The Doctrine of Scripture

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The Doctrine of Scripture
* There are certain categories of theology, certain categories into which the truth of the Bible can be divided. All of the truth of Scripture can fit into about ten categories.
* One of the most helpful things you can do as a student of Scripture is that when you learn a truth, identify it in a category.
* I want to call your attention to two passages to begin with and you want to write these down because these are the key passages in the Bible on the subject of the Bible, the Word of God.
* II Timothy 2 verse 15 is the first one that I would point out to you.
2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV 1900)
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
* Now there's a very important statement about Scripture, it is
called...what?...the Word of...what?...truth...the Word of truth.\
* We know the Bible is the Word of God but here it's called the Word of truth.
* Now what does that say about the Bible? It says it's true!
* And that is the basic substance of what bibliology, or the study of the doctrine of the scriptures, sets out to prove...that the Bible is true.
* And believe it or not, for some people it is the word of doubt, or the word of confusion, or the word of semi-truth, or the word of
Experience. But for those of us who have been saved, the Bible is the word of truth. And that is a great title for it.
* And you might compare with that another Scripture, John 7:17... John 17:17.
John 17:16–17 (KJV 1900)
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
* Again Jesus affirms that the Word of God, the Bible is Truth. Not only is the bible true, but it is the “standard of truth.”
* This is what the Bible claims about itself, every world of the Bible is truth, and that it is the only absolute standard of truth in the World.
* Jesus said, when speaking about the Bible:
Matthew 5:17–18 (KJV 1900)
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
*The Bible is true. And that's very very basic and very essential to our view of holy Scripture, it is the truth.
* Now I want to call your attention to another passage of Scripture, II Timothy 3:16:
2 Timothy 3:16–17 (KJV 1900)
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
* The wording of the Greek language behind this verse, pasa
graphe theopneustos, the literal translation being, all writing, God breathed, means that all Scripture carries the meaning that the Scriptures are “God breathed,”
* Or in other words, all Scripture is breathed out by God and thus is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, instruction in righteousness.
* This is why the Bible is true, and we can count on it to be without error and accurate in everything it teaches.
* So, not only Jesus, but also the apostle Paul says that the Bible is the Word of truth. And then Paul tells us that the reason it is true is because it is...what?...God breathed.
* Now that is the priority claim that the Bible makes for itself. It is true and it is God breathed.
* Now I want to draw your attention to a third passage of the Bible that gives us a clear indication what the Bible claims about itself.
2 Peter 1:20–21 (KJV 1900)
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
* This passage says in verse 20 that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private origin or “interpretation.”
* Scripture is not from private origin and that is it isn't the result of some individual dreaming it up or postulating it.
* Verse 21, tells us "For the prophecy...that's speaking of that which came forth, that which came out of God's mouth...came not at any time by the will of man."
* So the Scripture is true, it is true because God breathed it, it did not come from any private origination, it did not come at any time by the will of man, "But holy men of God spoke as they were moved along by the Holy Spirit."
* The world moved here is the word used for a ship moved along with the wind in the water. As they were moved along by the Holy Spirit.
* Now that basically gives you a summation of the basic biblical doctrine of inspiration. The Bible is true, and it is true because God breathed it and He breathed it into men who were moved along by the Holy Spirit to write the very breath of God, not something of their own origination.
* Now let me give you a basic definition of the doctrine of biblical authority or inspiration.
* Just listen to it and then if you want to jot it down I'll repeat it again.
* Here is how we can sum up the basic doctrine:
*God superintending human authors so that using their own individual personalities, experiences, thought processes and vocabulary, they composed and recorded, without error, His revelation in the
Original copies of Scripture.
* Now I'm going to say that again in case you didn’t understand it all.
* Now think it through. God superintending human authors so that using their own individual personalities, experiences, thought processes, and vocabulary they composed and recorded without
error His revelation in the original copies of Scripture.
* Now what that is saying is very simple. God spoke through men without violating their own thought processes and their own vocabulary and yet they were able to produce the Scripture without violating His truth.
* Now there is a good analogy of this to help you understand this truth.
* How could God use human agents without getting a corrupt product?
* Some people would say, "Well, He'd have to dictate it." In
other words, He dictated every single word to those guys and they wrote down the dictation.
* But that does not account for the distinctiveness of the books because each book say Paul or Peter or John or you go to the Old Testament, any writer in the Old Testament, the books carries distinctiveness.
* They talk about their own experience. They talk even about their own feeling. They use their own vocabulary.
* If you read say Amos the herdsman of Tekoa, you get a whole different flavor in the writing. You get the flavor of one who is a man of the earth.
* If you read the writer of the book of Hebrews you get this very religious highly intense ceremonial sort of sacred approach.
* If you read Paul, you get a very logical flow. If you read Peter you get a very impassioned appeal.
* And so you see the personality there but if it isn't dictation, how then can God use these human authors without adulterating His Word?
* The perfect analogy to that is the virgin birth because in the virgin birth you have God and God is the agency by which the Lord Jesus Christ is born, right?
* God brought Christ to earth through Mary, right? Was Mary a sinner? Of course she was a sinner. And yet she gave birth to the Son of God and none of her sinfulness tainted Him whatsoever!
* And yet He was her child, right? She carried Him in her womb for ninth months, she gave birth to that child.
Jesus was in human terms the flesh of Mary.
* And so you have that as an analogy to the Scripture, whereas God plants the seed in Mary and Mary who is fully human, gives birth to that child, fully her child, that child yet is not touched with any of the sinfulness or frailty of Mary...
