Hey. It was great to be with you this weekend at Barakel! Don’t you love that place? I promised notes, so here they are. I hope they make sense… God bless you and remember, Get the Word in You! Maybe I will see you this summer…
Friday Night Notes: I Have Questions
—L’Abri Story—a place where you can talk about your questions
—Johnny Mac at Moody
—Emile Callie’s—The Book That Understands Me.
—Discovery at the German Gasthous
—this is a wonderful and unique place where you can
Draw near to God with your deepest heart questions
—Psalm 119, Psalm 19
—Where did I come from? Why is life so hard? Why do I do bad things? What shall I do about it? Why am I here? Where am I going? What should I do with my life?
—What does the Bible say about these things? What do Christians believe about these things? How do I know what to believe?
Matthew 28:17 “…and some doubted…”
—Why am I here? To glorify God?
—Why evil? To glorify God and fulfill his purpose. His Glory and our good.
—Where did I come from? You were created by God.
—Where am I going. God’s plan is that you are destined for his eternal and glorious kingdom.
—Why am I here? To follow Jesus and help others follow Jesus.
—What should I do with my life?
—How do I know the God of the Bible is true?
—If God is good and all powerful, why does he allow evil. Why doesn’t he stop it?
—Aren’t all religious similar and lead to the same place?
—Why does it seem miracles are common in the Bible and not common in modern life?
—Are there other gods? Other worlds? Other ways to God?
—What about those who have never heard?
—what about homosexuality, abortion, the transgender issue?
According to the Bible, what should I do with my life?
Saturday Morning Notes: Can We Trust the Bible?
Introduction: Epidemic of anxiety and depression among young people.
Cutting. Despair. Why? Is it possible they have lost their place in the story? Another way of saying this: The Bible has been taken away from them.
“and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:15–17, ESV)
“knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:20–21, ESV)
Five Evidences for the Reliability of the Bible.
There are many different evidences for the reliability, the truth and trustworthiness of the Bible. There is so much evidence, there are so many arguments to make for the truth and trustworthiness off the Bible, that it is a little overwhelming to write a message about it—it’s hard to know what to leave out. There are so many fascinating stories to tell about things that confirm the truth and the trustworthiness of the Bible.
A word about the place of evidences… a help G. Gresham Machen
—aid to the seeker (general revelation/common grace). —encouragement to the faithful. There is more, much more but we will deal with that next week.
—stone in the shoe of the skeptic.
—[story] Holly and R.C.Sproul
1—The Nature of the Narrative is Evidence That it is True and Trustworthy. (Eye-Witness Testimony) Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:3 “… many infallible proofs…”
—Its nature as eye-witness history. It is history of the highest order —eye-witness accounts. They were written 15-25 years after the death of Jesus. The apostles appealed to living eyewitness testimony that was not disputed.
“Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.” (Luke 1:1–4, ESV)
“And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.” (Mark 15:21, ESV)
“For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” (2 Peter 1:16, ESV)
“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:1–6, ESV)
-They were honest eye-witnesses. They recorded their fears and failures. This they would not have done if they were fabricating an account or producing a moral story or fable.
—Its unity proves its nature is divine. Its origin is God. It was written at different times, in different places, by different people but its message is astoundingly unified. Its message is shockingly singular. All the parts support each other. This is internal evidence. A child can understand it. A scholar can invest his life in a small part of it. No one can exhaust its wisdom. Millions of devout believers have discovered as they experience life it is always fresh to their current experience.
2—The Factual Accuracy of the Bible in matters of history, geography, archeology is Evidence True/Trustworthy
—Fulfilled prophecy—Messianic prophecies alone are astounding. The Prophecies of Daniel. are staggering.
—the Confirmation of archeological discoveries. i.e. Discoveries of: The Hittites; Nineveh/Naham; Petra; Pool of Silosm; Hezekiah’s Tunnel; many other examples.
—The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Qumran Community. (1947-8)
—Failure or conversion of critics. …more on that later…
Accurate historic details: (9 examples of things doubters said were not true that were mentioned in the Bible that were discovered later to be historically accurate).
—the Pilot inscription —Hezekiahs Tunnel —Taylor Prisim
—David inscription 1993 —Moabite stone 1868
—Nazareth House —Cyrus Calendar
—Pool of Siloam 2004 —History of Hittite nation —Solomon’s steps 1990s —The Dead Sea Schools
3—The Number and Quality of the Manuscripts of Scripture is Evidence that it is True and Trustworthy
Literally thousands of manuscript portions of scripture exist today.
The have been collected and compared and studied. Compared to other writings of antiquity—of the same period and place—other writings that are universally accepted as authentic, the Bible is backed by thousands and thousands of manuscript portions from various places and various times, and they essentially agree.
