasoning from the Scriptures because the Scriptures are the authority.  Some Jews in Thessalonica rejected Paul and the message, not based on reason but because of jealousy.  The Jews in Berea are called noble by the writer of Acts.  They were open-minded enough to listen to a message that was different than what they already believed.  After listening, they examined the Scriptures; basing their decision on the Bible, not on feelings, traditions or their logic/ideas.
Do you want to be like the Bereans?  When might this be difficult for you?
What have we learned today?
What did the Bible writers claim about themselves?
Who gave and created the Bible?
What can the Bible do for us in terms of doing good pleasing things for God?
Who has the right or authority to change anything in the Bible?
What is our responsibility towards understanding the Bible?


What does “materialism” mean?  It is a focus on worldly things - a great regard for the physical and material things of the world.

What does the world say about materialism?  Our society applauds and evaluates success, which is usually measured by money or material things.  Usually, the idea is that someone who is successful, rich, wealthy is also a good person - someone to be imitated, to learn from, someone who can give advice and direction, because they know what they are doing, at least in their area of the business or industry where they operate.

Many people work long hours, even on Sunday, have two or three jobs, trying to accumulate as much
money or as much wealth as they can.

But what does the Bible say about materialism?
Matthew 6:19-21; 24 19: Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust
destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where
neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure
is, there your heart will be also. No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

How can serving God and money clash?  Putting money over God.  Not looking to God for help, but trusting in the riches.  Rich people usually get their way or their things as they can buy them – not needing anyone else.

Dangers of materialism
1. Materialism can spiritually choke the heart of a Christian.
Luke 8:14: The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way
they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.
How can this happen today?  How can we prevent this from happening?

2. Materialism can prevent Christians from growing and maturing
Philippians 3:7-11: But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of
Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ
Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.

How does materialism now allow a Christian to grow and mature?

2 Timothy 4:10: ...for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to

Materialism was one of the ways the Devil used to tempt Jesus, and similar temptations can be in our
life today as well.
Matthew 4:8: Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms
of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
John 12:43: ...for they loved human praise more than praise from God.
How do we love human praise today?

3. Christians must learn to be content in life
Matthew 6:25-26;34: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or
drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than
clothes?  26  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? ...But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Philippians 4:11: ...I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

God cares for us, so this can lead us to being content. In 1 Peter 5:7 we read: Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

1 Timothy 6:7-10: For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into
temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and
destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Contentment is not based on circumstances, but in the fact that God loves us, He cares for us, and He
will always provide us what we need.