* And this illustrates how the Word of God, using a human author, produces a perfect Scripture, untainted by the human instrument.
* And that's basically what we believe to be true about Scripture, or what we call the Bible.
* And that is in the case of its original copies. Through the years the Bible has been copied and recopied and recopied and recopied and so forth.
* Now the same God that was able to do the miracle of using frail humans to write down the Bible without corrupting it, is the same God who is able to preserve His world and keep the message of the Bible true to the original meaning.
* God has marvelously preserved the Bible to be exactly what He intended it to be.
* By the poser of an Almighty God the Bible has maintained it’s purity and message through the ages.
* One of the great proofs of this happened when the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.
* These scrolls, mainly portions of the book of Isaiah, dated before the time of Jesus and show that the existing Bible we have today has not changed at all since before the days of Jesus.
* God truly has superintended and preserved His Word.
* Now let me just give you three things, three terms to keep in mind whenever you look at Scripture:
* I don't want to get too bogged down in all of this but I would like to give you those terms.
· The first term is revelation. That is the body of truth that God wants to communicate. That's the message. That is God's truth that He desires to communicate.
· The second word is inspiration, that is the method by which He communicates truth.
· The third is illumination and that is the method by which you understand truth.
* God has a body of truth that He wanted mankind to know:
· This body of truth, the Scriptures, the Bible, is His revelation- the revealing of Himself to mankind, that's the message of the Bible.
· Inspiration is how He communicated the Bible. He breathed the Bible out through human authors.
· Illumination is how you are able to understand the Bible.
And whom do you depend upon in illumination? The Holy Spirit!
* And who is the agent by which the inspiration of the Bible took place? The Holy Spirit!
* So the Holy Spirit is the agent in the revelation being transmitted to us and the agent by which God causes you to understand as you study the Bible.
* Now those are just some basic truths to keep in mind as we get started in our study about the doctrine, or teaching about the Scriptures themselves.
* Now it's important that we understand that the Scriptures, or the Bible, is the only standard of truth about God.
* If the Bible is not the truth, then there is no truth. And that is what is being taught in the day and time in which we live. The truth is relative, there is no absolute truth.
* If you deny the truth of the Bible, what do you have left? Absolutely nothing!
*There are always people who come along and say, "Well, part of
the Bible isn't true."
* The current fad is to say that the Bible is true when it speaks on spiritual issues, but not true when it speaks on historical or geographical issues...
* We have a problem with those who make this claim.
* Why should we believe the Bible to be true when we can't verify it in the geography and history? If the Bible isn't true where we can verify it in the geographical/historical dimension, how can we believe it’s spiritual truths?
* We can verify the truth of the Bible in all these ways, Spiritual, geographical, and historical!
* How do we know that the Bible is true?
I. By the claims of the Scripture themselves.
* Does the Bible make that claim that it is the truth?
* You know, there are Jehovah's Witnesses who have said for years, along with others, that Jesus never claimed to be God. They say that, that He did not claim to be God.
* And there are those who would say that the Scripture does not make a legitimate claim to be God's inerrant Word, that that's pushing the point too far.
* Well, let's find out. Here's what the Bible claims:
1). First of all, it claims to be infallible. And that's another word you might want to write down, infallible. What does that mean? Makes no mistakes, right? Errorless. Let's call it...let's say it's errorless in total. Infallible speaks of the total.
*There are many passages that refer to this. For example, "Thy Word is very pure. Thy law is truth. All Thy commandments are truth. The
sum of Thy Word is truth." And that's a marked one. The sum of Thy Word is truth- The total of it!
"And every one of the righteous ordinances endures forever for all of Thy commandments are righteous."
* Now that's just out of Psalm 19, Psalm 119. There's one key verse in Psalm 19:7 and it sums it up and says this, "The law of the Lord is...what?...perfect...perfect." And the law being a term for the total of God's revelation of Himself in the Scriptures.
*Paul in Romans 7 verse 12 says, "The law is holy, righteous and good." This again is a sweeping statement of the infallibility of Scripture.
* In Matthew chapter 5 verses 18 and 19, verse 17 Jesus said
He came to fulfill the whole law and He said there wouldn't be one part of the law altered at all, till all was fulfilled.
* And in John 10:35 He says the Scripture can't be broken. So...and that's a sample of literally myriads of verses that make the same claim.
*The Bible says it is infallible. That is what it claims.
2). Secondly, it claims to be inerrant.
* If infallible speaks of the totality, inerrant speaks of the parts.
* the old reformers used to say that the Bible is infallible as as a rule of faith and practice.
* It is also inerrant in every part so that it is not only, infallible in the truth it conveys, but the Bible is inerrant in every word. And that means it is without error.
* Proverbs 30 verse 5 says, "Every word of God is flawless." Now you can't get much more specific than that. Every word of God is flawless.
* We could take those two words, infallible and inerrant, and sum them up into one word, true. It's true. That's simply it.
* Now why is it true? Because it is breathed out by God. And the Bible says that God cannot...what?...lie.
* If Scripture emphasizes anything, it emphasizes the truthfulness of God.
* If you deny that the Bible is the truth, then you deny God.
* If you let go of the truthfulness of Scripture, you have abandoned the truthfulness of God.
* You say, "Oh no, no, God could still be true but man could corrupt His truthfulness."
* All right, then you've got an impotent God who can't communicate a true message through a human instrument.
