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Why Do We Believe the Bible? #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
January 10, 2023 7:00 am

Why Do We Believe the Bible? #2

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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January 10, 2023 7:00 am

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When we open up the Bible, pick a spot and start reading it, and we receive it as the authoritative word of God. When we believe it, we are accepting it as the word of God. This is not the word of man, it is the word of God, and that, beloved, why we believe it. Welcome back to the Truth Pulpit with Don Green, founding pastor of Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hello, I'm Bill Wright, and today, as Don teaches God's people God's word, he presents part two of a message called, Why Do We Believe the Bible?, as he continues the series, Key Questions Answered. Last time, we learned that Jesus is the final authority. Don has two more key points for you to consider on this edition of the program.

So Don, tell listeners why getting this question right is so vital. Friend, it is so important for you to understand why you believe the Bible. We accept the Bible not on the basis of human evidence, but ultimately we accept it as true based on the highest authority in the universe, Jesus Christ himself. He is God, and he believed the Old Testament, and he commissioned the New Testament. The authority of Christ and the authority of the Bible are bound together, and that simple principle that we believe scripture based on the testimony of Christ sets the direction for everything else in our spiritual lives.

Here's Bill to help us get started today. Okay, Don and friend, let's move on to today's lesson from the Truth Pulpit. First of all, Jesus is the final authority. Now, we say, okay, we have in our English Bibles what we call the Old and the New Testament. Did Jesus say anything about them in particular, or was it just a general statement that he made? Well, point number two, Jesus affirmed the Old Testament. Jesus affirmed the Old Testament. When we think about those 39 books, again in the English Bible, the 39 books of the English Bible, and we say, what about the content therein?

There's some weird stuff in there, you could say. I'm speaking as a foolish one. There's some unusual things that are completely contradictory to conventional wisdom of today. What did Jesus say about that? Well, Jesus affirmed the Old Testament, by which we mean, first of all, Jesus consistently treated Old Testament narratives as historical fact. He treated Old Testament history as time and space accurate historical reports.

And he did it, beloved, not only on non-controversial points, he did it on the things that are most vocally rejected today. In Matthew 12, he affirmed that Jonah was swallowed by a fish. In Matthew 19, he affirmed the biblical account of creation, six days, 24 hours.

In Matthew 24, he affirmed the account of Noah and a worldwide flood. Jesus affirmed the historicity of the Old Testament without apology, without qualification. It was just evidently woven through his understanding that this Old Testament was true, accurate in all that it said. He affirmed the Old Testament.

I just listed out three little things there quickly without even having you turn there. Elsewhere, during his ministry recorded for us in the four gospels, Jesus affirmed the historicity of Adam, the historicity of Abel, Abraham, Sodom and Gomorrah, Isaac and Jacob, the wilderness serpent, King David, King Solomon, Elijah, Elisha, and many others. You can't understand the teaching of Jesus at all without understanding that he presumed the accuracy of the Old Testament. He took them as straightforward or authoritative statements of fact.

Well, look, beloved, those of us that name the name of Christ, those of you that name the name Christian and say, I'm a Christian, he is our teacher, he is our Lord, we believe what he said. If Jesus affirms creation, Noah, Jonah, all points in between, I agree too. I want to line myself up with him. I'm not going to think independently. I'm not going to question his judgment on these things. I'm not going to think outside the realm of his authority.

I'm not going to entertain his legitimate truth claims, that which would contradict the one who alone is authority over all. That's the way we have to think. That, beloved, is why we believe the Bible. That's why we believe the historicity of the Old Testament. We weren't there to verify it with our own eyes. Christ was. Christ said it's true. There's nothing left to be said. Furthermore, as we consider the Old Testament, Jesus is... Oh, let's talk about this for just a second.

Just a second. People who want to give lip service to Jesus have always praised him for his ethical teaching. Oh, he teaches such an ethic of love and it's so good. Oh, you know, I don't believe in him as Lord and I think that the stories of the Old Testament are silly, but at least his ethical teaching is something that we could all agree on. You know what?

You know what? Jesus' ethical teaching also came from the Old Testament. It was rooted in the Old Testament. When he said to love God with all of your heart, soul, strength, and mind, he was quoting out of Deuteronomy. When he said, love your neighbor as yourself, he's quoting out of Leviticus. When he tells us to honor our fathers and mothers, he's quoting out of Exodus.

On and on it goes. Again, just representative samples to help you see that even the ethics that the critics will try to give lip service to is rooted in his view of the Old Testament. He quoted it as authoritative, as binding. So his history and his ethics came from the Old Testament and he affirmed it without hesitation. Jesus Christ clearly affirmed the authority of the Old Testament during his earthly ministry. So watch this.

