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The Bible: God's Word

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The Bible: God's Word

The King James Bible is the only official, authorized translation that is to be used or taught from at Emmanuel Baptist Church.

Because God desires to have a personal relationship with mankind, He has revealed Himself to us. Although man can understand that God exists by looking at creation (Psalm 19:1-6), this type of revelation is incomplete—it does not lead men to salvation or to subsequent revelation of the will of God.

Therefore, God has given special revelation to man. This special revelation has come to us in the form of God's Word, the Bible. In the Bible, we can learn about God and His attributes and characteristics, as well as how to have a relationship with Him and how to live a life that is pleasing to Him. Thus, the Bible is extremely important in the life of the believer.

The nature of the Bible

The Bible is sometimes referred to as "God's Word" or the "Holy Scriptures." Each of these terms refer to God's written revelation to man. In this written revelation, God describes several characteristics of His Word that are essential to know and believe.

The most important characteristic of the Bible is that it was given by God. It is not just a document written by humans, but it is a divine revelation from the Creator of all things (II Timothy 3:16). In the Scriptures, the believer possess the very words of God.

Although the Bible is God's revelation to us, He uses human writers as instruments who recorded the very words He wanted us to know. II Peter 1:21 explains the process by which the Bible was inspired. The writers of the Bible were "carried along" by the Spirit so that the words of Scripture are the very words of God. This is not done by the will of man, but by the will of God. The Bible is completely divine in origin.

The Bible is completely true and accurate in all matters of which it speaks

Another important characteristic of Scripture is that it is completely true. John 17:17 states, "Thy Word is truth." This verse is significant because the Bible is an inerrant (without errors) revelation from God.

Because our human minds are finite and our understanding is limited, the Bible may at times appear to contain contradictions or be difficult to understand. But, the Bible contains no errors or contradictions. Because God's Word is truth, we can trust the Bible and know that it is reliable and acurate in all matters of which it speaks.

We know that the Scripture is true not only because the Bible itself claims to be true, but because God, the Author of Scripture, is true. As One who is completely holy, He cannot lie or make mistakes. To do so would contradict the very nature of God, and God cannot contradict His own nature.

The Bible is everlasting (eternal)

Several verses teach that the Bible will last forever. Psalm 119:89, a text that describes the Word of God, says, "For ever, O Lord, Thy Word is settled in heaven." Literally, God's Word "stands firm" in heaven. It is eternally unchanging.

God cannot break His promises. He cannot do that which He said He would not do, nor can He fail to do that which He has promised to do. We can be certain from now to eternity that God will keep His word.

Jesus Christ Himself referred to the everlasting nature of the divine Word (Matthew 24:35). Although even the world itself will one day come to an end and be replaced (II Peter 3:7; II Peter 3:10; Revelation 21:1), the Word of God will endure forever.

I Peter 1:23 is another passage of Scripture that reveals to us the fact that the Word of God is eternal. It states that believers are born again. Every believer can be completely assured that the Bible is the eternal and unchanging revelation from God. Everything around us may change, but
what God says will always remain the same.

The Bible is powerful

Hebrews 4:12 reveals that the Word of God is powerful. The Greek word for powerful is the same word from which our English word "energy" is derived. The Word of God is powerful to accomplish its purpose. We notice the extent of this power later in this same verse when it states that God's Word "is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

Thus, the Word of God is so powerful that it is able to discern motives and to change lives. The Bible is the only book that contains such power.

God told Isaiah that His Word "shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please." (Isaiah 55:11) In this passage, God Himself is speaking in a vision to the prophet Isaiah and assuring him that His Word is powerful enough to accomplish His will.

It is a comfort and encouragement to know that the power of God's Word will accomplish His purposes even though we may fail Him at times.

The purposes for the Bible

The apostle Paul told Timothy that the Word of God is sufficient to fully equip the believer for effective service for his Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ (II Timothy 3:16-17). These verses tell us that the Bible defines what is right (doctrine), it tells us what is not right (reproof), it tells us how to get right (correction), and it tells us how to stay right (instruction in righteousness). That covers it all!

For Belief...

The primary purpose of the Bible is to reveal to men the One in whom they are to believe—Jesus Christ. The Bible is God's revelation to man in order that man might believe in God unto salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

John 20:30-31 declares that Jesus did "many other signs" that are not recorded in Scripture, but God's Word says that "these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name."

For Spiritual Growth...

Another important purpose of the Bible is to instruct believers so that they might grow spiritually (II Timothy 3:16-17; I Peter 2:2). When we grow as a result of our study of God's Word, we draw closer to the Lord and better understand His love and grace (I Peter 2:1-3).

The goal of Bible study is for the believer to become mature and equipped to live a life pleasing to God as he grows closer to God (II Peter 3:18).

For Defense...

The bible also serves as an important component of the Christian's defense against sin and temptation (Ephesians 6:17). The purpose or this armor is to enable the believer to effectively stand firm against the "wiles of the devil," that is the schemes and temptations that Satan sets in our way (Ephesians 6:11).

By taking heed to the Word of God, we can repel the attacks of Satan and resist the temptation to sin (Psalm 119:9-11).

For Guidance...

Psalm 119:105 teaches us that the Bible is a "lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Although God's Word might not give us specific answers to every single question we might have, it does provide us with principles by which to live, thus serving as our guide in the midst of a dark and evil world. God's desire for the Christian life never violates the righteous commands He has given though His Word.

For Cleansing...

The primary purpose of the Bible is to reveal to men the One in whom they are to believe—Jesus Christ. The Bible is God's revelation to man in order that man might believe in God unto salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

John 20:30-31 declares that Jesus did "many other signs" that are not recorded in Scripture, but God's Word says that "these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name."

