TEXT: Psalm 119:89
SUBJ: The Book of God
INTRODUCTION: The Bible is the foundation upon which all our beliefs are founded; therefore, we should know some important things about it. You cannot be wrong on the Bible and right with God. The Word of God is the complete revelation of God to man. To deny or refuse its teaching is to invite the wrath of God upon one's life (Revelation 22:18, 19). All other Articles of Faith rest upon this article. If we are off here, we will be wrong concerning all the others. The Scriptures are the cornerstone of our belief.
I. THE INSPIRATION OF THE SCRIPTURES - 2 Timothy 3:16, 17.
The Bible has much competition. There are other religions that claim to have "sacred" books which they say are equal to or superior to the Bible.
1. Islam or the Moslem religion has the Koran.
2. Buddhism uses a collection of "The sayings of Buddha."
3. Confucianism teaches from the writings of Confucius.
4. The Mormons use the Book of Mormons by Joseph Smith.
However, one thing that distinguishes our Bible from all other so-called sacred books is the unique way it is given. Our Bible is said to have been "given by inspiration."
A. What Bible inspiration is NOT!
1. It is not natural inspiration. Artists are inspired to paint a beautiful landscape. A poet is inspired to write pleasing poetry. Sculptors are inspired to chisel their subject in marble. But Bible inspiration is not from man but from God.
2. It is not merely thought inspiration. If this were the method, then the writers might use incorrect and inadequate words and terms to express these thoughts.
3. It is not partial inspiration. Some say that the Bible merely "contains" the Word of God. If this statement is true, how would you decide which part of the Bible is God's Word. All the Bible is God's record.
4. It is not merely illumination. The prophets themselves did not fully understand all the mysteries that they wrote about. They prophesied of things beyond their own understanding. Only by Divine "inspiration" could they do this.
5. It is not merely dictation. Although, dictation is one of the best descriptions of how God gave us the Scriptures. Yet, the method of dictation does not fully illustrate the method God used to give us the Bible. If God merely dictated the Word to the writers of the Bible, then these writings would not vary in their style. Divine "inspiration" bears the personal characteristics of the men God used to write it. The Lord filtered His "inspiration" through their own personalities and experiences. Therefore, the style of Moses' writings differed from the style of Paul's writings.
B. What Bible inspiration IS - 2 Peter 1:19-21.
It is Verbal Plenary inspiration. Verbal meaning every word is inspired (2 Samuel 23:1, 2). Plenary means that it is entirely or completely inspired (Acts 1:16).
II. THE INFALLIBILITY OF THE SCRIPTURES - 1 Peter 1:23; Psalm 119:160.
A. This means that there are NO mistakes in the Bible record and NO contradictions.
B. Over 40 different human authors wrote the 66 books of the Bible over a period of approximately 1,600 years with NO contradictions.
ILLUSTRATION: Auto parts made in different states by different men at different times were sent to one central place for final assembly and yet they work perfectly together. How could this be? The answer is that they were all guided and instructed by one common designer or engineer.
C. The Bible was Divinely inspired to insure it against error.
III. THE FINALITY OF THE SCRIPTURES.
A. The Scriptures speak of a finalization of God's revelation - 1 Corinthians 13:9, 10. The Bible became complete when all the 66 books were written and there are no more books to be written.
B. The Scriptures warn against adding anything to God's completed revelation - Revelation 22:18, 19. This is a stern and firm warning against adding anything else to the Bible. The Bible is therefore a complete revelation and admits no other additions.
IV. THE PRESERVATION OF THE SCRIPTURES - Matthew 24:35; Psalm 119:89.
We have this promise that the Bible will survive every effort to get rid of it. No matter how men may tamper with the Word of God, there will always be a Bible to which men may resort.
V. THE PURPOSE OF THE SCRIPTURES - Isaiah 55:11.
This text says that there is an important Divine purpose for bringing the Bible into existence.
A. The Scriptures are the basis of ALL true Doctrine - 2 Timothy 3:16, 17.
B. The Scriptures are an instrument for salvation - 2 Timothy 3:15; 1 Peter 1:23.
C. The Scriptures mold Christian lives - 2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 2:2.
It tells us how:
1. To conduct ourselves socially.
2. To operate in business.
3. To regard government.
4. To build our home.
5. To worship intelligently.
6. To serve God acceptably.
7. To live and honor God and prepare to meet Him without shame one day.
D. The Scriptures comfort, encourage, and strengthen us during every kind of testing, trial, or temptation - Romans 15:4.
CONCLUSION: It is imperative that every child of God knows the importance and place of the Scriptures in their life. We must read it, study it, believe it, live it, heed it, prove it, love it, use it, and share it with others. It is our compass and guide in this dark sinful world. It is our light to see by in the world. It never fails!