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Why Bother with the Bible? (Part 1 of 6)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
December 3, 2021 3:00 am

Why Bother with the Bible? (Part 1 of 6)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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December 3, 2021 3:00 am

Many books make the yearly best-sellers lists—but none of them have outsold God’s Word! It’s a book like no other. What makes the Bible so special? Find out when you listen to Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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Short list of the best seller list. Every year, but none of these books has ever outsold the Bible so what makes the Bible so special will find out today on Truth for Life as Alistair Begg begins a series titled why bother with the Bible I turned out with me to the New Testament to two Timothy chapter 3, and the instruction that Paul gives to Timothy as his young understudy in pastoral ministry at a time where paganism attacks the charge from outside and confusion assails it from within, and in verse 14 of two Timothy three, Paul writes to him as follows, but as for you, continue in what you've learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

All Scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work and you may want to hold that before you.

Although I'll mention a couple of references as we go along.

And if you don't normally take notes today would be a good day to take notes. I say that just because there are so many different things that I have to say that our informational rather than inspirational and you will be aided in the information by making note of them. I'm sure I'll try and be clear in delineating the points as I go along.

If you been attending Park site for any length of time, a tall, you will be familiar with this steady drumbeat of biblical exposition. You know that it doesn't matter who is standing behind this pool. Where is myself or one of my colleagues, or perhaps a visitor but in each and every instance it will be apparent to all that the Bible is afforded a central place in all we do, and indeed son who when they initially visit our surprised by this and find themselves asking the question why does the Bible have such a central place in all that you do Parkside well because we suggest it is important, but says the individual is it really as important as you seem to suggest you have heard of their group of individuals who organize a pickup game of football at a local field. They all got together and having assembled. Somebody said we don't have a ball and one of the group replied forget the ball let's get on with the game, and in many cases, that is exactly how it goes in a church service. Forget the Bible. Let's get on with the service and you can worship in a variety of places where it very quickly becomes apparent that the Bible is not being read. It is perhaps not even been referred to a tall, and if so only tangentially, and some are actually asking why bother with the Bible. A tall, indeed only to the question this on the their lips of some of you are here today. Why do we even bother with the Bible you have acquiesced to the notion that we spent time with it. You come routinely. But if someone were to say to you why you actually spent so much time on the Bible in that place and you seem to spend longer with the Bible than you do with any other part of the time in the room together.

Why is it that you do that, but I thought that we would address this question briefly. I make no apology for the simplicity of our study for the fact that my target audience is probably the intelligent eighth-grader, rather than some vast intellect working on the assumption that the vast intellect will be more than able to cope with the information supplied to an intelligent eighth-grader, but if we address it in the other way around. It may be difficult for some to follow. So before we address this fundamental question why bother with the Bible. I have a number of general questions with which I want to begin the number one is the most basic of all, what is the Bible. What is the Bible.

While of course everybody means this is what I know the Bible is what I like to hear your answer probably sentence him and say what the Bible is the Bible.

Well, the Bible is the bite yes exactly okay so let me help you out. First of all, the Bible is a library is a collection of books is one book, but it is one book encompassing 66 other books. Anybody who takes a Bible and opens it up to notice that it is apparently broken into two disproportionate pieces that his apartment in the table of contents is called the Old Testament which goes from Genesis to Malachi. And then there is the New Testament which goes from Matthew through to Revelation.

The Old Testament is made up of the books of the prophets, and of the law and of the sun's and when Paul talks about the advantage in Romans three of being from a Jewish heritage. He says that one of the advantages is simply that they have been entrusted with the very words of God. He is making reference. They are to the Old Testament Scriptures in the New Testament have the Gospels Matthew Mark and Luke and John. Then we have the acts of the apostles, the minute book of the early church or its history book.

Then we have the letters written by different individuals to different gatherings of God's people, and then we have the book of Revelation, not the revelations plural as it is sometimes mistakenly referred to, but rather the revelation the apocalypse the insight into a realm yet experienced that was granted to the apostle John know when you think about the Bible. In this way, something I hope will cross your mind came home to be forcibly just a couple weeks ago and in Dublin I went to Trinity College library, a place I wanted to go to for all of my life, but never visited and there I had the opportunity of seeing the book of Cal's. Some of you will be in there you will know about it.

Those of you who don't can go on the Internet and find out all about it is not my purpose to tell you this morning except to let you know that in an ancient time around the eighth and ninth century monks penned their Gospels and illustrated them in such a beautiful fashion that they have been preserved through the years and pieces of them are there in the Trinity College library and as I stood looking at them.

It suddenly dawned on me what in the ordinary people do for a Bible in the ninth century or the 10/11, 12th and 13th, 14th, 15th century, no pastor in any of these centuries ever admonished his congregation to make sure that they were reading their Bibles every day. He couldn't because they couldn't because they didn't have a Bible and not until the Reformation and the great's triumphant statements of Luther here. I take my stand, I can do no other is suggesting to the Roman church that the future of the church is to be found in the people having the Bible in their own tongue in a way that they can understand course was an anathema to the pulpit that time. Luther stands and does this, the printing presses get alongside him and all of a sudden the ordinary Christian is able to take up this library and read it for themselves. 66 books written in a variety of languages, mainly in Hebrew and Greek over a period of more than a thousand years, originating in places as far apart as Babylon and Rome and penned by as many as 40 different individuals but as for the Bible is is a library's compendium, but is not only that, it is also a book like no other book.

