From the Pastor's Desk
Is the Bible True?
Pontius Pilate once asked one of the
most important and penetrating questions ever asked: "What is truth?" He asked this question while interrogating
Jesus right before the Lord's crucifixion.
Jesus had just said that He came to testify to the truth and that
everyone who is of the truth listens to Him.
It's a good question: what is
truth? Our goal this morning is not
going to be to fully answer that question. But we are going to look at one aspect of the
this spring, we hosted a live webcast of one of David Platt's secret church
broadcasts. It was titled,
"Scripture and Authority in an Age of Skepticism." The entire five hour evening was focused on
Scripture and the importance and relevance of God's Word in the world today.
morning we're going to ask and answer the question, "Is the Bible true?" That is the second question that David Platt
posed during the live telecast. We've
already looked at the first question which was, "Is the Bible Divine?" That is a very important and impactful
question. Everything that we believe as
Christians; every truth and doctrine that we hold dear hinges on whether or not
the Bible is actually and fully God's Divine revelation. If the Bible is divine, then we need to obey
it, follow it and live by it. If it is
not divine, then it is nothing more than an interesting fiction book.
the answer to the question "Is the Bible Divine?" is yes! As we've already said, that makes all of the
difference in the world. Because the
Bible is divine, we can know God.
Because it is divine, we can trust what it says. Because we can trust what it says, we can
live our lives in accordance with God's will.
God's Word, which came directly from Him, provides for us everything we
need for life and godliness.
the Bible divine? Yes. Is the Bible true? That's what we're going to look at now. As we move on this morning, I'd like to begin
by looking at a Psalm. Psalm 119:160 says, "The
entirety of Your Word is truth and all of Your righteous judgments endure
forever." The entirety of Your
Word is truth. That is a pretty powerful
statement. This is one possible answer
to Pilate's question. Pilate asked
"what is truth?" and the Psalmist would say that God's Word is
truth. He is declaring in this verse that
the entirety of God's Word; everything that He has to say to us is true.
is a powerful statement. It is also a
very important statement. But we must
ask ourselves, is it a true statement?
Is the entirety of God's Word true?
Is everything that God has to say to us absolute truth? We need to know the answer to that question
because it matters. We need to know
whether or not the Word of God is true because the answer to that question
impacts every area of our lives.
before taking a closer look at it, we can answer the question "is the
Bible true?" with an emphatic yes! The
Bible is divine and the Bible is true. But
we're not going to leave it at that.
Hopefully, by the time we're done today, we'll have some reasons for why
we believe the Bible is true.
begin to understand this, we need to lay a foundation. There are three parts to this
foundation. For one, God is true. Titus 1:1-3. The key line in this passage is "God who
cannot lie." The fact that God
can't lie is self-evident because of God's very nature. He is holy and He is righteous. If He did, or even could lie, He wouldn't be
perfect. If He is not perfectly holy,
then He is not God.
is also confirmed for us by Scripture.
Samuel reminded King Saul of that fact.
In 1 Sam. 15:29 he
says, "The Glory of Israel will not lie." In Hebrews it says that "it is
impossible for God to lie." God is
the source and the measure of all truth.
Whenever God speaks the truth, He speaks from His own nature because He
is the Father of truth.
second aspect of this foundation is that the
Bible is the Word of God. 2 Tim. 3:16. Scripture is inspired by God. This
literally means "breathed out by God," or simply, "God-breathed." Whatever that exactly means and however
exactly God accomplished it, we can know for certain that God inspired the
accurate recording of His divinely breathed truth by His divinely chosen men.
first of all and above all else is from God and about God. It is His self-revelation to fallen
mankind. The Bible is not a collection
of the wisdom and insights of men. It is
God's truth, His own word in His own words.
God's Word is divinely revealed to men on earth and divinely
authenticated in heaven. All of
Scripture is inspired, that includes all of the NT as well as all of the OT,
even those parts that don't seem to have much relevance to our lives.
is inspired and inerrant in everything it teaches and reports. The Bible isn't primarily a textbook on
subjects such as history, geography or science.
