"And the Lord shall be King over all the earth ..."
Course #3 - The Bible Our Guide
THE BIBLE OUR GUIDE
THE BIBLE'S CLAIMS
The Bible claims to be the Word of God. It says that "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God" (II Timothy 3:16). The word "inspiration" means 'God-breathed'. God guided men so that they wrote His message. Many times the Old Testament prophets say, "Thus saith the Lord". If the Bible is not the Word of God then it is not important; but if it really is God's message to man, then it is vital that we read it and try to do what it says. If we ignore the Bible message, we are ignoring the Creator of the Universe.
HOW DO WE KNOW THE BIBLE IS TRUE?
The Bible foretells the future
We cannot be sure what will happen tomorrow. The Bible, in a number of places said what would happen in the future-even hundreds of years before the event happened. These prophecies have come true-even to the little details.
Here are some examples:
1. The birth of Jesus
In Matthew 2 we read that the wise men came to Herod and asked, "Where is he that is born King of the Jews?" Now Herod asked the chief priests this question, and they answered, "In Bethlehem of Judea". How did they know? Because, hun-dreds of years before, it had been prophesied in one of the books of the Old Testament (Micah 5:2).
2. The death of Jesus
Turn to Psalm 22 and read it carefully. In this Psalm there is a description of the crucifixion of Jesus. Notice the end of verse 16-"they pierced my hands and my feet". Look again at verse 18-"they part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture." (Psalm 22:16,18)
Now if you read John 19:23-24, you will see that is exactly what the soldiers did after they had crucified Jesus. How could the writer foretell the death of Jesus so long before it took place, unless he was inspired by God? (John 19:23-24)
This is specially remarkable, because in the days of the Psalmist the Jews knew nothing of crucifixion-they put their criminals to death by stoning.
3. Great events foretold
Read Isaiah 13:19-20. At the time when the prophet Isaiah wrote these words about Babylon, it was the greatest nation in the world; glorious and powerful. Now, where Babylon once stood, there are only ruins in a semi-desert area. Many hundreds of years after it was given, the prophecy of Isaiah came to pass just as he had foretold. Only God could have foreseen that such a tremendous change would take place. (Isaiah 13:19-20)
There are many examples like these. Only God Himself can see into the future, and the prophecies recorded in the Bible prove that God told men what to write.
Archaeologists have found evidence of many things spoken of in the Bible
Archaeologists have found that Sodom and Gomorrah did exist (Genesis 19). So did Ai, Ashkelon, Bethel, Beth-shemesh, Gibeah, Hazor, Jericho, Lachish, Megiddo, Samaria, Shechem, and many more that are mentioned in the Bible._
The Bible has not changed over the centuries
Amongst the Dead Sea scrolls found in 1947 was one of the book of Isaiah. It was written nearly 2,000 years ago. The text is almost the same as the book of Isaiah that we have today. The Bible message has not changed with time!
Jesus believed the Old Testament
There are people today who laugh at the idea that Adam and Eve were real people, or that Noah built an ark and took all those animals on board. They think they know better than to believe a story like Jonah being swallowed by a big fish. But Jesus believed these things!
Jesus believed the Old Testament teaching about
. . . Adam and Eve (Matthew 19:4,5)
We cannot ignore the views of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was brought back to life by God after he had been dead for three days. This is a fact of history, which most reasonable people accept. Such a miracle could only have been performed by the power of God.
No-one has ever proved the Bible false!
Many enemies of the Bible, including some very clever men, have tried to do this, but they have all failed. If we stop to think about this, we have to admit that it is remarkable.
DID YOU KNOW . . . ?
Here is a quick guide to show you what is in the various parts of the Bible:
(If you want a complete list of the books of the Bible, you will find it in the front pages of your Bible.)
Are there other written revelations from God?
The answer to this question is, "No". There are many religions in the world, and most have their 'holy book'. The Muslims, for example, have the Koran, which they regard as God's Word. The Mormons have the 'Book of Mormon', which they say was sent to them by God. Some of these books take part of their teaching from the Bible; some give wise and sensible advice, but in many places these books do not agree with the Bible message.
Now it is quite clear that God would not say one thing in one book, and something different in another. Only one can be the inspired Word of God. The Bible claims to be this Word.
The Bible-Man's guide for living
God saw the sorry state that sinful man was in and sent His Son, Jesus, to die so that people can have hope of eternal life. Jesus Christ also showed us how to live a life that is pleasing to God. The Bible has other examples of men of faith. It also shows us how some failed and the story of the Jewish people enables us to learn from their mistakes.
It's a tremendous thought that God in heaven has given us a book so that we may come to know Him, and live as He wants us to. He has actually told men and women in this book why He made the world, and what its history will be, right up to the time when the Gospel will be fulfilled, and God will be all in all.
The Bible is the guide God has given us, showing us the way to everlasting life in His Kingdom. There is no other book like it. It is not a dead text book-it is a living Word. If we read it every day, carefully and prayerfully, it will transform our lives, and make them pleasing to God.
Verses to read : (Psalm 1; Psalm 22; II Timothy 3)
Learn by heart : (II Timothy 3:16-17)
"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 perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."
If you have questions or comments about this lesson, please feel free to e-mail us with them.