Lloyd is sold more than any other book and continues to sell is the best-selling book always all the time but that isn't what makes it unique is an interesting book is a book that you can almost read from the back to the front because we might even refer to it as a book with the answers in the back that if you start in the back and we forwarded sometimes is a little easier. Atia suggest that perhaps if you think of it in terms of an Agatha Christie novel will begin to get a flavor of what's going on.

If you read Agatha Christie et al. you remember that all on the train or the role in the one room all these different characters.

Nobody really knows. As they begin to read the book, how they all fit together. Who did what when and where. But gradually, as the story unfolds. All of these various themes begin to weave together and suddenly in a do no longer becomes apparent.

Just what this thing is all about. The Bible is a wee bit like that when you read the first several items and how Moses fits in here with Abram and what Abram is doing with Isaiah and what was Jeremiah on a boat and frankly the holdings of mystery to me and also we've spoken of it frequently as being like a two act play where you need the first act to give the foundation for all that follows and you need the second act to give the completion for all of the first act is introduced us to, and ultimately it is a book like no other book because it is a book about Jesus illusion.

We are on the Bible.

Always take your eyes back to Jesus. Always look for Jesus.

It will gradually bring you back to an even keel.

I've made almost a mantra here.

I've tried to my own Sunday school instruction so that you would have it as well. If you didn't get it when you're small that in the Old Testament. Jesus is predicted that in the Gospels. He is revealed that in the acts of the apostles. He is preached that in the epistles. He is explained and in the book of Revelation.

He is expected, and it is also a book like no other boot. Inasmuch as it is a book that understands us, were familiar with being given books all the way through school.

The teacher says I want you to take this book and Gorman rated and see if you can understand it and write a paper on and of course there is a real sense in which that's what we do with the Bible we take it home and we seek to understand but in seeking to understand it. We make this amazing discovery that it seems to understand us that when you're reading is pages. Sometimes you feel as though is a description of you. Sometimes you feel as though someone actually looked inside your mind before you even read that section you are feeling peculiarly downcast in the Bible came and brought a word of encouragement you were thinking of making a run for it and generate a section in the Bible it said you know the ways of the Lord are before other ways of a matter before the eyes of the Lord. The man's heart devises his way, but the Lord directs his steps and you the Bible down at your table with your coffee and you said you know this is not like any other book.

I know this book. Apparently understands me. What is the first question, what is it.

Second question is who wrote who wrote an answer to that is that Scripture has a dual authorship a dual authorship on the one hand, God wrote it on the other hand, men wrote or if you like, God spoke and men spoke we read here in two Timothy three this great statement in verse 16 all Scripture is God breathed the word that Paul uses.

There is a unique word, but he's conveying a familiar idea. The idea of the wrath of God expressing the power and authority of God, you find it not only in relationship to the Scriptures, but also in relationship to his work of creation in Psalm 33 and in verse six the psalmist says by the word of the Lord, where the heavens made their starry host by the breath of his mouth is noticing two things. There he saying one thing, it's what we refer to his Hebrew parallelism. The Hebraic writer takes one truth and says it two different ways in order to reinforce it.

I want you to notice by the word of the Lord the heavens were made by the breath of his mouth were their starry host was set in place and it is this same notion, which is then conveyed by Paul to Timothy and what he's saying is that God breathed out the Scriptures not not in some strange way, but in a very natural way and the way in which you and I have made words this morning. What is happened, how did you make intelligible sounds today. Presumably you'd have made some intelligible sounds today, but that the you did so by the passage of air over your larynx or voice box, resulting in intelligible communication and what the Bible says is that God has breathed out the holy Scripture and it is this which provides Scripture with its reliability and with its authority that God has spoken, revealing truth and at the same time preserving the human authors from ever doing so in such a way so as not to violate their personalities to executor than to say that God spoke, but also that man who spoke and then spoke using their faculties freely and doing so without distorting the message did you get those two points that God uses human personality without violating it and keeping men from ever and then using their own human faculties write things down without distorting the message. Others perhaps one classic reference to this is in two Peter 121 and their speaking of the work of God in Scripture says in verse 21 for prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but man spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit of the Greek word is out is an interesting word is for luminal. I'm not sure that you particularly interested in that but but it is it is the word which means to be cat in the verb is in the present continuous tends to be caddied along. If you read in acts chapter 27 for homework.

The story there of the ship wreck involving Paul and the others you will discover that this same therapy is used to describe what was happening to their vessel in the midst of the storm and twice in verse 15 and then again in verse 17, Luke records that as a result of the power of the storm. Their vessel was simply driven along it was driven along as a result of the influence and power of the wind that is exactly the picture the mentor for that is used here by Peter. He says that man were driven along in other words, as they raise the sales.

The Holy Spirit filled their sales and the Scriptures did not originate in their will was not one of them came down for breakfast and said I think I'll write the Bible today they wrote to their issues.

