THE SUFFICIENCY OF THE SCRIPTURES PART #4 CHURCH HISTORY/ENDURANCE
PERSONALITIES Lewis A. Chafer, founder and former President of Dallas Theological Seminary, puts it this way: “The Bible is not such a book a man would write if he could, or could write if he would.”
The Bible deals very frankly with the sins of its characters. Read the biographies today, and see how they try to cover up, overlook or ignore the shady side of people. Take the great literary geniuses; most are painted as saints. The Bible does not do it that way. It simply tells it like it is: And that’s the second incredible proof of Scripture – SUPERNATURAL WRITING. It is like no book ever – 3800 times, they said it’s from God!! They couldn’t escape it. MOSES-LEV. 50 Times 1:1 4:1 6:1,8 EXOD. 3:4,6 God called; God said 7:14 Lord said DAVID 25:23:2 ISAIAH 1:2 JEREMIAH 1:4,9,11,12; 46:1,47:1 EZE. 9:8, 11:13 DANIEL 7:1, 8:1 HAB. 2:1-2
On and on 3,790 more times, SCRIPTURE is sufficient for life because – Supernatural character of Christ. Supernatural writers NOW HOLD ON: Because of the supernatural message they delivered. Think of it!
1. Written over a 1600-year span. 2. That’s over 60 generations. 3. Written by 40 plus authors from every walk of life including kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, poets, statesmen, scholars, etc.: For Example: Moses, a political leader; trained in the universities of Egypt – Peter, a fisherman and Amos, a herdsman. 4. Written in different places: Moses in the wilderness – Jeremiah in a dungeon – Daniel on a hillside and in a palace – Paul inside prison walls – Luke while traveling – John
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on the isle of Patmos – Others in the rigors of a military campaign. PLUS: A host we know nothing but that they wrote…. 5. Written at different times: David in times of war – Solomon in times of peace. 6. Written during different moods: Some writing from the heights of joy and others writing from the depths of sorrow and despair. 7. Written on three continents: Asia, Africa and Europe. 8. Written in three languages: Hebrew: Was the language of the Old Testament. In 2 Kings 18:26-28 called “the language of Judah.” In Isaiah 19:18 called “the language of Canaan.” Aramaic: Was the “lingua franca” of the Near East until the time of Alexander the Great (6th century B C.—4th century B.C.) 14/218. Greek: New Testament language. Was the international language at the time of Christ.
Such diversity! Even of type of writing. They include history, law (civil, criminal, ethical, ritual, sanitary), religious poetry, didactic treatises, lyric poetry, parable and allegory, biography, personal correspondence, personal memoirs and diaries, in addition to the distinctively biblical types of prophecy and apocalyptic.
In spite of all that diversity there is one unity.
The sins of the people denounced-Deuteronomy 9:24. Sins of the patriarchs-Genesis 12:11-13; 49:5-7. Evangelists paint their own faults and the faults of the apostles-Matt. 26:31-56; 8:10-26; John 10:6; 16:32; Mark 6:52; 8:18; Luke 8:24, 25; 9:40-45. Disorder of the churches-1 Corinthians 1:11; 15:1; 2 Corinthians 2:4; etc.
Criswell states it best – Despite the varying circumstances, conditions, authors and workmen who produced the Bible, the Bible is not many books but one Book. Behind its many parts there is an unmistakable organic unity. It contains one system of doctrine, one system of ethics, one plan of salvation and one rule of faith….The structure was planned and wrought out in the mind of a divine Architect who superintended his own workmen at work. The whole Bible was built in the thought of God before one book was laid in order.
WOW – THINK OF IT!
*The Paradise Lost as the book of books opens in Genesis is the Paradise Regained at the cross by Christ in Gospels and the The Paradise Entered by all who bow to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords in Revelation. There is one glorious unity of God’s Kingdom coming, redeeming and consummated! Man Redeemed and God glorified!
The Supernatural endurance of Scripture. Of the 3,000 pages a minute printed in just the USA, most end up in the dumpster or recycle bin.
Of the thousands of new books that are introduced each month, most won’t command a quarter at a garage sale the next year!
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But one book has shown supernatural ability to endure from its birth – and it has been attacked – Let’s sketch it.
Jeremiah 36 tells how the scroll of Jeremiah prophecy was cut up by King Jehoiakom and burned – God gave it back. The Word was totally lost for years until Hilkiah discovers it in 2 Chr. 34 As reads it to Josiah. The Philistines, Moabites, Ammonites and all came, killed, burned-God’s Word safe. Israel was destroyed by the Babylonians and Assyrians, but God protected His Word. The Persians held them in captivity…but it was kept. The Greeks conquered Palestine and terrorized the Jews, but God kept His Word safe. The mighty Roman legions marched invincible and crushed and burned Jerusalem, but God had some ascetic Essenes hide a copy from every Old Testament book, but one in a cave 1900 years ago – The Dead Sea Scrolls-found in 1947. Jews took copies into captivity in Egypt and translated them from Hebrew to Greek and the LXX was born. The Old Testament was in the language of the world now and spreads (this is Bible of Christ’s time, Paul quotes it with the apostles…) Christianity is born and with that comes love for the Old Testament and its further spread as well as the 27 books of New Testament written in the 60 years following Christ’s ascension.
Roman Empire starts three successive persecutions: 1. Nero AD 54-68 local and sporadic – Paul and Peter martyred. 2. Trojan (AD 98-117) as provinces systematically weeded out these offenders. Notable is the commentary by Pliny The Younger 3. Final persecution of Roman Empire was that of Diocletian in those short years ending in 305, we saw nearly every copy of Scripture burned. All known leaders killed, all places of meeting ruined (in fact, no complete New Testament known before 325 AD!!). 4. Danger wasn’t up because AD 313 Constantine legalized Christianity and we had all the pagan religions. Rome conquered for 1,000 years all mixed with the truth that’s what happened to the Holy Catholic (universal) Church, Rome was added – Roman Catholics-No; Christianity-Yes.
Dark Ages – Few Lights 13 Savonarolla 14 Hus 15 Luther & Calvin (Ref) 16 Bunyan 17 Wesleys 18 Moody
TODAY…SO WHAT’S BEEN SO SPECIAL ABOUT THIS BIBLE?
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IT HAS HAD SUPERNATURAL PROTECTION It has been cut up and burned (Jeremiah). Lost for generations. (Hilkiah). Battered in war (Philistines, Moabites…). Taken into captivity (Babylonians). Held by succeeding empires (Persia). Endangered in homeland (Alexander). Translated in slavery (LXX). Saved from total crushing (Romans). Spread by Christians. Kept through persecution. Found inspite of Dark Ages. Now most widespread in world.
Frances Scaffer story at Labri the man searching for truth who walked from India – Same for centuries – God sent Jonah to Ninevah God sent the Queen Sheba to Solomon GreeksJesus, etc.
SO WHY SHOULD WE BELIEVE THE SCRIPTURES? ORIGIN: 1. SUPERNATURAL CHARACTER OF CHRIST AND OUR FAITH IN HIM AND HIS VIEW. 2. SUPERNATURAL WRITING: THE UNSHAKABLE CONVICTION OF CHRIST’S APOSTLES AND PROPHETS IN OLD TESTAMENT/NEW TESTAMENT. 3. SUPERNATURAL MESSAGE-PERMEATING: THE ASTOUNDING UNIQUENESS OF THE CONTRIBUTORS MAKING A BOOK SO UNIFIED – WITH ONE MESSAGE! GOD’S KINGDOM. One King – Is triune God through Christ. One Kingdom – Those who bow to them. One Purpose – Glorify God. One Plan – Redeem Fallen Man. One Judge – Lord Jesus Christ. One Blessed Destiny for the redeemed. One dreadful horror for the damned.
4. Supernatural Endurance, protected, kept by God.
IF YOU DO BELIEVE THE SCRIPTURE, WHAT’S OUR RESPONSIBIITY? Be a Christian disciple – read it daily – pray as much as you can – share Christ with the lost – Be demonstrating Christian freedom from desire of things – from uncleanness.
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Scriptures promise that we can be free through the Word of God and our obedient submission to it – Free from slavery to lust Free from bondage to unclean desires. Freedom from gripping bitterness. Freedom from persistent fear, guilt. Freedom from uncontrollable desire of things – security – pleasure Yes – Christ wants us to even see His power in changing a habit of: Anger Gossip Passivity in our family responsibilities
IN SHORT, HE CAN TRANSFORM OUR LIVES!! ARE YOU LETTING HIM?