Part 1 of the series “Why the Scriptures Are Trustworthy.” Is the Bible trustworthy? If your answer is, yes, how well can you articulate and defend this belief? This sermon series will instill in you, or at least remind you, why you can trust in the written Scriptures completely, how you can strengthen your confidence in the Bible's original source, in the integrity of God's communication within its pages, and in your ability to translate the power and effectiveness of God's living Word to those who need to know its truths.
Part 2 of the series “Why the Scriptures Are Trustworthy.” By what criteria does either your trust or skepticism in the Scriptures come? Are you a person who trusts more in evidence, what is seen or can be tested from within the physical world? Or are you someone who trusts more in faith, that which is unseen, heavenly, and mysterious, that which cannot be tested or approved by human means? This message makes the claim that to trust in the Scriptures we must live in an apparent contradiction, a paradox where we elevate both evidence and faith, or better said, the evidence of faith. This is the only way to please God and to see his written revelation revealed for what it truly is: the infallible, authoritative, inerrant, sufficient, life-giving, and trustworthy Word of God for us and all mankind.
Part 3 of the series “Why the Scriptures Are Trustworthy.” Hebrews 11:1 asks that, in our approach to God, which includes our approach to the Bible, that we value both evidence and faith. This is one of many paradoxes, or apparent contradictions, whereby we are to enter into and embrace the presence and reality of God. To better understand this, this sermon looks at another paradox: the person of Jesus, himself. Jesus is God come into this world as a human being. He was, and is, fully divine and fully man. But Jesus isn't just known as "God made flesh," he is also the "Word made flesh." So to understand this mystery in Jesus is to understand the Word of God, the Bible itself. Within the incarnation of God's living Word, we find the inspiration for God's written Word. Through Jesus, we can approach the Bible depending upon both faith and evidence, divinity and humanity, mystery and reason. Through Jesus and the testimony of the Holy Spirit, our confidence in the written Word becomes sure.
Part 4 of the series “Why the Scriptures Are Trustworthy.” Just a few years after Jesus appeared and spoke words of life here on earth, Peter had to defend the integrity of the Word of God. He said, "We have not followed cleverly devised myths...but were eyewitnesses to his majesty...We have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place." (2 Peter 1:16, 19). If Peter had to make such a defense of God's Word so close to the time of Christ, what about the believers of today some 2,000 years after the events of the Bible? How can we be certain that the Bible of today isn't some "cleverly devised myth" as so many in our world believe? This message seeks to examine the physical evidence for the integrity of the actual written text of the Old and New Testaments. From the standpoint of evidence, can we be certain that the words we read in our bibles today are the words inspired by God so long ago? And should there be evidence in favor of this, is that all we need to fully trust in the written Word? Put on your investigative hats as we explore these and other important questions about our faith and practice in light of the Bible of today, yesterday, and forever.
Part 5 of the series “Why the Scriptures Are Trustworthy.” How did the individual books in the Old and New Testament come to be included in the Bible we have today? Were the books the selection of men as some believe, or was it the determination of God? This sermon takes another look at the evidence: in biblical scholarship, history, and documentary analysis, to help us investigate whether the books in the Bible we have today can be trusted to be the books God intended us to read and guide our lives by. This journey of evidence isn't enough to bring us to complete intellectual certitude in this area, but there is enough evidence to further strengthen our faith and trust in the integrity of God's written Word.
Part 6 of the series “Why the Scriptures Are Trustworthy.” Have you ever been misunderstood? None of us likes it when someone doesn't understand what we're trying to tell them, especially when we're speaking for their benefit. Can you imagine how God feels? From the very beginning, God's words have been misinterpreted by man. This has led to unbelief, disobedience, or at best, a person seeking God who doesn't receive the fullest blessing God wants to give. This sermon explores the topic of biblical interpretation and offers several tools for interpreting the Bible responsibly. A trustworthy interpretation will lead you toward a better understanding of God's truth. But it will also help you trust more in the integrity of God's Word itself, allowing you to enjoy the fullest benefits of relationship with him in his Kingdom.
Part 7 of the series “Why the Scriptures Are Trustworthy.” This series has provided many tools to help build our trust in the source and integrity of the written Scriptures. But the ultimate test of truth is whether the Bible actually delivers on its stated purposes: whether the Bible leads us to an eternal, saving, transformational relationship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and whether the Bible answers to our satisfaction fundamental life questions such as our origin and destiny, life's meaning, and how we should live. Ultimately, our fullest confidence in the integrity of the Scriptures can't be derived only through a search for evidence or a desire for faith. It must ultimately be discovered through an abiding relationship with the author of the written Word, God himself. This relationship must begin with the belief that there is something...or Someone...greater than ourselves. It is only in submitting to him where our ultimate certainty that the Bible is true will come.