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The Bible Is Inspired By God


Scripture Reading: (2 Timothy 3:16,17)

Paul wrote to Timothy: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work".

Introduction

The very first sermon I preached was on the Existence of God. This subject interested me greatly and as a result I was motivated to do extensive research on the subject. It was a very conservative view of the how we know that God does exists today. I felt "inspired" to write it. A young man asked me after that sermon if I thought it was possible for the Bible to be brought into harmony with the scientific information that was coming to light in these modern times. I told the young man that I did not believe it was possible. I told him that the earth could not be millions of years old, that man did not evolve from lower life forms. I said that God created the earth and all its inhabitants in 6 days. I said that if God couldn’t do that wondrous feat, that I was limiting the power of God. And we all know that God is all-powerful. How naïve I was and closed minded I was.

Several years later, the elders of this Church asked me to teach a Wednesday night Bible class using material written by John Clayton. John Clayton developed a series entitled "Does God Exist?" This material is what I would consider a very liberal view of the creation of the world, the universe, mankind, evolution and covered such things as miracles, time line of creation, and how God can listen to all our prayers at the same time. In Mr. Clayton’s words, "If one says that science does not support the existence of God, then one either has poor science or poor religion." Tonight I hope to come to some understanding that Bible was written for our understanding. Not only OUR understanding, but also the understanding of a people without the benefit of our modern day learning.

Can Science And The Bible Agree?

There are many examples of how God has provided wisdom to the Bible authors in what can only be described as "inspirational" means. One example relates to the blood in our bodies. Man now knows that blood is necessary for survival. If our bodies lose too much blood, we will die. However, man did not discover this principle until the 19th century. Before that time, bloodletting was practiced, and many died because draining blood from their bodies drained the very source of life. George Washington, the first President of the United States, is said to have died in this way.

Moses, again writing by inspiration hundreds of years ago, told us something man did not know until much later. "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul" (Leviticus 17:11). How could Moses have known about the life-giving qualities of blood unless God had revealed it to him?

In the book of Job, the inspired writer in one verse reveals two scientific principles not known to man until much later. "He hangs the earth on nothing" (Job. 26:7). God hung the earth on nothing. How did the writer of Job know this? We know this is true, but we have only known it for about 350 years. God's inspired writer told us over 3000 years ago that the earth is held in place by gravitational forces!

When we come to the psalms, we find an interesting statement in Psalm 8:8. The passage mentions "The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas." The phrase, "the paths of the seas" caused a man named Matthew Fontaine Maury to begin a search which led to the discovery of ocean currents, the natural "paths of the seas" created by God. Maury concluded that if God's book said they were there, they must be there! He was right.

The Bible Is Inspired By God

Some people think the Bible is inspired in the same way that poetry is said to be inspired. They think the Bible writers were men of genius like Shakespeare or Confucius. If this is the case, then the Bible is just an ordinary book. But this is not the case! God not only gave the thoughts to the men who wrote the Bible, He also gave the words by which they could express these thoughts:

"Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say" (Exodus 4:12).

"The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue" (2 Samuel 23:2).

"Then the Lord put forth His hand, and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: Behold, I have put My words in your mouth" (Jeremiah 1:9).
 
 

Attempts To Cast Doubt On The Bible

How many of us heard men try to use modern science to disprove the Bible? Here is an example. Do you remember the story of Jonah? Remember when the Bible said a great fish swallowed up Jonah? How many of you believe that this great fish was a whale? Strictly stating, this is impossible, because a whale is a mammal and not a fish. Have you heard this argument before? How ridiculous this is! To the people of Jonah’s day all creatures living in the water were fish. Man did not start categorizing living things until thousands of years later. Is this important that a fish and not a whale swallowed up Jonah? No. The importance is not that God was in charge of Jonah’s life and that His will would be done. We must not let our scientific knowledge spoil the meaning of the story.

Can We Interpret The Bible?

Lets look at the creation of the world. Suppose the first chapter of the Bible was written in the technical terms of the people of today. It could have explained creation in terms of the "Big Bang Theory" as we often hear today, or the colliding of two great stars which spewed out vast amount of gases that later cooled and then contracted into the firmament that was to become the earth. He could have said that creation of the earth took 163 million years. [Which by the way would only be a twinkling in the eye of God.] But would all this be understood by the people of Moses’ day? Could Moses even write these words? Could Moses get God’s main point across using concepts completely foreign to the people? God created the earth that is the main point. How He did it is immaterial.

