OceanSide church of Christ
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A. We live in an age where the integrity of the Bible is continuously questioned.
1. There are many who either do not believe or have definite doubts about whether the Bible is God’s message to man.
a. Some of these folks are atheists who reject the very existence of God.
b. Others can properly be called agnostics because they doubt the source of the Bible.
2. Still others question whether we have an accurate translation of the original autographs of the Word of God.
a. Can we rely upon any modern translations of the Bible to truly impart divine truth?
b. After all, the original autographs of the Bible have disappeared and all modern translations depend upon copies of the original autographs.
c. Could it be that those who copied the original made mistakes?
d. Can we really be certain we have the Word of God available to us today as it was originally written by inspired men?
3. And, after all, isn’t the Bible filled with various contradictions?
B. The Bible tells us to always be ready to answer those who question us about our hope in Christ - 1 Peter 3:15. Our hope in Christ depends on our understanding of God’s word. These questions have done a great deal of damage many brethren today, not b/c these questions should not be asked, but rather b/c we were not ready to give an answer.
1. Can you answer the questions we just stated?
2. Can it be proven that the Word of God is available today as God intends for us to have it or must we submit to the conclusions of the critics?
C. Friends, there are some things we know for certain.
A. IN EXODUS 24 GOD CALLED MOSES UP TO
1. Exodus 24:12 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.”
a. Notice that the law that God gave to Moses was a written law.
b. God intended for His people to know His will for them.
c. Exodus 31:18 “And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.”
Meanwhile, as Moses was on
a. They requested that Aaron make them a golden calf so that they could worship it.
Aaron had complied the people of
c. The Bible says that they “sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.”
3. Of course, God knew what His people were doing and only the intercession of Moses prevented God from destroying the people.
sent Moses back to the camp of
b. Exodus 32:19 “And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.”
c. The written word of God on the tables of stone was destroyed. Did God leave it at that or did He preserve His Word?
4. The truth is that God preserved His Word for His people.
a. Exodus 34:1 “And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.”
b. Exodus 34:4 “And he hewed two tables of stone like unto the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone.”
5. God wrote the same words that were in the first tables.
a. It was His will that His Word be preserved in its original form for the spiritual benefit of His people.
INSTANCE WHERE GOD PRESERVED HIS WORD IS FOUND IN THE HISTORY OF THE NATION OF
Manasseh reigned 50 years as king of
a. It is believed that during this time the written law of God was lost to the people of God.
b. They were involved in the practice of idolatry to the extent that the practice of the book of the law was no longer a part of their lives.
2. But again, God preserved His Word.
a. Josiah came to power following the reign of Manasseh and his son, Amon.
b. Though a young ruler, the Bible says that Josiah 2 Kings 22:2 “And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.”
c. Josiah begin to eliminate the practice of idolatry and sought to restore the temple that had fallen into ruin because of neglect.
d. It was during this restoration of the temple that the book of the law of God was rediscovered and Josiah commanded that its directions concerning the worship of God again become a part of the lives of the people.
3. The people of God needed that written law - they needed the direction that it gave them - they needed to restore its practice to be pleasing to God.
A. BECAUSE HE LOVES THE LOST AND WANTS ALL TO BE SAVED -2 Peter 3:9.
1. Since faith comes by the hearing of the Word of God (Romans 10:17) and one cannot please God without faith, then surely, the God of heaven who so much desires our salvation would not allow that which creates faith to disappear.
2. Such would be inconsistent with the very character of God whom we serve.
3. Just as surely as God’s people needed His written Word in the days of Moses and in the days of Josiah, we need His written Word FOR SALVATION today.
B. BECAUSE HE IS JUST AND CONSISTENT - Psalms 89:14 “Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.”
1. It is one thing to have access to the Word of God and then reject it and quite another for one to deliberately have access to the Word of God completely denied him.
2. Would God deliberately withhold His word from us while demanding our submission to it?
a. God is never inconsistent.
b. He is never unjust.
c. His very nature would demand that He preserve His Word for our knowledge and salvation.
C. BECAUSE GOD IS ALL POWERFUL - Jeremiah 32:17 “Ah Lord GOD! Behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:”
1. It should be obvious that it is within the ability of God to preserve His Word since His power is not limited except as He chooses to limit it.
2. The question is not is God powerful enough but has he promised to preserve His Word?
a. 1 Peter 1:24-25 “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word, which by the gospel is preached unto you.”
(1) Did the Lord say His word would endure forever?
(2) Peter said that word was the gospel which he preached.
(3) The gospel is going to endure! God has so stated!
b. Matthew 24:35 “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
(1) Will the words of Jesus be preserved?
(2) Jesus confirmed that they would - his words shall not pass away.
D. BECAUSE THE WORD WILL JUDGE US IN THE LAST DAY.
1. John 12:48.
2. Again, it is a reflection upon the justness and consistency of God to believe that His Word will judge us in the last day but that He will not preserve it in such a way as to allow us to know and obey it.
a. Jesus promised that we would be able to know the truth - John 8:32.
b. If God has not preserved His word then how can it be possible for any person to receive what Jesus promised?
c. How is it possible for anyone to know the truth?
d. Sadly, that is what many folks, including some in the church, are contending - i.e. that no one can be certain that what he believes to be the truth is the truth. How tragic!
3. Satan must truly rejoice when such sentiments are believed and expressed.
4. We can be confident that it is possible to know the truth - that God has preserved it for us because we will face His word in the judgment day.
E. BECAUSE GOD REAVEALS HIS WILL TO MANKIND IN EVERY AGE.
1. Acts -17 “And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.”
a. In every age of His dealings with mankind, God has imparted His will to mankind. He has never left Himself without witness.
b. Heb. 1:1-2.
2. Set down one day with your concordance and see how many times in the Bible the term word of the Lord or word of God is used. Or how many times the Bible says that God spoke.
a. God has communicated His will to mankind.
b. He has revealed what He wants us to know and we have it available and accessible to us.
A. THE DEVIL HAS ALWAYS SOUGHT TO CORRUPT THE WORD OF GOD BY ADDING TO IT OR TAKING FROM IT.
1. He has been very successful in perverting the truth in the creeds, church manuals and books written by men.
2. We would be blind to believe that the devil will cease his effort when it comes to the various modern translations.
3. Paraphrases such as the Good News For Modern Man and the Living Bible are not true translations and are inaccurate in their content.
4. So-called translations originated by one religious group such as The New World Translation contain the bias and teaching of that particular group and again, are inaccurate and certainly suspect.
B. EVEN THE POPULAR NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION WHEN COMPARED WITH THE ANCIENT MANUSCRIPTS IS SHOWN TO CONTAIN DENOMINATIONAL BIAS.
1. Still one of the most accurate of Bible translations is the tried and true King James Version.
2. A relatively recent revision of that is the New King James Version.
C. NO TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE IS 100 PERCENT WITHOUT FLAW.
1. But some are much better than others.
2. And some do contain fatal error and are not worth the paper they are printed on.
D. THE FACT THAT SOME TRANSLATIONS AND PARAPHRASES CONTAIN ERROR DOES NOT MEAN THAT GOD HAS NOT PRESERVED HIS WORD.
A. We can be certain that God not only wants us to know the truth but has made it possible for us to know it.
B. Don’t allow the critics of Christianity to destroy your faith in the Word of God or in the justice and mercy of God.