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August 22, 2019 6:00 am
Hey this is Chip, and really glad you're with us for today's program. I'm excited about what to be talking about today.
But before we get started I wanted give you little heads up about the newest small group study. It's called why I believe it came out of honestly and embarrassing and frustrating personal challenge in my own faith in my own journey I had people that were really smart asking me really hard questions that I couldn't answer. So with this study why I believe I just done a lot of the advance work to create something simple, memorable, and well researched to help you really understand and articulate your own faith you get a lot more on this later.
Now let's join the program. If someone like one of your children and grandchildren are best friends and challenge your belief in the Bible that it's actually the word of God. Would you be able to give them a confident explanation that would really make sense to them will today were to help you know why you can have full confidence in the Bible, and answer those honest challenges with the winsome and loving attitude that reveals your joy and confidence in God and his word stayed with me. Thanks for joining us for this Thursday edition of living on the Living on the Edge features the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram of his daily discipleship program. Nature continues his series why I believe by putting the Bible on trial and asking is the Bible just a book of myth said ancient stories that have been progressively influenced by successive cultures. Was it really the authentic word of God. When our last broadcast. Chip gave us the first three reasons to believe that it is today. He picks it up with even more compelling reasons thoughts jump in and join them for part two of his message.
Why I believe in the Bible everyone trust someone's work. You are going to trust someone's word about all kind of things in life. What I'm telling you is the evidence is overwhelming.
We can trust God's word and prophecy is the thing that took me over the edge and help me to hang on. In fact, let me give you a few examples.
Just a very small collection of specific prophecies and you'll see a little bit later there's a passage that goes with each one. Things like, it was prophesied in Genesis 3. He's going to be born of a woman and then later he be born of the virgin from Isaiah 7 to be a descendent of Abraham of the tribe of Judah house of David. Think of all these things predicted where in the little town called Bethlehem that there would be this John the Baptist, a forerunner that would come before him, and he would be described to me very specifically have an anointing of the Holy Spirit in a preaching ministry in a healing ministry is the specific things like his role as a prophet's role as a priest.
The time that he would appear that he would be betrayed an exact amount of money in this hundreds of years earlier. 30 silver coins predicted and that's how he would be betrayed to be abandoned by his disciples silent before his accusers beaten and spat upon, mocked his hands and feet pierced me think of that.
How in the world did the psalmist know crucifixion was not even invented yet and it's described in Psalm 22. All I want to tell you is prophecy was one of most powerful things that help me hold onto my faith when I had my doubts and I want to taste something. I don't think it's bad and I don't think it's wrong to doubt. I think there's times where you struggle or someone challenges your faith. I'm glad that PhD student said what he said. I'm glad that I realized I did have confidence what I want to ask you is do you have confidence in God's word.
Are you unashamed of the gospel are you unashamed can you say you know what I believe the Bible is the word of God and I'm to stand on that. I believe that is true, but in order to do that you have to have some facts and you need to know that it really is trustworthy in the next question that came to my mind as if everything I've said so far is true and I'm telling you it is and you can verify what about this one really big question. What if all that is true about the Bible that Jesus was talking about but we had this small little problem of 2000 years, and we all play the game right as little kids telephone this person speaks it to this person who speaks to this person speak to this person in like 20 people later. Whatever they said the beginning is completely different.
What about the transmission of the Scripture. Now here's what I have to tell you, and this is scholars, both religious scholars who are liberal and conservative, the amazement that they have is the most well preserved book in all antiquity is the Bible. Are you ready for this. The transmission of the Scripture is nothing less than miraculous the Bible's purity and perseverance throughout the centuries is nothing less literally it it's it's almost a miracle up there with the resurrection. The meticulous copy of the scribes and the rabbis I mean it was copied in such a way where they would count over so many letters count down so many letters and every time they would check it when they got done with the page and if they were one letter off. They destroyed it and started over. The proximity of manuscripts that when you're looking at ancient document. Here's what scholars look at they say okay when was actually written okay got that. So when is our first copy of it and then how many copies do we have right may not make sense like so when did this guy say Homer, when did he write this and I when is our first copy that we have of it and how many copies will they do that with all whether it's Shakespeare or whether it's Homer Weathers. Plato weathered Socrates let me show you a little chart that should blow your mind and give you on believable confidence that here's the deal. The book that I hold in my hand is accurate in the same word of 2000 years ago. Disable chip. How do you know that look at this transmission. Plato lived in 427 to 347, the earliest copy we have of his writing is 980. So from the time he wrote it to the time we get the first copy. Are you ready 1200 years and how many copies do we have. We only have seven I mean that's mind-boggling. And yet no one questions that Plato right that you have the same thing here with Aristotle you know you look at the first copy 80 1100 1400 years from when he wrote it and how many copies 49 mean people talk about Homer in the Iliad and the important book in wild 900 BC is when he lived. Our first copy 400 BC and you could hear scholars talk about. It's only been 500 years and look at how many copies over 600 now look at the New Testament. A.D. 40 to 100 is when it was written. Our first copies.
