THE AUTHORITY AND INSPIRATION OF THE BIBLE I. What is our standard of authority in spiritual matters?
A. What is authority?
B. So, who has the right to command and enforce obedience of ALL human beings?
Please think about these reasons for believing that only God has that authority:
1. Gen 1:1
2. Psa 90:2
3. Gen 1
4 Gen 1:27; 2:7
God the Father
C. God the Father gave that authority to Jesus.
1. Mt 17:5
2. Those who saw and heard Jesus recognized His authority:
a. Mt 7:28,29
3. The words and doctrine (teaching) that Jesus spoke were the Father's words and teaching:
a. Jn 14:24
4. Jesus acknowledged and carried out His Father's delegation of authority:
a. Mt 28:18
D. Jesus gave that authority to His Apostles before He left this earth and promised them POWER to execute that authority through the sending of the Holy Spirit to them:
1. Mt 28:18-20
2. Jn 16:13
3. Jn 17:17
4. Jn 14:26
5. Acts 1:8
6. Acts 2:1-4
E. The Apostles of Christ and other inspired men used that authority and God confirmed that their message was from Him by miracles.
1. Eph 3:1-5
2. Heb 2:2-4
F. The net result of this process was that these inspired men spoke and recorded the word of God, the will of God!
1. 1 Cor 2:13
2. 1 Thes 2:13
3. 1 Cor 14:37
G. This word of God, which is the Bible, revealed by the Holy Spirit through these inspired men, is COMPLETE and ALL-SUFFICIENT. There is no need for further revelation. In fact, the Bible contains many strong warnings from God against adding to or taking from His word.
1. Jn 16:13
2. 2 Pet 1:3
3. Jas 1:25
4. Jude 3
5. Deut 4:2
6. Rev 22:18,19
God the Father
Power through the Holy Spirit
Cannot add to or
take away from it
II. What does it mean when we say that the Bible is inspired?
III. Other than the Bible's own testimony, are there other reasons for believing that it is the inspired word of God?
A. Its amazing unity:
1. Consider these astounding facts about the Bible:
a. 66 books
d. Written in three different original languages
2. Yet, ONE MAIN THEME with no contradictions or conflicts.
3. Imagine 40 musicians without supervision producing a harmonious symphony written separately over thousands of years!!
B. Complete, accurate fulfillment of prophecy hundreds of years after given.
1. For example, some have counted 456 Old Testament passages referring to Christ and His Kingdom, BEFORE He came to earth!!
2. Please consider these examples:
Betrayed for 30 pieces of silver ----
1. Books with human authors
2. Contrast this with the Bible:
1. Mt 24:35
2. Attempts to destroy the Bible:
a. Jer 36 -
b. Catholic Church –
The Cardinals' Advice
This information is taken from History And Mysteries Of Religion Through The Ages, J. Porter Wilhite, Star Publications, Ft. Worth.
"Of all the counseling we can possibly give to your Holiness, we reserve the most important of it to the last. We must hold our eyes well open and intervene with all of our power in the affairs we have to consider." "The reading of the Gospel must be permitted as little as possible, (especially in the modern languages, and in the countries under your authority). The very little that is read generally at the Mass should be enough and it should be prohibited for anyone to read more. (As long as the people are content with that small part, our interests will prosper; but from the moment that the people desire to read more, our interests will begin to suffer).
Here is the book that more than any other provoked rebellions against us, storms that have been risky in bringing us loss, in fact, if anyone reads accurately the teaching of the Bible and compares what occurs in our churches, he will soon find out the contradictions and will see that our teaching is far removed from that of the Bible and more often is in opposition to it.
If the people realize this, they will provoke us without rest until all become unveiled and then we will become the object of ridicule and universal hate. It is necessary that the Bible be taken away and snatched from the hands of the people, however with much wisdom in order to not provoke trouble."
