What is the “authority” in your life

     What is the “authority” in your life?  Those who believe something must have a reason for their beliefs.  Just as there are standards in the business world, in the government, and in education – the Christian needs an absolute standard for his beliefs, his duties – indeed, his whole conduct.  Many people have as their authority their inner CONSCIENCE.  “Let your

conscience be your guide!” they say.  This sounds good, but

according to Titus 1:15 the conscience may be

D__ __ __ __ __ __; according to 1 Timothy 4:2, S__ __ __ __ __

and according to 1 Corinthians 8:7 W__ __ __.  Other people, especially religious folk, have the “CHURCH” or man-made CREEDS as their authority.  Such standards are unreliable because man is involved.  Colossians 2:8 warns us against

P__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ and Matthew 15:3, 6, 9 warns us against T__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __.  For the Christian, only the BIBLE, the Word of God, is the unchanging authority for faith and practice.  This study will teach you what the Bible is, why you can take it as your authority, and how to use it as a child of God.

 

I.      WHAT IS THE BIBLE?

A.     The Bible is a collection of __ __ books, divided into two major sections known as the OLD and

NEW __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __.

B.     Other names given to the Bible are:

1.     The W __ __ __  __ __  __ __ __.

Romans 10:17

2.     The H__ __ __ S__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __.

2 Timothy 3:15

C.     The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself and His

ways to man. He reveals:

1.     His character – the sovereign God of the universe. He is the standard of absolute holiness.

2.     His divine judgment for sin and disobedience.

3.     His divine blessing for faith and obedience.

4.     His redemption of mankind through the Lord Jesus           Christ as the sacrifice for sin.

5.     His eternal plan for the ages – an eternal kingdom of righteous people over which He will rule.

D.     The Books of the Bible are not arranged chronologically, but rather “topically.” Both of the Testaments have their books set in groups.

(All new Christians experience difficulty at first in finding

the books of the Bible, especially during a preaching service.  Don’t be embarrassed to use the index in the front of your Bible or to accept the assistance of another Christian. The more you use your Bible the sooner you will become familiar with the location of its books.)

OLD TESTAMENT:

Law                                 Genesis – Deuteronomy

History                            Joshua – Esther

Wisdom                          Job – Song of Solomon

Prophecy                        Major Prophets:

                                        Isaiah – Daniel

                                        Minor Prophets:

                                        Hosea – Malachi

NEW TESTAMENT:

Gospels                          Matthew – John

History                            Acts

Epistles (Letters)           Romans – Jude

Prophecy                        Revelation

 

E.     The Old Testament reveals God’s creation of the universe and then focuses on the nation of Israel, His chosen people. It covers:

1.     Creation of the universe

2.     Fall of man

3.     Judgment flood over the earth

4.     Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (Israel) – fathers of the chosen nation

5.     The history of Israel [exile in Egypt (430 years), Exodus and wilderness wanderings (40 years), Conquest of Canaan (7 years), Era of the Judges (350 years), United Kingdom under Saul, David, Solomon (110 years), Divided Kingdom of Judah & Israel (350 years), Exile in Babylon (70 years), Return and rebuilding the nation (140 years)].

F.     The period of history which falls between the closing of the Old Testament and the opening of the New is called “The Intertestamental Period.”

This is not a Biblical name, but it identifies a period of history. Some Bible scholars call it “The 400 Silent Years.” During this time God did not speak to man through prophets nor inspire the writing of Scripture. This silence was broken when God sent John the Baptist. He was the prophesied forerunner of Jesus Christ. Through John, Jesus Christ, the Apostles, the Holy Spirit, and the Church, God has spoken volumes to reveal Himself.

1.     The New Testament completed God’s written revelation. When it was finished, God said, “If any man shall A__ __ unto these things, God shall add unto him the P__ __ __ __ __ __ that are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18).

2.     The New Testament covers the life of Christ, the establishment, growth, and multiplication of the local New Testament church, and God’s proclamation of future events. The focus of the New Testament is on Jesus Christ, then the Church.

