2 Timothy 3:16-17
Have you ever thought about how blessed we are to be have to have the Bible? Most people in the years before Johannes Gutenberg printing press in 1450 did not have their own Bible. Even after the printing press the Bible was often printed in volumes because of its size. Pulpit Bibles had to be chained to the pulpit in some places because of the rarity of the printed word and because of the value of paper.
The Bible has been on the best sellers list every year since…well since they started the best sellers list. And it is the best selling book of all times. Today the Bible is available in over 31,000 languages and can be found in book form, audio, brille, video, and thousands of apps and programs. The Bible is always just a few steps away in the United States and in many countries around the world. And there are many missions groups out there that are working to get the Bible into the hands of everyone around the world.
The word of God is the basic foundation for my faith in Jesus Christ. I first came to Jesus years when I was a child at Lawrence Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. Don Wilmoth, who was my preacher back then, taught the Bible in such a profound and powerful way. He made the scriptures come alive.
The Bible is a great tool for every believer. In fact, Paul told Timothy that is what God uses to prepare people for service. He said, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Paul said that the Bible is “God-breathed”. The Greek word for “God-breathed” is pneuma which means spirit or breath. It reminds me of how God breathed into Adam’s body and gave it life. This word has his spirit in it. It gives it life.
The Hebrew writer said, “For the word of God is alive 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.” The word is alive and it can inspire, encourage, teach, train, and discipline the one who diligently studies it.
Unfortunately in the world today there is also a lot of debate authenticity of the Bible. There are those who want to argue about the authority, interpretation, inspiration, an inerrancy of the scriptures. Some people wage war against the scriptures because they do not want to submit to God’s authority. Some set out to destroy the word. But Some who set out to disprove the Bible or to discredit Jesus find themselves drawn to him as in the case of Lee Strobel and Josh McDowell.
Here at BCCC we are governed by the authority of the Scriptures. Our By-laws even state, “We accept the Bible as the inerrant, inspired Word of God and as the ultimate authority in matters of faith, doctrine, and Christian living.” This means that the Bible is where we turn for everything we do.
Some churches claim the Bible as authority but also have traditions, constitutions, creeds, and ecclesiastical hierarchies that have as much or more authority as the Bible. Some churches claim the Bible as the authority but give in to the pressures of society and liberal philosophy like “post modernism”.
BCCC has its roots in the Restoration Movement. The Restoration Movement started as a rejection of man-made creeds that caused disunity and factions in the church. Some churches used these creeds kept certain people from accepting Christ, being baptized, participating in the Lord’s supper, or even entering the building.
Early leaders of the Restoration movement plead for Christian unity through the authority of the scriptures. Some of the early slogans were “Where the Scriptures speak we speak; where the Scriptures are silent we are silent,” and “We are only Christians, and the Bible is our only book,” and “Do Bible things in Bible ways.”
The early church leaders had a high view of the authority of scriptures! Thomas Campbell said in “The Declaration and Address” in 1809:
“That although the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are inseparably connected, making together but one perfect and entire revelation of the Divine will, for the edification and salvation of the Church, and therefore in that respect can not be separated; yet as to what directly and properly belongs to their immediate object, the New Testament is as perfect a constitution for the worship, discipline, and government of the New Testament Church, and as perfect a rule for the particular duties of its members, as the Old Testament was for the worship, discipline, and government of the Old Testament Church, and the particular duties of its members.”
His Son, Alexander Campbell later wrote:
“The Bible alone must always decide every question involving the nature, the character or the design of the Christian institution. Outside of the apostolic canon, there is not, as it appears to me, one solid foot of terra firma on which to raise the superstructure ecclesiastic.”
I believe in the Bible. I believe that it provides the answers that we need. I believe it is the authority of God. I believe that it provides what we need most. I believe it is the good news message of Jesus Christ from beginning to end.
2 Peter 1:3-4 says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
Tomorrow night we will go into why the authority of the scriptures is so important. Join us at 6:00pm tomorrow night, right here.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear God Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. Thank you so much for your holy word. May it be a light to my path and guide my footsteps. May I always treasure it in my heart to keep me from going astray. May I use it to share the hope of salvation with all that I come in contact with. Help me to stand firm in the scriptures always. In Jesus' name, AMEN!