A.D. one 2525 years.
We have 24,643 either full new Testaments or fragments. It is the best preserved document in all of antiquity. Here's what I know what I hold in my hands is the word of God. In fact, there's one other thing that if you think the transmission blows your mind there was a little shepherd boy a better one and he's got a sheep. It's not 1947 and you know kids he takes rocks and throws them up in the cave and those of of the cave and here's a crash while they discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls. There were jar after jar after jar of these clay pots filled with I mean hundreds and hundreds of scrolls and here's what it did. We ended up having okay here's a copy of Old Testament and some New Testament documents and here's another copy but it's a thousand years earlier, you say so while they copy the copy the copied but the telephone game. There really different when they took him and put them together you ready less than 5% difference.
I mean literally that which was written a thousand years earlier. The only difference is the couple different letters the word light is spelled little bit differently in Isaiah 53.
But here's what I want you know when you look at prophecy when you look at transmission. When you look at how God has preserved his word.
You never have to be ashamed. In fact, his promises are true and as you take his word into your life.
It's listening. It's active.
It's sharper than two-edged sword. It brings life. It changes attitudes. It breaks addictions and gives direction. It convicts of sin.
It gives life and encouragement. In fact, the final reason that I believe in the Bible is the impact that it has the power that it has, to transform lives is overwhelming as a young Christian like many men and probably many more now with the Internet going the way it is.
I struggled with one particular sin that no matter how hard I tried I just could not get over it took to the point that was ready to give up Christian life. There were four girls for every guy were I went to college and I did not grow up as a believer. So my thinking about women and lost than all the rest was pretty well ingrained.
And so I come to know Christ to begin reading the Bible. I make great progress except in this one area. I mean my behavior begin to straighten up my thought life was just or when I saw all different girls. My eyes did not go to their eyes. It went everywhere else and then my mind started I felt so guilty and so bad and I tried and tried and tried and tried, no matter what I did. I just could never break free of lost and then I had a roommate who was on his way to a sort of a Christian training program and had to memorize 60 verses is sort of the preparation and I was basketball player and he was on the wrestling team and we had the sort of banter and you know good competition so he leaves the room. One day I take all of his verse is all right among cards and he's going to do like Beano to every week and I'm thinking wrestlers to a week. I'm a basketball player I'm in, memorize one every day, review it and get these perfect and I'm just gonna show up in about three or four weeks into six by the way Bob how you come in and I'm to do all 60 of them and nail. My motivation was terrible, but God's word is powerful. I can still remember day 21 I memorize 21 verses I was reviewing them. I mean literally running to baseball practice with cards sitting in psychology class why he would drone on. I'm reviewing cards.
Day 21 on outside the library, and a very beautiful coed is a very committed Christian who I really liked and asked had low feelings for and I felt always guilty when I lusted for her and I remember having a conversation with her and we got done and I walked away and I realized my eyes only met her eyes, and then I went to my room and I thought what is happened I don't get it. And then I made the connection. I didn't know Romans 12 to then I didn't know don't be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. How does that happen God's word. I didn't know the word of God had power to break addictions. I did know that when you were tempted. If you have God's word in your heart. He would protect you.