* So you either come up with God as not true or as impotent. And is either of those the case? Of course not. You've altered
3). The third claim the Bible makes for itself is that it is
* The Bible is authoritative! And by that we simply mean that the Bible affirms that it is to be heard.
*Isaiah says, "Hear O heavens and give ear, O earth, for the Lord has spoken." It's like that commercial, when God speaks, everybody listens. It is authoritative.
* The Bible makes that claim for itself. In fact, in Revelation 19:9 it says,
"These are the true sayings of God." And in Revelation 21:5,
"These words are true and faithful."
* These verses reflect again that truthfulness of God and they are
* If the Bible is infallible, if the Bible it is inerrant, then it must be authoritative.
* So many times, you know, you read in the New Testament, "The Spirit of the Lord spoke to me," and you read in the Old Testament, "The Word of the Lord came unto so-and-so and he spoke," and this
is just all over the Scripture.
* Even the tiniest part, I think of God's Word, the tiniest part, the jot and the tittle cannot be removed, right? Why? James says it in James 2:10, "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is...what?...guilty of violating all of it."
* Every minute part of the Bible is true!
4). A fourth thing the Bible claims for itself is that it is complete...
* The Bible is complete. Deuteronomy 4:2 says this, "Ye shall not add unto the Word which I commanded you, neither shall you take away from it." You shall not add to it, you shall not take away from it.
* And you know what the Bible says in the book of Revelation- Verses 18 and 19 of the last chapter, chapter 22, "I testify unto every man that
hears the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in the book and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of the prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life in the holy city the things written in the book."
* You can't add, you can't take away. That's not just Revelation 22:18, that's Deuteronomy 4:2, that is a comment that appears in the Old Testament and the New Testament.
* It is not to be added to, it is not to be diminished. It is complete. There's no Scripture running around loose!
* There is no additional truth. The Word of God is complete. You don't add to it without being in danger of judgment.
5). A fifth principle that the Bible claims for itself is that it is effective...
* The Bible is effective. The Bible, the Word of God, dramatically effects people! And that's best expressed in Isaiah 55:10 and 11, "As the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so it yields forth seed for the
sower and bread for the eater, so is My Word that goes forth from My mouth. It will not return to Me
empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it,"
* God says when I send My Word out it is effective, it does what I send it to do.
* Now those are some marvelous claims that the Bible makes:
· Infallible
· Inerrant
· Authoritative
· Complete
· Effective.
* These are Amazing claims!
II. How can we prove to others that these amazing claims the Bible makes about it’s self are true?
*The Bible makes these amazing claims about itself, how can we prove to others that these claims are true.
* Critics come along and deny the Bible and so we are left with the responsibility of answering the question, how do we know its claims are true?
* Would like to recommend two books to you by John Macarthur: Focus on Fact, and Why believe the Bible.
* On the surface, it would seem easy to convince someone that the Bible is the Truth, the Word of god on the basis of its unity, its
Scientific, historical accuracy, its miracles, its archaeological evidence, but that is not really the case.
* You would think that all this information would convince people that the Bible is the Word of God, but it doesn’t.
* Why can’t they see the Bible is the Word of God like we do? Why doesn't all this evidence convince all unbelievers when it's so convincing to us?
* Paul explained this to us when he wrote, `The natural man
receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned.
* Only when the Holy Spirit does His regenerating work, only as He opens the mind, tears off the scales of blindness, gives life where there is death and plants the marvelous understanding of the revelation of God, only then do people come to believe and trust in the Bible.
* The reason you know the Bible is true is that the Spirit of God has convinced you of it."
* In light of this, we need to change our approach to the skeptics.
* We have been saying prophecy has been fulfilled, the Bible is scientifically accurate, miracles occurred, the Bible produces radical revolutionary changes in lives therefore it is the Word of God.
* Instead we should be declaring that the Bible is the Word of God!
And because the Bible is the Word of God, therefore, prophecy has been fulfilled, miracles have taken place, scientific statements
are correct and lives have been transformed."
* In other words, the burden of proof is not external, but internal
* I believe the Bible is true therefore these things happen.
* This means that the Bible is primarily for us who already believe it to be true!
* We who have been saved, reaffirm and secure the faith of those who are already committed to the fact that the Bible is the Word of God.
* Convincing people that the Bible is the truth is not something that we can do. Only the Holy Spirit can convince an unbeliever that the Bible is the Word of God. This is the domain and ministry of the Holy Spirit alone!
* You can convince somebody intellectually about a lot of things but unless the Spirit of God turns their heart to faith and trust, they're not going to believe down deep.
* Now when you deal with people on this subject, there are only three options. And they are these:
1). There are errors in the Bible but Jesus didn't know about them.
2). There are errors in the Bible, Jesus knew about them but covered it up.
3). There are no errors in the Bible.
* The first two do disservice to Christ.
* If there are errors in the Bible and He didn't know about them, He's not God.
* If there are errors in the Bible and He didn't let us know, He covered them up, then He's not a holy God.
* The only real option for one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God is the last option: There are no errors in the bible.
* let's look with that in mind at the evidence the Bible gives to show itself true. We will just look at a few, we don’t have time to cover the entire subject.
* And by the way, as people deny the truth of Scripture, they are simply following up on the original temptation. You know what chapter 3 of Genesis begins, of course, with the Fall of man, and do you know what Satan said? First, "Hath God...what?...said?" because if he can get you to deny the truth of what God said then the cat is out of the bag, believe me.
1). First of all, let’s look at the internal Evidence...
* First of all is the testimony of the writers...
* The testimony of the writers. And that is an internal testimony.