But it is inerrant and inspired when it does speak to those topics. For instance, until the 16h Century, man
assumed that the sun rotated around the earth because that's the way it
appeared to be. Because we now know that
the earth rotates around the sun, many scholars accuse the Bible of error.
place they say that the Bible is wrong is in regards to what happened in
Joshua. Joshua 10:12-13.
Joshua commanded the sun to stand still and the moon to be stopped. But if everything is the way we now know it
to be, this must be false, right? The sun
can't stop, it's the earth that is moving.
People today, even scientists and experts on weather refer to the sunset
and sunrise. Yet even though those terms
are not actually accurate, no one accuses them of being wrong or meteorologists
of being ignorant. The Bible isn't
wrong. God created everything so
certainly He could easily do what He did for His purposes and to His glory.
third part of this foundation is the
Word of God is true. John 17:17. Jesus here refers to God's Word as
truth. In doing so, He was speaking not
only of His immediate words, which of course are truth, but He was also
speaking of the entirety of Scripture.
revelation was in perfect harmony with that of the OT. His disciples were authorized by Him to
record the revelation He would give them through His Spirit. All of it, from Genesis to Revelation, is
truth. All of it is necessary for the
believer's sanctification. These three
foundations lead to one implication: The Bible is truthful and without error in
all of its teachings. 2 Sam. 7:28.
think we've pretty well established that the Bible is truth. But what does that mean for us? Well, it means a number of things. For one, since the Bible is true we can be
assured that the Holy Scriptures are the
authoritative Word of God. 1 Thess. 2:13.
books of first and second Thessalonians were written by the Apostle Paul to the
church that he had founded in the city of Thessalonica. Paul had visited that city on his second missionary
he visited there, he had along with him Silas and Timothy. The three men had only ministered a short
while when they saw miraculous results from their preaching. God was using these men and more importantly,
He was using His Word to bring about salvation and transformation in the lives
of the people living there.
after the three of them left Thessalonica, Paul began to become a little bit
concerned about where the people truly were spiritually. Because of their pagan background and the
fact that Paul hadn't spent much time there, he was worried that their faith
might have faltered. So he sent Timothy
to check on them. Timothy brought back a
see in this section of the letter especially, Paul expressing his thanks for
where the people were spiritually at that time.
He mainly expresses his thanks that the people willingly received the
Word of God. They were open and
receptive to the preaching of God's Word.
The missionaries spoke the words, but those words came directly from
Almighty God. As the word of God, it was
infinitely superior to the words of human opinion that the Thessalonians were
used to hearing.
didn't just hear and acknowledge the word; they accepted it. The word accepted
in this verse connotes an "inward welcome of the message." It wasn't just a mental understanding, it was
a heart acceptance. That was proof of
the work of salvation and regeneration that God had done in their lives. What the Thessalonians heard really was the
Word of God.
Word of God is the authoritative Word of God.
That means we just can't hear it or read it and nod our heads and then
go on with our lives as if it doesn't matter.
It's not just another book and we can't be reading it or considering it
like it is. It has authority in our
lives and as we read it, we need to think about it; meditate on it; memorize
it; consider how it is to be applied to our situation. Obedience is our only viable response to what
God is saying to us through His Word.
That's because it's His authoritative word.
fact that the Bible is truth also means that the written Word in its entirety is revelation given by God. 1
Cor. 14:37. The context here is
in relation to what Paul had been teaching in reference to prophets and to
tongues. He is specifically addressing
those who spoke in tongues, the special spiritual language that the Corinthians
prized so highly.
prized it above and beyond how they prized Scripture as a whole. It was more important for them to be speaking
in tongues as proof of their spirituality than it was for them to obey God and
submit to His authority in their lives.
what Paul is basically saying here, the point that he is trying to make is
this: if anyone claims any calling as a
prophet of some sort, or if they claim to have any spiritual gift, like
speaking in tongues, the true mark of that calling or that gifting will be
acknowledging the truths of God. If
someone is sincerely trying to follow God, he will submit the expression of his
calling or gift to the principles God has revealed as His commandment.
wasn't commanding them to follow his words or do what he said. He was not God. He was not perfect and was not
omniscient. Paul had personal
limitations and blind spots which he fully recognized. But when he spoke for God, his views were not
his own but they were the views God wanted him to express. The commands of God that Paul was passing on
were not tainted by cultural or personal bias.
instance, Paul taught that a wife should be submissive to her husband. Paul did not teach that because he was a
Jewish man; he did not teach that because he was a male chauvinist. He taught that because that is what God had
taught him and what God wanted him to teach.