This is better than having an original copy. Why is it better that we do not have the original manuscripts… idolatry. multiple ms. from different times and different places give us much greater assurance of their truth and trustworthiness. (Why the Bible says is not circular reasoning)
4—The Resilience of the Bible against attack is Evidence that it is True and Trustworthy.
[story] Sir William Ramsay. William Ramsay was known for his careful attention to New Testament events in Acts and Epistles. When he first went to Asia Minor, many of the cities mentioned in Acts had no known location and almost nothing was known of their detailed history or politics. The Acts of the Apostles was the only record and Ramsay, skeptical, fully expected his own research to prove the author of Acts hopelessly inaccurate since no man could possibly know the details of Asia Minor more than a hundred years after the event—this is, when Acts was then supposed to have been written. He therefore set out to put the writer of Acts on trial. He devoted his life to unearthing the ancient cities and documents of Asia Minor. After a lifetime of study, however, he concluded: ‘Further study … showed that the book could bear the most minute scrutiny as an authority for the facts of the Aegean world, and that it was written with such judgment, skill, art and perception of truth as to be a model of historical statement’ (The Bearing of Recent Discovery, p. 85). On page 89 of the same book, Ramsay accounted, ‘I set out to look for truth on the borderland where Greece and Asia meet, and found it there [in Acts]. You may press the words of Luke in a degree beyond any other historian’s and they stand the keenest scrutiny and the hardest treatment…’ When Ramsay declared the epistles of Paul authentic. Saint Paul Traveler Roman Citizen.
The Anvil of God’s Word
“Last eve I paused beside the blacksmith’s door,? And heard the anvil ring the vesper chime;
Then looking in, I saw upon the floor,
Old hammers, worn with beating years of time. “‘How many anvils have you had,’ said I,
‘To wear and batter all these hammers so?’? ‘Just one,’ said he, and then with twinkling eye,? ‘The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.’ “And so, I thought, the Anvil of God’s Word
For ages skeptic blows have beat upon;
Yet, though the noise of falling blows was heard,? The Anvil is unharmed, the hammers gone.”
5—It’s Fruit. What happens when people, families, churches, and nations build their lives on the truth of the Bible?
[story] Cardboard Testimonies.
[story] “Unshakled” Radio program…
[story] when a man was beating a woman and I asked him to stop. “…a soft answer turns away wrath…”
Conclusion: [story] The Story of the Pitcairn Bible at Mariners Church in Boston… have you heard the story behind it? Mutiny on the Bounty. Pitcairn Island.
[ill] The Great North Star. Kids need a Polaris overhead because they are growing up in pitch darkness… This we have in the Word of God. Inerrant. Inspired. Infallible. True and Trustworthy.
Saturday Evening Notes
3—Saturday Evening: How to Have Confidence in the Bible.
Are you serious. [ill] I was there the night Steve Thompson got serious about the Bible. I was so excited because even back then I knew that… amazing things begin to happen when a person begins to take the Bible seriously…
When You See the Glory of God in the Bible
You Will Believe it is the Word of God.
Four Examples of the Truth of God revealed in the Glory of God.
1—The Glory of God in Creation. We know the Bible is true the same way we know God created the world, by seeing the glory of Creation pointing to the Glory of God. Psalm 19; Romans 1:18ff [ill] Manitou Mike—Isn’t it a beautiful creation!
2—The Glory of God in Incarnation. We know the Bible is true the same way the disciples knew that Jesus was God by seeing the glory of God in Jesus. John 1:14
“And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17, ESV)
“that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him,” (Ephesians 1:17, ESV)
3—The Glory of God in Gospel. We know the Bible is true the same way we know the gospel story is true, by seeing the glory of God in the death and life of Jesus. 2 Cor. 4:1-6. [ill] Tom who was saved right here back in 1990. Then went to prison, but the Lord transformed him and the Lord sustained him.
“correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth,” (2 Timothy 2:25)
And the gospel is not just for justification, but for sanctification. That is why we preach the gospel, tell the story to ourselves. [ill] Milton
Vincent’s 3×5 cards. A Gospel Primer. “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18, ESV)
[ill] Pastor asked man about his intimacy with God and he answered. “O, pastor, I don’t think you realize how badly I sinned before I was saved.” …as if past sin in the life of a justified Christian made intimacy with Christ impossible. Not so if you understand and preach the gospel to yourself.
[ill] You can find your way home by the way of the cross.
4—The Glory of God in Second-Coming. We know the Bible is true the way we will know Jesus when he returns by seeing the glory of God in Christ his return. 2 Peter 1:16-21
When You See the Glory of God in the Bible
You Will Believe it is the Word of God.
Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ. “…the majority of the people in the world will never have the time or the tools to trace out all the evidence o the historical reliability of the New Testament. If Jesus is the Son of God, if he died for our sins and rose from the dead, and if God meant for people, two thousand years later, to have a well-founded with, then there must be another path to know the real Jesus other than by rigorous, academic, historical research.
