Lesson 01: The Word of God
What is the Role of the Bible in My Life
What separates Christianity from any "religion" in the world is its claim to an absolute, written authority from God. Having the Word of God is essential to a Christian's growth in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. The standards by which a Christian is to govern his life is every detail are found in the pages of the Word of God.
The purpose of this lesson is to acquaint the Christian with the basics of the Bible and how it relates to his everyday life, so he can begin to understand how its principles are to guide every facet of his walk with Jesus Christ.
Introduction to the Bible
- It is universally accepted that there are tow fundamental sources of human knowledge; reason and experience. Both are essential to the understanding of the world around us. Yet, reason and experience do not answer the most profound and important questions of lie. Where did I come from" what is the purpose for my existence? where am I going, if anywhere, after death? is there another source of knowledge that carries us beyond the limitations of human reason and experience, a source that answers these, the three most important questions of life?
- There is a third source of knowledge called revelation. This revelation if found primarily in the Word of God, commonly called the Bible. The Bible teaches us that God has revealed Himself and His commandments in the Holy scriptures. In these Scriptures we have direct access to an infinite and personal Being who created all things for His pleasure, Who is not limited like His finite creation. He is God, who is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and immutable.
- The Bible describes two forms of revelation usually called general and special. According to Psalms 19:1-6 and Romans 1:20, God has revealed Himself to us through His creation. This general revelation is available to all the Bible teaches also that God has implanted the knowledge of His existence in every human heart. (Romans 1:19)
- God's special revelation involves a more direct communication with man, including dreams, visions, angles, the person of Christ. Himself and the Bible, God's written revelation. The Bible presents god's plan of redemption for mankind. All have sinned and all must be redeemed. god's will for man as he relates to God's plan for history is the theme and focal point of the Scriptures.
- God chose to reveal Himself in a progressive way. As time passed, more and more was revealed and recorded about God, His will and His way. At the completion of the New Testament, God's written revelation was complete
The Scriptures Are Unique in Several Ways
- It is unique in its production. The Bible is a book which is composed of 66 books written by more than 40 authors over a period of more the 1,600 years. Is is totally accurate in its recording of history and prophecy fitting together as though on man wrote it without one contradiction (2 Peter 1:19-21).
- It is unique in its preservation. God not only inspired the Scriptures, but He promised to preserve them (Psalms 12:6-7).
- It is unique in its proclamations. Over 25% of the Bible was prophetic in nature when written. It touches the subjects of Heaven and Hell: eternal salvation and damnation; eternity past and eternity future. Yet, it cuts to the heart of all of the major issues of life (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
- It is unique in its product. No other book has so profoundly influenced the course of history and the liver of men. "The word of God is Quick (alive) and powerful..." (Hebrews 4:12; 1 Peter 1:22-23).
The Inspiration of the Bible
- The author of the Bible is the Holy Spirit of God.
- The Bible is the source book of our knowledge of God. It is the textbook o divine truth and the guidebook to everlasting life.
- The word "Bible" is derived from the Greek work "biblos" meaning "a book."
- The Bible is a library of 66 books divided into two main sections, the Old Testament containing 39 books and the New Testament containing 27 books.
- "All scripture is given by inspiration..." (2 Timothy 3:16). What does it mean "by inspiration"? The apostle Peter said,"... holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy ghost" (2 Peter 1:21). The Holy ghost was miraculously present preserving the accuracy of the transcription of God's Word in a man's mouth to what we call the "original manuscripts." God moved men to say (inspiration) and record (preservation) the very words He chose.
- We accept the Scriptures as the infallible (incapable of error) Word of God completely inspired, undoubtedly preserved.See Hebrew 1:1; Jeremiah 1:9: 45:1; 2 Samuel 23:2; Ezekiel 2:2.
The Preservation of the Bible
- Not only did God inspire the Bible, but He preserved it as well.
- Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." (Matthew 24:35)
- David said, "The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever" (Psalms 12:6-7)
- A great example of inspiration and preservation of God's Word is found in Jeremiah 36. The Lord spoke to Jeremiah (inspiration), who dictated to Baruch the scribe, who wrote the words in a book (preservation). Even when god's enemies destroyed the original book, He made sure it was rewritten.
