Speaking the Truth in Love
How We Got The Bible: What is the Bible and Our Need for It? (lesson 1)
I. Introduction: Our aim in the study is for all of us to have a better understanding of the Bible, where it came from and how it is presented to us today.
II. What do men say the Bible is? Collection of myths; compilation of philosophical treatises; handbook of ancient proverbs; a testimony of the religious sensibility of its day; and many would have us to believe that the Bible is just a good moral handbook filled with practical ways to live.
III. What does the Bible claim to be?
A. It is the book of God
1. Scripture – (“Writings”) – (2 Timothy 3:16)
2. Given by inspiration of God (2 Tim. 3:16)
a. “God-breathed” - God “breathed-out” the writings He wanted communicated!
c. 2 Pet. 1:20-21 - Both the prophecy (v. 21) and the recorded fulfillment of it (v. 20) came from God, not from men!
3. “All” scripture - Complete inspiration is claimed and is claimed to be Truth (Psalm 119:160).
a. Full, complete, extending to every part.
b. Every part of the Bible is inspired, and equally inspired.
B. It Claims to be the Verbally Inspired Word of God - 1 Thess. 2:13
1. “Thus saith the Lord” (or its equivalents) occurs more than 2,000 times in the Old Testament!
b. Jer. 1:9; 10:1-2 - God’s words in Jeremiah’s mouth - Hear the word the Lord speaks.
c. “He who has an ear, let him hear” (Matt. 11:15)
d. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev. 2:7)
2. Verbal inspiration is claimed.
a. Zechariah 7:12 - Words which Jehovah sent by His Spirit by theprophets. Illustrates the entire process of inspired revelation: Lord – Spirit – Prophets - Words!
b. 1 Cor. 2:10-13 - Through the Spirit, God revealed His mind to the apostles & prophets. Verse 13 shows they spoke words taught them by the Spirit.
c. Words taught by the Spirit - Allows for different styles of the men who wrote the Bible.
d. Verbal inspiration is claimed for the original writings. Translations are not inspired.
IV. Our Need for the Bible
A. It Claims to meet man’s needs so we can be fully equipped (2 Timothy 3:16-17)!
B. It Claims to be Relevant and Effective - Hebrews 4:12.
1. Living words, not dead letters.
C. It is our authority - John 10:30-38.
1. Verses 30-33 – He made Himself God, claimed blasphemy by the Jews.
2. Verses 34-36 - In response, Jesus quoted Psalms 82:6.
3. Shows Jesus’ attitude toward the OT: Verse 34 – Psalms - “law.” Jesus ascribed legal authority to the entirety of the OT Scriptures. Verse 35 – Scripture cannot be undone, unloosed, or deprived of its binding authority!
4. Matthew 5:17-18 - OT authority emphasized. Its authority reached to the “jot” and “tittle.”
a. Jot - The Hebrew yodh, the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet.
b. Tittle - A distinguishing mark, a serif, a stroke.
A. We Can Have Confidence in the Accuracy of the Scriptures
1. We can believe all of it (and should!):
a. Luke 24:25, 27 - Believe all the prophets…in all the scriptures concerning Himself.
2. Have confidence in its words - Matthew 22:31-32.
3. “It is written” ended all controversy with Jesus - cf. Luke 10:25-26.
B. HOW WE USE THE BIBLE AFFECTS OUR SOULS (2 Peter 3:16-18)!
Next time: How did the Bible come together?