Introduction: Last week we looked at the way in which nature
affects our belief in the existence of God. We decided
nature proves that there is a power above mankind. We ended
on the note that it would be logical for the God who created
us to want to communicate with us. This week we continue
along our line of logic to examine the issue of the
reliability of God’s communication. Let’s dig in!
- THE BIBLE AND TRUTH
- Do you believe the Bible is God’s inspired message
- If so, is that belief based on faith, evidence or
- Let’s vote here.
- Those who say your belief in the Bible is
based on demonstration, tell me what
demonstration you have seen?
- Those who say your belief is based on
evidence, tell me about your evidence?
- Those who say your belief is based on faith,
tell me why you have faith?
- (I vote for evidence and not mere faith. The
Biblical account of creation is more
consistent with the evidence around me. Three
reasons: First, I do not believe that we
evolved (came to be where we are by chance)
when man, with all his intelligence, cannot
even create something simple like a hand.
Second, science continually discovers that our
universe operates according to laws and
patterns. This is consistent with an
intelligent Creator and inconsistent with
chance. Third, everything I own proves the
Second Law of Thermodynamics (that disorder
increases with time). This directly
contradicts the evolutionary idea that matter
becomes more orderly with time.)
- Do we need to sweat the details of the Bible? Does
it really matter, for example, whether the details
in the Biblical account of Creation and the Flood
- If you think the details matter, tell me why?
- Let’s look at Revelation 14:6-7. This is the
message of the first angel of the three angels
who bring the end-time message to the world.
- What is this angel proclaiming? (The
- What does the angel actually say? (Fear
God and give Him glory because the time of
judgment has come.)
- The angel mentions creation. What has
creation got to do with fearing God or
giving Him glory? (If God created us, then
we owe Him a debt of gratitude and
- Does creation have anything to do
with the gospel or judgment? (If God
created us, He can certainly recreate
us. He also has the power and
authority to judge us.)
- Do you think that this angel believes the
details of creation are important? (Yes!
The historical event of creation is the
basis for the angel’s “argument” that we
should comply with the gospel message.
Without a belief in Creation, the gospel
loses its power.)
- THE SCIENTIFIC BIBLE?
- Let’s consider a theory of life upon which we all
agree: we all agree that gravity pulls things down.
Here is a penny. I’ll hold it out and let it go.
Will it fall down? Or will it rise up? The fact
that it falls down every time I try this shows our
theory of gravity is correct, right?
- Is the Bible like that? Are there “theories”
in the Bible that you have seen proven in your
- If so, tell me about them.
- What about the Ten Commandments? Do you
find they are rules that work? Rules that
have reproducible results?
- Are the “theories” of the Bible always
proved true in your experience? (Read
Psalms 73:2, 12-13, 16-17. (Reading this
whole section is helpful.))
- Does the Psalmist say that obedience
to God always seems to work out
better? (No! He starts out
complaining that it does not.)
- Verses 16-17 seem to indicate that he
ultimately is satisfied that God’s
way is best. Why? (Because he looks
at the eternal destiny of the
righteous versus the wicked. He sees
that sin causes death in the Temple
- Do you have to wait until the
Second Coming to see God’s way
proven to be superior? Can you
see that sin causes death and a
diminished living experience
now? (In my experience you do
not have to wait, you can see
these things now.)
- THE SELF-AUTHENTICATING BIBLE?
- Lawyers often want to admit documents into evidence
at trial. Documents cannot be placed into evidence
unless someone can authenticate them – testify that
they are what they appear to be. There is an
exception to that rule for “self-authenticating”
documents. These documents show, on their face,
that they are authentic. For example, government
documents carrying a certification from the
appropriate legal authority are self-authenticating.
- Is the Bible “self-authenticating?” Does it
carry its own seal of authenticity?
- How could the Bible contain a
“certification from the appropriate legal
- Turn with me to Matthew 19:3-6 and Luke 17:26-27. What is Jesus’ attitude towards the
controversial stories of Creation and the
- Does Jesus seem to accept them as written?
- Is Jesus the appropriate legal authority
to authenticate the Bible?
- Turn with me to John 7:12, 14-19a. What question do
the people have about Jesus? (Some debate whether
He is a good or bad man. Jesus pushes the question
to another height – is He sent from God?)
- Can the questions of the people be answered?
Can we tell whether Jesus’ teaching comes from
God or was His own?
- What kind of test does Jesus suggest? (Jesus
says (v.17) that we (those who choose to do
God’s will) can test Him. He suggests two
tests: 1)Whether He was working for His own
honor or the honor of God; 2) Whether it
squares with the Law.)
- Do you need the Bible to apply the first
- Do you need the Bible to apply the second
test? (Although we might argue that you
need the Bible to know that self-glory is
not the goal, the first test seems to be a
matter of observing Jesus. The second
test is clearly a matter of knowing what
is in the Bible.)
- (Jesus lays out a very interesting argument
here. He starts out (as we ended our
discussion last week) with an assumption that
His listeners believed in an intelligent God.
Then He says that we can know if He is from
that God because of the nature of His actions
(bringing glory to God and not Him) and that
God will help us to discern the truth. Jesus
then ties in the Ten Commandments by
suggesting that someone who keeps them works
for the glory of God and not himself. Thus
Jesus makes both an argument for Himself and
the Bible. Each help to prove the other.)
- A BIBLE WITHOUT ORIGINAL IDEAS?
- Our lesson reminds us that several ancient
civilizations had stories that contain elements of
the Biblical account of Creation and the Flood.
- Does that increase or decrease your belief in
- Does this tend to show the Bible is just a
copy of common ideas in other
- Or does the commonality of these themes
tend to prove their truth? (Evolutionists
point out the commonality of the design
among animals as evidence of evolution. I
view it as evidence of a master design.
The fact that several ancient cultures
have similar stories about Creation and
the Flood tends to prove that the event
happened, rather than proving the stories
were made up.)
- THE PRACTICAL IMPACT OF SWEATING THE DETAILS.
- We discussed earlier how God uses the details of
the Bible to prove His power.
- What difference, if any, would it make to your
day to day life if the Bible were not totally
- What difference would it make to your witness
to others if the Bible were not totally true?
- To resolve any debate do you have to have
a common standard of truth? (Absolutely.
The first thing a lawyer does to resolve
an issue is to find out what the law says.
The lawyer then argues from an application
of the law to the facts.)
- Is it important to have a common standard
for truth in scientific research? (The
quest is to find first how nature operates
and then argue a conclusion from that. In
those fields of learning where there is no
scientific standard, every man’s opinion
is just as good as the opinion of anyone
else. Those are the fields of “science”
where we find the most ridiculous
- Do we need a common standard in religion?
(Yes! This is like any debate, like any
truly scientific study. Unless you can
agree that the Bible is the standard of
truth, debate and discussion are worthless
because one opinion is just as good as the
- Friend, you cannot separate God’s opinion
from your opinion in day to day life
unless you believe in the truth of the
Bible. If you believe in this standard,
you have a reliable guide for living –
straight from the Manufacturer!
- NEXT WEEK: CREATION IN SIX DAYS