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Reasonable Faith: Additional Validation for the Bible's Divine Origin

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
April 29, 2024 2:00 am

Reasonable Faith: Additional Validation for the Bible's Divine Origin

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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April 29, 2024 2:00 am

The Bible gives additional evidence that validates its divine origin in its uniqueness, its scientific foreknowledge, and its fulfilled prophecies. The detailed outline is attached at sermonaudio.com as a pdf.

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Amen. Before we begin our message tonight, I'd like to ask you to bow and have a word of prayer with me. Father, with the psalmist we crowd not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to your name give glory because of your mercy and because of your truth. Why should the Gentiles say, so where is their God? But our God is in heaven.

He does whatever he pleases. Tonight, Lord, I pray that it would please you to edify your saints, to evangelize those who may be here without Christ. I pray that you'd enable me, Lord, through your spirit to share that which I've studied. I pray that the impression that our folk would get when they leave here is that the word of God is the greatest book ever written. Father, help us to demonstrate acknowledgement of that by getting into it, by reading it, by studying it. Bless our time together, I pray in Christ's name.

Amen. Well, to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, my wife and I traveled to see one of the world's natural wonders, the Grand Canyon. The very name of this magnificent tourist magnet grabs your curiosity.

You can't help but wonder how grand is grand. My first glimpse took my breath away. I can remember the tour guide telling us to go up to this particular store and walk through the store, and as we got to the other side and walked out, we would be there. We'd be at the Grand Canyon. And I did so. And I can remember walking through the doors, entering that store, and looking across the breadth of the store, and I could see the Grand Canyon, just all that you could see in a double-sized door. And as I got closer and closer and the door seemed to get larger and larger, my awe started going up more and more. And when I got outside and the cool breeze hit my face and I looked, as far as I could see, it was Grand Canyon. And then I walked over to the edge and looked down. And I'll mention this later, parts of it are a mile deep. My first glimpse took my breath away. It was impossible to take it all in. Every individual vista that you viewed added to the grandness of the whole.

The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and attains a depth of over a mile. It is truly awe-inspiring, and surely it has no equal when it comes to magnitude and beauty. The Word of God. That title should evoke reverence and an almost magnetic interest in the lives of Christians. The Word of God has always been ridiculed by agnostics and atheists who consider it a crutch for simple-minded people. In our day, it's practically ignored by many who profess to be Christians and who are apathetic towards it, as evidenced by their lack of reading, let alone studying it. Following a brief exposition of our text, we're going to consider three characteristics about the Word of God that I trust will strengthen the lives of believers and give you an encouraging truth, and that is this.

Ours is a reasonable faith based upon the grandest and most remarkable book ever written, the Word of God. The intent, and this is important, the intent of this message is to give you a panoramic view of the Bible's uniqueness, scientific knowledge, and prophetic nature. Just keep that in mind as we get into the message.

The intent is to give you just a panoramic view of those three areas. The title of the message is Reasonable Faith, and I'd ask you once again to turn to 2 Timothy 3, verses 16 and 17. And as we saw in our earlier reading, the context of these well-known verses are the prayerless times of the last days and the need for believers to persevere. The Word of God is crucial to perseverance. And the first thing that I want to do is read verse 16. All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction of righteousness. And verse 17 follows, why?

That the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. The first thing I want us to see tonight is all scripture is plenary and verbal. Plenary and verbal, I get the verbal, but what is plenary?

So the word plenary means complete or full. Verbal means the very words of scripture. So when you put them together, plenary verbal inspiration is the view that every single word in the Bible is the very word of God, given by inspiration of God. It is God-breathed.

It's like a sailing ship that is carried along by the wind to a particular intentional destination. So the human authors of scripture were moved by the Spirit of God to communicate exactly what he wanted us to know. It's important to note that inspiration applies only to the original manuscripts or autographs of scripture. It does not apply to Bible writers. There are no inspired scripture writers, only inspired scripture. So identified is God with his word that when scripture speaks, God speaks. Let me read that again, and as I do, ask yourself the question, do you remind yourself of that? Are you aware of that, afresh and anew? Whenever scripture speaks, God speaks.

