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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Jan. 7, 2009

  • 2009 Jan 07

Book You Can Trust

I Thessalonians 2:13

Open in your Bibles with me please to 1 Thessalonians 2:13. We are going through this magnificent epistle penned by the apostle Paul for the glory of Christ.  

Last Sunday morning we were having our morning worship service outside the great amphitheater in Ephesus sitting actually in the entry on the stones of the foundation of that huge theater.  And as we sat there, we read Christ’s letter to the Ephesians in Revelation chapter two.  What a rich time.  And then we walked down that main street and looked at just a tiny slice of the ruins.  Ephesus of course was the largest of all the cities of the ancient Roman Empire.  It’s the largest of all the ruins of any biblical city, and they’ve only done a slice of it, it’s so massive, so many square miles.  But as we sat there, I thought how the apostle Paul would come to a city and he would just stand in the marketplace and he would be a total nobody that no one knew.  He’d be an unknown commodity.  And he’d walk in and he would start at the top of his voice proclaiming something they’d never heard before, and those people would listen to that and their lives would be utterly transformed.   

Have you ever thought of it in that sense?  I mean, next time you go to the mall and some wacko is out there, you know, promoting something or somebody is standing on the street corner screaming and raving, that’s what Paul looked like.  And yet what he was speaking was the very word of God.   

Look at verse 13 of chapter two and I want to show you what I mean.  "For this reason,” 1 Thessalonians 2:13, “we also thank God ceaselessly because when you received the word of God which you heard from us,” when he was speaking he was giving God’s word, “you welcomed it not as the word of men but as it is in truth, the word of God.”   

Now I want you to do something with me.  We’ll be a little unusual.  Take your Bible and hold it. I want to talk to you about what you’re holding.  You are holding something that is unlike anything else that in 5,000 recorded years of human history has ever been produced on this planet.  Everything else on this planet is just something from the planet that’s been either, painted or built or sculptured or carved or something.  This is not from this planet.  This is the very breath of God breathed out.  This is the very voice of the infinite, endless of days, eternal, all-powerful creator of the universe who has communicated to us and has intercepted, intersected, and invaded time and space and spoken to us.  This book is unlike any book.  It’s unlike any other piece of any part of this civilization of humanity that ever existed.  This is not normal.  This is not like Mary Baker Glover Patterson Eddy Fry’s book of Christian Science.  This is not like the Koran or the writings collected of Joseph Smith.  This is not of this planet.  This is the very breath of God.  I hope you realize when you hold this book it’s different.  It’s special.  I hope you don’t just flip it aside.   

It really grieves me when I see people just toss their Bible down.  They use it as a book weight. They use it as something that they put their coffee cup on.  I can’t do that.  When I was a little boy, I was taught that the Bible was always the top book.  I couldn’t even pile it underneath everything, and you didn’t put anything above it because this is God’s word.   

But what you hold in your hand this morning totally transformed the lives of the Thessalonians.  It says it effectively worked in you who believe.  And you know this morning that book that you were just holding has the power to utterly, totally, radically transform your life and mine.   

We have in our progression into this book come to one of the more crucial portions of 1 Thessalonians because we’re coming to the portion that extols the word of God.  And I can’t think of a better time in our history as a church than this to set aside a time to really meditate on this book and what it means and what it is and it’s power.   

There are seven reasons why I believe that the Bible is true.  And I’d like to share them with you this morning.  And I would like to share with you why this book is like no other book and why when you hear people attacking it or when you attack it by neglect, which you realize what you’re missing when you don’t make a place in your life for the word of God.  I want to impress upon your hearts that this book that we hold in our hands is unlike any other in the universe.  And with that truth deeply upon our hearts in the days ahead shouldn’t we treat this book differently?  Shouldn’t we read it more diligently?  Shouldn’t we wait before it expectantly and from this book learn to live triumphantly?   

This book which comes to us untainted from the very presence of God, breathed out through 40 different men over 60 generations, 1,600 years, on three different continents, this book comes to us as the very word of God. 

There are seven reasons why I believe that the Bible is absolutely true.  It’s absolutely true in all 3,566,480 letters.  All 810,697 words, all 31,173 verses, they’re all the very word of God.  Eleven-hundred and 89 chapters and 66 books written by the most unusual group of kings and peasants, philosophers and fishermen, poets, statesmen and scholars, written from the wilderness, from the dungeon, on a rocky hillside, from inside of a prison, from a boat, from an island and from the rigors of military conquest, the book of books, the word of God comes to us.   

Seven Reasons Why I Can Trust the Bible

Why is this book like no other book?  Why can you trust the Bible?  Seven reasons. 

1. Jesus Christ Believed the Bible Was True

The first reason why I believe the Bible is utterly true can be distilled down to one or two words.  Jesus (and the second word is) Christ.  Jesus Christ utterly was convinced that the book you hold in your hand was the word of God.  Now that does it for me.  I don’t need anybody else’s opinion, but I’ll give you six more reasons.  Jesus believed this book, and over and over we find the Lord Jesus asking everyone who questioned Him, He’d say to them, “Haven’t you read?  The Scriptures say…”  That’s how He answered those who came to Him.   

After Jesus started His ministry, what’s the first thing He did when He faced Satan?  He quotes Deuteronomy eight, and Deuteronomy six.  Jesus believed and used and trusted and prayed from and lived out the Scriptures.  You know what’s interesting?  Everything Jesus said was Scripture.  And so He didn’t need to use it.  He could have just talked.  But instead, He always hearkened back to the Bible.  He hearkened back to the Scriptures.  And when He was pressed with a question, He said the Scriptures say… And when He was faced with the adversary, He said the Scriptures say… As He knelt in prayer, He prayed the Scriptures.  As He spoke by the seaside He spoke from the Scriptures.  As He went as a sheep before shearers is dumb, He quoted the Scriptures.  And when He hung on the cross, with his dying words He gasped words from the Scriptures.  Jesus Christ believed that every word of this book was inspired by God.  In His private life He used it.  As His sword against Satan, in His public ministry He uses the Word to teach multitudes, in His personal world with His disciples and those near Him, He uses the Bible to explain the future.  Jesus believed that the Bible was true.  He believed it was verbally true, every word.  He believed it was inerrant.  That means in its totality there’s no flaw.  It’s inspired, Every word.  It’s the very Word of God.  Jesus Christ believed in the historical reliability of Adam and Eve.  And even if some Christians, so-called today, don’t believe in that, Jesus did.  And He based His teaching of the family and marriage on the fact that there was a literal first man on this planet and his name was Adam.  And he was not a humanoid, and he didn’t grunt and groan and hide in caves and look like a monkey.  He was in the image of God, created from the very dust of the ground and breathed into by the very breath of God.  Jesus believed in Adam and Eve.  He believed in Abel.  He believed in Noah and He believed in the flood, even though a great number of our Christian colleges don’t even teach there was a literal flood anymore.  Jesus believed in it.  And Jesus taught it.  And He said just as much as God flooded the earth with water, He said, I will burn the earth with fire.  He believed in Noah and the ark and the flood.  And He said He knew Abraham and Moses and the burning bush, and He said I believe in David and Elijah and Daniel and Jonah.  Jesus believed the Bible you hold.  He read the Bible that you read.  He prayed the words of the Word of God that you and I have today.   


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