Personally I do have problems accepting the fact that I evolved from a lower life form. I believe that God created one-cell life forms and He created dinosaurs. I believe that He created apes and He created man. But, this is just me. Maybe I am a bit conceded when it comes to this. Maybe in a few hundred years from now, scientists can prove this one way or the other without a doubt. But, it still doesn’t contradict what the Bible is trying to tell us and that is, God created us in His sight and in His image.

I have heard the Bible used to prove the existence of aliens. Is this possible? Do aliens exist? I ask – does it matter? I can only say that if they do, God created them too!

I realize that I am treading on sacred ground when I say the Bible is open to modernization. I realize that once the door is open, even a tiny bit, that it will lead to wholesale interpretations. Yet, I feel compelled to say that we can become tied up in the words and not the meaning. The history of mankind is a compilation of facts. As we know today, history can be distorted. Is the Bible distorted? Absolutely not. The Bible provides understanding to complex principles to a limited mind.

Can anyone here explain how God can be omnipresent? Can anyone explain how God can hear my prayers here and the prayers of someone in China – at the same time? Can anyone explain eternity or life after death? We may consider ourselves intelligent, but we may never explain the answers to these questions. But then again,

I recently came across an article in a technical manual that may answer these questions. Two scientists were trying to prove a hypothesis of Albert Einstein. Einstein believed that if one could leave earth and travel in a space ship at the speed of light for a period of 5 years, that when they returned, they would not have aged a single day even though the people on earth would have aged 5 years. During these tests, the men accelerated a particle near to the speed of light. As they did so, they timed the particle. To their astonishment, they were recording data on the particle at the same instant at a distance of 20 meters (60 feet). Their initial conclusions were that the particle existed at two different locations at the same time. If we could expand on this idea, then we could say that if God was traveling at the speed of light then He could be both here and there at the same time. If God is both here and there at the same time, then time has no meaning. Maybe if that part of us we call the "soul" is trapped within our bodies is released at the time of our death, then it too can be free to move at light speeds and be free of time. Does this contradict the Bible? No! As hard as it is for us to understand principles like this, can you imagine how hard it would be for people of 5000-6000 years ago?

Is the Bible open for interpretations?

The Bible comes either from God or else it comes from man. If it came from man, then it is not of God. The Bible clearly claims it came from God. Peter wrote: "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:20,21).

Then what can we interpret and what is absolute law? Read Exodus 20:1-17.

These verses are the Ten Commandments given to Moses by God. They are easily understood today as they were at the time of Moses. There is no doubt what is expected of us. These are not open for interpretation.

Consider Luke 10:26-27 "What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?" He answered: "`Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, `Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

When asked what the meaning of the scripture (Old Testament), Jesus said, it is for our understanding. But, in the end, it boils down to: love God with all your heart, and secondly, love your neighbor. The Old Testament is written to explain were we came from, the nature of God, the relationship God has with His chosen people, and the prophecy that He will send His Son.

Our Lord Jesus Christ testified that the Bible is the inspired Word of God. He believed the Old Testament came from God. "Then He said to them, these are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me" (Luke 24:44).

When speaking of time in the Bible, or numbers in general, we must be careful not to take them too literally. For example: Matt 18:21-22 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. Jesus states that we must forgive one another 77 times. Obviously there is no number of times that we are to forgive our neighbor. Jesus used these terms to mean "for all times".

Similarly, in Rev 7:4 Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel. John saw 144,000 of the saved. Does this mean that only 144,000 people will make it to Heaven? No. Here the number represents only that a "large" number of people will be saved. Do you see that portions of the Bible should not be taken literally? Can we pick and chose want we want to be literal and what is interpretable? Again - No!

Isn’t the Bible written for all ages?

I have also heard it said that the Bible was written for a particular age. The New Testament states that a man shall be over his wife. The Bible accepts slavery as an approved way of life. These things today are not acceptable to most civilized nations today. Should we continue to keep women in subjection, but free all the slaves? Should we disregard these teachings in the Bible? These are questions that a new convert might ask, but a person who studies the Bible in its entirety can see the difference.

