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The Character of God's Word B

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
October 17, 2023 4:00 am

The Character of God's Word B

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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October 17, 2023 4:00 am

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There's no explanation of the Bible other than that God wrote it. Nothing else explains its scientific accuracy. Nothing else explains its prophetic accuracy. Nothing else explains its spiritual and penetrating accuracy and its ability to transform lives. Nothing else explains its miracles, which are from front to back in this book and verified by eyewitnesses, and nothing else can explain Christ. Welcome to Grace to You with John MacArthur.

I'm your host, Phil Johnson. Some say that several men got together and simply made the Bible up. But the fact that the pages of Scripture tell a consistent story and many of the writers lived in different times and places actually proves just the opposite. God used those men to record His truth.

Make sure you're trusting the Bible as you should. Let John MacArthur show you how to get the most from God's Word. You know, our goal behind every program is really to help you get the most from God's Word. And John, you know as well as I, that is something we cannot accomplish without some important people right here in this community. Yeah, and obviously you're talking about the folks on the radio station staff and the management of those stations that partner with us. We are extremely grateful to the folks who pour their life and energies into the development of Christian radio stations across this country and for that matter all around the world because they are in the truest and purest sense our partners.

We depend on them, obviously. We can put things out on the internet, but beyond that, when we want to reach people who don't know we even exist on the internet, when we want to sort of surprise them and catch them, Christian radio does that. Christian radio is primarily the initial introduction to the Bible teaching that Grace to You provides. We need from time to time to remind you as our listeners how grateful you need to be for the partnership with the Christian radio station that you're listening to even now. And we have deep and abiding relationships with these radio stations and the people who lead them. They are a clear pipeline for us for verse by verse Bible teaching and for many others. And this partnership is partnership on the basis of the love of the truth and the love of souls because they care about you and they care about the truth and they want to bring those two together. They partner with us. We're deeply grateful for all that they do. We continue to see a strong response to our program. People ask from time to time, is radio fading away?

Not in our case, not at all. It's a strong, strong ministry tool for us. So let me suggest that you call or email this radio station today and express your thanks. That would be a great thing to do. That would encourage them, and we would be grateful that you expressed that. Thanks for all you are doing for the kingdom. Yes, thank you. And friend, letting this station know that you appreciate hearing grace to you each day is a help to us as well.

Thank you for your partnership in that way. And now with a message to help you get the most from God's Word, here's John. We're dealing with a supernatural document that is absolutely true in all that it affirms, that is inerrant in every word, that is complete, that is nothing is missing. You don't need anything beyond this to have the inspired revelation of God. It is authoritative, that is it speaks as commands. It is sufficient, it contains everything you need for all issues of spiritual life. It is effective, that is to say wherever it is unleashed, it comes with power and impact and it always accomplishes what God wants it to accomplish. And finally, it is the determining matter when it comes to where you belong or in what kingdom you exist. God's people listen to His Word.

You can do a little heart examination on where you are with that regard. Summing up just those things, Joshua 1.8, one of the great Old Testament passages that exalts the Scripture says, this book of the Law, referring to Scripture, shall not depart from your mouth, that is it should be the constant topic of your conversation. Why? Because you shall meditate on it day and night. Now whatever you're thinking about all day and thinking about all night will show up in your conversation. So he's saying you ought to be dominated by the Word of God. It is the dominant thing in your life. Meditatively it becomes the dominating thing in your life conversationally. Then it's into action that He speaks so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.

You meditate on it, you talk about it, and pretty soon you begin to live it out. This is an incredible book. As we get into this book, we say, well, yeah, but it's only a spiritual book.

Well, let me cross that line a little bit. The same God who ordered science wrote this book and whenever it talks about scientific things or matters in the physical world, it speaks with accuracy. Remember I told you earlier everything it says is infallible?

It is not just a book about spiritual things, it's a book about a lot of things...a lot of things. In fact, this book, this supernaturally written book authored by God and passed through inspired writers who wrote down every word without error under His supervision by the Holy Spirit, this supernatural book written by God to deal with spiritual issues every time it deals with science is absolutely accurate because God knows that world as well as He knows the spiritual one, right? It presents the only viable explanation for the universe. Creation, catastrophism, the instantaneous creation in six days, the Noahic flood reshuffling the surface of the earth, explains all the fossil record, explains all the strata in the rocks, explains everything.

