OceanSide church of Christ
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IF THERE WERE NO BIBLE
Victor M. Eskew
A. There have always been enemies of the truth. These individuals hate the truth and deny that the Bible is the Word of God.
B. Recently, it has been confirmed that these individuals are not just the atheists, agnostics, skeptics, and infidels. Some of these individuals are “religious” people.
1. A.N. Wilson: “A true Biblical faith recognizes that the Bible is not a book of answers. It’s the story of the human race getting it wrong, over and over and over again” (“The Good Book of Few Answers”).
2. A relative of one of our members at East Wood: “Certainly the Bible is filled with truth, but it isn’t a rule book, or science book, or geography book or anything else. Its literal words in much of the text just simply do not apply to us any more, if they ever did at all. And if we don’t read the Bible as poetry, an allegory, song and praise, we miss very much of its meaning” (Facebook message dated May 3, 2010).
3. God’s Holy Fire, Cukrowski, Hamilton, Thompson, ACU Press:
a. The Bible comes to most people only by means of translations, and God’s Word is present in the translations (p. 32).
b. While the Bible does shed light on issues of church organization and other issues that have attracted the attention of many of us, it does not provide a constitution or pattern for church organization, focusing instead on the much more important issues of spiritual and moral life, justice, peace, and reverence before God (p. 48).
c. The Bible does not save us: Jesus does. Scripture is not a rulebook covering every imaginable situation, if we only know how to decode it correctly. Reading it that way has led us deep into sectarianism (p. 67).
C. Many have the attitude and act as if we need to discard the Bible altogether.
D. In this lesson, we want to examine this thought: “What If There Were No Bible.”
I. IF NO BIBLE, THEN NO COMPLETE UNDERSTANDING OF GOD
A. Notice that we did not say that there would be no understanding of God.
1. Psalm 19:1-3
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
2. Romans 1:20
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being under-stood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.
a. Invisible things are seen by viewing the things that God has made.
b. Looking at nature reveals to us:
1) God exists.
2) He is powerful
3) He is a divine being.
B. This, however, does not begin to reveal all we need to know about God.
1. God sees all (Heb. 4:13).
2. God is love (I John 4:8).
3. God is one (Eph. 4:6).
4. God is holy (I Pet. 1:15-16).
5. We need to have the Bible to come to a complete knowledge of God.
II. IF NO BIBLE, THEN NO KNOWLEDGE OF BEGINNINGS
A. The Bible is the only book that reveals to us the beginning of all things.
1. Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2. Matthew 19:4
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female.
B. If we did not have the Bible, we could only guess about beginnings. This leads only to godless theories like evolution.
C. It also leaves us guessing about the origin of other things we well:
1. The origin of the week
2. The origin and great concern of the world over Israel
3. The origin of nations
4. The origin of marriage
5. The origin of evil in the world
III. IF NO BIBLE, THEN THERE WOULD BE NO STORY OF CALVARY
A. The gospel narratives are the only historical accounts of the arrest, trial, crucifixion, and burial of Jesus. In his book, The Trial of Jesus, Walter M. Chandler makes this comment:
“THE Gospels of the New Testament form the record of fact in the trial of Jesus. There is not a line of authentic history in the literature of the world, sacred or profane, dealing originally and authoritatively with the facts and circumstances of the trial and crucifixion of the Christ, excepting these Gospels. A line from Philo – a dubious passage from Josephus – a mere mention by Tactitus – a few scattering fragments from the Talmud – all else is darkness, save the light that streams down through the centuries from Calvary and the Cross through the books of the Evangelists” (p. 3).
B. Think of that, if we did not have the Bible, we would have no history of Calvary at all. We would have no “good news” to tell.
1. There would be no revelation of Jesus struggles in the Garden of Gethsemane.
2. There would be no mentions of Jesus’ trials before both the Jews and Romans.
3. There would be no walk down the Via Dolorosa.
4. There would be no nails in the hands and feet of Jesus.
5. There would not be seven sayings from the cross.
6. There would be no spear to pierce the Lord’s side.
7. There would be no burial in a rich man’s tomb.
IV. IF NO BIBLE, THEN NO PLAN OF SALVATION
A. Throughout the years, man has oft asked the question: “What must I do?” in regard to salvation.
1. A certain lawyer (Luke 10:25).
2. A certain ruler (Luke 18:18).
3. The Jews on Pentecost (Acts 2:37).
4. Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:6).
5. The Philippian jailor (Acts 16:30).
B. If we have no Bible, we would have absolutely no answer to this question.
C. NOTE: Without an answer to the question, not one person could be saved. In other words, every man, woman, and child would remain lost in sin.
D. Romans 1:16-17
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the right-eousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
1. Within the pages of the Bible, there is a plan whereby God makes man righteous.
2. The plan sets forth five simple initial steps: hear (Acts 2:22); believe (John 3:16); repent (Acts 3:19), confess (Matt. 10:32), and baptism in water for the remission of sins (Acts 22:16). Following this, the new convert must be faith-ful unto death (Rev. 2:10).
V. IF NO BIBLE, THEN NO GUIDE AS TO HOW TO LIVE
A. The Bible has been given to guide man in this life.
1. Psalm 119:105
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
2. Titus 2:11-12
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.
B. Can you imagine man left to himself with no divine guidance?
1. Two verses:
a. Jeremiah 10:23
O Lord, I know that that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
b. Proverbs 14:12; 16:25
There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
2. There are numerous examples that we have that show us what happens when men live with no guidance.
a. The days of the judges (Judg. 17:6; 21:25).
b. Liberty, Kansas
c. The Gentiles
1) Rejection (Rom. 1:21-22)
Because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.
2) Results (Rom. 1:23-31)
a) Perverted worship (Rom. 1:23-25)
b) Perverted sex (Rom. 1:26-29)
c) Perversity of actions (Rom. 1:28-31)
3) Reaction (Rom. 1:18, 32)
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness…Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death…
VI. IF NO BIBLE, THEN THERE IS NO SIN
A. Sin is the transgression of God’s divine law (I John 3:4).
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
B. If the Bible did not exist, or, if it is not God’s rule book, then no sin can exist.
1. The destruction of six million Jews by Hitler was not wrong.
2. The killing of millions of innocent babies by abortion is not wrong.
3. What was done to the Twin Towers on 9/11 was not wrong.
4. Child abuse, rape, school killings, and thousands of other horrible atrocities could not be considered sinful.
A. Most people reject the Word of God because they do not want to be told how to live.
B. They have deceived themselves into thinking that God thinks and acts just the way they think and act.
1. I think it is alright to be spiritual but not religious. God thinks this way also. Question: Based on what?
2. I think it is okay to curse, drink, party, divorce and remarry for any cause. God thinks so also. Question: Based on what?
3. I think God loves me, accepts me, and will save me as long as I am sincere. God thinks so also. Question: Based on what?
C. There is a Bible. It is God’s divine Will. Men may reject it now, and it will reject them in the last day (John 12:48).
He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken the same shall judge him in the last day.