We believe the Scriptures

What we believe impacts who we are, what we say, and what we do. Do you believe the Scriptures? How can you be confident that they are inspired? This sermon answers this and many more questions about the divine inspiration and supreme authority of the Bible.

Small avatar of sermon author David Herron

David Herron


Transcript (Auto-generated)

Good morning. My name's Dave one of the pastors here and it's uh my great privilege to uh uh be kicking off this morning our new uh we believe uh series that we're going to be preaching across these next few months and uh this uh we believe series uh in terms of uh our key Focus over the coming weeks it's going to be looking at this whole idea of belief or specifically what we believe as the the the family of faith that meets here at the kabuta Baptist Church this is an important important topic because we understand that at the foundation of every action every Behavior every relationship every conversation that we have in our lives underneath all of that there's a belief or a set of beliefs which helps to form them what we believe significantly affects who we are as well as what we say and what we do and as Disciples of Jesus we're seeking to to live out this Great Commission of making disciples and teaching them to obey all that Jesus has taught us it's fundamentally important for us as Disciples of Jesus seeking to live this out that we understand uh this idea of what we believe that we keep in mind and and understand that what we believe is foundational to how we respond act and live out for the kingdom of God and his plan for discipleship each week we're going to be digging into our Church's statement of beliefs and you can find that on our website if you haven't uh been familiar with that already that's not the full statement there I couldn't crop it all into the picture um we may have some in the in the foyer we were hoping to get some hard copies printed out for you uh so check that out on the foer on the way uh on the way out if they're not there and even if they are I'm planning to make sure that that gets emailed out to our email distribution list so if you're not on that list um see the the welcome desk this morning on your way will get you on that list because that'll go out this week so that you've got a copy uh you can refer to it yourself on the website if you like uh you can also find it in our church Constitution uh which our members will know uh that's just the the the list of things that that constitutes us as a as a as a church here at the Kucha Baptist church and we have it uh these statement of beliefs outlined in our church Constitution in section three titled our doctrinal statement uh so uh each week we're going to be looking at one of these statements as we go throughout this uh this series and we're going to Endeavor not just to understand what we believe about these things but also how our beliefs influence who we are and what we say and what we do so that's the plan Let's uh join me in prayer father we just thank you as as we come again to your word that you are a God who speaks father we thank you for the way in which you speak to us and have revealed yourself to us throughout history we thank you Lord as we've celebrated around the communion table this morning and remembered again your revelation of yourself to us through the person of Jesus Christ Our Savior Lord uh we pray that we would hear your voice as we look now to these things that we believe over the coming weeks and here this morning as we look to what we believe about your word teach us and be our guide we pray by your Holy Spirit we pray this in Jesus name amen our uh statement number one uh which we've got at the beginning of our statement of beliefs there our first key belief is we believe the divine inspiration and supreme authority of the scriptures of the old and the New Testaments what we're going to do this morning as we unpack this statement we're going to look at it in three ways or we're going to try and unpack it in three ways firstly we're going to look at what the scriptures Claim about itself namely that first part of the statement that it is divinely inspired that it's the very word of God secondly we're going to look at what Jesus has to say about the authority of the scriptures as the word of God because that will help us understand the the second part of of our statement and then finally this morning we're going to consider some practical applications as we think through how this belief might uh influence who we are and what we do as followers of Jesus here in the Kucha and morfield area so first if you've got your Bible there open up to uh 2 Timothy 3 we're going to look at verses 14-1 17 to begin with probably a familiar passage for some of you as we consider this topic of the scriptures second Timothy 3: 14-1 17 Paul is uh is writing to uh to Timothy here and he says but as for you continue in what you've learned and have become convinced of because because you know those from whom you've learned it 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 useful for teaching rebuking correcting and training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work here we read uh the Apostle Paul's second letter to Timothy a portion of it and tradition tells us that this was Paul's last letter to be written while he was in prison prior to his execution by the