We need to keep that in mind. All scripture is plenary and verbal. The second thing I want us to look at is all scriptures profitable. Our writer says, for doctrine or teaching, first of all, the scripture provides a comprehensive and complete body of divine truth necessary for life and godliness. I'm sure all of you are familiar with 2 Peter 1.3. It states, as his divine power is given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by glory and virtue. And beloved, it's obvious the knowledge of him comes through the study of God's word.

It's profitable for teaching, but secondly, for reproof. That word reproof means rebuke for wrong behavior or wrong belief. The scripture exposes sin that then can be dealt with through confession and repentance. And I'll give you an example of David pridefully numbering the people. After he was rebuked by the prophet, he ended up saying this. David's heart condemned him after he'd numbered the people. So David said to the Lord, I've sinned greatly in what I've done. Beloved, as we get into the word of God for doctrine and teaching, we also receive reproof.

We don't measure up to what we should be. The third thing, it's profitable for correction. That word means restoration of something to its proper condition. Scripture not only rebukes wrong behavior, but also points the way back to godly living. And once again, I offer David as a good example. Following his adultery with Bathsheba in Psalm 51, 10, he said, create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Verses 12 and 13, he said, restore to me the joy of your salvation and uphold me by your generous spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways and sinners will be converted to you.

So he has asked God to restore him back to fellowship with him. And then finally, it's not only profitable for doctrine and teaching, for reproof, for correction, but for instruction in righteousness. The English Standard Version and the New American Standard Bible use the words training and righteousness. Scripture provides positive training and godly behavior, not merely rebuke and correction of wrong behavior. Training carries the idea of strenuous preparation with an end goal in mind.

And I give you an illustration that Paul gives us in 1 Corinthians 9. He uses an athletic analogy. He said, I run thus, not with uncertainty, and that word means aimlessly. I run thus, not with uncertainty, thus I fight not as one who beats the air, but I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest when I preach to others, I myself should become disqualified.

Disqualified. Elsewhere, that same Greek word is translated worthless, debased, failing to meet the test. John MacArthur writes that the prize for which Paul trained diligently was Christ's likeness when God called him to heaven. So we've seen that all scripture is plenary and verbal.

God's inspired it right down to the very words that were used by the human writers. All scripture is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. And finally, all scripture is preparatory. Verse 17, that the manna of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. Complete, that word means competent and capable of doing everything one is called to do. If God calls us to a task, he'll prepare us for the task.

I don't mind telling you, getting ordained, I don't know how other people who have gotten ordained have felt, but as a layman whose training was in very basic Bible doctrines at a Bible college, and then what I received here, thank the Lord, I was petrified. I was petrified. And a humorous side of that, I'll give you an A and a B of it. The A is I had everything I needed on this desk in the room where I was going to be questioned. And so I had my ducks in a row, everything where I thought I'd need them, and pastor came in and said, guys, let's make this, I'm paraphrasing, a little more homey and sit over here kind of in a semi-circle. Well, my notes and everything went with me, but they weren't the way I had them. And I tend to be detail-oriented, so boy, the heart started pounding. And I knew I was in trouble when the first question was asked. Brother Bob, could you tell us the chapter content of the book of John?

In other words, what each chapter is about. And again, thankfully, Pastor Bartman came to my rescue, ended up saying, gentlemen, let's, and paraphrasing again, let's just stick with his ordination paper. And I was praising God.

Believe me. The remainder of this message tonight, though, folks, will focus on three areas that can serve to further strengthen our confidence that the Bible is the Word of God. Scripture references are on the slides and on the handout that support the three areas that we will consider. And those who may watch later via sermon audio can go to Beacon Baptist Church website, hit the title Growth, and print out a copy of the handout. Time will not allow us to read all the references.

