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Is the Bible Reliable?
(James 1:5-8 NIV) If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
Is the Bible reliable?
(2 Timothy 3:16 NASB) All Scripture is inspired by God.
✓ The word “Bible” means Book.
✓ It was written over a period of 1600 years in over a dozen countries on three continents by people from all walks of life.
✓ It is historically and scientifically sound.
✓ There were about 40 writers but only one Author.
(Matthew 5:17 MSG) Don’t suppose for a minute that I have come to demolish the Scriptures—either God’s Law or the Prophets. I’m not here to demolish but to complete.
(Matthew 5:18 NIV) For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
Overview of the Old Testament
Law – 5 books – Genesis through Deuteronomy - Pentateuch
Historical – 12 books – Joshua through Esther
Poetical – 5 books – Job through Song of Solomon
Prophetical – 17 books
5 Major Prophets – Isaiah through Daniel / 12 Minor Prophets – Hosea through Malachi
Overview of the New Testament
Gospels – 4 books – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
Acts – historical record of the first church
Epistles – 20 books – Romans through Jude
Revelation – prophecy of the last days and eternity
Believing the Bible
(1 Timothy 4:13 NIV) Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.
1. When the Bible speaks clearly that's what we believe.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV) All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
(Matthew 7:24 NIV) Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
2. When the Bible is unclear we look for principles to apply.
(Ecclesiastes 7:18 NIV) It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.
(Romans 15:4 NIV) For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
3. When principles are hard to find we seek the wisdom of our Christian forefathers.
(Proverbs 28:26 NIV) Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.
(Romans 14:1-4 NIV) Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
4. The goal of the Bible is finding and following Jesus.
(John 5:39 NLT) “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!”
(Romans 10:9-11 NIV) If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.