He claimed that everything he taught about God, about His gospel and
about His church was God's own teaching.
the way it should be with us today. The
things that we believe as Baptists, the things that we hold dear as Christians
here in America, shouldn't be based on what we think or what the cultural
thinks or what seems good and sensible to us.
We believe the things that we believe because God says so in His Word.
why we believe that abortion is wrong because God's Word places a high value
and high importance on the sanctity of human life. That's why we believe homosexuality is wrong
because God says it is a sin in His Word.
The only way we can say that God doesn't say homosexuality is a sin is
if we change and alter the Word of God.
See, it's not us or what we think or the way we want things to be. It all has to come from God and from His Word
and from what He thinks and the way He wants things to be.
fact that the Bible is truth also means the Scripture is what we call infallible. Inerrant and infallible are words used
interchangeably that basically mean the same thing. God's Word is "free from all
falsehood, fraud or deceit. It is
free from error and in fact, incapable of error. Scripture never misleads, deceives or
disappoints. It is incapable of error in
defining doctrines touching faith and morals.
words of Scripture are always inerrant.
Sometimes that infallible word is not fully revealed to us. Sometimes, we are unable to fully comprehend
or understand all that God is saying to us because of our limited
Numbers 23:19. God is not like man; He never lies in any
way, shape or form. He doesn't change
His mind. What His will and what His
plan are will be done and accomplished the way He desires it to be done and
accomplished. He will keep all of His
promises. We can count on that and we
can depend upon that because His Word is true.
When He says something, we can trust that it will be done. When He makes a promise to us, we can be
certain that it will be fulfilled.
when God says that our sins are forgiven because of what Christ has done for
us, we can be certain that is the case.
When God promises us that as believers we will spend eternity with Him
in heaven, we can count on that actually happening. When He says that He will never leave us or
forsake us, we can know without any shadow of doubt that He will always be
there for us, whether we sense His presence in our lives or not. When He promises to protect us and to provide
for us, we can count on that even if He doesn't provide the way we think He
might or the way we think He should. If
Jesus says He is going to come back again, we can take that to the bank because
it will happen.
one last thought concerning this: If we
deny the inerrancy of Scripture, then we cannot trust the Word of God. If we deny the inerrancy of Scripture, then
we also cannot trust the God of the Word.
is truth? That is a topic that quite
frankly is much bigger than we have time for this morning. But one aspect of truth that we can count on
and depend upon is that God's Word is true.
Whatever God says to us is absolutely true and without any sort of
falsehood or error.
means we can count on God and we can count on what He has to say to us. Because of what God has done for us through
the life and sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, we can live our lives with
confidence in our forgiveness and we can live with boldness in our eternal
security. Nothing can separate us from
God or from His love or from His forgiveness and salvation. Nothing can keep us from heaven, because God
has promised to finish and complete the work of salvation that He started in
our lives. Since God's word is true, we
can believe that to be the case.
you're not doing so already, begin to look at God's Word with new eyes and with
a fresh outlook. It's not just another
book; it's not a work of fiction; it's not stories told by men to make some
sort of religious point. It is the
truthful, inspired, inerrant Word of God.
He didn't give it to us to sit on a shelf or on a nightstand in order to
collect dust. He gave it to us to change,
impact and transform our lives through the Holy Spirit's applications of its
truth to our lives.
our singers and musicians come now, we invite you to live the truth that God's
Word has to offer to us. If there are
any decisions that need to be made regarding anything God is doing or has done
in your life, we invite you to come now as we stand and sing.