How can a young man keep his way pure by guarding it, according to his word. Your word I've hid in my heart that I might not sin against the and then you know what I just went nuts. I just realize this is our I mean there's power in God's word so I memorize a 60 verses nine I memorized a bunch more. I started taking where are all the problems in my life and I would find a verse or promise, and I would write the problem that I would memorize the first all I can tell you God transform my thinking. Transform my life. The word of God is powerful. Jeremiah would say your word was found and I ate it and it became for me a delight in the joy of my heart and so as we wrap things up. Here's what I want to tell you, God's word is reliable. God's word is credible. What you hold in your hand is the Bible that Jesus used what you holding your hand can stand up to scrutiny anywhere at any time. Here's the question. It's one thing to believe it's true right okay Chip, I agree with you that's that's wonderful evidence that is actually pretty amazing. I have a lot more confidence. Here's my last question that book with all that power.
That's that credible sitting on your shelf and not getting into your mind into your heart does absolutely nothing. I've done a fair bit of counseling over the years and I will tell you there is an amazing correlation between people have really big problems and really big struggles in relationships and finances and addictions and almost no time at all. God's word and when I make Christians that spend time in God's word over time and always feel like it, but develop the habit of studying and reading and memorizing the Scripture, I will tell you what happens is, God gives them grace. See, we all believe God has power. Can I tell you something, he takes the written word and he makes it the living word and as you memorize it and digested, and this isn't reading little devotionals.
I'm glad for all the little devotionals you and I need to be in the actual word of God, ourselves, and take it in and learn to study it and then apply it, and I will tell you what the spirit of the living God will take the living word and he will transform your life.
Father I pray I pray has America like never before.
And Christians all around the world as we struggle to be Christians who live like Christians, God, would you give us a hunger and a thirst for your word would you help us please to set aside media and Facebook can in surfing and TV and hobbies to make first and foremost time with you and time in your word and then enjoy all those other things as time allows. Lord, might we read it we study it, might we memorize it. Might we believe it and might your life be reproduced inside of us that our thoughts are words or actions would literally be the love of Christ exhibited out of our hands or feet are words in her life for your glory and for our good and for the testimony of light and salt and all the world God. We know you want to answer that. I pray for my brothers and sisters. You will make the men, women and students of the living and abiding word of God in Jesus name Chip will be back in just a minute with a specific application just heard, but if you're just joining us, you're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram chips message today why I believe in the Bible is from his series why I believe as a Christian we sometimes feel ill-equipped to answer honest questions about our faith, but Scripture says we should have an answer ready and what we may not have all the details. Being able to articulate simple truth in a kind way is a great way to engage with people which is why chip taught these messages and why we hope you'll get the series for yourself for your kids, your grandkids, your church and your friends want to equip you with truth so you can answer with conviction and confidence that help you do that the group study resources for why I believe are currently discounted, including free resources. If you agree to do the series with your high school or college group. For more information and to order your copies of why I believe.
Just visit us online at http://livingontheedge.org or give us a call at 1-888-333-6003 will chip you want to jump in here for a minute before I come back with some practical application to today's message I saw a video recently that literally blew my mind. It was the Penn Gillette of the Penn and Teller you probably seen them on TV that you know the magicians and they have magicians come to try and trick him and he does this. This video that is astounding. He's an avowed atheist, but a man came up to him after one of the shows and said how much he enjoyed it and said, by the way have really been praying for you and then he pulled out a small New Testament and gave it to any goes. I hope you will be offended and then Penn has this amazing response, he goes offended, absolutely not.
And then he made this comment. He said if you actually believe that you have the truth. If you actually believe there is a God. And if you actually believe that is the only way to heaven, you would hate me.
I mean, how much would you have to hate me to not tell me, as I said, I took the New Testament and I think the guy and I thought to myself is an amazing the clear logic of an atheist who would say if we actually believe that Jesus is the way for us not to share that with people. His phrase, how much would we have to hate them. And that really struck me. And what I've watched and I'm sure I've experienced it as well is I think we have a generation of Christians that we want to be so sensitive and maybe sometimes we get so much flack when we say were Christian or start to share our story or share our faith. We actually aren't telling people, or maybe the bigger reason is were afraid they can ask us a question and were going to look dumb or narrow or bigoted. In fact us all some research recently about millennial Christians and the percentage of them that honestly feel like it's wrong to share their faith because it might come off as being judgmental. It is is just a tragic shift of what's happened in our culture here at Living on the Edge we have created a resource is been a big part of my journey called why I believe it's a book small group study that we have put together so that ordinary regular people like you can talk about your faith in a way that is nonjudgmental in a way that's actual that's clear that simple. This articulate where you can intellectually hold your ground and where in a way that you can say this is what I believe and why. And here's my question.