(This advice was given to "Pope" Jules III of Rome in 1550 by his "Cardinals". It is found in the National Bibliotheque in Paris, France. The Volume is Reserve 22719; Pages 101-102).
c. Voltaire (1694-1778)
E. Higher Code of Conduct
1. Jesus said (Mt 5:44):
2. Jesus said (Mt 16:24):
3. Paul said (Col 3:1,2):
4. James said (Jas 1:2):
5. Do these sound like the advice of human beings?!
F. Scientific Facts in the Bible:
1. Isa 40:22
2. Job 38:16
3. Lev 17:11
4. Gen 17:12
5. 1 Kgs 16:16
6. Dan 7:1
IV. What alternatives are there to accepting the Bible, which is God's word, as the standard of authority in the spiritual realm?
A. The traditions and customs of men
1. Denominational world today:
2. Compare that with the first century church (Acts 17:11).
3. What was Jesus' attitude toward the customs and traditions of men?
a. Mk 7:7-9
4. What was the Apostle Paul's attitude toward the customs and traditions of men?
a. Col 2:8
5. What was the Apostle Peter's attitude toward the customs and traditions of men?
a. 1 Pet 1:18
6. CONCLUSION: God doesn't accept the customs and traditions of men as the standard when they violate His standard (His word).
B. Man's common sense or reasoning power
1. Jer 10:23
2. Prov 3:5,6
3. Isa 55:8,9
C. Human feelings
1. Denominational world today:
2. Emotions are not necessarily wrong.
a. (Jn 1:35)
b. (Mk 3:5)
c. (1 Pet 3:8)
d. (Eph 4:26, 27)
3. But many people seem to have the attitude that is expressed in the following statement:
4. Please compare that attitude with several passages of Scripture.
5. Prov 14:12
6. Mt 7:21-23
7. CONCLUSION: Human feelings are not a reliable guide or standard.
D. CONCLUSION: Concerning these alternatives to God's word as the standard of authority.
1. Eccl 12:13,14
V. Organization of the Bible
A. 66 books
B. Divisions of the Old Testament - (Divisions not inspired, but a good way to help us keep the organization of the Bible in our mind).
C. Divisions of the New Testament
D. Which Testament do we live under and which are we obligated to obey today?
1. Denominational world today:
2. First of all, let's study some important points about the Old Testament:
a. Jn 1:17
b. It was made between God and Israel, when the Israelites were brought out of Egypt to Mt Sinai (Ex 19:1-6).
c. It was a NATIONAL law, given ONLY to the nation of Israel and included no other people.
1) Ex 19:3,6
2) Ex 34:27
3) Deut. 5:1,2
4) Deut 4:8
d. It included the Ten Commandments (Ex 20:1-17).
e. It was for a definite, LIMITED TIME:
1) Gal 3:19
2) Gal 3:16
f. It was prophesied long ago that it would be replaced by a new covenant (Jer 31:31-34).
1) Heb 8:6-13
2) Heb 10:12-17
g. Jesus came to fulfill it:
1) Mt 5:17
2) Lk 24:25-27;44-48
h. Jesus took it out of the way and nailed it to His cross
i. This is consistent with the fact that the New Testament of Jesus Christ went into effect at His death, thus replacing the Old
j. The Apostle Paul said in Romans:
k. The first testament (the old) was taken away by Christ, so that He could establish the second (the new) (Heb 10:8-10).
l. Christ redeemed first century Jews, who became Christians, from the curse of the Law (Gal 3:13).
3. What about the New Testament (Covenant)?
a. Heb 9:15
b. Heb 7:22
1) Heb 8:6
2) Heb 7:19
3) Heb 10:10
c. Heb 13:20
1) Heb 10:29
2) Mt 26:28
4. Does that mean that the Old Testament isn't valuable to us today? No!
a. Rom 15:4
b. 1 Cor 10:6,11
c. It just isn't binding on us as law. We are under the New Testament of Jesus Christ.
VI. Why do we put so much emphasis upon the word of God? Why is it so important?
A. Consider these qualities.
1. It will make us free spiritually if we continue to study and live it
2. It can produce faith (Rom 10:17; Jn 20:30,31).
3. It shows us the way of life, good, and blessing (Deut 30:15,19).
4. It can work in us to bear fruit for the Lord (1 Thes 2:13; Col 1:6;
5. It contains everything that we need (2 Pet 1:3,4).
6. It can make us wise unto salvation (2 Tim 3:15).
8. It can make us complete, thoroughly furnished unto every good work
(2 Tim 3:17).