emperor Nero Paul had been in prison before but this time he didn't expect to be released and so he writes to Timothy who had become like a son to him in the faith as Paul had mentored him and and Paul is writing to give some final encouragement to his younger disciple the first thing we see in verses 14 to 15 is is that Paul affirms the importance of knowing what you believe Paul encourages Timothy to remember what he's learned and has become convinced of in verse 14 he says remember the scriptures remember you've known them from infancy remember they're able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus in verse 15 there Timothy says remember the foundation that you've been given cling to what you've been taught know what you believe because it's of great benefit to you as you seek to live out your life as a disciple of Jesus then we come to verses 16 to 17 and this is probably the more familiar passage the key claim that we find repeated throughout the scriptures both in the the Old Testament and the New Testament here Paul lays it out pretty clearly for us and which is probably why we're most familiar with it verse 16 he says all scripture is God bre breathed this is where we get our doctrine of inspiration from depending on your translation verse 16 might say God breathed as it does in the NIV that I've quoted there on the screen it might say something like all scripture is inspired by God in some of the other translations it might say uh all scripture is given by inspiration of God as it does in the the King James version or as the the ESV puts it all scripture is breathed out by God the Bible commentators tell us that this one word that we've translated in these various ways uh in the original language in the in the the Greek language that the Bible was the New Testament was written in is probably an original term that that Paul himself has coined and it's from this idea from our understanding of this word that our doctrine of inspiration comes when we talk about this doctrine of inspiration what we're talking about simply is this that God divinely influenced the human authors such that the the words of these human authors are also the very words of God that's what we're talking about that's what Paul is trying to get across to Timothy when we think about divine inspiration we can sometimes make the mistake of thinking that inspiration is is describing the mechanism or the the way in which God's words were transferred but the the Bible doesn't really explain in detail all the ways that God inspired these authors to write as they did inspiration this this doctrine of inspiration that Paul's trying to uh uh convey to Timothy it's more concerned with the source of the information rather than the way or the the mechanism in which it was communicated how it works it's a it's a mystery to us and yet somehow God brings his word into it inscripturated form and as they wrote it down as it became scripture and and God brings his word into this form through human authors without messing with or taking away from their individualities personalities or free will this is his point to Timothy that all scripture ultimately has its origin in God The God Who breathed it out we think of about that as we speak don't we we expire we we breathe out breath as as we say the words if we're fast talkers or say lots of words we we sometimes have to pause and take a breath to to to breathe in uh before we can breathe out again words Paul's point to Timothy is that the origin of our scriptures comes from the word of God in an earlier letter to the Thessalonians Paul acknowledges this idea of divine inspiration of God working through his own words to the Believers there as he wrote to them I'll have it up on the screen there 1 Thessalonians 2: 13 Paul writes and he says we also thank God continually because when you receive the word of God which you heard from us you accepted it not as a human word but as it actually is the word of God which is indeed at work in you who believe notice Paul commends the Believers there for receiving his words the words of the Apostles not as human words but as the word of God writing to the Believers in Corinth Paul explained that he and the other Apostles didn't write using words that came from their own human wisdom but the words themselves were given to them by the spirit there's a a work of God's holy spirit helping to explain spiritual truths and this idea is picked up in in many writers of the scripture turn briefly with me in your Bibles to Second Peter chapter 1 2 Peter 1: 16-8 2 Peter 1:16 to8 we see that Peter writes a similar letter to Paul nearing the end of his life or feeling like the end of his life on Earth is ending he he writes this letter to stir up the Believers to remember some important truths before he's called to be with Jesus in verse 17 there we read Peter says we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty for when he received honor and Glory from God the father and the voice was born to him by the Majestic Glory this is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased we ourselves heard this very voice born from heaven for we were with him on the Holy Mountain we'll just pause our reading there for a second Peter says we we weren't following myths we weren't following some clever madeup story when we brought the message of Jesus to you of his coming in power and Majesty we