The Word of God
What we believe is vital in our relationship with God
Proverbs 23:7 For as he [a]thinks within himself, so he is. He says to you, “Eat and drink!” But his heart is not with you.
There are some Christians who fail to read and study the scriptures
Some have never been taught the importance of God’s word
Instead they often chase after God seeking an experience or spiritual high but fail to understand the important of studying the word of God
God has revealed himself in His word
Romans 1:20 states 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, being understood by what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
God’s desire is that humanity would know Him
He is continually knocking on the doors of the hearts of people
Because of sin, humanity has been separated from God
But through Jesus Christ we can be restored to right relationship with God
But the question is how do we know Him?
How do we come to know how He thinks?
What truly bothers Him?
God desires for us to know Him intimately
Through His word He has revealed His character and His nature
He has given us countless examples of individuals and how He personally moved in their lives
Studying His word enables us to not only know Him but to be transformed
Romans 12:2 says 2 And do not be conformed to this [a]world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may [b]prove what the will of God is, that which is good and [c]acceptable and perfect.
Our minds are renewed by the word of God
Being able to both understand His word and how to apply it is key for transformation
Tonight we are going to look at various passages that speak about the word of God
We are going to look at how we got the word as we know it today
Psalm 119:160 states The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments is everlasting.
God’s word is truth, it is absolute truth
Jesus said I am the way, the truth, and the life
Truth is only found in the Living God
Anything outside of God’s word that claims to be truth is a lie and deception
The course of our very lives and existence will be directly impacted on what we choose to base faith and practice
If we our faith and practice is based on something outside of God’s word it will cause us to live imprisoned
We may be convinced what we believe is true, but if it is not in accordance with the word of God it will actually be based on lie and deception
Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 16 All Scripture is [a]inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for [b]rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man or woman of God may be [c]fully capable, equipped for every good work.
When Paul states all scripture he is referring to what we have today from Genesis to Revelation
Paul shows us the importance of scripture
It is to be used for rebuke, correction, for training in righteousness so that all who call upon the name of Jesus will be fully capable and equipped
The child of God who knows the word of God is a threat to Satan and his kingdom
Satan’s desire is to keep the child of God ignorant to God’s word
If Satan can make us too busy or fail to see the proper value in studying God’s word, he will rob us of all that God has for us
He will rob us of knowing God intimately and being properly equipped to be used by God
2 Peter 1:20-21 states 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture [a]becomes a matter of [b]someone’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
Peter states that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of a person’s personal opinion of scriptures
The writers of scripture didn’t do so from their own minds
It was not an act of human will
They were inspired by the Holy Spirit
The Spirit of God came upon them and guided their mouths and pens as they communicated the message
God’s word is divinely inspired
God’s word is known to be infalliable and inerrant
Infallibility refers to its trustworthiness while inerrancy refers to being without error
Satan will always attack the trustworthiness of scripture because the moment he can begin to get a person to doubt the truth of God’s word is the moment he causes them to question it
We receive salvation by faith
We stand upon the word of God by faith
To truly understand the word of God a person must have the Spirit of God living inside of them
1 Corinthians 2:14 states But a natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The word natural means one who is of Adam, it is an individual who has not yet come to know Christ
The person who has the Spirit of God living in them is a person who has come to know Jesus
Jesus in John 16:5-15 tells us the importance of the Spirit of God: 5 “But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, grief has filled your heart. 7 But I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I am leaving; for if I do not leave, the [e]Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8 And He, when He comes, will convict the world regarding sin, and righteousness, and judgment: 9 regarding sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 and regarding righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you no longer are going to see Me; 11 and regarding judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.
12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them at the present time. 13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take from Mine and will disclose it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine; this is why I said that He takes from Mine and will disclose it to you.