* One of the things that strikes us right off the bat as we read the Bible is the air of infallibility...the air of infallibility...a-i-r.
* There just seems to be a sort of an air of infallibility. I mean, the Bible writers were common every unqualified people. They weren't particularly educated... just common people.
*For the average common person to just say "Thus saith the Lord" you'd feel a little self-conscious, wouldn't you?
* I mean, if you were to just come up here right now and say, "I now am speaking to you the Word of God” and just begin raddling of commands and insights. You'd feel...I'd feel like I'd have to preface it with something like, "I know this sounds ridiculous, I mean, you all know me and I'm just me and I mean, I don't know how this happened but this is the Word of God."
*You''d sort of have a natural tendency to put a disclaimer on it, wouldn't you?
* There's none of that in the Scripture. There's no sense of self-consciousness about being the mouthpiece of God. There's no disclaimer, there's no "Well, I know I'm not all I ought to be and I don't
really have any right to do this and I really can't tell you how it all happened, but I mean you've got to believe me...I know in spite of who I am..."
* There's none of that. Just flat out they say it. They write it!
* They make direct claims to inspiration without any comment. And that's what we see as the air of infallibility.
* All the writers of the Bible are all that way!
* You've got 40 different writers over 1500 years writing 66 books
and none of them is self-conscious about what he's doing.
* The high quality of profound truth in their writing and, the virtue and the character, speaks of them as good men as well.
* By the way, I don't know if you ever thought about it but there are no women writers in the Bible, only men. And all of them have this sense of infallibility, this profound sense of writing the Word of God
and they are all good people.
* Al the writers of the Bible were considered good moral men.
* We don't assume that 40 different men over a period of 1500 years would write 66 books and all be liars, not the way they write because what they say is filled with virtue.
* So there's that air of infallibility.
2). Then secondly, under this testimony of the writers, there are direct claims to the inspiration of the Scripture.
* All these writers actually claim to be inspired by God. You want to know how many times?
* Three thousand eight-hundred and eight times in the Scripture, and that's the Old Testament only,
* 3,808 times in the Old Testament the writers say what they're saying is the Word of God.
* Now how many times do they have to say it before we believe it? Three thousand eight hundred and eight.
* There are 2600 direct claims to inspiration. Somebody calculated 680 in the Pentateuch, 1307 in the prophets, 418 in the history books and 195 in the poets.
* So 2600 times they claim inspiration, 3808 times they identify themselves as speaking the Word of God.
* In the New Testament there are at least 1,000 references to the Old Testament.
* Now what does that tell us the New Testament writers believed? That the Old Testament was...what? True, and the Word
of God.
* Three hundred and twenty times they quote the Old Testament. James, I think, sums it up beautifully in James 4:5, "Think ye that the Scriptures speak in vain,"
* Any time you see the term "the Scriptures" unless it's qualified somehow, it's referring to the Old Testament...the Scriptures.
*The writers of the Old Testament realized they were speaking God's Word. The writers of the New Testament as well.
Illustration, Acts 1:16, Peter stood up and said, "Men and brethren, this Scripture must needs have been this...which the Holy Spirit by the mouth of David spoke."
* Isn't that good? What does that tell you about the Old Testament?
* The Holy Spirit by the mouth of David...what?...spoke. That is a classic statement as to the meaning of inspiration...the Holy Spirit speaking through the mouth of David.
* In chapter 4 of the books of Acts "Why by the mouth of David hast said," and you have many other such Scriptures.
* So, you have the Old Testament writers, now follow my thinking, the Old Testament writers claiming to be inspired, you have the New Testament writers claiming that the Old Testament writers are
inspired by 320 quotes and 1,000 references and direct statements like those.
* Then you have New Testament writers claiming that they too are inspired.
* For example, Galatians 1 where Paul says in verse 11, "I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not from
man, I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it but by the revelation of Jesus Christ."
* Now where did he get his message? From Christ. Verse 15, "When it pleased God He separated me from my mother's womb, called me by His grace to reveal His Son in me that I might preach Him among
the Gentiles, immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood." He got his message directly from the
Lord Jesus Christ.
* Here is something interesting in 1Timothy 5:18. Paul does a wonderful thing here. "For the Scripture saith...get that, see that there in verse 18?...the Scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treads out the grain."
* That basically means pay the preacher because you shouldn't muzzle him while he's working. "And the laborer is worthy of his reward."
* Now do you know what's interesting about that verse? The first quote "thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treads out the grain" comes from Deuteronomy 25:4, the second quote "the laborer is worthy of
his reward" comes from Luke 10:7. What is Paul saying about Luke? That Luke wrote what? Scripture.
* You see it in verse 18? The Scripture saith... and then he quotes Luke. So there you have New Testament writer corroborating another New Testament writer.
* In a sense then you have the Apostle Paul affirming the scriptural reality of the gospel records, in this case Luke is the example.
* Paul calls the gospel writers Scripture. Take 2 Peter 3:15 and he talks here about our beloved brother Paul according to the wisdom given unto him hath written to you...Paul has written to you, he
says, in all his epistles and he's speaking in them of these things, some things hard to be understood which they that are unlearned and unstable rest as they do also the other...what?...Scriptures!
* What does Peter say about Paul? Paul writes what? Scripture....Scripture.
* So Paul corroborates the gospels, Peter corroborates the Pauline epistles.
* Second Peter 3:2 would be a good thought, too. He says, "To be mindful of the words spoken before by the holy prophets and the commandment of us the Apostles." So he equates the
Apostles' writings and commandments with the holy prophets of the Old Testament.