That's all you need to explain it. It's absolutely scientifically accurate. The Bible affirms one of the basic laws of science which is called the first law of thermodynamics. The first law of thermodynamics is the conservation of mass and energy. That is to say all mass and energy that exists is perpetuated. In other words, from an evolutionary standpoint they would say, well, once there was this little piece of mass and this little piece of energy and it just kept going and going and going and going and going and going. What science knows, however, if it's honest with its data is that there is mass and energy and it is conserved at the same amount. It came into existence at that amount and it remains at that amount. That can be explained by the creation. That can be explained in the Scripture. Energy doesn't go out of existence. Mass doesn't go out of existence.

It alters its forms, but it doesn't go out of existence. Listen to what Isaiah said. Isaiah the prophet, verse 26 of chapter 40, "'Behold, who has created these things? He calls them all by names by the greatness of His might, for He is strong in power.

Not one of them fails.'" There's the conservation of mass and energy, the first law of thermodynamics. Nehemiah 9, 6, "'Thou hast made heaven, the earth, and all things therein, the seas, and all things therein, and Thou preservest them all.'" Ecclesiastes 1, 10, "'Is there anything of which it may be said, See, this is new?

No, it has already been from of old.'" The Bible knows that. The Bible also affirms the second law of thermodynamics. The second law of thermodynamics says this, while there is the conservation of mass and energy, the atoms that make up that mass and energy tend toward disorder, break down into chaos so that the longer the universe exists, the more chaotic it tends to become. I'm waiting for some scientist to get a grip on this and apply it to the study of things like cancer. I sometimes wonder if the escalation of cancer isn't part of the realization of the beginning of the disordering of the normal structured order of atoms as they begin to break down.

Who knows what other things may come. That's purely a hip shot for me, but there is a breaking down of order into disorder, breaking down of structure into chaos. That's the second law of thermodynamics.

It's the law of increasing disorder. And it disproves evolution alone because it says things start from order and go to disorder, not starting from disorder and ascending to order. You say, well then why do they believe in evolution? Because they don't want a God who is a Creator because if they have a God as a Creator, they know there are moral laws and they'd have to live by them or be under His judgment.

So the easiest way is to eliminate Him, they think. There is never a real loss of mass. There is never a real loss of energy. But there is a declining ability of it to produce because it breaks down and order becomes disorder. All processes will ultimately wind down and cease and the universe ultimately go out of existence. The Bible is very clear about this in Romans 8.

It presents this to us in very clear terms. Listen to what the Apostle Paul wrote before any scientists had come up with that. The creation was subjected to nothingness. In other words, there was a point in time at the fall of man when the creation was cursed and subjected to a process of futility or emptiness, not of its own will but because of Him who subjected it in hope. When God originally created it, it had perpetuity in order. But because of sin and the curse, it has disorder and was subjected by God to this futility. The creation itself then is slave to corruption. And verse 22 of Romans 8 says, it groans and suffers the pains of that corruption.

The whole universe is experiencing this disarray. When the Bible talks about scientific things, it is exceedingly accurate about them. I think about something I studied with interest when I was a college student called hydrology. Hydrology is basically the science of water and its cycle. And while it's very easy for us to understand, it wasn't until the 17th century that men began to figure out what the water cycle really was.

The water cycle is very simple. Three words will teach you the water cycle. One is evaporation, the other is condensation, and the third is precipitation. That's the water cycle. From the great seas of the earth, water evaporates.

It is condensed in the clouds, carried over the land, precipitates in the rain and the snow, and runs back down to the sea from which it evaporates, condenses, and precipitates again. That's the water cycle. And there is no new water, folks.

I think you know that. There isn't any new water being created. Some people might think that when they turn their faucet on, new water is being created. No, there's not new water there. This is God's process of hydrology, the sea, the evaporation, the clouds, they move over the land, rain, snow, down into the land, rushing into the streams, the streams into the rivers, the rivers into the sea, and that's the cycle. Not until the 17th century was this believed. Until then, the dominant theory was that there were subterranean reservoirs that just kept pumping up water.