 

II.     HOW DID WE RECEIVE THE BIBLE?

The Bible is not just a book, it is THE Book – different from any other book that has or will be written. The Bible is a SUPERNATURAL book because of the way in which God gave it to mankind.

 

A.     Look up and write out 2 Peter 1:21.

__________________________________________   

__________________________________________   

_________________________________________     

This verse of Scripture teaches three important facts

concerning how we got the Bible.

1.     It wasn’t made up by men – “... came not by the W__ __ __ of man...”

2.     Men of God wrote the Bible – “... holy men of God spake...”

3.     God authored the Bible – “... as they were

M__ __ __ __ by the Holy Ghost.”   Over 2000 times in the Old Testament alone, the Bible asserts that God spoke what is written within its pages.

B.     God used human writers to pen His Words.

1.     God employed over 40 men from all walks of life to record the Bible. This was accomplished over a period of 1,600 years.

2.     Most of the Old Testament was originally written in HEBREW. The New Testament was originally written in GREEK.

C.     God authored the Bible.

God wrote & man wrote?

A good way to illustrate this miracle is to consider how you would write things down on paper.  First, it is the pen that actually does the writing – but it only writes as you move it.  Second, the characteristics of the script will depend on the kind of pen or writing instrument you use.  Write your name down on paper using a “fine ball-point pen,” a “felt-tip marking pen,” and a paintbrush – note there will be the same words, but a different appearance!

1.     The way in which God gave us the Bible is called INSPIRATION.  Inspiration means “breathed out by God.”

2.     The Holy Spirit moved the human writers of the Bible in such a way that they recorded the very words of God, though couched in their own literary style.  God limited Himself to their knowledge, their vocabulary, their experiences, as He told them what to write.

3.     Because the Bible is the INSPIRED Word of God, we must accept it as the authority for all we believe and do.

  BEWARE of men who say, “The Bible BECOMES the Word of God” when it speaks to you personally.  Look up Matthew 24:35 and 1 Corinthians 2:13. According to these passages, God has inspired the W__ __ __ __ (not just the ideas and thoughts).

  BEWARE of the men who say,“The Bible CONTAINS the Word of God,” meaning there are parts of it which are not God’s Word. Look up 2 Timothy 3:16.  According to this verse, how much of the Bible is inspired?  A__ __

4.     Because the Bible is the inspired Word of God, it is T__ __ __ from beginning to end.

Psalm 119:160

D.     God directed men to compile the separate books of the Bible.

1.     The first book of the Bible was written approximately 1405 BC, and the last one was written around AD 95.  Throughout this time God progressively revealed Himself and His purposes in the inspired Scriptures.

       How do we know which books of sacred writings were supposed to be included in the Bible?

2.     Over the centuries, three widely recognized principles were used to validate those writings that came as a result of divine revelation and inspiration.

Which books go in the Bible?

Test #1 – the writing had to have a recognized prophet or apostle as its author (or one closely associated with them).

Test #2 – the writing could not disagree with or contradict previous Scripture.

Test #3 – the writing had to have general consensus by the church as an inspired book. When various councils in church history met to consider the canon (Bible), they did not vote for the canonicity of a book but rather recognized, after the fact, what God had already written.

3.     The Old Testament had, by the time of Christ, been written and accepted in the Jewish community.  The Old Testament canon of Christ’s day confirms our own, and it does not contain the 14 uninspired and spurious Apocryphal books.  The Apocrypha is neither cited by any New Testament writer, nor did Jesus affirm any of it.

 

III.     DO WE HAVE THE BIBLE TODAY?

The original manuscripts of the Bible have been long lost.

Does this mean we no longer have the pure Word of God?

A.     Look up Isaiah 40:8 and Matthew 24:35.

1.     Not only did God give us His Word, but He also promised to preserve it until the end of the world.

2.     According to Isaiah 40:8, the Word of God will stand F__ __ E__ __ __.

3.     Matthew 24:35 says God’s Word will not

P__ __ __  A__ __ __.

