Is There Anything We Can Trust?
Daily reports of dishonesty, lying, cheating, and the willful breaking of the law have left the average American stunned and shocked. A number of prominent leaders in the political and social world have been forced to resign their positions or have been sentenced to prison because of the
dishonest manner in which they have lived. Large companies have collapsed because of the dishonesty of their officers. Religious leaders have failed to live up to the standard of morality and honesty that they have proclaimed. One discouraged man summed it all up quite well when he said, "I'm going to quit worrying about the rest of the world. There is nothing that you can believe anymore and no one you can trust."
Someone recently observed that everything that was fastened down has come loose. Never in the history of this country have so many people been so completely confused and disillusioned as they are today. There doesn't seem to be anyone or anything you can trust.
This spirit of pessimism and cynicism is sweeping the world; it especially affects the young people. But there is good news for everyone. There is Someone you can believe and there is Something that you can trust! There is a book in the world that you can trust: that book is the Bible.
It is the best-selling book in the history of the world! The term "Bible" simply means "The Book." It contains 66 different books or parts written by forty authors over a period of 1,600 years (1500 BC to AD100). The men who wrote the books of the Bible differed widely in education, occupation, cultural and intellectual perception. They wrote under differing circumstances on three different continents and one island. yet in theme and purpose the Bible is a single book. It speaks of one God; it reveals one Savior; it uplifts one standard of righteousness. When understood properly, the Bible contains no contradictions or conflicting opinions. There is one central message in both the New and Old Testaments. This is because one author inspired all of the men who contributed to the writing of the Bible. That Author is the One who can be trusted, for He is God!
1. Through what means did the message of truth come to the prophets? 2 Peter 1:21
The God of all wisdom spoke through His Holy Spirit to the prophets who put down God's messages and thoughts in their words. This accounts for the variety of ways in which the same thing is said in the Bible. Divine thought in human words makes up the Bible.
2. How much of the Scriptures given by God is inspired? 2 Timothy 3:16
The Bible is God's message of love and truth to His earthbound children. This is His way of making known to us what His plan and will is for our lives. But some will ask, "How can I know that it is His word and that it can be trusted?"
3. What ability does God claim that sets Him above and apart from all of the other gods that man has worshipped? Isaiah 46:9, 10
Someone once said that prophecy is but history in advance. In the Bible we have many fulfilled prophecies that can be explained only by admitting
that God's foreknowledge was responsible for these predictions that have been fulfilled with such amazing accuracy.
As the great nation of Babylon was rising to its pinnacle of power, God predicted through His prophet, "And Babylon shall become heaps, a
dwelling place for dragons, and astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant" (Jeremiah 51:37). Centuries passed from the time of this
prophecy until its final fulfillment. The skeptic must have pointed this out.
At one time Alexander the great planned to rebuild the ancient city and make it bigger and better than ever. But his plans were cut short by his
death. The city gradually decayed until at the time of Christ it was completely destroyed and deserted. Many other great cities have been rebuilt, but
"Why not?" the skeptics ask. The reason the city lies in ruins today is because God's Word is more powerful than man's plans. The predictions
found in the Bible concerning Tyre, the Edomites, Jerusalem, Greece, and Rome all demonstrate that this book was divinely inspired by a God
who could see the future.
Archaeology also has shown the Bible to be accurate in its many historical statements. Dr. Albright says, "Thanks to modern research we now
recognize its [the Bible's] substantial historicity. The narratives of the patriarchs, of Moses and the exodus, of the conquest of Canaan, of the
judges, the monarchy, exile and restoration, have all been confirmed and illustrated to an extent that I should have thought impossible forty years
ago" (Kenneth Holland, "The Greatest Book Ever Written," These Times, January, 1961). Contrary to what many have heard, the Dead Sea Scrolls,
sealed in pots and hidden in caves to preserve them from the Romans in AD 68, when compared with tenth-century manuscripts, revealed no
significant differences. Archaeology has thrown light on the validity of most facets of the Scriptures, so that the believer can say with confidence
that while "the grass withereth" and the "flower fadeth," "the word of our God shall stand forever" (Isaiah 40:8) (Dr. Kenneth Vine, Signs of the
Times, February, 1974; for further information on this phase of the subject, see Hammers in the Fire, by George Vandeman).