It is the Spirit of God who leads and guides us into all truth
Without Him it is impossible to understand truth
The question is how did we come to have the scriptures we have today
It is believed that what we have as the Old Testament were established by the first century and the time of Jesus
The word Canon means a measuring stick or rule
The Hebrew scriptures are broken up into three things: the torah (writings of Moses, instruction, or law), the oracles or sayings of the prophets, the psalms of David
The Hebrew bible is made up of 22 books, our 39 books in the Old Testament in our bibles are the same books
There are books in the Hebrew scriptures that are combined which in our bibles are separate
Example is in our bibles 1 and 2 samuel are two different books while in the Hebrew bible it is simply the book of Samuel
This collection of books was accepted and closed at the turn of the century by the time Jesus walked the earth
The New Testament scriptures that we have in our bibles are made up of 27 books
The first four are the gospel that speak of the life of Jesus
The book of Acts gives us history about the first century church and also gives us a model of how we are to conduct ourselves as the church
Paul’s letters which begin with Romans and end with Philemon
The author of Hebrews is unknown
James was the half brother of Jesus and was known as James the just
1 and 2 Peter are written by the apostle Peter
1, 2, 3 John and Revelation were written by the apostle John
Jude was another half brother of Jesus
The question is how did we end up with this 27 books we have as the new testament scriptures
The exact twenty-seven books were not finally agreed on until Athanasius’ Easter-time bishop’s encyclical letter in A.D. 367, and this canon was formally ratified only in 393 at the Council of Hippo and in 397 by the Council of Carthage. Although much evidence from antiquity is simply lost forever, the process leading up to the finalization of the canon may be discerned at least in part
When deciding on the books to be accepted into canon three things were used: divine qualities, corporate reception, and authoritative authors
Concerning divine qualities: The first attribute to consider, and one often overlooked, is that we have good reasons to think books from God would contain within themselves evidence of their divine origin. The Reformers referred to these as divine qualities or indicators (indicia). If God is genuinely the one who stands behind these books, then we would expect these books to share God’s own qualities.
God has revealed Himself in His word
If it was to be inspired by God it would reflect His character and nature
Jesus said in John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me
As the council came together to pray over what was to be accepted as scripture this was of utmost importance
Concerning corporate reception: It is important to note that the work of the Spirit does not happen only on an individual level, but also on a corporate level. Thus, there are good reasons to think that God’s collective, covenantal people would eventually recognize the books that are from him. If so, then we can look to the consensus of God’s people (in both old and new covenant times) as a reliable guide to which books are from him.
It is the Holy Spirit who leads and guides us into all truth
It is the Spirit of God who works in the heart of His people
Herman Ridderbos argued, “Christ will establish and build his church by causing the church to accept just this canon and, by means of the assistance and witness of the Holy Spirit, to recognize it as his”
Some will argue how do we really know this is God’s word, they will say it was written by mere men and it was assembled by mere men
But whenever God has built anything on the earth He has done so through His people
It is the Spirit of God who lives within us who gives us an internal witness as we study the scriptures whether what we are reading and studying is truly of God
John said this in 1 John 2:27 27 And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him remains in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, [a]you remain in Him.
Because the Spirit of God lives inside of us, He leads and guides us into all truth
He is the one who enables us to discern the true from the false
Concerning authoritative authors: A final attribute of canonical books is that they are written by God’s chosen agents, his inspired prophets and apostles. Put simply, not just anyone can speak for God; only those commissioned to be his mouthpiece. In the OT this included the prophets and other inspired spokesmen (Rom. 1:2; 2 Pet. 3:2). In the NT it included the apostles, Christ’s authoritative witnesses (Mark 3:14–15; Matt 10:20; Luke 10:16).
Romans 1:2 2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures,
2 Peter 3:22 to remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.
Mark 3:14-1514 And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach, 15 and to have authority to cast out the demons.
Matthew 10:20 20 For it is not you who are speaking, but it is the Spirit of your Father who is speaking [a]in you.
16 “The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; but the one who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.”