The road to their tying the road to their culture and they were driven they were moved by the spirit of God. The process wasn't mechanical word like word processors setting is it where it has like inanimate objects, and then all of a sudden something happening to them, zapping them in and there like they could to get to getting the link and then all of a sudden it starts and then that's Isaiah chapter 1, you know, and then significantly pubic Connecticut does Isaiah chapter 2, there is no sense in which this was a mechanical process, the individual wrote, according to their own personalities. According to their own styles according to their own circumstance of use, research, and usually that's obvious you dig Amos read Amos's got a real edge to it. Amos UU baldheaded Rascals. He says dark days and shaved heads and coming to get you.

You know must've been an interesting character. Amos and that is no surprise that he is the prophet of God's justice. But when you read Hosea the stories much lighter. It's warmer, it's softer, it's more tender. No wonder when you read the life story of Asea that he would be the prophet of God's love or Isaiah would be the one who spoke of the kingly sovereignty of God and he will reign for ever and ever. Isaiah standing over the panorama of time. Looking forward in declaring God's kingly rule when you went to the New Testament.

Define the same is true Paul is the apostle of grace, and faith. James the apostle addresses the issue of works.

John the apostle of law and Peter. Not surprisingly, the one who concentrate so much on the whole soul who wrote this Bible while ultimately God wrote the Bible, but men wrote the Bible. BB Warfield in a very helpful quote says if God wishes to give the people a series of lectures like Paul's. He prepares up Paul to write them and the Paul he brought to the task was a Paul who could spontaneously write such letters. But here's the issue. The church did not write the Bible prophets and apostles wrote the word to the people of God and the reliability of what the road lies in the fact that behind then is the work of the Holy Spirit.

And this is the reason why the church has no right to rewrite what God has written. The church has no right to rewrite what God has written in the Scriptures, God was and is speaking to us.

He was speaking and he is speaking. If you want to listen to God. Open your Bible their safest way to hear God speak is to read your Bible and be aware of every other notion about how you're going to hear from God.

The mystical ideas that have come out of the dark centuries were understandably so, when they didn't have a Bible to guide them into keep them.

They came up with all kinds of notion the trivial ideas of contemporary modern writing would seem to suggest that somehow or another we can hear from God. Absent what he has said in his word again Luther helps is what more can he say than to you he is said to you who to Jesus for refuge of flat. I warned you that some of the craziest people you will ever meet.

Are the people who have decided that the Bible is insufficient for them when it comes to hearing from God and some of the bypass Meadows of contemporary evangelicalism are directly related to your willingness to listen to books, no matter how influential the author may be, which suggests that the answer to your request is to be found over here in a corner somewhere listening for something finding out where God is going finding out what God is doing. My dear friends and you want to know where he's going and what he's doing, read your Bible's writers is so important on this, incidentally, is the importance of the sermon is not his own ears and Marjorie were building. To this to justify your your employment or something on you have to say that, don't you, and why would we ever calm them if we knew you were working. No, not at all. There is no it will succumb and listen to somebody pontificate. Somebody give you is $0.10 worth of information that he's gleaned a few ideas a couple of jokes and illustration how do you do what's the point in that. I have no interest in that I have no interest in being a servant to that kind of objective to be made. The vehicle of God's truth through the Bible to be simply an servant be underneath it to be holy in one's hand to be offering it afresh, something very different that is Alister Bragg who has clarified for us today. What the Bible is an who wrote your listing to Truth for Life. Indeed, the Bible is a book like no other mentor. It's important for us to introduce not only ourselves but young children to the Bible at an early age at Truth for Life. We put together a wonderful selection of three children's books designed to help you start introducing the Bible to preschoolers. All three books come bundled together for just $10 and shipping is free. They make an excellent Christmas gift.

A fun way for you to share the gospel with children, grandchildren, children in your church and if you order today were to include 1/4 children's book as a bonus, so don't miss out. You'll find the kids We've also carefully selected a book for you. The book is titled Spurgeon on the power of Scripture.

It's a quick read. It's only hundred and 50 pages, but in classic Charles Spurgeon style.

There is a lot, profound biblical wisdom packed into each page in today's message Alister explained that if we want to listen to God. All we have to do is open our Bibles in the final chapter of Spurgeon on the power of Scripture. Charles Spurgeon explains how to read the Bible in order to truly understand and profit from, you'll learn how to receive God's truth in your heart as well as your mind. How to know God so that you can love God will discover how meditation and prayer Holy Spirit can help you. To that end, be sure to request the book. Spurgeon on the power of Scripture.

Get yours when you donate to support the teaching you hear on Truth for Life. Just visit Truth for or if you prefer you can call 888588788 Bob Lapine thanks for listing. Hope you enjoy your weekend and are able to worship together with your local church. As you know, there are many authors of popular books today who claimed to have discovered a secret notion or some hidden meaning in a passage from the Bible but on Monday in part two of today's message. Alister shares with us how we are supposed to interpret Scripture. I hope you can join us. The Bible teaching of Alister Beck is furnished by Truth for Life Learning is for Living

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