9. It is able to build us up and give us an inheritance (Acts 20:32).
10. It is pure (Psa 12:6) and God will purify our soul if we obey it
(1 Pet 1:22).
11. It lives, abides, and endures forever (1 Pet 1:23,25).
12. It will never pass away (Mt 24:35).
13. It will help us grow (1 Pet 2:2).
14. It is able to save our soul if we engraft it in our heart (Jas 1:21;
15. It is the power of God unto salvation (Rom 1:16).
16. It reveals the righteousness or justification of God (Rom 1:17).
17. It tells us of the unsearchable riches of Christ (Eph 3:8).
18. It is the perfect law of liberty (Jas 1:25).
19. It helps us not sin against God if we hide it in our heart (Psa 119:11).
20. We should turn to it in times of affliction (Psa 119:50,71).
21. It is sweeter than honey to those who love it (Psa 119:103).
22. We get understanding through it (Psa 119:104).
23. It is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Psa 119:105).
24. It is wonderful (Psa 119:129).
25. It gives light and understanding (Psa 119:130).
26. It is given to us to help us order our steps (Psa 119:133).
27. We must meditate upon it (Psa 119:148).
28. It is truth (Psa 119:151; Jn 17:17; Eph 1:13).
29. It produces awe (Psa 119:161).
30. It produces rejoicing and is written so that our joy might be full
(Psa 119:162; 1 Jn 1:4).
31. It brings great peace to those who love it (Psa 119:165).
32. It is righteousness (Psa 119:172) and Jesus promised that if we hunger and thirst after it, we shall be filled (Mt 5:6).
33. It is perfect, converts the soul, and is sure (Psa 19:7).
34. It is right, rejoices the heart, is pure, and enlightens the eyes
35. It is more valuable than fine gold (Psa 119:127).
36. It is spirit and life (Jn 6:63).
37. We are born again by it (1 Pet 1:23; 1 Cor 4:15; Jas 1:18).
38. We live by it (Mt 4:4).
39. It is the word of eternal life (Jn 6:68; Phil 2:16).
40. It is the word of salvation (Acts 13:26).
41. It is the word of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:19).
42. It is quick, powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, and a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb 4:12).
43. It is the more sure word of prophecy (2 Pet 1:19).
44. It's like a fire and a hammer that breaks rocks in pieces (Jer 23:29).
45. It serves to exhort us (Heb 13:22).
46. It makes us strong (1 Jn 2:14).
47. And, we will be judged by it in the last day (Jn 12:48; Rom 2:16).
B. The following anonymous quote is only true of the Bible:
"This old Book contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its histories are true, its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the sailor's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christian's charter. Here paradise is restored, Heaven is opened, and the gates of Hell are disclosed. Christ is its subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be open at the judgment, and will be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, rewards the greatest labor, and condemns all who trifle with its holy contents. (Extracted from, Why I Am A Member Of The Church of Christ, Leroy Brownlow, p. 46).
VII. The importance of sound doctrine in God's eyes
(Brief overview of our study of this important subject)
1. What does God say on this subject?
2. What is sound doctrine?
3. What are some of the effects of false doctrine?
4. What is each individual Christian's responsibility in this area?
A. What does God say on this subject?
1. 1 Tim 1:3
2. Mt 7:13-15; 21-23
3. Mt 15:8,9
4. 2 Tim 1:13
5. 2 Tim 2:15
6. 2 Tim 4:1-4
7. Titus 1:9-14
8. Titus 2:1
9. 1 Pet 4:11
B. What is sound doctrine?
1. 1 Tim 1:10,11
C. What are the effects of false doctrine?
1. It destroys the teacher of false doctrine.
a. Gal 1:6-9
b. 2 Pet 2:1
c. 2 Pet 3:16
d. 2 Jn 9
2. False doctrine destroys those who believe it.
a. Mt 7:21-23
b. Mt 15:13,14
c. 2 Thes 2:10-12
d. 2 Pet 3:17
3. It causes division among those who profess to follow Christ.
a. 1 Cor 1:10-13
D. What is the individual Christian's responsibility concerning sound doctrine?