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".
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
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
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).
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
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
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"
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
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.
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"
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.
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.