Of all the books ever written, there is only one that is utterly infallible, timeless, and completely trustworthy—the Bible. But is it merely a collection of ancient men’s words or is it the revelation of the living God?
Your answer to that question is of the utmost importance. In this message, Dr. Stanley shares his personal conviction that the Bible is the very Word of God—inerrant and wholly reliable.
What you believe about the Bible matters!
Also this week: The Origin of Our Needs
This sermon was recorded before COVID-19. For the protection of our staff members and the community, we are currently following safety guidelines by practicing social distancing. We appreciate your understanding.
Your Convictions About the Bible
Key Passage: Isaiah 66:1-2
Supporting Scriptures: Psalm 119:105-106 | Isaiah 40:8 | Ezekiel 18:4 | Matthew 24:35 | John 3:16 | John 14:1-3 | John 14:16 | John 14:27 | Romans 6:23 | Romans 14:12 | 1 Corinthians 10:13 | 2 Corinthians 5:8 | Ephesians 1:20 | Ephesians 2:8 | Colossians 3:1 | Hebrews 4:12 | Hebrews 9:27 | 2 Peter 2:1-3 | 1 John 1:9
What we believe about the Bible is absolutely crucial.
Whether we’ve never read it or read it every day, each of us must make up our own mind regarding this amazing book. Some people think that it was written by many different, imperfect men and must, therefore, contain errors. Others believe it’s outdated and irrelevant for today because it was written so long ago. However, many Christians are convinced that the Bible is God’s Word, which He has protected from error throughout the ages.
When we are fully assured that the Lord has given us a book without errors, we have a strong conviction that guides our lives.
A conviction is something we are so thoroughly convinced is true that we’ll take a stand for it regardless of the consequences; but a preference is a belief that could change under certain conditions. When we begin to understand the truth of God’s Word, we’ll develop an awesome respect for the Scriptures (Isa. 66:2). As we examine our lives, we must determine whether we live by convictions or preferences.
The Bible has a four-fold purpose:
- To reveal the one true God.
- To explain how to be saved.
- To teach us how to live a godly life.
- To equip us to serve the Lord.
We can trust that the Bible is the absolute Word of God.
- It’s timeless. The truths of God are never outdated and are applicable to every generation.
- It’s infallible. Because the Lord inspired the authors, the Bible is without error. However, because people don’t like the conviction God’s Word brings, many throughout history have not believed its truth.
- The Word is the revelation of the one true God. In this book the Lord has revealed who He is and has provided answers and help for all our problems.
- The Bible exposes man’s sinful, hopeless condition. God’s Word tells us that we have all sinned, and “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). Furthermore, someday “each one of us will give an account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:12).
- Scripture is a trustworthy guide for daily life. It contains the answers to every problem, situation, or concern we experience. However, to benefit from God’s guidance, we must be faithful to read His Word each day.
- It shows us the consequences of sin. From the very beginning, the Lord warned Adam and Eve of the consequences of disobedience. He always tells us the truth, even when it’s painful, and today He still provides warnings for us if we will listen and heed them.
- God’s Word reveals His unconditional love for us. His love isn’t based on anything we do or don’t do. Just as parents love their children regardless of their behavior, so the Lord continually loves His children.
- The Bible explains how we can be saved from our sins. God summed up His message of salvation in one verse: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
- The Word declares who Jesus is and why He came. He is the Son of God who came to earth for the purpose of dying on a cross to pay mankind’s sin debt in full so those who believe in Him may be forgiven.
- The Scriptures explain why Jesus was born of a virgin. Without the virgin birth, Jesus would have been a normal, sinful man and could not have paid for our sins and become our Savior. Jesus had to be pure and sinless, and the virgin birth was the only way to accomplish this. Because He was God in human flesh, He alone was qualified to die in our place.
- God’s Word explains how Jesus died on a cross. All the Old Testament animal sacrifices symbolized the supreme sacrifice of the Son of God who laid down His life on the cross to pay the ultimate penalty for our sins.
- The Bible describes Jesus’ resurrection. Although He died and was buried, Christ overcame death through His resurrection and is now seated at His Father’s right hand in heaven making intercession for us (Col. 3:1).
- Scripture tells us how to handle temptation. According to 1 Corinthians 10:13, God “will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
- The Word identifies the person of the Holy Spirit. He is the third member of the Trinity who indwells and seals believers as members of God’s family, and continually works in our lives helping us understand His Word and enabling us to live a godly life.
- The Bible teaches us how to face trials and difficulties. The apostle Paul was greatly used by God, yet he suffered tremendously. While in prison, he wrote some of the New Testament Epistles that even today help us know how to handle our troubles.
- Scripture is a fountain of encouragement. Believing God’s Word brings blessed assurance and promises of peace and forgiveness (John 14:27; 1 John 1:9).
- It explains what happens at death. The Bible is our only reliable source regarding what awaits us after death. If we’re believers in Christ, we know that we’ll immediately be present with the Lord when we die (2 Cor. 5:8).
- God’s Word assures us of Christ’s return and our future reward. Jesus has promised to return for us one day and take us to the place He has prepared for us in His Father’s house (John 14:2-3).
- The Bible also warns us of coming judgment. According to Hebrews 9:27, “It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment”. Those who have rejected Christ will be judged according to their sins, but those who have received Him as Savior will be judged for the purpose of rewards.
- Scripture reveals future events. In the book of Revelation and other biblical prophecies, God tells us everything we need to know, though not everything we’d like to know.
- The Bible is the indestructible Word of the living God. Throughout history, people have mocked and scoffed, and even tried to destroy the Bible, but God has preserved His Word, which will stand forever (Isa. 40:8). It is to be believed, valued, and obeyed.
- Are you thoroughly convinced that the Bible is the infallible Word of God? If so, how is it impacting and transforming your life? If not, what areas do you struggle to believe and why?
- How much do you value God’s Word? Do your thoughts and actions validate your answer? What can you do to make it your most precious and most often used possession?
This post is a part of the series The Convictions by Which We Live.