How much would we have to hate people to not prepare ourselves to give an answer for the hope that sent us.
You know I don't. I'm not trying to cast some a layer of guilt across the US our listeners, but what I am saying is we have to come to grips with the command to go to all the world to share Christ to love people and if you can't say why you believe in that hold you back. All I want you to know is we want to help you and Dave's going to come in just a minute and give you details about how to get this at a very reasonable price to really help you fix chip list series why I believe is specifically designed to help you clarify not only your own faith convictions, but then one simply articulate them to others who are asking honest questions were doing everything we know how to get why I believe into the hands of as many people as possible.
The group bundles are currently discounted and if you make the commitment to take a high school or college group. Through this study will send it to you absolutely free to get your copies of this completely revised study why I believe just go to LivingontheEdge.org or give us a call at 1-888-333-6003 will now here's chip as we close our time together. This is really really important. I want you to really perk your ears up and really open your heart to the Bible, if indeed it is the word of God has huge implications, but it has huge implications for three very different groups.
I don't want to briefly speak to each one of these groups.
Number one I want to speak to you who are skeptics. I have been there.
I have lived that I used to laugh at the Bible. I laughed at people who believed in the Bible. And here's what I want to challenge you to do.
I want to challenge you to read through the New Testament wants it in a pretty easy-to-read translation for yourself and want you to read it with this one. Prayer prior to opening it up. I mean your your intellectual person or you wouldn't call yourself a skeptic. You have real questions will stop believing what everyone else says about the Bible and about Jesus. If you've never checked it out for yourself. So here's what you do.
The most important and central figure in all history is Jesus. You owe it to yourself to open the New Testament with this prayer dear God, if there is a God. And if you exist reveal yourself to me.
I'm going to read this with an open mind and if you reveal yourself to me in a way that I can understand and really make sense. I will follow you and then just read right in the New Testament. I mean it's actually a very very short book. I challenge you to do that. Don't reject what you know only secondhand the second group I want to talk to is what maybe someone will call a cultural Christian you intellectually believe in the Bible, but candidly you don't read the Bible. Currently you don't study the Bible you're not looking for promises from the Bible about big issues in your life. But as I was speaking as I was talking about the reality and the revelation of how God works in our life and that it's alive and active and sharper than a two edged sword and that it's dynamic and that the personal God of the universe would speak to you. Something was happening inside and part of you said I would like to get to know God like that in your next thought was, I've tried to read the Bible before, and I don't get it. It's a close book to me it's super confusing.
Here's what I want you to know, go to our website LivingontheEdge.org that's LivingontheEdge.org and we developed an online video course called how to hear God's voice in Scripture. I'm actually going to teach you how to study the Bible in a simple way that you can actually understand it's a very short five-part series and even more than know how to study the Bible and begin to understand it and it makes sense, which is super important. You actually begin to hear God's voice actually speak to you because that's what the Bible is really all about. And finally, I want to say a word to a committed follower that you're just sort of saying he had Chip go for it.
I love his word.
I'm in his word. I study it I read it. I've memorized it got us changed my life.
Here's what I want to ask you, are you passing it on.
Are you making disciples who are you taking through what you've learned how are you helping your kids or grandkids may be some people at church. Here's the goal. Would you be willing to join with me in Living on the Edge and take this study why I believe and do it with the group.
High school kids, a group of university students may be handful of men are a handful of women or say this is what we do for a couple study your hey Sunday school class. Let's do this study learn what we believe and why. And then learn how to transmit this truth to the next generation in the way they can engage and really understand it. Let's go for together would you pray I mean right now and say Lord, what would you want me to do to help those that I love understand why I believe we would love to put this to in your hand because we need to see a change we need to see a turning of the tide.
And that will not happen unless God's word gets in people's hearts are you with this. Let's go for okay chip just loaded you up with some great challenges very quickly if you want to learn more about Jesus, check out our free Bible study download called encountering Jesus in the Gospel of John.
Next is making sense of what you read in Scripture is a challenge. Check out our free online video study shifted called how to hear God's voice in Scripture. And lastly, if you really want to build into the next generation and you'll commit to lead a high school or college group. Through this video. Study why I believe will send it to you absolutely free no matter what your next step is. You'll find everything you're looking for on our website LivingontheEdge.org until next time, this is Dave Drury saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge