When I was 18 years old, I read the Bible for the first time. Shortly after, I came to know Christ and began to spend time in the Bible every day so I could grow spiritually and get connected to Him. I never thought to question the Bible until later in college when I had some people challenge me about the intellectual basis of my faith.
One of my friends asked me, “You don’t really believe the Bible is from God, do you?” When I replied, “Yes,” he then asked, “Why?”
Unfortunately, I didn’t have a good answer. This was the beginning of my journey to discover the reliability of the Bible for myself.
Most Christians today would also admit to being uncertain about their understanding of the Bible. Statistics show that only half of American Christians attend church and about half of those who attend every week do not believe that the Bible is the actual word of God.
What about you -- do you believe the Bible is really God’s word, or simply a collection of human words and man’s opinions about how to live? Is the whole Bible really trustworthy and accurate, or just parts of it? And if it is just parts – how do you know which parts? And what makes the Bible different than all the other religious writings and their claims?
How we answer these questions is very important. Why?
The very foundation of our Christian faith is based on whether or not we trust the validity of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the validity and authority of the Bible as God’s word.
If we’re going to attempt to live consistently with Scripture’s moral, ethical and theological demands, we must be able to address these questions and respond to a variety of objections about the reliability of the Bible.
Here are seven reasons why we can be confident that the Bible is God’s word:
1. Archeology. The Bible is a historical, accurate document. This book is about real people, places and events. Although the historicity of the Bible has been under a lot of attack over the years, recent archeology continues to prove that the Bible is a reliable historical document.
2. Revelation. The Bible claims to be the authoritative, inspired very words of God. Over 3,000 times in the Bible we see, “Thus says the Lord.” This shows that the Bible isn’t just a good book with some good stories and morals to help people live a good life. It reveals the very mind and words of God.
3. Origin. The bible’s unity, structure and subject matter argue for a supernatural authorship. Over 40 authors wrote the Bible from different places, in 3 languages, and over a span of 1500 years. Yet, there is one central theme – Jesus Christ -- from the beginning until the very end. Only God could do this.
4. Jesus. He believed the Old Testament to be the very words of God and predicted the New Testament to be the same. How Jesus viewed and treated Scripture is how we should view it. He believed that the Old Testament contains the very words of God and predicted that the New Testament would be likewise. Most importantly, Jesus, the greatest witness in all of eternity, came back from the dead, believed, taught and demonstrated by his resurrection that the entire Bible is the very word of God.
5. Fulfilled Prophecy. There are over 700 specific prophesies in the Old Testament about Jesus’ coming. These prophecies were said in advance to let us know that this is God’s Word. This is also what sets the Bible apart from all of the other religious writings.
6. Transmission. The Bible’s purity throughout the centuries is nothing short of miraculous. The copyists of the Old Testament were meticulous. In addition, when you look at the New Testament, there are over 24,000 copies of manuscripts and the earliest copy is only 25 years older than the first writing.
7. Impact. The Bible’s power to transform people and nations is overwhelmingly documented. Wherever the word of God has spread, it has brought life, health and vitality. Millions of people’s hearts and lives have changed when they heard and read God’s word and when their hearts were open to God.
This week, we begin the series: Why I Believe: Finding Answers to Life’s Most Difficult Questions. In it, we’ll address crucial questions about the claims of the Christian faith such as: What happens when we die? Can miracles be explained? And is there really a god? It’s my hope that through this series, we’ll not only realize that it’s possible to truly know the truth about God, but also why we believe.
Keep Pressin' Ahead,
Chip Ingram, Teaching Pastor
Living on the Edge