Watch this. This is how we have to think. God is the final authority. He's the ruler over all and Jesus Christ is God himself in human flesh. By his authority, he spoke and inspired the writers of the Old Testament canon. While he was here on earth, he looked back at the Old Testament and said, true, true, authoritative, right, absolute. We see in the person of Christ an affirmation of the Old Testament. A man cannot call himself a follower of Christ and then adopt an attitude toward the Old Testament that is hostile to the one that he himself had. This is the Christian position, the absolute authority of the Old Testament based on the testimony of Christ himself. Now, what about the New Testament? This is a little bit of a different article.

It's a little different argumentation because think about it. When Christ ascended into heaven from whence he reigns at the right hand of the Father and from whence he is coming back, when he ascended, the New Testament had not been written. How do we know what he thinks about the New Testament which chronologically happened after he was gone? Is there a word from him about that?

The answer is yes, it is. This is our third and final point. Jesus commissioned the New Testament. He commissioned the New Testament by which we mean this. Jesus pre-authenticated the New Testament during his ministry.

And I want you to follow me here. We're talking about the very foundation of the eternal well-being of our souls here. That's why we spend time on it.

We can't treat this lightly. See, when Jesus was here, the Old Testament was done, and as it were, he laid hands on it and affirmed it in his life and ministry. With the New Testament, it's different. It was from his standpoint of his earthly life, it was still yet to come.

But understand this. With equal authority, just as he laid hands on the Old Testament, he laid hands on the New Testament as well. It was just going to be finished after he wrote, and I'm going to show you this. How did Jesus commission the New Testament?

First of all, I'm going to give you three sub-points here, and they'll go pretty quickly. First of all, he prepared for its writing. He prepared for the writing of the New Testament. Go back to the Gospel of John. The Gospel of John chapter 14. John chapter 14.

Oh, this is so incredibly precious. In John chapter 14, verse 26, Jesus is speaking to his disciples in the upper room, and he said, he makes a promise to them. In verse 25, he says, these things I have spoken to you while abiding with you.

I've said these things to you while I'm here on earth with you. But then he looks to the future, and he says, but the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. He promises them supernatural enablement from the third person of the Trinity to help them write and record and remember everything that he said during his earthly ministry. Look over at John 15. John 15, verse 26. He says, when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, notice that he sends the Spirit with equal authority with God the Father himself.

It's a statement of deity. That when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify about me. And you, these disciples, those gathered in the upper room with him, you will testify also because you have been with me from the beginning.

One more. John 16, verse 12. He says, I have many more things to say to you. This is John 16, verse 12.

But you cannot bear them now. But when he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his initiative, but whatever he hears, he will speak and he will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify me, for he will take of mine and will disclose it to you.

See what he's saying here? Is that these disciples are going to be the beneficiaries of the work of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God is going to take the things of Christ and make it known to them and help them in a way that will let them record the work and ministry of Christ in a way that is without error and that with perfect accuracy reflects what Jesus taught and what Jesus did. He is pre-authenticating the New Testament. He is preparing the way that his chosen apostles would be able to accurately write what needed to be said about Christ for all generations to come.

That is a gift of Christ to us, his church, that he's given to us. He commissioned the disciples. He promised and sent the Holy Spirit for their work. Now secondly, it wasn't just the sending of the Spirit, but he specifically commissioned the apostles for this task.

He commissioned the apostles. Go back to Matthew 28. And again, you're going to see in this familiar passage, the authority of Christ put on full display.

Oh, it's about his authority, beloved. It's about trusting him, believing him based on his own word. Matthew 28 verse 18. Jesus came up and spoke to them saying, All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Here it is. Teaching them to observe all that I commanded you and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age. He begins with a statement of his complete authority and says, Go and teach and as you're teaching remember that I'm with you even to the end of the age. And so these apostles who delivered the New Testament to us were writing under the authority of Christ and with the aiding, helping, abetting presence of Christ as well. When we read the New Testament, when we read what the apostles or their close associates recorded for us, we are reading what Jesus told them to do.

They said, Go and teach. It wasn't just their verbal teaching. It was their written ministry, which is now recorded for us in the New Testament. Jesus told them to do that. They wrote under the authority of Christ. They wrote with the aid of the Holy Spirit whom Jesus sent.

And when it was done, what did the disciples think about their own teaching ministry? That is their own Old Constitution. And he goes back to watch the prequels of Jesus. discuss the that framework in days still further to come.

