What standard do we use to measure proper handling of the Bible? Whenever we use the Bible one standard we should always seek to gage if we are doing so correctly. The standard is how Jesus used God's Word.
This morning as we open to John 1:1-18, we need to consider the implications of Christ's convictions about the Word of God, because:
Jesus has the
Highest View of Scripture
In our text this morning Jesus flatly stated that He was God, who came to Earth as God the Son. He goes on to say that He was the exact representation of God the Father in human flesh and that the Bible, or the Scriptures, were to be understood as God's very Words. Thus Christ's convictions about the Bible are the highest that are possible to be held.
Join me as we hear Jesus explain to us Who He is and what He has revealed to us in His Word the Bible.
John 1:1-3, 10-12, 18 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name
18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
This Bible is God's Word, and it is the same book that Jesus used and trusted. As we go on in our study of the Book you Can Trust, we need to seriously consider what the implications of Christ's convictions about this book, applied to our lives today. Even though what I say may sound hard, difficult, against public policy and opinion, the most important thing to remember is that it is TRUTH as verified by Jesus Christ Himself!
Starting back in Matthew, look at a time when Jesus was asked to explain God’s standards on marriage. Where does He go? Back to Genesis, back to Creation, back to the “beginning” as He called it. So consider with me:
As we open to Matthew 19, we look first at the implications of Christ's conviction that the Bible contained trustworthy, reliable science. In Matthew 19, when Jesus described the “beginning” He talks about the very first humans, who are named in that passage we’ll see Him quoting as being Adam and Eve; and He equates the start of all things with this “creation” account.
Matthew 19:4-6 And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ [quotes Genesis 1:27; 5:2] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? [quotes Genesis 2:24] 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
So when confronted with skeptics and their questions designed to trap and trip up Jesus, what did He do? Jesus affirmed Genesis chapters 1-5 as a true scientific record. These are also the chapters that contain the creation account.
Since Jesus also affirmed Moses a few verses later, and the writing of the Ten Commandments, He affirmed the literal, six-day nature of the creation account.
That means that salvation from Adams’s sin that has infected all humans, and has also plunged the entire universe under this decaying power of sin as Romans 5-8 talk about, are all parts of the truth Jesus believed and affirmed.
Pondering the implications of Christ's
Convictions about Science
So all museums, textbooks, teachers, and schools that proclaim as science something different from God's Word are wrong! And any science that contradicts the truth that God created the Universe perfect, and the sin of the first human plunged all of humanity and the universe into a vortex of destruction is also denying God the Creator.
So when Peter says that the same God who spoke all things into being is going to stop everything in II Peter 3, we know that is truth we can live by!
II Peter 3:5-11 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
As we go back to Matthew 24, we see next that Jesus believed the Bible contained trustworthy, reliable history. In Matthew 24:37-39 we have already seen that He look the account in Genesis 6-8 as a literal account about a global flood that destroyed all humans and land animals that were not aboard the Ark.
Matthew 24:37-39 But as the days of Noah [like Genesis records history] were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood [again it sounds like an account of what was going on recorded in genesis as history], they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark [again Christ's words read like He is affirming the step-by-step record of a historical event], 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away [this is Christ affirming the complete, global destruction described in Genesis] , so also will the coming of the Son of Man be (NKJV).
Pondering the implications of
Christ's convictions about History
To fast forward to a current issue facing churches around the world, think of human sexuality and morality for a moment.
By verifying the absolutely trustworthy historical record of all of Genesis, that means that Jesus also believed that Genesis 18-19 are true, and that homosexuality is a deviant behavior, sinful in God’s sight and facing His eternal judgment as Romans 1 tells us.
Any historical account that deviates from God's Word is inaccurate. God has written down a history of the world from day one to the present and to the last day. Only God gives the right perspective on history.
Romans 1:24-28 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting;
So any view of marriage, morality, or ordination that ignores God’s clear statement that homosexuality is against the order and plan of God is false. God’s Word says that any form of homosexuality is deviant, sinful, and contrary to God’s will and faces His judgment.