Joseph was a slave; the Israelites were slaves in Egypt; Philemon was a runaway slave who served Paul in Rome. God did not condone the act of slavery, but used it to see that His will was accomplished. Today God does not have to use slavery to carry out His will. We have been given the Bible to explain what we need to do to please Him. The second commandment given by Jesus, "love your neighbor", should certainly cause us to end slavery.

What about women today? They are liberated, they are leaders in industry and political leaders. In many cases, women are rulers over the household and even in the pulpit preaching. Surely if Jesus came today rather than 2000 years ago in a backward part of the world, things would be different. Or would they, ?

I believe in order in the universe. I believe in natural laws. I believe God created the world. I believe that the world was designed with order in mind and governed by the laws of nature. The same laws of the universe that governs the world today governed the world on day one and will govern the world for eternity. God is the Father, God is the Son, and God is the Holy Spirit. God is over man. Man is the work mate of woman. Man is the spiritual leader over woman. Together they rule over the world. If any of this order is put into a different order, the chaos rules. When there is chaos then the Satan is in control.

People of every age have agreed the Bible is the Word of God. Paul plainly said that the words he spoke and wrote were the commandments of God: "If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord" (1 Corinthians 14:37).

Do you perceive that you are a prophet or a spiritual? Can you interpret the Bible correctly? What is the punishment for misinterpreting the Bible? Rev 22:18-19 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. (NIV) I think that there are times when the Bible must be looked at carefully. Some literal interpretations can cause error. Some interpretations can be supported by scientific means and as such, I believe that the Bible can be interpreted differently. I believe that there are certain laws that can never be changed. But in the end, the Bible teaches us the important facts. God created us, God loves us, God wants the best for us, and God wants us to be obedient to Him. Anything that contradicts these things is wrong.

Paul wrote to the Thessalonians: "For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe" (1 Thessalonians 2:13).

Paul also wrote to the church at Ephesus that "by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)" (Ephesians 3:3,4).

Do you believe that when Paul learned of the greatest mysteries revealed by God that he knew all about the creation of the earth, the dinosaurs, and the existence of aliens in outer space? No. I believe he learned the truth about the Son of God. I believe that he learned that Jesus died for all people. I believe he learned that Jesus demands obedience to God’s commandments. These are the things that are important. These are the important things that are taught in the Bible, not that the world was created in six days.

We must not add to, take away from, or change the Word of God in any way. (Deuteronomy 4:2; Galatians 1:6-9; Revelation 22:18,19). I accept this commandment, and I do not stand before you and say that the Bible is incomplete or inaccurate. I am trying to get across that we can get tied up in the legalistic words and as a result, reject the true purpose of the Bible. I started this lesson stating I was compelled to write it. I told you about the young man that came to me asking if the Bible could be supported by science. I said no it could not. I never saw that man again. I hope that he did not reject the Bible for what I said. I hope that he found the truth even if he did not find it from me.

When the Hebrew words in which the Old Testament were first written, and the Greek words in which the New Testament were first written, are translated correctly, we have the Word of God written for our understanding. The Word of God is available to us today in many reliable English language versions.

Summary

The Bible is God's inspired Book, which provides for all our spiritual needs: "As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to glory and virtue" (2 Peter 1:3). The Bible is also the Book by which we will be judged at the Last Day. Jesus said: "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him - the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day" (John 12:48)

Even before the New Testament was written, Jesus said its message would be from God. He told the apostles: "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you in all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come" (John 16:13).

Do not limit the power of God. God may have created the world ten years ago, or 100 years ago, or 1000 years ago, or 10 million years ago. If Adam was created as a full grown man, the earth could also have been created full grown with all the appearances of age. I am not comfortable saying the Bible is in error, but we should not let science disprove the Bible. We should be open to the fact that the Bible is complete and accurate on those things that will allow us to attain forgiveness and ultimately reach heaven. We should not let science and our interpretations be a stumbling block to error.

Invitation

The Bible is accurate in matters of science, and it is accurate in the matter of salvation. The Bible tells us that to be saved we must believe in Jesus Christ. "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." However, the same Lord said, "I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish (Luke 13:3). Jesus also spoke of confessing Him before men. "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. "But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven"(Matthew 10:32,33). And Jesus declared, "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned"(Mark 16:16). It is then that the Lord himself adds us to the church of the New Testament.

These words can never be changed or misinterpreted.

 

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