We're just trying to see very basic things right now. And nothing is more basic or fundamental than the authority of Christ and the authority of His Word. Now 1 Thessalonians 2, verse 13, the Apostle Paul is writing to the church in Thessalonica. And notice what he says. He says, For this reason we also constantly thank God, that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it, not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God. He says, Yeah, I was a human instrument in what was being said, but it was the word of God coming through me as an apostle of Jesus Christ. Now listen, listen, listen, listen. He is commending that church at Thessalonica for the fact that they received the word of God with a receptive ear.

Notice what he commends them for. He says, I commend you, I thank God because you accepted it as the word of God. When you and I open up the Bible, when we open up the Bible, pick a spot and start reading it, and we receive it as the authoritative word of God, when we believe it, we are putting ourselves in that same position as the Thessalonians were doing, we are accepting it as the word of God. It is not the word of men, it is the word of God inspired through the pens of men, but ultimately what we read is the word of God and therefore has authority, and that, beloved, why we believe it.

It's on the authority of Christ. He said that he was going to do this. He commissioned particular men to do it.

They did it. He was with them. The result is we have an authoritative word. One last passage to see it from another apostle's perspective. Second Peter. Turn to Second Peter chapter three. Second Peter chapter three. He writes, Second Peter chapter three verse one. He says, this is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring you up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and, watch this, the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.

The apostles spoke in the scriptures, but what they were writing was the commandment of the Lord, and they had a unique, non-repeatable, non-transferable authority to write on behalf of Christ because he commissioned them to do just that. Now let me wrap this up for you. A lot of heavy material in some ways here. I can't believe the time is gone. I can't believe it.

I'm afraid that I pushed the button up here that controls the clock and advanced it without knowing it. I don't want to stop because this is so important. Why do we believe the Bible? Because Christ is our authority. He is our Lord. He's our Lord. He is our God.

He is our boss. And Christ has affirmed the truthfulness and authority of both the Old and the New Testament. And beloved, here's where it all comes down to.

Here's where it all comes down to. We trust Christ as the final judge of truth more than we trust our own judgment. We rest our hope in his work for our salvation. We rest our confidence about truth in his judgment about what is true. And he's made it clear.

In general and in detail, he has made it clear. He established the authority of Scripture during his earthly ministry. Beloved, talking about principles here and not trying to do anything else. For someone to reject the authority of the Bible is a great culpable sin against him. For someone to dismiss or ignore the authority of the Bible, to not build your life around the Bible is a great, great sin against Christ. If we're Christians, we gratefully, joyfully believe the Bible. What I want you to see from everything that we've said today, that if we want Christ as it were as our Lord and as our Savior, bound up with that is his view of the authority of Scripture. You can't separate the two. It's the Word of God, written and incarnate, and they are one unit.

They are of one cloth. You believe the Bible, don't you? At Truth Community, we do. That's what we base everything on. That's what we're going to build our future on, is this unshakable commitment to the unshakable foundation of the Word of God. And why do we do that? Because Christ said it was true, and that settles it forever. Think of the alternative, beloved, as we close.

Think of the alternative. For someone to turn away from the Bible leaves them in the helpless position that Peter recognized when Christ asked them, are you going to go away with the multitudes too, in John chapter 6. They had just watched thousands of people walk away because they didn't like what Jesus had to say. And Jesus turns to them and says, you don't want to go away too, do you?

You want to walk away from me too? Peter said, Lord, Lord, to whom would we go? You have words of eternal life. And we've come to know and believe that you are the Son of God. By an act of undeserved mercy on our individual lives, Christ has brought us to that same point where we recognize Him as the one true and only sovereign Son of God. We bow before Him in glad submission, in willing embrace, not just of the salvation that He offers to everyone who will repent and believe, but for the totality of who He is, the totality of what He claimed authority for. And that starts with this precious Word.

It starts with these precious 66 books to which we gladly bend the knee, to which we lovingly bring our lips and kiss the sweetness of the authority and the majesty of this book. Why do we believe the Bible? Two words, Jesus Christ. And that settles it for all time. If it's settled in the courts of heaven, that's enough to settle it in the courts of your heart. So why do we believe the Bible? Two words, Jesus Christ.

Answering that question correctly provides the foundation to all other questions and answers. And Pastor Don Green moves on to tackle the question, Who is God, next time, as he continues our series, Key Questions Answered. Join us then here on the Truth Pulpit. You know, you can hear any part of this series again at your convenience when you visit our website

You can download podcasts or find out how to receive CD copies for your personal study library. Plus, you'll find the link Follow Don's Pulpit. That'll take you to Don's full length weekly sermons not subject to the time editing needed for radio broadcasts. Again, that's all at And may we also say thank you for your support of this ministry. Without you, this program would not be possible. I'm Bill Wright, and we'll see you next time as Don Green continues to teach God's people God's Word from the Truth Pulpit.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-10 18:52:15 / 2023-01-10 19:01:49 / 10

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