Thirdly, Jesus believed that the Bible is prophetic and contains the roadmap of the entire history of the Universe, beginning to end. So, the ending Jesus shared in Matthew 24 will come to pass exactly as He said and as Zechariah 12-14 says and Revelation 4-22 record.
Pondering the implications of
Christ's convictions about Prophecy
So, any ideas about a world without the Jewish nation and people called Israel are not from God but from the Devil. Any group that is opposed to the Jews having the Land that God gave to them, are actually in opposition to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Any church that teaches that Israel, has been replaced by the Church, does not accurately reflect the teachings of God's Word and that church has allowed false doctrine that favors Satan’s plan, to seep into their theology.
It is clear for anyone who will read God's Word that the Jewish people, living in unbelief, are rescued nationally by their Messiah Jesus Christ, and some will turn in faith and actually at that moment be rescued spiritually and be saved.
The short story is that Jews in Jerusalem are the trigger for the End of the World according to God! This is how God says the world ends, in Zechariah 12-14, for our purposes just note these verses:
Zechariah 12:1-3, 9-10 The burden of the word of the LORD against Israel. Thus says the LORD, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him: 2 “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. 3 And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.
9 It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 10 “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.
This Bible is God's Word, and it is the same book that Jesus used and trusted.
As we study the Book you Can Trust, we need to seriously consider what the implications of Christ's convictions about this book, applied to our lives today.
Even though it may sound hard, difficult, against public policy and opinion, the most important thing to remember is that it is TRUTH as verified by Jesus Christ Himself!
So what exactly were Christ's convictions about this Book?
1. Jesus believed that this Book was completely trustworthy historically: because Jesus believed and affirmed the record of the events and people in the Bible as being true and reliable history. From Adam to Noah, and from Moses to Jonah—Jesus said the persons were real and the events literally happened as recorded in this Book. I believe the Bible is true because this is the Book that Jesus affirmed the absolutely trustworthy historical accuracy. Jesus believed that the Bible was the Book we can trust Historically
2. Jesus believed that the Bible was the Book we can trust Prophetically: because Jesus believed and affirmed that what the Old Testament prophets saw happening in the future, was going to happen (Matthew 24); and Jesus explained the same future events that John, Peter, and Paul all described in detail. Jesus believed that the prophecies of the Bible irrefutably affirmed the Scriptures as God's Word (Matthew 5:18). I trust God's Word because it is the only book that declares future events with absolute accuracy (Fulfilled Prophecy). Did you know the Bible is the only book in the world that has accurate prophecy? When you read the prophecies of the Bible, you simply have to stand back in awe. There are over 300 precise prophecies that deal with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Old Testament that are fulfilled in the New Testament. To say that these are fulfilled by chance is an astronomical impossibility.
3. Jesus believed that the Bible was the Book we can trust Scientifically: because Jesus said that He was the Creator of everything (John 1:3); and that He created everything in six literal, 24 hour days (Exodus 20:11); and that the Universe is held together by the Word of His power (Col. 1:15-17). I believe the Bible is true because of the absolutely verifiable scientific accuracy of God's Word.