were actually with him we were eyewitnesses in actual fact he's speaking here about the the the time when he was with Jesus on the mountain with a couple of the other disciples and Jesus was transfigured Before Their Eyes they saw the the glory of God come upon Jesus in human form and they heard the voice from God come and and exclaim to them that this is God's son and he was pleased with him Peter says we witnessed this event we heard that voice of God speak but then look at verse 19 at what he says as he continues here he says we have the prophetic word more more fully confirmed to which you will do well to pay attention as a lamp shining in a dark place until the day Dawns and The Morning Star rises in your hearts what he's getting to is he's saying that even more convincing for him then seeing Jesus transfigured before his eyes and hearing the voice of God audibly from the heavens he says he and the apostles have a prophetic word that's more firmly established than that Peter says we would do well to pay attention to it it's like a lamp shining in a dark place he goes on in in in verses 20 uh there to uh pick up Paul's view of divine inspiration of God working in and through the human author's personalities and experiences to bring us his word look at verses 20 and 21 of one Peter there knowing this first of all that no prophecy of scripture comes from someone owns someone's own interpretation for no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man but men spoke from God as they were carried Along by the holy spirit this is that idea of divine inspiration somehow God working through his holy spirit to bring about his word so that we might understand it the idea is repeated time and time again across the whole of the scripture record it's not just a a new testament thing for the apostles or the followers of Jesus we see it back in the Old Testament in Samuel 23: 1 and 2 again uh we have David writing uh late in his life and he acknowledges God's divine inspiration speaking through him as he wrote the Psalms Samuel 23: 1 and 2 says these are the last words of David The Inspired utterance of David's son of Jesse the utterance of the man exalted by the most high the man appointed by the god of Jacob the hero of Israel's songs verse two the spirit of the Lord spoke through me his word was on my tongue so David picks up this idea as well too Luke refers back to God speaking through David in Acts uh 1 and verse 16 where he talks about scripture being fulfilled that the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand through the mouth of David concerning Judas and so the Luke in his uh um collating together the things that happened with the life of Jesus and the life of the early church refers back to the Old Testament and David again acknowledging that God spoke through his words divine inspiration I think you can see the picture here the the Bible authors all agree scripture is divinely inspired by God and finds its foundation in him yet somehow in the mystery of God the individuality and the personalities the goals of the human authors in writing these texts was not diminished I can't explain it but it's clear for us it's in the text thankfully when we can't explain something we have a a wealth of resources whereby we can often read somebody who does a better job of explaining it than me found a Dutch commentator during the week as I Was preparing this and uh as I was reading he had this to say I think he explains it well he says the word God breathed occurring only here indicates that all scripture owes its origin and contents to the Divine breath the spirit of God the human authors were powerfully guided and directed by the Holy Spirit as a result what they wrote is not only without error but of supreme value for man it is all that God wanted it to be it constitutes the infallible rule of faith and practice for mankind the spirit however did not suppress the personality of the human writer but raised it to a higher level of activity and because the individuality of the human author was not destroyed we find in the Bible a wide re variety of style and language finally during the process of writing the holy spirit in a thoroughly organic connection with all the preceding activity suggested to the mind of the human author that the language the very words and that style which would be most appropriate the vehicle for the interpretation of the Divine ideas for people of every Rank and position age and race hence though every word is truly the word of the human author it is even more truly the word of God what a wonder that we have the word of God let's turn our ATT attention to the second half of our statement the supreme authority of the scriptures both the Old and the New Testament it's helpful for us to look briefly at what Jesus has to say on the topic Matthew 5: 17 to 18 Jesus affirms the authority of the scriptures when he teaches that all scripture is of supreme importance and from God if you got your Bible there invite you to turn to it he says do not think I've come to abolish the law or the prophets I've not come to abolish them but to fulfill them for truly I tell you until Heaven and Earth disappear not the smallest letter not the least stroke of the pen will by any means disappear from the law until everything is accomplished Jesus says the word of God is so certain it's so authoritative that not the smallest letter