However, you can do that later to your benefit. I want to emphasize again, it's critical to remember that these three areas are supplementary to our greatest resource of confidence that comes from the indwelling Holy Spirit. Let me say that again. The three areas I'm going to share tonight, we're going to look at a panoply, the big picture, and these areas are supplementary to the indwelling Holy Spirit.

That's where we get our confidence from him. The unregenerate person has no interest in the Word of God, nor can he understand them. Harold Spurgeon gives us a very succinct rewording of this.

Let me read that to you. Spurgeon said, to what avail is the loudest declaration to a death man, or the clearest showing to one spiritually blind? God the Holy Ghost must illuminate us, or all the sons in the Milky Way never will. The greatest assurance that the Bible is the inspired, inherent, all-sufficient Word of the living God is the indwelling Holy Spirit. Yet there are other things about the Bible that can bolster our reasonable faith.

Reasonable faith. The Bible gives additional evidence that validates its divine origin and its uniqueness, its scientific foreknowledge, and its fulfilled prophecies. And again, as I've said a couple of different times, I want you to keep the big picture in mind as we consider these three areas. And the first one is its uniqueness. No other book comes close to the Bible in several areas, and we're just going to consider four of them.

The first one, in its authority. God inspired 40 chosen men from a wide range of backgrounds that included prophets, kings, a priest, fishermen, a shepherd, a doctor, a tax collector, a general, and former Pharisee, Paul, to write what he wanted us to know. And I think that that is most interesting detail. It wasn't one person that claimed that God gave him what he wanted written, and he wrote it from Genesis to Revelation.

As you'll see, it was far more than that. And it's not only in the number of people who wrote, but the background of the people who wrote and its authorship. The next thing, in its subject matter. The Bible is a library of 66 books written over a 15 to 1600 year span in three languages and on three continents. It includes historical narrative, law, poetry, proverbs, letters, and prophecy to convey one grand theme from Genesis to Revelation.

And what is that? The redemption of an elect people by grace through faith in the perfect life, substitutionary death, and victorious resurrection of the God-man, Jesus Christ. We think of the Bible as just a whole, when in reality what it is, it is a whole, but it is a collection of 66 books from Genesis to Revelation, and we need to keep that in mind. And again, by a number of authors from a number of backgrounds.

The third thing we want to look at is its indestructibility. The Syrian ruler Antiochus IV and the Roman Emperor Diocletian failed to wipe out Christianity in the scriptures. Others have tried to disprove it only to end up embracing it for what it is, the inspired word of God. Isaiah wrote, the grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of God stands forever. I mentioned others have tried to disprove it only to end up embracing it for what it is.

Josh McDowell not long ago spoke at the Rescue Mission banquet. He set about with graduate students to disprove the scriptures, and then in the end instead of disproving the scriptures, he embraced them. There are others that have done the same thing and come out with books that instead of discrediting the Bible really supported the Bible. So it's indestructibility.

And then finally, its impact. No other book comes remotely close to the circulation and translation of the Bible. At this point, 704 languages and counting, and let me insert here, that is 704 languages that have the complete Bible. If you go into partial manuscripts or books, it's much, much higher than that. 704 different languages and counting, or the number of manuscript copies. The Guinness Book of World Records estimates that the Bible has been printed over 5 billion times.

Staggering when you think about it. It has had an irrefutable influence on education, art, music, literature, history, government, law, and science. And it had a profound influence on our country when we started it.

Unfortunately, it's put to the back shelf when it comes to the way our government is run. The second thing I want us to look at, not only a reasonable faith in its uniqueness, 66 books, 40 authors, a variety of backgrounds, three continents, three languages, 15 to 1600 year span. But secondly, it's scientific foreknowledge. The Bible includes information that predates scientific discovery by hundreds of years. And we're going to consider just seven. If you look on the screen up there, eternalproductions.org slash 101 science, and you can get that from me later if you can't jot it down now, it gives 101 examples of things that science has learned or has proven that the Bible foreknew, and it's within the pages of the Bible. I've just taken seven that we're going to look at tonight. And the first one is biogenesis.