* So the New Testament claims to be Scripture.
* So you've got Paul corroborating the gospels, Peter corroborating Paul.
* Would you like to have somebody corroborate Peter? Try Jude 17, "But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before by the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, how they told you there should be mockers in
the last time who should walk after their own ungodly lust." You know who he's referring to? Peter...2 Peter, the Apostles of our Lord who spoke the words of God.
* In John's revelation, by the way, at least three places he claims to be writing the very direct Word of God. So the first line of internal testimony to the validity of Scripture is the testimony of the writers themselves.
2). Second is the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ.
*I think this is the heart and soul of the whole argument.
* All we really need to know is one thing, what was Jesus' view of the Bible, right?
* If we know what He thought of it, that's what we want to think of it, right?
* If He is God and He is deity, what was His view of Scripture?
* It's summed up in John 10:35 very clearly, "The Scripture cannot be
broken." What He means is it cannot be violated, it is absolute.
* In Matthew 5:17 to 19 Jesus says, "Not one jot or tittle will pass away until all the law is fulfilled"
* Now Christ said you search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life and they are they that bear witness to Me
* So His view of Scripture was that it was a true testimony about Himself.
* In Matthew 5:17 He says, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law of the prophets, I am not come to destroy but to fulfill."
* In Matthew 26:24 He looked at the cross and said, "The Son of
Man goeth as it is written of Him."
*A few verses later in verse 54 He told Peter He didn't need the protection of Peter's sword because if He wanted to He could call down a legend of angels. But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled? In other words, the Lord knew that every single word, every single letter of Scripture had to be fulfilled.
* Jesus plainly believed the bible to be the Word of God. of the 1800 quotations of Jesus in the New Testament, 180 or one out of ten come from the Old Testament.
* So it's very clear what He believed. In fact, in Luke 16:17 He said, "It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than one tittle of the law to fail." Easier for Scripture...or for heaven and earth
to pass away.
3). Third line of testimony is the testimony of the Holy Spirit.
* This is the real key. And I think the best text that you can jot down is I Corinthians 2, verses 7 to 14.
* It talks about the Scripture, the truth of God in this text, starting at verse 9, "Eye hath not seen, ear heard, neither entered the heart of a man the things that God loved, prepared for them that love Him, but God has revealed them unto us by His Spirit...
* By His Spirit! And he goes on to say we have received not the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is of God that we might know the things freely given to us by God which things we speak not in the words which
man's wisdom teacheth but which the Holy Spirit teacheth comparing spiritual things with spiritual, and so forth. So that the Spirit of God gives testimony to the Word.
* Now watch this. The testimony of the writers was objective, it's right in the text. The testimony of Christ is objective, it's right in the text. The testimony of the Spirit is what? Subjective, it's internal inthe believer.
* It is the confirming ministry of the Holy Spirit to affirm to our hearts the truthfulness of Scripture. And so God hits us from the objective and from the subjective.
* And by the way, as people deny the truth of Scripture, they are simply following up on the original temptation. You know what chapter 3 of Genesis begins, of course, with the Fall of man, and do you know what Satan said? First, "Hath God...what?...said?" because if he can get you to deny the truth of what God said then the cat is out of the bag, believe me. Now those are internal areas of testimony.
Let's look at external...external. And we'll go from the worst to the best. The first that I would give you
is the testimony of experience. One of the great proofs of Scripture is experience. You know, when
somebody comes to a baptismal service and I always think those are really great and we always have
people saved and they come to the baptism and they sit there. And maybe they're agnostic, maybe
they' know what agnostic means...agagnosko(?), one who doesn't know, they're proud to say
that. The Latin equivalent is ignoramus. But they're not sure and they're not interested in arguments
and all that stuff...and maybe they're even atheistic, or maybe they just don't really know, they have
no opinion and they sit there and they hear one person after another talk about how the truth of
Scripture led them to Christ and totally transformed their life. All intellectual arguments aside, that's
very difficult for them to deal with...very difficult. It's the overwhelming impact of a transformed life.
And I would daresay that in your case, for the most part, because you're not swirling around in the
intellectual world, the real reason, gut level, that you believe the Bible is not because you've figured
out all these arguments, but because you know what it does in your life when you respond to it, right?
Because you've seen God at work. That's experience.
Millions of Christians would support this by the very reality of their transformed life. And as I've said
before, a Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to somebody who isn't, and that's basic. You apply
the things of Scripture and they work. Now that is a helpful line of evidence for the Scripture but it has
weaknesses because whenever you use experience as a verifier of truth you've always got people
who've got other experiences, right? So it has limitations. But it's impact, nonetheless, is powerful. In
fact, I would venture to say without a doubt most people come to Christ and come to confidence in
the Word of God because they see what Christ does through His Word in the life of somebody they
know. Far and away that's the issue with most people.
All right, now secondly is the testimony of science...the testimony of science. And I confessed to you
at the very beginning that I am not a scientist. I have very little interest in science. I just got through
whatever required science I had to take in college...held my breath, took the tests. And I have found
since that time a greater interest in science now than I ever had then because I understand how
marvelously it manifests the truth of God. And the Bible whenever it speaks related to science is
always's always accurate. It is a phenomenal verification of Scripture, science.