There is another path. …it starts with the conviction that divine truth can be self-authenticating. In fact, it would seem strange if God revealed himself in his Son Jesus Christ and inspired the record of that revolution in the Bible, but did not provide a way fo ordinary people to know it. Stated most simply, the common path to sure knowledge of the real Jesus is this: Jesus, as hs is revealed in the Bible, had a glory—an excellence, a spiritual beauty—that can be seen as self-evidently true.” —John Piper; Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ.
[ill] Steve Thompson. Meeting last summer. Holly talking with Jenny
To explain the good and to sustain you in the bad you are going to have to have confidence that you have a book that understands you. If you build your life on the Word of God you will discover that the Bible is self-authenticating and the Bible has an orienting effect on us. You can face guilt and shame. You can endure loss. You can resist temptation. You can find your way to joy. You can know to have eternal life and you can grow in holiness more and more like Jesus all your life [ill] Lois saying thank you… Chuk—sanctification!
[ill] Bullied. Began to see that God accomplished good though bad, sweet thorough bitter. Like Joseph—his beautiful purposes through ugly things… How did I know that. the Bible tells me so.
You can endure great sorrow and loss. [ill] The Old Farmer and J. Vernon McGee 6 sons 1 daughter. The Ekkel Family (Sharon)
When You See the Glory of God in the Bible
You Will Believe it is the Word of God.
Sunday Morning Notes
Introduction: What they taught in every class at Moody. Why does it say? What does it mean? What does it mean to me? What should I do about it? [observation. Interpretation. application] Knowledge. Understanding. Wisdom… the fear of the Lord. We have tried to do that in our time together this weekend.
Friday Night: Hunger for God. Take your questions to God and his Word.
Saturday Morning: Confidence though Evidences.
Saturday Evening: Confidence through Glory.
This morning: Practical Applications. (Wisdom) Proverbs/Psalms
1—Get the Word in You. Do it any way you can. Read. Study. Listen. Memorize. Meditate. Bibles. Bible App. Sermons. Teachings. Stay at it. Keep your head down. Get up when you fall. Move the Ribbon. “Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,” (Psalm 119:2) Five Psalms a Day. A Chapter of Proverbs a Day. Read a paraphrase. Master a Book.
2—Pray Continually for Spiritual Enlightenment When You Meditate on Scripture. “Lord, open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things from your law…” (Psalm 119:18) It’s a living ever-relevant book Graphe—written. Logos—big word. Rhema—word for you for today.
3—Learn to Value the Bible. Turn it from duty to delight. Don’t see it as an assignment, see it as an indulgence. People who are radiant and flourishing in the faith—you will notice they talk about God’s Word as a thing they cherish and time in God’s word as something that delights them… There are deeper joys that must be cultivated to be experienced.
“More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.” (Psalm 19:10–11)
Never trifle with God’s truth. Never squander your spiritual inheritance. Cultivate longing to know God to see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. “The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” (Psalm 119:72, ESV)
Delight in the law of God—the words of God. Read Psalm 119 and mark all the places that mention delight in the law of God. “for I find my delight in your commandments, which I love. I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.” (Psalm 119:47–48)
Replace worthless things with words of God. “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.” (Psalm 119:37, ESV)
4—Think about Bible Truth all Through the Day. (Psalm 1) Day and Night. Take your worries to the Bible. Take your questions to the Bible. Take your fears to the Bible. Take your ambitions to the Bible. Listen to music that gets the scripture in you.
5—Get Counsel from People Who Get Their Answers from the Bible. (Psalm 1) “…don’t walk in the counsel of the ungodly.” Who will you follow? Who will you be discipled by?
6—Obey the Bible. Act on what you are learning. Take steps even if they are baby steps at first. Follow the Light You Have. “With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!” (Psalm 119:10) Claim its Promises. Be a practicing Christian. Obey like driving to the end of the headlights.
7—Talk about the Bible and Teach the Bible wherever you can. “For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.” (Ezra 7:10) [ill] Small group in the school library. Little class. CEF. Be a pipeline of Gods truth not a stagnant pool. Witness. Make it your ambition to come up here to be a counselor, etc.
8—Expect Resistance. Renounce Satan.
“In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:4–6, ESV)
“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” (2 Timothy 2:24–26, ESV)
9—Confess any sin or stubbornness that might cloud your spiritual sight.
“Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me.” (Psalm 119:133, ESV)
“Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:12–14)
10—Let God Love You Through His Word. Read with a warm heart toward God. Read until your heart warms toward God. Cultivate love for God and affections for God with his Word. [ill] Don’t let grass grow on your path.
“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Conclusion: My prayer in the hallway for each of my children. I never stop praying it… Lord. Help them to love you all the days of their lives and never turn aside.