4.     God anticipated the battle that would rage over the Bible.  Satan denied God’s Word to Eve (Genesis 3:4), King Jehoiakim of Judah actually tried to destroy it (Jeremiah 36:23), and it’s destruction has been the edict of kings and emperors ever since.  Godless, atheistic governments have banned it.

B.     How has God preserved His Word?

God has providentially kept His Word from destruction and corruption in two ways:

1.     Through the centuries, the Lord has raised up men with a love for His Word to keep it from harm. Zealous Jewish patriots, and then later, simple Bible-loving Christians, have kept the Scriptures available to all generations.  Satan has, on numerous occasions, attempted to remove the Bible from the face of the earth. Hellish decrees have seen the Bible banned, burned, banished, and battered by scornful men.

King James Bible

 
2.     The Hebrew text of the Old Testament has been faithfully preserved by meticulous Jewish scribes – it is called the Masoretic Text.  The Greek text of the New Testament has been faithfully preserved in what is called the Textus Receptus, or Received Text.

 

Received Text

 

3000 Manuscripts

Mountain of Evidence

 
 

 


Over 3,000 ancient manuscripts of the New Testament, along with 2,000+ lectionaries (selected readings) still exist today – the majority of them attesting to the Received Text.

3.     Beware of all other translations such as the Revised Standard Version (RSV), the New International Version (NIV), the New American Standard Version (NASB), Good News Bible, the New English Bible – they are all based upon only 30 inferior manuscripts.  These versions are copyrighted and the publishers want a royalty paid/permission sought for using “God’s Word.”  The King James Version of God’s Word is NOT copyrighted.  God didn’t deliver His Word to mankind for them to restrict its use.  Therefore, if you want to write some King James Version verses from God’s Word in a letter to a friend or print some verses on a birthday card or even print the entire Bible, you may do so without permission and without fear of litigation.

If you don’t already possess a Bible, you may purchase one from our church bookstore.  The cost of Bibles range from a few dollars to one hundred dollars – depending on the quality of paper and the type of binding.

C.     Do we need to know Hebrew and Greek to understand the Bible?

Mastery of the original languages will always yield a rich understanding of Scripture.  However, we have the preserved Word of God in our language.  With the preponderance of Bible helps (commentaries, word studies, Bible histories and geographies, Bible customs and manners, lexicons, interlinears, and so on) any diligent student of the Scriptures can learn the Bible without learning Hebrew and Greek.  The Bible was written for you, not for the textual critic.  God gave us the Scriptures to learn of Him and obey; they’re not just for the academic exercise of study.

1.     The only version of the Bible translated from the Masoretic Text and the Textus Receptus is the King James Version, also known as the Authorized Version.

2.     When you hold a copy of the King James Version (KJV), you hold in your hands the Word of God.  Its textual script is the most authenticated rendering of the English Bibles.

D.     Have critics of the Bible harmed the authority of the Scriptures in any way?

Absolutely not! In fact, history, geology, archeology, and sciences in general are all on the side of the Bible. They attest to its accuracy.  Though the Bible is not primarily a history book or a science book; it is historically and scientifically accurate.  The science of archeology has repeatedly validated the accuracy of the Biblical record of historical events.  There have always been skeptics with their theories.  Their theories crumble and the skeptics die – the Bible stands!

 

IV.    WHY DO WE NEED THE BIBLE?

A.     Look up 1 Peter 2:2; Matthew 4:4; Psalm 19:10.

According to these Scriptures, the Bible is our spiritual F__ __ __ .

B.     Look up Hebrews 4:12 and Ephesians 6:17.

The Bible is our spiritual S__ __ __ __ .

C.     Look up Psalm 119:11.

This verse says the Bible keeps us from S__ __ .

D.     Look up Psalm 119:105.

According to this Scripture, the Bible is life’s:

_________________________________                     

(Use your own words.)