not the least stroke of a pen will fall until it's fulfilled to Perfection Matthew 24:35 Jesus says that the the word of God is more certain than anything else he says Heaven and Earth will pass away but my words will never pass away the word of God is authorative it's more certain than anything that we can see with our eyes it's more certain than the passing of History because it won't pass away it's more certain than anything else Jesus says it won't pass away Luke records for us in chapter 24: 44 that the resurrected Jesus continued to speak of the authority of scripture and I mentioned that this is after the resurrection because I think it adds another layer to our understanding of Jesus own authority I mean he he makes this statement about the authority of the scriptures after he's conquered sin and death after he's risen from the grave alive forever more having proven that he's Lord over all authorities all Spiritual Beings he's Lord even over death Jesus goes on to say this in Luke 24:44 he says these are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you that everything written about me and the law of Moses and the prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled verse 45 he then opened their minds to understand the scriptures and he said to them thus it is written that the Christ should suffer U and on the third day rise from the dead and that repentance for the Forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all the nations beginning from Jerusalem you're my Witnesses of these things behold I'm sending the promise of my father upon you stay in the city to you're clothed with power from on high Jesus is saying to these these these fellows on the road there he's saying everything about me must be fulfilled the scriptures have have foretold this and it must be fulfilled in John 10:35 Jesus is reported to say that scripture cannot be broken you see we're building up a bit of a picture here Jesus affirming the authority of scripture teaching that it must be fulfilled it can't be broken it won't pass away and not only that we know that when Jesus was tempted by Satan he corrected him by quoting directly from the Old Testament in Matthew 4 as Jesus was tempted in the wilderness there three times by the enemy Jesus quotes from Deuteronomy why would he quote so confidently from the Old Testament if it wasn't authorative he must have considered it a source of Truth to dismiss his enemy with it and we know that he did because at least on 99 uh 92 other occasions Jesus and his Apostles supported their position as they taught and explained the scriptures by saying it is written or something to that equivalent quoting from the Old Testament Jesus and his apostles considered the Old Testament scriptures to be the written word of God and thus the supreme authority and Rule of Life Bible scholars estimate that roughly 10% of Jesus recorded New Testament words were taken from the Old Testament in the four gospels alone that we see that uh 180 out of uh the 1,800 verses that report Jesus talking uh are either Old Testament quotes or Expressions calling to mind Old Testament passages without quoting them directly Jesus believed in the authority of scripture there's another clue to understanding jesus' position on this but uh we won't have time to go through it today you could trace that yourself uh maybe during the week have a read through John chapters 13-17 and see if you can pick up the progression there again this is Jesus writing towards the end of his life wanting to impart some final truths to his disciples before he's he's called back to be with the father and the progression as we follow through these chapters is Jesus explains to the disciples and as he prays to them he says the words that he received from God he gave uh God gave to to Jesus and Jesus gave those words to the apostles through the the work of the spirit as those men received those words as they recorded the words of Jesus as they taught and explained and as they wrote them down those words of God then go to the ends of the Earth there's a progression there you can see it if you have a look Jesus received words he spoke from the father Jesus gave those words to the apostles the apostles spoke those words to those who would believe in Jesus and then somehow through the the mystery and the the work of the spirit under the direction and and jurisdiction of the the Holy Spirit they wrote him down how else could the disciples fulfill the Great Commission to go into all the nations and and baptize in the name of the father Son and the Holy Spirit and teach them to observe all that Jesus had commanded them to do the apostles couldn't go to the ends of the world because they didn't know where the end of the world was yet they went as far as they could uh the apostles weren't around until the end of the age because we know that many of them uh uh were killed because of their faith because of their claims about Jesus so how is this Great Commission to be fulfilled well it's fulfilled as the word of God is is um created for us as it's written down and passed on so that the nations of the world could hear the voice of God and friends we're recipients of that blessing this morning as uh we open the scriptures for ourselves so let's uh turn our attention now to some practical applications how might this belief shape who we are or what we do I think the first thing