Now, some of the critics say, "Oh, the Bible is not scientific because the Bible says in Joshua was
fighting the battle, the sun stood still." And they say, "See, that isn't scientific. The sun didn't stand
still." What really happened? Well, the earth stopped rotating, that's the scientific explanation. Yes,
but I mean, give them a break. From their perception the sun stood still. I mean, when those scientists
get up in the morning and throw open the window and look to the east they don't say, "Oh what a
lovely earth revolving." That's a sunrise. And when they look at the sun in the west, the beautiful, "Oh
what a lovely earth revolving." No, that's a sunset.'s like the guy who said, "Gastronomical
satiety admonishes me that I have arrived at a state of deglutition consistent with dietetic integrity,"
which means "No thanks, I've had enough." I mean, you don't have to talk like that all the time. And
the Bible perceives things from man's perspective.
But just as an illustration or two, and these are illustrations that are familiar to me. Herbert Spencer
became a famous scientist, one of the most famous of all scientists. He was the one who discovered
really and identified classifications for all knowable matter, all knowable...all knowable period. All that
is knowable can be classified, he said. And he was hailed as a genius for this development. He found
that all knowable things, or whatever, could be put into five classifications and he listed them for the
scientific world. They are these: time, force, action, space and matter, and he put them in those
order...that order...time, force, action, space and matter. He said all that exists can fit into one of
those categories...time, force, action, space and matter. And the scientific world hailed that as a great
What he didn't know what that that's exactly how the Bible begins. IN THE BEGINNING--that's time--
GOD--that's force-- CREATED--that's action--THE HEAVENS--that's space--AND THE EARTH--that's
matter." Right at the very he wasn't so smart after all.
There is in science what is called the second law of thermodynamics which some of you know is the
basic law that says all matter is breaking down, tends toward dissolution. And it's interesting that
that's exactly what the Bible says. Prior to the Fall that wasn't true, but as soon as the Fall came, God
cursed the earth, right? And death entered the scene and everything began to follow the law of
thermodynamics, it's breaking down. Of course that law utterly and totally 100 percent mitigates
against evolution, but scientists would rather juggle the tension of the law of thermodynamics and
believe in evolution. Like one scientist said because they reject the idea of a transcendent God, and
that's all they're left with. In Romans 8 it says the whole creation groans and travails, right? Waiting
for that time of glorification.
Let me give you another illustration. I'm always fascinated by the study of hydrology which is the
process of the cycle of water. And, I mean, just from the primitive viewpoint of the Old Testament in
terms of scientific sophistication as we would perceive it, and we probably don't perceive it as
sophisticated as it was.
You can go back to probably the oldest book in the Bible which is Job chapter 36 and you could do a
whole hydrological dissertation on the Bible. It says, "He maketh small the drops of water, they pour
down rain according to their vapor which the clouds do drop and distill upon man abundantly." And so
he's discussing the rain.
You go to Psalm 135, I think it's there, verse 7, so now you've got the rain coming down and it's going
to return, how? Verse 7 of Psalm 135, "He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth,"
there's the next phase. And you go back to the book of Job again and there's never a mistake. It
never says that the earth is held on the back of elephants who produce earthquakes when they shake
like the Koran says, that's what the Koran says. And it also, the Vagavageda(?) says it's on honey
and butter all squished up and stupid things like that, the Bible never says that. Job 26:8 it says, "He
binds the water in the thick clouds and the cloud is not torn." Isn't that marvelous? You've got it
coming down, ascending in the vapor, held in the clouds again. You know, it's held that way, isn't it,
over the oceans and it's brought over the land and then dropped again.
The twenty-eighth chapter of Job, tenth verse, "He cuts out rivers among the rocks and His eye sees
every precious thing. He binds the floods from overflowing. He puts borders, doesn't He, on the
oceans." The whole thing is here, marvelous. And I'm just picking and choosing here, but Psalm 33:7,
"He gathers the water of the sea together as a heap, He lays up the depth in store houses," He keeps
the oceans in their places. And I could on beyond that.
And then you could look at astronomy. Well, there's so many things we could say about that. I don't
know where to cut and choose but I'm thinking again back in Isaiah 55, that's a great chapter, verse 9
we didn't read. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways
and My thoughts than your thoughts." Now think about that. How high is heaven? Scientists used to
think it was pretty high. They used to think it was...we were inside a ball, did you know that? The
Ptolemaic view, we were inside some kind of a ball. But He says heaven is as high as God is high
above man. Now that's not just a little ways, that's infinity. And we're beginning to discover the infinite
Do you know that years ago people estimated there were 1,030 stars? Now they know there are a
hundred billion in our galaxy and there are billions of galaxies. Jeremiah 31:37, "Thus saith the Lord
of heaven above can be measured and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will cast
off all the seed of Israel for all they have done." Can you go down in the earth and search it out? Uhhuh...
can't, because it's filled with something you couldn't survive in. Can you find the measure of
heaven with all of the telescopes in the world? No, no, and if you ever do than God will move away
from the reality of this analogy and His Word wouldn't be true because He says I'll no more do that
than you could ever measure heaven. It cannot be measured.
By the way, the thirty-third chapter of Jeremiah adds another thought to that. It says, "The host of
heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured." I like to think that there are at
least as many stars as there are grains of sand on every beach in every place in the entire world.
That's a lot of stars. That's what God said.
By the way, Jeremiah 31, I can't resist this one either...31:35, "Thus said the Lord who giveth the sun
for a light by day and the ordinance of the moon and the stars for a light by night, He divides the sea
when its waves roar, the Lord of hosts is His name. If those ordinances depart from before Me, saith
the Lord, then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before Me forever." God will no
more overturn His covenant with Israel than the stars will go out, the moon will go out and the sun will
go out.