We now know that even water that is subterranean is in that hydrological cycle, and they are made by seepage. You say, well what does the Bible say about that? Read Isaiah 55, verse 10. Read Ecclesiastes 1.

Read Job 36, verses 27 and 28. Job's the oldest book in the Bible and it describes evaporation and condensation. Whenever God spoke in His Word about something scientific, it was clear.

Isaiah 55, 10 gives you the water cycle. And then the fascinating study of astronomy is interesting as well. Old ideas about the earth and about the solar system were very, very strange. Most people thought that the earth was a CD, you know, a flat disc, circular.

And that was the view. When Copernicus came along from 1473 to 1543, he presented the idea that the earth was in motion. And when he said that, of course, people first of all thought he was crazy because they couldn't feel the motion. When he said the earth was in motion, they were astonished and astounded, but eventually it took hold and, of course, he was accurate. Job, the oldest book in the Bible says, God hangeth the earth on nothing.

How did he know that? The oldest book in the Bible says he turns the earth like the clay to the seal. What does it mean to turn the earth like the clay to the seal? In ancient times they had a piece of clay, soft clay, and they would take a stick and they would write in a legal document or some kind of thing before the development or often even with the development of papyrus and other things to write on.

They used these for permanent documents. And then when they wanted to sign it, they had a cylinder with a raised signature and they would roll it across the clay like that with two sticks coming out of the end. And when Job said he turneth the earth like the clay to the seal, he's simply saying it rotates on an axis.

How did he know that? Job said God imputed weight to the wind. It wasn't until about the 17th century that anybody understood that there was weight to the wind. Another interesting science is isostasy.

I don't know if you've ever heard about it. And this fascinated me too when I was a college student. Isostasy is the balance of the earth.

You ever buy your little kid a rubber ball and it was out of round and it just goes like this and like this and like this? You can imagine what we would be doing all the time if the earth was not in balance or probably bumping up six feet and coming down again. We don't think about things like that. But if this thing is going to spin through space at this velocity and rotate on its axis while it's flying in this orbit, it's going to have to be an absolutely perfect balance to keep the law of gravity constant at every point. God knows the balance of the earth and so did Isaiah. Listen to what Isaiah said in chapter 40 verse 12, who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand? In other words, he knows the weight of the water. He's measured the heaven with the span, has comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance, God alone.

God knows the balance of this sphere catapulting through an endless universe. So when the Bible speaks to the scientific realm, it doesn't speak ignorantly, it speaks accurately. You know, when you talk about science and you look to the Word of God, you're going to find that God knows as much about that as He does the moral realm and He's given us those little points of interest in the Scripture just so we never question His knowledge of the truth. I believe this Bible. I believe it. It is scientifically accurate and that strengthens my faith, but I don't believe it because it's scientifically accurate. I believe it because God's given me the faith to believe it. I am what's called a presuppositional apologist.

That's kind of a long term, isn't it? Presuppositional apologist. An apologist is a defense or a defender. I defend the Bible, not as a non-presuppositionalist. That is, I'm not trying to prove God by the Bible. I presuppose God. I think you start with the cause and look at the effect.

You don't start with the effect and try to find the cause. And the only way you can truly know and believe in the true God is by the Spirit of that God. God has given you the faith to believe in Him. Because you believe in Him, you believe His Word. I've seen people who are lifelong evolutionists in a moment of time come to Christ and become immediately committed to the authority of Scripture.

How? That's the work of the Spirit of God in the human heart. Well, you say, well, what about all this apologetics and science and all that?

What does that do? That strengthens Christians. It gives reason for faith, but faith is a gift from God, isn't it? I look at my Bible and somebody says, well, how do you know you can trust everything in the Bible?

It's just moral stuff. Well, whenever you see the scientific stuff, you know that's dead accurate. What about the prophecies of the Bible?

Wow! A hundred and fifty years before He was born, the Bible predicted there would come a man named Cyrus. A hundred and fifty years before he was born. And it names him and it says he will become the ruler in Babylon and he will let the Israelites go back to their land. Isaiah 44, 28.