we need to acknowledge by way of a practical application is we need to be thankful to God for his Revelation to us for where would we be without it we'd know nothing of the character or the nature of God if it wasn't for his revealed world word we'd still be lost and dead in our sin were it not for the word of God the Bible helps us to see that while the the heavens May declare the glory of God and the skies proclaim the work of his hands we cannot come to saving faith in Jesus absent from the revealed work of God the testimony we have from these early Christians from from the apostles who spent time with Jesus who walked with him and talked with him and ate meals with him and ministered alongside him in his name this testimony God has revealed to us so that we might know him him not just know that he exists or know that he's created us but know him in a personal way that we might come to saving Faith through the knowledge of his son so that we might understand and discover what it means to live a life that is pleasing to him the Bible is God's divine inspiration it's his very word to us and we can have hope through faith in Jesus and the promises of God to us contained in his revealed word that's the first practical thing I think we need to thank God that he speaks thank God for the revelation of his word the second thing we need to have a a high regard for the Bible in its entirety during the the recent coronation of King Charles III he like every other king and queen of England since 1689 was presented with the Bible I don't know if you saw that in the the coronation there and there were some words that were uttered at that moment by by the moderator of the the Church of Scotland there the general assembly guy and he he said these words as he gave the Bible to King Charles he said sir to keep you ever mindful of the law and the gospel of God as the rule for the whole life and government of Christian princes receive this book the most valuable thing that this world has to offer here is wisdom this is the Royal law these are the Lively Oracles of God if you caught that on the on the broadcast it's hard to imagine how many people in Great Britain would regard the Bible as the the most valuable thing this world has to offer I wonder how many people here in Australia would even give it a place in the top 10 is that how you view the Bible this was the first coronation that I'd ever witnessed and I recall thinking at the time that this is a a strong set of words perhaps there were many of the 18 million who expected to be watching that might have thought that this was just some throwback to a bygone era where faith and the church played a more significant role in public life may have even been some watching who were uh thinking they'd just be happy to see that part left out of the coronation alt together and yet as a Christian watching on as one who believes that the Bible is divinely inspired these words reflect something of the profound truth that we all might attest to this is a truth that should shape Our Lives not just the life of the king the Bible the written word of God should be the rule of life for every one of us it's not just for Kings or Queens it's not just for princes it's the instrument the spirit uses to awaken and nourish faith it generates hope it promotes and expounds love it helps us to know the God who made us and to understand what it means to live as obedient followers of Jesus the scriptures should be treas treasured and held in high regard by those of us who claim to believe it psalmist writes in Psalm 1: 1 to two blessed is the man who walks not in the counsil of the wicked nor stands in the way of Sinners nor sits in the seat of scoffers but his Delight is in the law of the Lord and on this law he meditates day and night we should treasure God's word delight in it meditate on it day and night I'm challenged by this because I know as I look at my own life there's been times when I haven't done that I haven't treasured God's word as I ought there are days when so many things VI for our attention that we can be tempted to Delight in so many other things when we should Delight in and cherish God's word I came across a post during the week I was thinking about this that further drove home the point let me read it to you do you ever wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our mobile phone what if we carried around in our purses or Pockets what if we flipped through it several times a day what if it was so important to us that we turn back to go get it if we forgot it what if we used it not to receive text messages but to receive messages from the sacred text what if we treated it like we couldn't live without it what if we gave it to young people as valued gifts what if we used it when we traveled what if we used it in cases of emergency what if we consulted it often to find special guidance for each and every day unlike our phones the Bible never loses its charge because it's power does not depend on anything on Earth it is living and Powerful just like its author don't let the electronic age rob you of these Wonder of God's revealed word it's challenging right we need a high view of scripture in its entirety and that means that all of it not just the bits that are encouraging or or that we find easy to understand or the compelling bits we need to reckon with and and wrestle with the hard sayings of the