Psalm 19 talks about the sun and it says, "The sun goes forth from the end of heaven and His circuit
unto the ends of it." That's just incredible. Because they used to laugh at that and say the sun doesn't
go anywhere, the sun stands still and the earth goes around the sun. Now we know the sun is in an
orbit that takes billions of years to complete. And we are literally careening through space, not only as
we go around the sun but as the sun careens through space at incredible speeds. And it has an exact
and precise orbit which they have now discovered...just as Psalm 19 said.
Well, you could talk about geology. You know what the science of isostasy is? It didn't really get
started till 1959. It's the study of the balances of the earth. You have to have as much depth in the
sea as you do height in the mountains or the thing will go over like this.... When it rotates we'll all be
going through life like take two steps and then up, two steps and then up. So the earth has
to rotate perfectly-- perfectly, it has to be in absolute balance. That's the science of isostasy. You
have to have the weight perfectly balanced and God has perfectly balanced the globe. And that's
exactly what the Bible says and they used to think it was flat, to start with, and that's ridiculous. That's
the science of geodesy, now the shape of the earth. But let's see, I think it's Isaiah 40 verse 22, "It's
he who sits on the circle of the earth," and they couldn't read that, it was all right there for them. And
in chapter 40 verse 12, "He measures the water in the hallow of His hand, He measures the heaven
with a span, He measures the dust of the earth, in a measure He weighs the mountains and scales
and the hills in a balance."
It says in Job, I mean, it says in Job it's turned like clay to the seal. If you had to sign your name on a
piece of parchment, or you wanted to sign your name on a soft pallet, you know, of clay that they
would impress, you would have a signature cylinder with two sticks coming out of the end of it. And
when you wanted to sign you name, you just roll that across the soft clay. Now what does that say
about the earth? It's turned as the clay to the seal. It rotates on what? On an axis, so says Job 38:14,
it is a sphere.
Do you know if you read Luke 17 the parable there, you'll find that when Jesus comes some people
are going to be sleeping and some people are going to be working? It's going to be night and day at
the same time when He comes. What does that tell you? That the earth is what? Round. Spherical,
has to be.
And then you have gravity, Job 26:7, "He hangs the earth on nothing." Then you have meteorology,
the weight of air, they didn't discover that till rather modern times yet Job, the oldest book in the Bible,
says "He imparteth weight to the air." What about physiology? They used to bleed people when they
got sick even though it says in Leviticus, "The life of the flesh is in the blood." You're killing them
when you do that...and so on and so on and so on.
Well, maybe we have time for just one other thought, and I would just kind of make this the fine in our
thinking. That is the testimony of prophecy. And I think without question this is the greatest...the
greatest evidence that rises out of a holy inspired text is that the Bible just constantly predicts things
that come to pass. And the critics can't do a thing with this. They just can't. I mean, and I'm not going
to take the time to develop it cause our time is gone, but you take, for example, the prophecy in
Ezekiel 26 to 28 which is a prophecy of the city of Tyre. And it says this, it says, "Tyre will be
destroyed." It says, Then many nations will come against Tyre in a series of sort of waves of attack.
And then it says the place is going to be made flat and bare and desolate and fishermen will dry their
nets cause no more city will be there. And then it says about it that all the rubble will be thrown into
the ocean. And then it says it will never be rebuilt.
I mean, that's at least six specifics...destroyed the mainland city, nations rising against it in waves,
finally it will be decimated, fishermen dry their nets, the rubble thrown into the sea, never rebuilt. That
is exactly what happened, exactly what happened. And it was a great city. I mean, to say that would
be like saying, you know, Denver is going to go off the face of the map. I mean, that just doesn't make
sense because it was a great great city, it controlled Phoenicia from the time of Hiram the First, it was
strongly fortified. It had a wall 150 feet high, 15 feet thick. Had a tremendous fleet protecting it from
the ocean side. And Hiram the First began his reign eight years before Solomon...he overlapped
David's reign. And David enjoyed help from him in building the palace. You remember when they sent
down the cedars from Lebanon that that was from Hiram. And so, he was at that period of time.
But the story is marvelous as it unfolds. And Nebuchadnezzar did destroy the mainland city just as
the prophecy said, left it in a total rubble. Only one part of it was destroyed. Later on Alexander the
Great came along and in that particular time the people in the mainland city that was destroyed had
moved off to an island off the shore. They were living on the island. And Alexander sent a boat out
with some of his men and said I want supplies for my army, he was conquering the world at the time.
He said I want supplies for my army. And they said forget it, you don't have a navy and we're out here
on an island, we're not going to accommodate you.
And so they came back and Alexander got mad. So he took all the rubble of the city and threw it into
the ocean and built a causeway and marched out and destroyed the place. Just exactly what the
prophet had said, all the rubble would be thrown into the sea. Well who would ever bother to do that?
No conqueror would bother to do that. And the place became desolate. Today it's a place where
fishermen dry their nets and it's never been rebuilt. Just exactly what the Scripture said.
And there are such prophecies as that all over the Scripture. You have the prophecies relative to
Sidon, and I'm just skipping along some things. You have the prophecies relative to Egypt. You have
the prophecies relative to Capernaum, right? Chorazin, Bethsaida, cities to this day have never been
rebuilt. And there are cities popping up all the way around the area of the Sea of Galilee, but not
there, not where those places uniquely were and not in their unique identity. Sidon was like, I don't
know, 20 miles away from Tyre and the prophet said in Ezekiel 28, "Tyre...Sidon would be attacked, it
would be burned, it would be sacked and it would be rebuilt." That's exactly what happened. And it
exists to this very day as the seaport city, it's called today not Sidon but Saida and it still exists. Why
did Tyre go away and Sidon stay? Cause that's what God said would happen.