He'll make a decree and allow them to go back and rebuild Jerusalem. And a hundred and fifty years later, he did it and his name was Cyrus. How did Isaiah know that?

Couldn't know that. How could he know who wasn't born for a hundred and fifty years? How could he predict what who hadn't been born would do?

No way. Only God controls history like that. One of the great cities of the ancient world was a city called Tyre, which was on the north coast of the land of Palestine. Ezekiel chapter 26, the prophet Ezekiel predicted that Nebuchadnezzar would come in verse 7 of that chapter, that Nebuchadnezzar, the great Babylonian emperor would come and destroy the city. He predicted that Nebuchadnezzar would destroy the city and that the city would be leveled to the ground and then it would be cleared of all its rubble and scraped clean and thrown into the sea. And it would never be rebuilt again and it would be simply a little place where people dried fishnets. Well, it was quite a formidable prophecy because it would be like saying a few years from now, L.A. is going to be destroyed, flattened and shoved into the ocean.

You'd say, who could do that? Well, think of it in ancient times. The city had a 150-foot high wall, 150 feet high, 15 feet thick. It had a massive army protecting the inland and it had the finest navy in the world protecting the coast. Phoenicians were there. They were the colonizers, mariners of the ancient times. They were navigators.

They had navigated around the Cape of Africa, established trade routes to the east. Three years after Ezekiel prophesied this, Nebuchadnezzar came and he did exactly what Ezekiel said he would do. It took him 13 years to do it. And at the end, he smashed down the wall, smashed down the tower. Finally, he entered the city and he found no spoils because the people had taken everything by ship out to an island. So when he got in there, no people, no spoils. They had taken it all to an island offshore because Nebuchadnezzar didn't have a navy. So they laughed at him and mocked him.

The island was only about a half a mile offshore but it was too far for them to go. So Nebuchadnezzar went back home. And for 250 years, the prophecy was never fulfilled about it being scraped and all the rubble thrown in the sea. Two hundred and fifty years later came Alexander the Great, son of Philip of Macedon, world conqueror, 33,000 infantrymen, 15,000 horsemen, 50,000 troops. They come marching down that area.

They're headed east conquering the world as they go. They send a messenger out to this little island city of Tyre and they say, we want food, we want money, we want supplies and they say, forget it, buddy, you don't have a navy either. They sent the messenger back and Alexander got mad. So what he did, he took all the rubble in the city of Tyre, all the rubble that was left, dumped it in the sea, built a causeway, marched out and destroyed them all. Two hundred and fifty years later, fulfilling exactly what Ezekiel said would happen. There were about 25,000 on that island at the time who were slaughtered and 30,000 more sold into slavery.

He did it all in seven months. And Ezekiel said the city would never be rebuilt, it never has been rebuilt. And just to make a comparison, Jerusalem has been rebuilt 17 times. The Bible predicted the destruction of Nineveh which is the capital of Assyria, had a hundred foot inner wall, 50 feet thick, towers 200 feet high, 15 gates and a 150 foot moat.

The city was seven miles in circumference, a double wall, 2,000 feet outside the inner wall. Reached its high point in 663 B.C. Nahum says it's going to be destroyed.

It was. The Babylonians, they came, entered, took it, never rebuilt. The Bible makes amazing prophecies. And you can verify that they have already come to pass. So much more you could say about this book. You look at it and it's scientifically accurate. Prophetically, there's no explanation. Nobody can write history. Nobody knows what the future holds. But this book does.

This book nailed it to the very T, over and over. And I've only given you two of dozens and dozens and dozens of prophecies. Why do I believe the Bible? I believe the Bible because of its scientific accuracy. I believe the Bible because of its prophetic accuracy. I believe the Bible because of its historic accuracy. Archaeologists have found all kinds of verifications of the absolute accuracy of the Scriptures. I believe the Bible because of its experiential accuracy.

You want to know something? It tells me about me and I know it's right. It cuts into my heart and opens me wide up.