Bible we need to not ignore or downplay the parts that we find difficult or confronting we're like Dylan we need to to go through Leviticus even if it's difficult to read this leads us to our third practical implication we need to be diligent in our study of the scriptures no doubt each one of us has been sustaining ourselves this week through the intake of water and food without water and food we become malnourished and in the same way the spiritual life the the of the believer is maintained by the food of God's word the absence of spiritual food leads to malnourishment in the spiritual Dimension just as the absence of food in the Physical Realm leads us to malnourishment Sunday shouldn't be the only time that we open God's Bible to eat that's why we encourage you at Kucha Baptist to to be a part of an extended family group or an EFG because we meet regularly throughout the week to study God's word to to explore it in community but Sundays and EFG shouldn't be the only time that you open God's word to feed we need to be meditating on it day and night as the psalmist said you remember back to that passage from second Timothy that we read earlier in the service he said to Timothy continue in what you've learned the holy scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation we need to be in God's word diligently studying the scriptures for ourselves because it's how we understand how we are to respond and live as God's disciples the oie Theologian Michael bird says scripture is the ultimate Norm for theology it establishes what is authorative for Christian belief and practice as people of the book our identity Doctrine and practice are bound up with the belief that God has spoken to us in the scriptures the Bible is the church's Community forming and belief authorizing document which is divinely communicated to us through the Holy Spirit who infuses Holy scripture with God's presence and Truth amen fourth practical implication and just quickly we need to be confident in the authority of the Bible sometimes we can get a little bit scared can't we stuck on the tricky bits not sure how we might answer a A workmate or a colleagues or a friend or neighbors uh uh questions or objections about the Bible and sometimes that can kind of put us off and and make us a little bit fearful about it we don't need to have all the answers we don't need to defend it God's word is authorative it it stands on its own it defends itself the word of God is like a lion Charles Spurgeon said you don't have to defend a lion all you have to do is let the lion loose and it will defend itself we need to be like David who uh had absolute confidence in the word of God in Psalm 119 which has got so much to say about the word of God but Psalm 119: 41- 448 David says may your unfailing love come to me oh lord your salvation according to your promise then I'll answer the one who taunts me for I trust in your word do not snatch the word of truth from my mouth for I have put my hope in your laws I'll obey your law forever and ever I'll walk about in Freedom for I've sought out your precepts I'll speak your statutes before Kings and will not be put to shame for I Delight in your commands because I love them I'll lift up my hands to your commands which I love and I meditate on your decrees we need to have that confidence in the scripture that David had that Jesus had as they stood on the certainty of God's word we need to remember it's living and active the writer to the Hebrew says sharper than any two-edged sword finally our final point this morning maybe you're here this morning and you've still got questions maybe you've yet to to read the word maybe you've yet to believe it you're still kind of skeptical well there's an application for you here this morning maybe it's time for you to start believing God's word maybe it's time you need to listen so that you're not lost in John 3: 16-19 we read that God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life for God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through him whoever believes in him is not condemned but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he's not believed in the name of God's one and only son friends we all need Jesus we can find him in his word if you've yet to pick it up and read it I invite you to do that today if you don't have a Bible talk to me afterwards we'll give you one and we'll get you started but God wants you to know him and he wants you to know what you can believe about him and we do that by reading his word let's pray Lord uh we just want to thank you so much for the Wonder of your word thank you that you've revealed it to us that you speak and Lord we we ask for your forgiveness for those times we haven't treasured it as we ought help us Lord to have that high view of of scripture all of it even the bits that we find difficult or hard to understand help us to D diligently study it to to meditate on it to to feed from it so that we might grow to be equipped for every good work that you've called us to do as your people father I just want to pray especially for those that are here this morning that may still have questions or doubts maybe yet to pick up your word and and take you at your word and believe Lord would you help these ones this morning to make that start meet them where they're at we pray in Jesus name by the power of your word in the name of Jesus. Amen.