E.     Look up 2 Timothy 3:16.

The Bible is profitable for:

D__ __ __ __ __ __ __ (what is right)

R__ __ __ __ __ __ (what is not right)

C__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ (how to get right)

and I__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ in righteousness (how to keep right).

F.     Look up 1 Thessalonians 4:18 and Psalm 119:50.

The Word of God is for our C__ __ __ __ __ __ .

 

V.     WHAT SHOULD WE DO WITH THE BIBLE?

A.     John 5:39; Acts 17:11 _______________________    

B.     2 Timothy 2:15 ____________________________     

C.     James 1:22 ________________________________   

D.     1 Corinthians 2:13 C________________________     

E.     Psalm 1:2; Joshua 1:8 ______________________     

F.     Psalm 119:11 ______________________________   

You may wish to write the following statement in your

Bible as a wise reminder:

“THIS BOOK WILL KEEP YOU FROM SIN —

OR SIN WILL KEEP YOU FROM THIS BOOK.”

 

VI.    WHAT GREAT PERSONALITIES HAVE SAID ABOUT THE BIBLE

A.     President George Washington

“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without the Bible.”

B.     President John Adams

“The Bible is the best book in the world.  It contains more...than all the libraries I have seen.”

C.     President John Quincy Adams

“It is an invaluable and inexhaustible mine of knowledge and virtue.”

D.     President Andrew Jackson

“That book, sir, is the rock on which our Republic rests.”

E.     President Abraham Lincoln

“But for this Book we could not know right from wrong.  I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man.”

F.     President Theodore Roosevelt

“No educated man can afford to be ignorant of the Bible.”

G.    President Herbert Hoover

“The whole of the inspirations of our civilization springs from the teachings of Christ...to read the Bible...is a necessity of American life.”

H.     William Gladstone

“I have known ninety-five great men of the world in my time, and of these, eighty-seven were followers of the Bible.”

I.      General Douglas MacArthur

“Believe me, sir, never a night goes by, be I ever so tired, but I read the Word of God before I go to

bed.”

J.     Sir Isaac Newton

“We account the Scriptures of God to be the most sublime philosophy.  I find more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history whatsoever.”

K.     Sir Francis Bacon

“The volume of Scriptures...reveal the will of God.”

L.     Charles W. Mayo

“In sickness or in health, one can find comfort and constructive advice in the Bible.”

M.    Daniel Webster

“I believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the will and the Word of God.”

N.     Benjamin Franklin

“Young men, my advice to you is that you cultivate an acquaintance with, and a firm belief in, the Holy Scriptures.”

O.    Patrick Henry

“This is a Book worth more than all the others that were ever printed.”

P.     Horace Greeley

“It is impossible to mentally or socially enslave a Bible-reading people.”

Q.    Charles Dickens

“It is the best Book that ever was or ever will be in the world....”

R.     J. Edgar Hoover

“The Bible is the unfailing guide which points the way for men to the perfect life.”

S.     Helen Keller

“In the Bible I find a confidence mightier than the utmost evil....”

T.     King George V

“The English Bible is...the most valuable thing that this world affords.”

U.     Jesus Christ

(John 17:17) “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”

Some points to ponder –

“In concluding this section it may be necessary to stop here and consider some anticipated objections about all these ‘pious commercials’ for the Bible.  Some have felt the statements made by political persons, such as U.S. presidents, were made solely for election purposes, for, it is claimed, no atheist could ever be voted into the White House.  But to say this is to deny the integrity of almost every American president.  It should also be pointed out that many of these statements were made at a time when either the man was not a candidate for reelection, or had already moved out of the White House.  Furthermore, while history shows many famous ‘Bible haters’ who later became ‘Bible lovers,’ it never records the opposite.  To take this a step further, it can be shown that no evil and murderous dictator or tyrant in history was ever a friend of the Bible and that no good and wise leader was ever an enemy of God’s Word. Thus to deny the authority of the Bible is to set oneself against practically every great leader in Western civilization.”

Wilmington’s Guide to the Bible, page 798