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Friday, October 12, 2018

Why the Bible

Why the Bible?

Why is the Bible the book we study to learn about Christianity?

What are the Claims of the Bible Writers?

That the Bible is inspired by God.

In 2 Peter 1:20-21, we read: knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

The term here for “moved” or “carried along” is the same as the one used in Acts 27:15: The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along.

This means the Bible writers were controlled and directed in what they wrote by the Bible.

The word “no” means that the Bible authors did not put in the text anything that was their own thought or opinion.

“Knowing this first” or “above all” means that this is a very important thing to understand.

2 Peter 3:16 says about the writing of Paul: He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

Why was it important for the Scripture (or the writings in the Bible) to be from God or the Holy Spirit?

What happens when the writings of men are passed as writings of God?

What does God say about himself? Hebrews 13:8: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

What does it mean that God does not change?

James 1:17: 17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Numbers 23:19: 19 God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

What happens with the word of men?

It changes.

Why would it present a problem when the word of men changes?

People are told that they are saved at different times, in different places by doing or not doing certain things that may be or may not in the Bible.

2 Timothy 3:16-17: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Again, we see “all” and “God-breathed.” But here we also see the purposes for which the Word of God is useful.

What does it mean to be thoroughly equipped?

It means “completely” “fully”

What does it mean for “every good work”?

Everything. Everything that is good, lovely, beneficial – you can be completely equipped for by studying the Word of God!

What then is the need or purpose of the teachings of men?

To help us understand the verse, but not go beyond the verse or the meaning of the text. For example, you can read a book on Greek grammar to understand the meaning of certain words—like the example we used before of the word “driven”—or to understand the theme of a book or the cultural background or the setting in which the story is told. One example is the fact that most shepherds in Israel were not for hire, but each of them took care of the sheep they owned, so they cared more about what happened to the sheep because the loss was personal, and that is why when Jesus compares Himself to a shepherd the meaning is more personal (John 10).

What should we be careful of when looking at the teachings of man?

Need to heed the words of the Bible not to add or take away from the word of God. 

Deuteronomy 4:2: Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you.

Revelation 22:18-19: I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.

Twist the Word of God to mean something that it does not say. For example, people who believe that Jesus is not God. We have shown with many verses in our previous lesson that Jesus Himself said that He is God, and yet, there are many teachers that insist Jesus is not God and they are leading many other people in that direction.

Who has the authority to change the Word of God?

Galatians 1:6-9: I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!

How can we prevent being confused or misled by teachings of men?

If we know what the truth is, then it would be difficult for us to be misled. This underlines the importance of us learning what the Bible truly teaches and what God expects from us.

What are we expected to do with the Word of God?

2 Timothy 2:14-16: Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.

Do not quarrel about words – what does that mean?

Correctly handle the word of truth – what does that mean?

Make sure you know what is and isn’t from the inspired Words of God!  Understand and apply it correctly.

If we are not familiar with the Bible, then things can be taught to us that are not true. Examples range from even the most common things, like the “apple” that Adam and Eve ate, or the “three wise men” or “the whale that swallowed Jonah” to deep meaningful concepts and principles of how one can be saved, faith vs. works, or the importance of baptism.

Conclusion: It is important to realize that the Bible is the only book that has the Word of God, and it is the only book that we need to be guided to live a godly Christian life and to be completely equipped to serve God.