What does that mean? Biogenesis, the term biogenesis means life from pre-existing life. This begs the question, what is the initial origin of life? And folks, you ought to Google that sometime.

I'm not sure that I'll do this, but sometime I may do a message on creation. And some of the answers that brilliant secular scientists give for the origin of life, for the origin of sexual reproduction, for the origin of language, for the origin of flight, for the origin of conscience, it is almost laughable. And they will use big language to intimidate us, but when you scrape away the surface and get underneath, they have no answers. They just will not bow to the authority of a creator. It's scientific foreknowledge, biogenesis, life from pre-existing life.

What is the origin? By 1861 A.D., Louis Pasteur disproved spontaneous generation, life from non-life. Biogenesis, written by Moses prior to 1405 B.C., states that God created living things after their kind. For secular scientists, the origin of life remains a mystery, and their hypotheses about it rest on pure speculation and faith.

And again, do the work. Our young people need to understand that. When I go to secular colleges and brilliant men get up in front of them and go out things as though they are fact, when in reality they are speculation and hypotheses, not theories, that can be tested and retested. So biogenesis, life pre-existing, from pre-existing life.

I want to note this. I think 10 times in Genesis chapter 1, God uses the words after their kind or after its kind for emphasis, for sure. Second thing that I want us to look at when it comes to scientific foreknowledge of the Bible is life is in the blood. Leviticus 1711. Leviticus was written around 1447 B.C. It was definitely after the Exodus, from what commentators tell me. And it says this, For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and yet the brilliant men of their day, for thousands of years, sick people were, quote, bled, and many died as a result.

Probably the most famous was President George Washington. Bloodletting continued into the 1900s. And yet the Bible was saying what you are doing is spilling the life of blood from the person. The Bible knew this foreknowledge and documented it in its pages before science discovered it. And then number three, the roundness of the earth and the vastness of the universe. Isaiah was written between 739 and 686 B.C. That's when he ministered. So commentators don't put a specific date, but between 739 and 686 B.C. The roundness of the earth and the vastness of the universe.

Isaiah 40, 22. It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. Aristotle proposed and wrote down the theory of a spherical earth in 370 B.C., several hundred years after the Bible. It was not until the early 1900s that it was discovered that the universe is expanding. The roundness of the earth, how would they know that?

How possibly would they know that? And yet Isaiah, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote he who sits above the circle of the earth. The fourth thing, as far as scientific foreknowledge, the earth hangs in space and there's an empty void in the northern hemisphere.

Job 26, 7. He stresses out the north over empty space. He hangs the earth on nothing. The mysterious boot's void is 300 million light years across. It's referred to as the great nothing. It evaded detection until 1981. Scientists admit its very existence challenges what we know about the universe and its origins.

Let me read that again. Its very existence, which could not be seen with the naked eye, beloved. And yet Job talked about that very thing, the empty void in the north.

Its very existence challenges what we know about the universe and its origins. And then number five, as far as foreknowledge, the stars cannot be numbered. Jeremiah 33, 22. As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, Genesis 22, 17 likens Abraham's offspring to the stars in the sand of the seashore.

Now you could swallow what I've got in the next paragraph. Before telescopes, they thought there were 3,000 stars in the northern hemisphere and 3,000 in the southern. How they would count that is beyond me.

It'd drive me mad. And yet that's what they speculated. Once telescopes came about in 1609, things changed. Now they had no idea, even with those early telescopes, that there would be 200 sextillion stars in the universe. Is it the James Webb telescope that is the latest that they put out there? It has changed their thinking about a lot of things in the universe. There are galaxies out there that they have found now that prior to this telescope, they had no clue were there. And what it does for me is just shows me again the awesomeness of God. Bible talks about him stretching out the heavens.