4. Our Lord JESUS CHRIST trusted this book as God's Word: This is the most compelling reason of all. Jesus authenticated and affirmed that the book we call the Bible is the very revelation of God's Word. He used it as the foundation for His teaching, quoted from it and ascribed to the Bible His divine imprimatur. So I believe that Bible can be trusted because our Lord Jesus Christ said so! Over and over we find Him asking those who questioned Him, “Have you never read?”, “It is written” and “Search the Scriptures”. He believed in: Jesus believed in the verbal (every word) inspiration of the Scriptures [Matthew 5:18]. And used God's Word in His Private Life (Mt 4 quotes Deut); and He uses it in His struggle with Satan; and in His Public Ministry (Mt 5-7 quotes Isaiah 61.2); and He uses it to teach multitudes by the Sea; and in His personal teaching ministry to the disciples (and us by way of extension) such as in Matthew 24 where Jesus quotes Daniel and other prophets, when He uses it to explain the future to His disciples. Jesus believed in the Inerrancy of the Scriptures (John 10:35; 17:17) so much so that one out of every ten recorded words of Jesus are Old Testament quotes! Jesus believed in the Historical Reliability of Scripture as in the historicity of Adam and Eve (Mt. 19:4-5); Abel (Mat 23.35); Noah and the account of the global flood (Mt. 24:37-38); Abraham (John 8:56); Moses and the burning bush (Mk 12.26); David (Matthew 12.3); Elijah (Luke 4.25); Daniel (Mt 4.17); and Jonah and the great fish account (Mt. 12:40-41)
5. Fifthly, because the Apostles and Prophets completely trusted and affirmed God's Word. When the Apostles and Prophets spoke, because Spirit of Christ was in them it was actually the Voice of Jesus that spoke through every Apostle and every prophet (I Peter 1:11; II Peter 1:21), that was Peter’s clear conviction in his epistles. In fact the writers God used to record His Word all said thousands of times that what they were writing was the very Scriptures or words from God. They were totally convinced that they were sharing words that were not originating with them; and because they were totally convinced that they were sharing words that were not originating with them, they repeated over 3800 times "thus saith the Lord".
6. Sixthly, I am completely able to trust that the Bible is God's Word because of its incredible survival. Jesus reminded us that Heaven and earth shall pass away but not one word will fail. The Bible has endured through the ages despite being the target of Empires, armies and infidels. As one poet wrote, the Bible stands like a rock undaunted through the raging storms of time. Its pages burn with the truth eternal and they glow with a light divine. The Bible stands though the hills may tumble it will firmly stand though the Earth may crumble. I will take my stand on its firm foundation for the Bible stands! The Bible is not a book of the month, but the Book of the ages. First Peter 1:25 says: “But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the Word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” No book has ever had as much opposition as the Bible. Men have laughed at it, scorned it, burned it, ridiculed it, and made laws against it. But the Word of God has survived. And it is applicable today as much as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow. It’s so majestically deep that scholars could swim and never touch the bottom. Yet so wonderfully shallow that a little child could come and get a drink of water without fear of drowning. That is God’s precious, holy Word. The Word of God. Know it. Believe it, it is True. The Bible stands though the hills may tumble it will firmly stand though the earth may crumble. I will take my stand on its firm foundation for the Bible stands!
7. Seventh and finally, I am convinced of the trustworthiness of the Bible because of its absolute unity. Jesus said of the Scriptures, “They speak of Me.” The Bible contains an absolutely unified message: from Genesis to Revelation, the Bible reads as one book. And there is incredible unity to the Bible. You know, if you look at the Bible, there is an incredible unity demonstrated in the fact that as I mentioned before, 40 different men, most of whom who never saw each other… Did you think about that? Those people that wrote the Bible didn’t even know each other. They were living in three different continents. They were writing over 60 generations of time, 1,600 years comes one unmistakable fabric woven from prison to palace, desert to dungeon, hillside to holy places. There is one common denominator, one shared theme and one united message. There is but one system of doctrine, one system of ethics, one plan of salvation and one rule of faith. One King and one Kingdom and one entrance into His presence! Most of them never saw what the other one wrote. And yet, this book has an absolute unity. The Bible forms one beautiful temple of truth that does not contradict itself theologically, morally, ethically, doctrinally, scientifically, historically, or in any other way. It fits together better than the most machined parts. It totally unites. And when you look at this book, you find that there’s an unmistakable fabric that was woven from prison to palace from desert to dungeons, from hillsides to holy places and there’s one common denominator. There’s one shared theme. There’s one united message. There’s only one system of doctrine, one system of ethics; and there’s only one plan of salvation. There is a supernatural, unearthly unity to this book.