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!


    1. Do you believe the Bible is God’s inspired message
      to mankind?

    2. If so, is that belief based on faith, evidence or

      1. Let’s vote here.

      2. Those who say your belief in the Bible is
        based on demonstration, tell me what
        demonstration you have seen?

      3. Those who say your belief is based on
        evidence, tell me about your evidence?

      4. Those who say your belief is based on faith,
        tell me why you have faith?

      5. (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.)

    3. 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
      are correct?

      1. If you think the details matter, tell me why?

      2. 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.

        1. What is this angel proclaiming? (The
          “eternal gospel.”)

        2. What does the angel actually say? (Fear
          God and give Him glory because the time of
          judgment has come.)

        3. 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

          1. 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.)

        4. 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.)


    1. 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?

      1. Is the Bible like that? Are there “theories”
        in the Bible that you have seen proven in your

        1. If so, tell me about them.

        2. What about the Ten Commandments? Do you
          find they are rules that work? Rules that
          have reproducible results?

        3. 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.))

          1. Does the Psalmist say that obedience
            to God always seems to work out
            better? (No! He starts out
            complaining that it does not.)

          2. 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

            1. 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.)


    1. 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.

      1. Is the Bible “self-authenticating?” Does it
        carry its own seal of authenticity?

        1. How could the Bible contain a
          “certification from the appropriate legal

      2. 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

        1. Does Jesus seem to accept them as written?

        2. Is Jesus the appropriate legal authority
          to authenticate the Bible?

    2. 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?)

      1. Can the questions of the people be answered?
        Can we tell whether Jesus’ teaching comes from
        God or was His own?

      2. 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.)

        1. Do you need the Bible to apply the first

        2. 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.)

      3. (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.)


    1. Our lesson reminds us that several ancient
      civilizations had stories that contain elements of
      the Biblical account of Creation and the Flood.

      1. Does that increase or decrease your belief in
        the Bible?

        1. Does this tend to show the Bible is just a
          copy of common ideas in other

        2. 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.)


    1. We discussed earlier how God uses the details of
      the Bible to prove His power.

      1. What difference, if any, would it make to your
        day to day life if the Bible were not totally

      2. What difference would it make to your witness
        to others if the Bible were not totally true?

        1. 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.)

        2. 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

        3. 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

        4. 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!