I've experienced its power in my life. But more than anything, I think, dominating all those reasons why I believe God wrote this book is because of the one singular theme of this book, the Lord Jesus Christ. Forty-plus authors writing over 1,500 to 1,800 years all over the place in all different circumstances writing on their own could never have maintained the continuity of glory and majesty and honor that is given to the Lord Jesus Christ from Genesis to Revelation.

This is a book written by one author about one person. Jesus said, search the Scriptures for in them you're going to find out about Me. Every book, every book points some way to Christ. From Genesis all the way to Revelation, He is the theme. He Himself on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24 opened the Bible and began to speak of things concerning Himself out of the Scripture, the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings.

You go into the Law and He is the one that the Law points to. He is the one who will fulfill all Law. He is the perfect sacrifice who will bear all sin. He is the one of whom the prophets spoke. He is the one who is to be praised in all the holy writings. He is the one who is wisdom personified. He is the theme of the Gospels.

His coming life, death, resurrection are the subject of the epistles and He's the returning King of Revelation. The dominating theme of Jesus Christ speaks of divine authorship and I'll tell you why. Because human beings could never conceive of such a person.

It's beyond human capability. Look at the gods of the nations. Look at the gods of pagan religions.

They're like men. There's no explanation for Jesus Christ other than that He is who He said He was. He is who God says He is and that He is God in human flesh. There's no explanation of the Bible other than that God wrote it. Nothing else explains its scientific accuracy. Nothing else explains its prophetic accuracy. Nothing else explains its spiritual and penetrating accuracy and its ability to transform lives. Nothing else explains its miracles which are from front to back in this book and verified by eyewitnesses and nothing else can explain Christ.

This monumental, inexplicable, inconceivable personality who could not be the figment of any human imagination, let alone the collective imaginations of over 40 different writers all over the place. This is God's Word. It is alive. It is powerful. And until you come to grips with what this document is, you're never going to be able to give to it the diligence that is required to learn all that is written in it so that you can make your way prosperous and have good success.

Well, let's pray. Father, we know that men and women seek to have their life changed, have their life transformed and You have said that the law of the Lord is perfect, totally converting the inner person. And people seek wisdom and You've said that this Word makes simple people wise and people seek joy and happiness and You've said that Your Word is right, rejoicing the heart. People long to see clearly in the darkness of life and death and You've said Your Word enlightens the eyes.

And people are looking for a constant source of truth and You've said Your Word endures forever as true. Oh God, what a treasure we hold in our hands. What a blessed treasure we hold in this book.

Job said he loved it more than his necessary food. The psalmist said it was more precious to him than gold, yes, than much fine gold and sweeter also than honey from the honeycomb because in it he found provision, protection, purification. Father, we thank You for this great treasure and we want to understand that it is Your Word to us and that it carries power and blessing in ways that no document ever written can. But it's up to us to open those treasures, to search it, to study it diligently. May we understand what we have as Paul said to Timothy, the treasure entrusted to us and mine out its riches for our good and blessing and Your glory in Christ's name.

Amen. You're listening to Grace to You with John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Masters University and Seminary. John's current study is titled, How to Get the Most from God's Word. And now friend, if you've been encouraged by the message you heard today or by any of the daily broadcasts you hear on Grace to You, would you tell us your story? We would love to hear from you.

It's an encouragement to us and it's more important than you might think. Contact us today. You can reach us by writing to Grace to You, Box 4000, Panorama City, California 91412, or you could just send an email to letters at gty.org.

And thank you for remembering to mention this station's call letters when you write. Keep in mind there are thousands of free study tools on our website, gty.org. In our sermon archive you can find John's current radio series, How to Get the Most from God's Word, and also 3500 other sermons by John as well.

All of those MP3s and transcripts are available to download free of charge. And as a supplement to our current radio study, be sure to look for the Grace to You blog series titled, How to Study the Bible. The articles in that series written by John MacArthur and the Grace to You staff cover topics like how to avoid misinterpreting the Bible, what it means to interpret the Bible literally, and how to meditate on God's Word. Our web address again, gty.org. And now for John MacArthur, I'm Phil Johnson. Be back tomorrow when John shows you what it takes to study God's Word and how you can get the most from it. It's another half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on Grace to You.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-17 15:59:09 / 2023-10-17 16:10:24 / 11

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