Monday, October 11, 2010
Why Study the Bible? Mac
Number one, it is infallible. In total the Bible has no mistakes. In it's original autographs it is without error. In Psalm 19, verse 7 the Bible says of itself, "The law of the Lord is perfect". It is flawless; in fact it has to be because it was authored by God who is flawless. Recently I was asked to write a research paper for a certain convention that's going to be coming up in our country, and they asked me to write the paper on the subject authority and inerrancy. And the real issue of the paper was this: if God wrote the Bible and if God is the ultimate authority and if God in His character is flawless, then the Bible is flawless and the Bible is the ultimate authority. You see, the fact that God is perfect demands that the original autograph, the original giving of the word, of God must; in and of itself also must be perfect. So we say to begin with then that the Bible is infallible and that's the first reason to study it because it is the only book that never makes a mistake, everything it says is the truth.
Not only is it infallible in total but there's a second word we use to describe the Bible and that's the word inerrant. Not only infallible in total but inerrant in the parts. In Proverbs chapter 30, verses 5 and 6 it says this, "Every word of God is pure, add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee and thou be found a liar". Every word of God is pure. Not only is the Bible in total the infallible word of God but in part to the degree that every word is the truth of God.
I would add another term, the Bible is not only infallible and inerrant but it is complete. There needs to be nothing added. Now maybe that's a surprise to some people. There are people today who believe we need to add to the Bible. There is a certain existing sort of a philosophy-theology combination known as Neo-orthodoxy. And they tell us that the Bible was simply a comment in its lay on man's spiritual experience and today man is having more spiritual experiences and he needs another comment. In fact I was reading one writer recently who said, 'that we need a Bible written for today just like the one in our hands was written because we need somebody to comment on what God is doing now'. So that the Bible is still being written. This same writer aid when Tom or Mary stand up in your church and. say Thus says the Lord - they are equally inspired with Isaiah and Jeremiah or any of the other prophets. In other words the Bible is not complete. That's a current philosophical-theological thought but at the end of the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation we read these words, "For I testify unto every man", Rev. 22: 8, "if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city and from the things which are written in this book". The Bible ends with a warning, it ends with a warning not to take away anything and not to add anything. That's a testimony of it's completeness. It is infallible in it's total, it is inerrant in it's parts, never makes a mistake in it's total presentation in it's most divisible presentation and it is complete.
No we would have to add a fourth word about the Bible, it is authoritative. If it is perfect and complete then it is the last word. It is the final authority. Isaiah chapter 1, verse 2 says this, "Hear, 0 heavens and give ear 0 earth: for the Lord hath spoken". When God speaks, everybody listens because His is the fin 1 authority. The Bible demands obedience. The Bible is not a book for discussion and by that I don't mean that we shouldn't discuss it's implications, and applications and meanings, I mean that we shouldn't discuss whether it is true or not. It is authoritative; it affirms and assumes that it is true. In John 8:31, you have the little incident here where Jesus is confronted by some of the Jewish leaders and as Jesus faces these leaders there's a little dialogue going on and there of course, are other people there and it says in the text here, "That many believed on Him". No doubt some of them were leaders but said to them, if you continue in My word then are you My real disciples". In other words, He demanded response to His truth, He demanded a response to His word, it is authoritative. In Galatians chapter 3 and verse 10 it says this:" Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them". Amazing, cursed is anyone who doesn't continue in everything that is written in this book. Tremendous claim to absolute authority. In James chapter 2 verse 9 we read this: "If you have respect of persons you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors, for whosoever shall keep the whole law and yet offend in one part is guilty of all." In other words to violate the Bible at one point is to break God's law. It is authoritative in every part. Well, infallible, inerrant, complete, authoritative we ought to add another word, this is a great word, the Bible is sufficient.
It is sufficient. For whatever it is in the heart of a man that is necessary the Bible is sufficient. In II Timothy there's a great word, chapter 3 and verse 15 and Paul here says to Timothy: "And that from a child, Timothy, thou hast known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith that is in Christ Jesus". Now first of all it is sufficient for salvation. The Bible is able to make you wise unto salvation. You can ask yourself this question, what is more important than salvation? Nothing. The greatest reality in the universe and the Bible is that which makes you wise unto salvation. But more, verse 16 says: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable" now watch... "for doctrine", that's teaching, principles of wisdom, divine standards, divine truths, "for reproof", that means you're able to go t somebody and say - Hey, man, you're out of line, you can't b have like that, there's a standard and you're not making it with that standard. It is also profitable "for correction" that says to that person you've just reproved - don't do that, do this, this is the new path. You teach, you reprove, you show a corrected way and further it is profitable "For instruction in righteousness". Now-you point the new way and, show them how to walk in it. Fantastic book, the Bible. It can take somebody who doesn't know God, isn't saved and then save them. And then it can teach them and then it will reprove them when they do wrong. It will point to them the right thing to do and then show them how to walk in that right path. And then the result is verse 17: "That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works". The incredible reality of the Bible is that it is sufficient to do the whole job. It is one product that does the whole job. The Bible is infallible, inerrant, complete, authoritative and sufficient.