The importance of the Bible

Because the Bible is Godís special revelation to man, it should occupy a paramount place in the ministry of the church and the life of every believer.

1. The Bible needs to be Taught (Matthew 28:19-20; II Timothy 4:1-2)

2. The Bible needs to be Studied (II Timothy 2:15; Acts 17:11)

3. The Bible needs to be Memorized (Psalm 119:11; Colossians 3:16)

Christians are to be people who read, study and memorize Godís Word. We must live by the Book and hold it up as our standard for Godly living in these difficult days. It is our Guidebook, our Road Map of life. In the pages of Holy Scripture, the sinner learns how to experience Godís forgiveness, and the believer finds all that he needs to live a righteous life that is pleasing to God.

The importance of the Bible in the life of the believer cannot be overemphasized. In a day of subjectivity and relativism, the believer has objective, absolute truth from God. We need to make the study and memorization of the Bible a part of our daily routine so that we can be equipped and ready to live the Christian life.

The Scriptures were designed by God to:

1. Testify of Christ (John 5:39)
2. Search the heart (Hebrews 4:12)
3. Illuminate (Psalm 119:105; Psalms 119:130)
4. Hear and apply (James 1:22; Luke 11:28 )
5. Make one wise unto salvation (II Timothy 3:15)
6. Produce faith (Romans 10:17; John 20:31)
7. Quicken (Psalm 119:50, Psalms 119:93; Hebrews 4:12)
8. Regenerate (James 1:18; I Peter 1:23)
9. Cleanse the heart and our ways (John 15:3; Psalm 119:9)
10. Make wise the simple (Psalm 19:7)
11. Promote growth (I Peter 2:2; Matthew 4:4)
12. Build up your faith (Acts 20:32; Jude 20)
13. Admonish (Psalm 19:9-11; I Corinthians 10:11; II Timothy 3:16)
14. Produce obedience (Deuteronomy 17:19-20)
15. Keep from destructive ways (Psalm 17:4)
16. Support life (Deuteronomy 8:3; Jeremiah 15:16)
17. Sanctify Ė set apart (John 17:17; Ephesians 5:26)
18. Work effectively in the believer (I Thessalonians 2:13; Colossians 3:16)
19. Produce hope (Psalm 119:49; Romans 15:4)
20. Comfort (Psalm 119:82)
21. Rejoice the heart (Psalm 19:8; 119:111)
22. Study daily and meditate upon (Psalm 1:2; Acts 17:11; II Timothy 2:15)
23. Keep us straight doctrinally (II Timothy 3:16)
24. Keep the believer from sinning (Psalm 119:11; I John 2:10
25. Try everything by them (Isaiah 8:19,20; Acts 17:11)
26. Win souls (Psalms 126:6 with Luke 8:11-15)
27. Bear fruit (John 15:3; John 15:5; John 15:7)
28. Perfect the man of God (II Timothy 3:17; Colossians 3:16)
29. Give victory over Satan (Matthew 4:1-10; Ephesians 6:11; Ephesians 6:17; Ephesians 6:30)
30. Accomplish its purpose (Isaiah 55:11)
31. Be judged by (John 12:48)
32. Give assurance of heaven (John 14:1-3)
33. Endure forever (Psalm 119:89; Matthew 24:35; I Peter 3:5)

The division into chapters in verses as we find them today was done around 1550 by Robert Stephens, a printer in Paris. There are 31,173 verses, 774,746 words and over 3,566,480 letters. The longest chapter is Psalm 119, the shortest and middle is Psalm 117; the longest verse is Esther 8:9 and the shortest is John 11:35; the middle verse is Psalm 118:8.

I am greatly disappointed with some preachers of today,
with their logic and their ethics, their aristocratic way;
With their science and their theories and their theology
full of everything but Jesus and His love for you and me.

There is plenty in the Bible for preachers of today,
if they will but search its pages and for help Divine would pray;
For Godís Word is everlasting Ė it never will grow old,
ĎTis indeed a priceless treasure Ėfar more precious than gold.

It the preachers in our churches would preach Jesus crucified,
how through love for us He suffered and through love for us He died,
Then our lives would not be empty as so many are today,
but be filled to overflowing in a Pentecostal way!

What we need is just plain gospel, in the good old-fashioned way,
Place of Emerson and Shakespeare, or topics of the day.
What care we for all their sayings, or teachings true and tried?
We want the dear old story of the Saviour Crucified!

This alone can save the sinner, this alone can set men free,
Just the precious dear old story of Godís love for you and me;
That is what the peopleís needing, that is where the crowdsí ll be.
Where they bear the same old story that they heard at motherís knee.

Study Questions

1. According to II Timothy 3:16, how much of the Scripture is given by the inspiration of God?

2. According to II Timothy 3:16-17, briefly describe the purposes of the Bible and their effect
    upon the believer.

3. According to II Peter 1:21, what Person of the Godhead was responsible for leading the
    writers of Scripture to pen the very words of God?

4. According to II Timothy 4:1-1, what is the basis of sound, pure preaching?

5. In John 16:1-16, Jesus tells His disciples He would send them the Holy Spirit following
    His departure into heaven. According to verse 13, what would the Holy Spirit do to these disciples?

6. Hebrews 4:12 describes the power inherent in the Word of God. In what ways has the
    power of God's Word affected your life?

7. Psalm 119 is completely devoted to the subject of the Word of God. How do the following
    verses describe the Word of God?
    a. Psalm 119:24
    b. Psalm 119:50
    c. Psalm 119:72
    d. Psalm 119:86
    e. Psalm 119:89
    f. Psalm 119:105
    g. Psalm 119:129
    h. Psalm 119:138
    i. Psalm 119:160

8. According to Acts 17:11, why did Paul commend the Christians at Berea?

9. Explain from James 1:22-25 why the Word of God is compared to a mirror?

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