And I've used this particular fact and message as before. The largest star, and I don't remember the name of it. That's really irrelevant. The largest star, it would take you 1,100 years to go around it in a plane going 500 miles an hour. Look it up. It would take you 11 centuries going 500 miles an hour to go around that star.

What's the point? There are 200 sextillion stars. Surely not all of them that large. But that's mind-boggling to me.

And let me put a parenthesis in here. Aren't you amazed that a blob of material that came from nothing for no known reason expanded into all of this? That blows my mind that they could seriously contemplate that that would be the truth.

And let me point this out as I do to my students. Secular scientists are questioning the Big Bang majorly. Some secular scientists are brave enough to say, you guys are cooking the facts. You guys are speculating. You're putting as fact speculation. And that's refreshing. It's refreshing. The secular scientists who will not embrace God at least won't embrace pure speculation as though it's fact.

And then this one I think is very interesting as all of them are. The oceans are fed by springs. Genesis 8.2 and Proverbs 8.28 speak of the fountains of the deep, the fountains of the deep. Job 38.16 asks, have you entered the springs of the sea or have you walked in search of the depths? In 1977, scientists found springs in the ocean off the coast of Ecuador. They were found at an ocean depth of 1.5 miles. Now you have to ask yourself the question, how would Moses have a clue about freshwater springs in the sea?

How would Job? And yet in Solomon, they speak of fountains of the deep, springs in the sea, and yet the Bible through foreign knowledge puts this within its covers. And then the last thing that I would have you consider is atmospheric circulation. And before I read the slide, I could ask the question of Pastor K, can you tell me what the wind is doing in Greensboro? And his answer would say, duh, no, I can't tell you what the wind's doing in Greensboro.

All right, look at the slide. Ecclesiastes 1.6, the wind goes toward the south and turns around to the north. This is the key. The wind whirls about continually and comes again on its circuit. 1883 is the earliest recorded observation of wind currents blowing smoke from the Krakatoa volcano in Indonesia. And again, when you collectively put these together to show just examples, just seven out of 101 that you can look at when it comes to scientific foreknowledge of the Bible, biogenesis, life from life. The life is in the blood, the roundness of the earth. The earth hangs in space and there's an empty void over the northern hemisphere. The stars cannot be numbered.

The oceans are fed by springs and atmospheric circulation. My response is, what a book. And even beyond that, what a God. The last area that we will look at is fulfilled prophecies.

And again, please keep in mind the intent of this message is to just give you a panoply, a panoramic view, if I can put it that way, of these things. Where your prophet, as I did, is when you go to the verses and start reading them and you say, that's exactly what it means. All right, the last thing, fulfilled prophecies. The Bible includes hundreds of prophecies that have been fulfilled. We will consider eight prophetic events specifically about Jesus, over which he had no control.

Now, the reason I do this, and I'll mention this again in the next slide, it not only, to me, proves the inspiration of scripture, but it also proves the deity of Jesus, that he was the Messiah, as the Bible prophesied. First one, the first thing I want you to get, though, before we even get in this, is mind-boggling. Peter Stoner, in his book Science Speaks, shows that coincidence is ruled out by the science of probability. Stoner says that by using the modern science of probability in reference to eight prophecies, we find that the chance that any man might have lived down to the present time and fulfilled all eight prophecies is one in 10 to the 17th power.

That is one in 100 quadrillion. That's a stretch, folks. You know, for one man to be able to fulfill just eight prophecies, there are over 300 concerning Christ. And the ones that I chose to share with you tonight, and by the way, share in my senior Bible class, are prophecies that Christ had no control over. Humanly speaking, he had no control over the eight things that I'll show you. I will also tell you this.

Well, let me just read this, let me read the slide to get the big picture of it. Eight prophecies that were fulfilled by Jesus over which he had no control, humanly speaking. I've broken down some of them and even more details.

This offers overwhelming evidence for the inspiration of scripture as well as the deity of Jesus. Because the time restraints, we simply list the references for Old Testament prophecy and New Testament fulfillment. I'll make one exception to that and that'll be on the first one.