You can trust the Bible! Jesus did, and His life was guided by the truth that He claimed existed in that book. When tempted by Satan in the
wilderness, Jesus was quick to meet the temptation by, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the
mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4).
4. To what three divisions of the Old Testament did Jesus refer in His teachings? Luke 24:44,45
"The law of Moses" was a common Jewish term for the first five books of the Old Testament. In "the prophets" are included Isaiah, Jeremiah,
Ezekiel, Joshua, Judges, and the twelve minor prophets, also Samuel and Kings. "The psalms" include all the remaining books.
5. About whom does the Old Testament speak? John 5:39
6. Why did John say that the experiences of Christ were recorded? John 20:31
7. Why are the experiences of the Bible characters recorded? 1 Corinthians 10:11
Today we would say "for examples," or "for our counsel." At another time Paul changed the wording slightly when he said, "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope" (Romans 15:4). God expected that through a study of the events of the Bible we might be better able to understand His love and His manner of dealing with human beings.
8. What will the study of the Scriptures do for us? 2 Timothy 3:15
When sin broke the direct personal channel of communication between God and man, it was necessary for God to make known to man the plan, laid before the world began, by which He would save man from sin and death. The spoken word of God and His written word were now the means that God would use to guide His creatures into an understanding of the way of salvation.
9. For what is all Scripture profitable? Verses 16, 17
Doctrine means "teaching facts, truth." You will notice that this text says that it will teach us doctrine. This is just another way of saying that God will teach us His truth through this means. he will reprove, correct, and instruct us in righteousness that we might be able to live the good life that He has planned for each of us.
10. Where did Jesus say we can find truth? John 17:17
Mankind does not know what the truth is and most of the human race do not know haw to tell the truth or share it. That is why there are so many problems and heartaches and so few answers to man's dilemma. We are told, "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32), free from sin and all of the problems and suffering that have come into the world through rebellion.
11. Why did Jesus say the Saducees were in error and didn't know the truth? Matthew 22:29
12. Why can't the natural man understand the Bible? 1 Corinthians 2:12-14
Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. "The mind that is earthly finds no pleasure in contemplating the word of God; but for the mind renewed by the Holy Spirit, divine beauty and celestial light shine from the sacred page. That which to the earthly mind was a desolate wilderness, to the spiritual mind becomes a land of living streams" (The Ministry of Healing, p. 460)
13. Whom did Jesus say would guide us into all truth? John 16:13
The Bible tells us, 'And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Ephesians 6:17). It is only as the Spirit leads us in the study of the Bible, interpreting to us what He inspired the writers to put down for us, that we will know the truth of God's plans for our lives.
14. What did the apostle tell us that we should do with the Bible? 2 Timothy 2:15
It does not say we are to just read the Bible. This text tells us to study! It requires earnest effort and time on our part if we are to understand the deep things of the Word of God. Many are not willing to take time to let the Spirit guide them into all of the truth that God has for them. The
deeper you dig, the richer will be the veins of truth that you will discover. Then you will not have to be ashamed because you do not understand
God's message to you.
They studied daily to see if what they were hearing was right or wrong. What a revolution would take place in the religious world today if those
who attend the various churches of the land would begin to study the Bible to see if what is being taught in their church is according to the
Scriptures. Not everyone is interested in following the good example left by the Bereans. Let us make a covenant with God that we will use the
same method to determine what is truth.
15. Why were the Bereans commended? Acts 17:11
They studied daily to see if what they were hearing was right or wrong. What a revolution would take place today in the religious world if those who attend the various churches of the land would begin to study the Bible to see if what is taught in their church is according to the Scriptures. Not everyone is interested in following the good example set by the Bereans. Let us make a covenant with God that we will use the same method to determine what is truth!
16. To what does the Bible compare the help we receive from a study of the Bible? Psalm 119:105
17. How can we keep from sinning against God? Psalm 119:11
One of the greatest proofs we have that the Bible is more than just another book written by good men is its power to change the lives of its
readers. It can change the most immoral person into a pure, dedicated Christian. It can take the dishonest and cause him to want to return what
he has taken, or to make right the lie he has told.
What is the strange power of this book that so dramatically changes the desires and goals of men? It is the miracle-working power of the Spirit of
God working through this book to point to the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world.
18. Would you really like to understand the Bible?
Will you plan to spend some time each week in studying God's Book?