We cannot completely fathom God. There is so much that we do not and cannot understand or know about Him; yet he is can be known. When I personally think about God and who He is, I am overwhelmed with a sense of awe and wonder. I am reminded that He cannot be fully understood by humans, he is way above our finite comprehension. God is eternal, He has no beginning or end and our small minds cannot grasp this. His love is never ending, and this can overwhelm us, because why would a perfect God love imperfect sinners like you and me? His grace is unfathomable and yet we are completely dependent upon it; because we are saved by grace. Everything about God is perfect…His love, power, and holiness etc. How do I know this? Because just like the children’s song says, “The Bible tells me so.”
The Bible is essential to all believers. It is wonderfully complex in theological truths, and as the introductory video shows it is simple enough for a child to have a basic understanding.
Everything we do know and need to know about God is revealed in the Holy Scriptures. The Bible is synonymous to God’s Word and as Christians we embrace the Word of God as truth. Not only is the Word truth, but it is also a glimpse of who God is, in it we see his attributes, his nature and his works and, we will see in a moment, is profitable to the believer in many ways. One way specifically is that it points us in the direction as to how we are to live as followers of Jesus Christ. Knowing, learning and reading the Bible is essential to knowing God and Jesus and knowing God and Jesus is essential to life.
For the next eight weeks we will be in a series titled “We Believe”. Each week I will talk about one of the core beliefs of our church as outlined in our statement of faith. The first core belief is that “We believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are the inerrant, inspired, and infallible Word of God. God’s Word is the final authority for faith and life.” As the pastor of this church my single goal, passion and desire is to teach the Bible in a way that every believer may be equipped, edified and trained in the ways of the Word of God. The Word of God is alive and active and (as we will see) it is profitable for believers to live the life that God intends for us to live.
A Little History Lesson
Some. common questions asked are how did we get the Bible that we have today and is it trustworthy? These are not questions that can be easily answered in a concise manner. There are processes as to how we got the Bible translations we have today (and there are literally hundreds of translations) and on top of that thousands of scholars throughout the centuries who have worked tirelessly and prayerfully over the translation and canonization of the Scripture. I don’t have enough time to answer these questions satisfactorily in the time allotted, so I will be talking on this topic with the foundation that many people over the centuries have faithfully worked to translate the Bible, thus we can conclude that the Bible is a Divinely inspired book. The Scriptures have God’s fingerprint or marks all over them and have many divine qualities that include…
The Bible we have today comprises many components and a few include…
Jewish Bible (Canon) – The Hebrew Bible is often referred as the TaNaKh. These are the Jewish Scriptures that early Christians embraced as their own body of holy writings and they were/are considered authoritative. The phrase “Old Testament” refers to the portion of the Christian Bible that includes the Jewish Scriptures that the early Christians accepted as their own sacred books. The Jewish Scriptures consist of three parts. The first letter of each part make up the name TaNaKh.
New Testament Canon
Definition of canon – Greek word meaning “reed”… This is a measuring stick. The basic meaning and understanding of the definition refer to any rule or standard of which things could be compared or measured. Thus, the canon represents those texts that are of central importance to a given group, in our case, the Christian religion. In Christianity we refer to these sacred writings inspired by God and are authoritative.
(Read 2 Timothy 3:14 – 17)
The Apostle Paul is writing to his protégé Timothy. He is writing from prison in Rome to encourage him during the times of trials and tribulation in the church. He writes
Vs. 14: “Continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed. You know those who have taught you.” Paul has instructed and mentored the young Pastor Timothy. We also find that Timothy’s mother and grandmother (Lois & Eunice) were integral in raising Timothy as a believer in Jesus Christ.
The sacred writings Paul mentions makes one wise to salvation are the scripture as a whole (N.T. and O.T.) reveals Jesus and teaches us about him.
All Scripture is inspired by God – Some translations read, “All scripture is breathed by God.” This is a vivid illustration. All the Sacred writings that Paul just mentioned are inspired and ordained by God’s authority over all other secular writings. The Bible, the Word of God, was given by the Spirit of God to men throughout history and it is without error (infallible). It is trustworthy, dependable and divine.
John Calvin writes, “This (authority of Scripture) is a principle which distinguishes our religion (Christianity) from all others, that we know that God (has) spoken to us, and are fully convinced that the prophets did not speak at their own suggestion, but that, being organs of the Holy Spirit, they only uttered what they have been commissioned from heaven to declare. Whoever then wishes to profit in the Scriptures, let him first of all, lay down this as a settled point, that the Law and the Prophets are not a doctrine delivered according to the will and pleasure of men, but dictated by the Holy Spirit.” What Calvin is saying is as believer’s we need to establish and be good with the fact and truth that Scripture is God’s Word and not mans. It is divine and commissioned by God.
The Apostle Peter confirms this in 2 Peter 1:21, “because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
1 Corinthians 2:13 – “W also speak these things, not in words not taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people.”
The Bible is God’s Word… This truth is essential to our Christian faith
Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (ESV) This weapon is not only used as a means of defense but also is used to strike back. The Word of God is powerful; when Jesus was tempted in the desert, he used to Word of God to fend off the devil and it was sufficient. It is living, it is active, and it is transformational. Everything about the Word of God points to Jesus and Jesus is the fulfillment of the Word of God (I John 1:1). If you are a believer you must cling to the Word of God; you must know it and love it, for in it is power, salvation and truth.
The Word of God is…
It is LIVING –meaning that it gives and contains life. God’s Word still speaks to the hearts of individuals today.
It is ACTIVE and has power. As I stated already, the Word of God has the power to transform and change individuals for the glory of God.
It is PIERCING which means it has the power to convict and correct.
Because the recipients of Timothy’s letter embraced the Word of God, they also experienced the same trials, tribulations and persecutions that the Church of Jesus Christ was facing all over the world. The same people who had it out for Jesus had it out for his Church. These same men had Jesus killed. These same men had prophets killed. These same men inevitably opposed all. humanity by hindering Paul, his companions and the churches, from sharing the Gospel on a grand scale. Because of this some were not able to receive salvation… But God will and does always have the last Word.
Scripture is Profitable for…
The Commission (Applicable to us today)
Thus, we as believers must hold on to the Word of God and proclaim the truths found in it. For the Word of God is alive, it is active, and it is sharper than any double-edged sword and judges our thoughts and intentions of our heart. We cannot hide from God or from His Word, for we stand naked and exposed before God as to who we are in heart, mind, body, and Spirit and we all will give account for what we have done for the sake and Kingdom of God. This can be a wonderfully refreshing truth for us, or it can be a terrifying reality. The great thing about all of this is you have the ability to embrace the Word of God and cling to Jesus or you have the freedom to reject the truths of His Word and continue in the ways of the flesh. My prayer, hope, and desire for you today is that you would embrace Jesus for there is power in His name and in His Word.
 Raquel, S. T. (2016). Canon, Old Testament. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Jeff has been in ministry for well over two decades. He currently serves as Campus Pastor at West Bradenton Baptist Southside Campus in Bradenton, Florida.
Jeff Has authored an Advent Devotional (The Advent of Jesus) and a devotional on the book of James (James: Where Faith and Life Meet). Both are available on Amazon.
He is married to Carrie and they have four children, Micaiah, Gabe, Simon, and Berea.
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