Then you have 330 plus prophecies of Jesus Christ. And it just goes on and on. Read Ezekiel 30
some time and the prophecies of Egypt. And I'm giving you these because we all know about the
Messianic prophecies, we all know about the prophecies of the nation Israel. We all know about the
prophecies of the Second Coming and the earth and the world around us and we can see all of the
Revelation type prophecies, but I think these are others are marvelous, too.
There's one in Nahum. It says that Nineveh will be destroyed by a flood. And that was a marvelous
statement because Nineveh was one of the largest of all the ancient cities. Just to give you a little
thought on this. It had 100 foot inner wall, 50-foot thick towers, 200 feet high, 15 gates, 150-foot wide
moat and seven miles circumference. Just like a fortress. It had...beyond that, an outer wall. So here's
this inner wall, get this, 100-feet high, 50-feet thick. Now a half mile off of that is another wall. At its
high point in 663 B.C. 51 years later, absolute oblivion. That little obscure prophet Nahum chapter 1
verses 8 to 10 said it would happen, it happened. There is no Nineveh, nor has there been for
And you know what? Students of history and geography have studied that place in their
archaeological studies and they have found that it fell in the month of Ab, A-b, and that is the rainy
month. There's a stratum of pebbles and sand around the sight that verify that it was flooded out.
Students of history and geography determined either the Tigris or what is called the Khosr, K-h-o-s-r
River, probably caused the flood or even the Tibiltu(?) River, but they know it was a flood.
And then Isaiah 13 talks about Babylon. It just goes on and on, just marvelously accurate prophecies.
Well, that's more than you can handle, probably. Let me just sum it up. The Scripture claims to be
true. It claims to be the Word of God. It claims to be God-breathed. It verifies those claims by internal
evidence that is both objective and subjective. By external evidence that is experiential and that's
subjective and scientific and prophetic and that's objective. You see, every way you cut it, inside,
outside, objective, subjective the Scripture verifies itself.
Now that just gives me one third point that I want to make and I'll do that in about three minutes. We
have then the claims of Scripture, the verification of those claims and now the process of Scripture's
inspiration. How did it happen? How did it actually happen? And I just want to summarize the doctrine
of inspiration, very quickly. It is God-breathed, right? We're back to Timothy and Peter. It is Godbreathed,
not from men but from the Holy Spirit breathing on men. Now let me just give you some
thoughts carefully. This does not refer to a high level of human achievement. This is what's called
natural inspiration. It's like Homer's Odyssey, or Shakespeare's plays, some religious geniuses wrote
it. It's not that. Others have talked about what they call thought inspiration, that the Bible is inspired in
the sense--and this is the most popular one today among liberals-- that God just gave them religious
thoughts and they wrote in response to religious thoughts. But that doesn't square with the Scripture.
In the first place, how could you get religious thoughts without words? Did you ever have thoughts
without words? Very difficult. In 1 Corinthians 2:13 it says, "We speak in words which the Holy Spirit
And then some would say that it is inspiration of a spiritual nature, that's spiritual inspiration. They say
it only extends to the spiritual truth. And that can't be true because you can verify history and
geography and science and archaeology and everything. And no one's ever disproven it. We wouldn't
be here if they had, would we?
And then other say it is what is called existential inspiration. It's just a human book but if it zaps you
it's inspired where it zaps you. That's neo-orthodoxy. Wherever you get your spiritual zap, that's
And then there's what's called the Jesus ethic inspiration. The only part that's really true and inspired
is the part that reflects Jesus ethic. And Jesus ethic, according...this is pretty much the rank liberal
view...Jesus is the loving gentle forgiving gracious kind so anyplace there's judgment or wrath or
anger or holiness or any of that, that's not inspired. It's just the pats on the head and the nice little
things and that's the Jesus ethic.
But all of those are unacceptable. We believe that it is inspired and back to our analogy just like the
virgin birth. It is utterly and totally the work of God without the flaw of man though man is the agent.
Let me close by reading a statement from J.I. Packer in his book GOD HAS SPOKEN. "Certainty
about the great issues of Christian faith and conduct is lacking today. The outside observer sees us
as a staggering on from gimmick to gimmick and stunt to stunt like so many drunks in
a fog, not knowing at all where we are or which way we are going. Preaching is hazy, heads are
muddled, hearts fret, doubts drain our strength, uncertainly paralyzes action. We know the Victorian
shibboleth that to travel hopefully is better than to arrive and it leaves us cold. Ecclesiastics of certain
type tell us that the wish to be certain is mere weakness of the flesh, a sign of spiritual immaturity, but
we do not find ourselves able to believe them. We know in our bones that we were made for eternity
and for certainty. We cannot be happy without them. Yet unlike the first Christians who in three
centuries won the Roman world and those later Christians who pioneered the Reformation and the
Puritan awakening and the evangelical revival and the great missionary movement of the last century,
we lack certainty. Why is this? We blame the external pressures of modern secularism but this is like
Eve blaming the serpent. The real trouble is not in our circumstances it is in ourselves," end quote.
And I would add a footnote. We are in trouble and we lack certainty and the trouble is in us and it is
basically in the fact that the church today in its broad perspective does not believe the Word of God to
be the Word of God. And so there's no standard.
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