We can't read all of them, like I must on this first one. The first prophecy that he had no control over was the family into which he would be born. Abraham and David on both Mary's side and Joseph's side in fulfillment of God's promise to David of an everlasting kingdom.

I wanna read two verses to you. Genesis 12, three, God said to Abraham, in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. And we know how that would come about through Jesus. Matthew 1, one, the book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. The first prophecy that Jesus fulfilled over which he had no control was the family into which he would be born. The second thing that I would have us look at is his miraculous conception in the womb of a virgin. God ordained a combination of human and divine influence in Christ's birth. His full humanity was evident from his ordinary birth from a human mother. His full deity was evident by his conception in a virgin's womb by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. And that might have raised an eyebrow when I used the word ordinary, but folks, what was unordinary, if I can put it that way, was his conception. Mary had Jesus like every other woman has their child. His conception was totally unique. He had no human father. Mary was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. So not only does he fulfill the family into which he would be born, but his miraculous conception in the womb of a virgin was the second thing. The third, you might guess, would be the town or his birthplace, the town in which he would be born. Micah 5, 2, and you compare that with Matthew 2, 3 through 6. Bethlehem is 90 miles from Nazareth.

The Roman census required Joseph to journey to Bethlehem. I would say that's not a coincidence. I believe that we all would say the same thing. Just as was prophesied, the Messiah, Jesus, was born in Bethlehem, small, relatively insignificant town to fulfill the word of God that was prophesied. The fourth thing that we would have you look at is he would be called Emmanuel. And again, just as we had no control over our names, he didn't either.

He would be called Emmanuel. And that means God with us, as you know, comparing Isaiah 7, 14 with Matthew 1, 22, and 23. And number 5, you might think is no big deal, but it really is. His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, and notice, on an untrained colt before thousands who heralded him as their king. And you can look up the Old and the New Testament.

Why that is a big deal? Not only the fact that they welcomed him as their king, the son of David, but that little detail, untrained colt. The Bible talks about a donkey and her colt. Now, the colt's going to have to be big enough for Jesus to ride on. Let me tell you something. As a teenager, I had three horses. Not at the same time. I had three horses.

I had to break them. If I could have videoed that, I could have made a lot of money. To me, as one who has ridden an untrained animal, that's amazing. That's amazing that he rode into Jerusalem with thousands of people on each side of the road putting down palms and putting down their clothing, and he's riding an untrained colt. That, to me, is where he would have no human control. The only way he had control is he was God the Son.

And again, if you had anything to do with animals like that, you know the magnitude of this statement. He rode into Jerusalem on an untrained colt, his triumphal entry. And then this one, betrayed by a friend, in quotes, and we break that down even more. It's one thing to be betrayed by a friend, but it was for 30 pieces of silver, and that would be used to buy a potter's field, and that was fulfilled right down to the letter. As we know, Judas ended up hanging himself at the clothes. The seventh one that I will have you look at is the details of his death. I listed six, not just one. I'm going to give you six under this, not just one.

So that ups the one and one quadrillion ratio. The first one is he was flogged, spit upon, beard torn out. Isaiah 50 compared with the Gospels. The second one, he was crucified with thieves. He had no bones broken, and we all know that they broke the bones of the thieves so that they would suffocate, be dead, get them off the cross, and satisfy the Jews. And when they came to Jesus, his bones would not be broken because he had already expired.

Casting lots for his garments, he had no control over that. The pure side where water and blood flowed mingled down, and finally, buried with the rich. Again, right down to the detail of everything in his death, Jesus had no control. The final thing that I would have us consider tonight, the details of his resurrection, the details of his resurrection.

The broken seal, the large stone moved. Jewish and Roman sources admit an empty tomb. Dr. Paul Meyer calls this positive evidence from a hostile source, the strongest kind of historical evidence. This means that if a source admits a fact decidedly not in its favor...
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-30 12:31:51 / 2024-04-30 12:45:07 / 13

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