- Other verses on preservation are Isaiah 40:8 and 1 Peter 1:23-25.
- We can be sure that if God premised to preserve His Word, we have it today
The Scriptures Have Been Inspired and Preserved by God to Bring Us to Salvation and Daily Sanctification
- God inspired and preserved the Scriptures that we might have an infallible guide that will bring us to salvation and daily sanctification. For what purpose? That while we are here on Earth we might fulfill God's objectives of giving glory to Him while we carry out His will on Earth found in what is called our Great Commission:
- "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8).
- "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the son, and of the Holy ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: an, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen:" (Matthew 28:19-20).
- The teachings of Scripture fall into four categories according to 2 Timothy 3:16, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."
- Doctrine: What is right
- Reproof: What is not right
- Correction: How to get right
- Instruction in Righteousness: How to stay right
- That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" (2 Timothy 3:17).
- Psalms 119 teaches us that the Bible charges the believer with eight responsibilities concerning the Scriptures:
- Love them (vs. 97, 159)
- Prize them (vs. 72, 128)
- Study them (vs. 7, 12, 18, 26-27)
- Memorize them (vs. 11)
- Meditate on them (vs. 15, 23, 48, 78, 148)
- Trust them (vs. 42)
- Obey them (vs. 1-9)
- Declare them (vs. 13, 26)
The Word of God Is Active in Salvation
- The Word of God is the agent which brings about the new birth (1 Peter 1:23).
- We are saved by grace through faith and faith comes by hearing God’s Word (Ephesians 2:8; Romans 10:17).
- The Word of God is able to save our souls (James 1:21).
- Paul’s summary of the gospel contains four parts in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4:
- Jesus Christ died for our sins.
- He was buried.
- He rose from the dead.
- This was all according to the Scriptures.
- You must believe what the Bible says about sin, your condition, and God’s plan of Salvation in order to be saved.
Basic Principles of Bible Study
In his book entitled Reality Living, Pastor Jeff Adams listed 14 basic principles of Bible study:
- Effective Bible study depends upon a correct heart attitude (Ezekiel 14:1-5).
- All scripture is to be understood within its proper context (2 Peter 1:20; Isaiah 28:10).
- All Scripture is to be rightly divided (2 Timothy 2:15).
- The individual words of Scripture are the key to correct understanding (Proverbs 30:5-6).
- Understanding the Bible is not a matter of private interpretation (2 Peter 1:20).
- The Bible must be understood by the normal and literal meaning of the words in the context in which you read them.
- The Bible must be understood in the light of God’s consistency (1 Corinthians 14:40).
- Never violate a clear passage of Scripture with one that is more obscure.
- The invisible things of God are understood by seeing them illustrated in God’s creation (Romans 1:20).
- Never base a doctrine on a question or rhetorical or hypothetical statement (1 Corinthians 13:1; 15:29).
- Never base a doctrine on a single verse of Scripture (2 Corinthians 13:1; Isaiah 28:9-10).
- Understanding the Scriptures comes in time through spiritual growth (1 Corinthians 2:11-16).
- Always give the Bible the benefit of the doubt-innocent until proven guilty.
- God teaches us through the use of similitude's (comparisons) and pictures (John 15:5)
Famous Quote Concerning the Bible
The Bible contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword and the Christian’s charter. Here Paradise is restored, Heaven opened and the gates of Hell disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory and a river of pleasure. It is given to you in life, will be opened at the judgment and be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, rewards the greatest labor and condemns all who trifle with its holy contents. -Author Unknown
Key Memory Verses
“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of god may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:15-17)
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy cam not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2 Peter 1:20-21)
“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever” (Psalms 12:6-7)
“Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word” (Psalms 119:9)
Three popular attitudes about the Bible are:
- The Bible is just another religious book written by men.
- The Bible can only be understood by the “clergy” or by years of formal education.
- In order to understand the true meanings of Scripture, you must study Greek and Hebrew.
From the Bible principles taught in this lesson, you should understand that these attitudes are wrong, and why.