Trusting the Bible

(Psalm 119:42; 2 Tim 3:16-17)

The Bible is a book you can trust, because the Scripture (Bible) bears the distinctive marks of its Author.

  • Unity (Gen 1:26; Deut 6:4)
  • Prophecy (Isa 46:9-10)
  • Holy (Lev 11:44-45; 1 Pet 1:16)
  • Availability (most copied, most printed)
  • Stability (2 Peter 1:16-19)
  • Endurability (1 Peter 1:22-25)

TRUST HIS INSPIRATION

  1. All Scripture is inspired of God
  2. Theopneustos: God-breathed out
  3. The Bible (1 Tim 5:18; 2 Tim 3:14-15; Acts 1:16; 2 Pet 3:16)
  1. All Scripture was revealed to men
  2. Apokalupto: to take off the cover, disclose
  3. Holy men (2 Peter 1:20-21; 1 Cor 2:7-10; Isa 64:4)

TRUST HIS REVELATION

  1. Theme: Son of God, Jesus (Heb 1:1-14; Rev 22:18-21)

TRUST, THE RESULT

  1. Receive/Welcome (1 Thess 2:10-13)
  2. Obey (2 Tim 3:15-16)
  3. Expect (John 12:48; Rom 2:15-16; 2 Cor 5:10; Rev 20:11-15)

 

The Bible is a Book you can trust, because Jesus is the One you can trust.

Two Evangelists: charged, tried, convicted

Yesterday a Bristol Magistrates’ Court in Great Britain convicted two men, Michael Overd and Michael Stockwell on “public order offences.”  What did they do that resulted in their arrest and conviction?  Was it public indecency?  Disturbing the peace?  Inciting a riot?  Sexual harassment?  Discharging a firearm?  Disorderly conduct?  No. It was none of the above.  I had to fact check this story, because it almost sounded like something from Babylon Bee.  Overd and Stockwell are “street preachers.”  On June 6, 2016, they publicly proclaimed that Jesus is “the way, the truth and life” and that He is the only way to God, the Father.

According to ChristianConcern.com “during the four-day trial, prosecutor Ian Jackson, claimed: “To say to someone that Jesus is the only God is not a matter of truth.  To the extent that they are saying that the only way to God is through Jesus, that cannot be a truth.”  Further the “prosecutor claimed that quoting parts of the King James Bible in the context of modern British society ‘must be considered to be abusive and is a criminal matter.”  “The prosecutor had argued that free speech must yield to multicultural reality in modern Britain, and that there was a clear threat to violence due to the words of the preachers and the criticism of Islam.”

“The men were found guilty under Section 31 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, for using ‘threatening or abusive words or behavior or disorderly behavior within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be, caused harassment, alarm or distress, thereby, and the offence was religiously aggravated.’”

Michael Phillips, the attorney, representing the street preachers, said: “This prosecution is nothing more than a modern-day heresy trial – dressed up under the public order act.”  Mr Stockwell said: “Men should be able to proclaim the truth and have diverse differences in the public forum, agreeing to disagree without harm or repercussions.  Truth today is the new hate” He charged that Islamists and other radical groups are trying to silence free speech.

Aside from British law, or other possible infractions not correctly reported, here is the Truth.  Jesus proclaimed, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Jesus is the Way to God: In John’s prologue he affirms “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Then he concludes, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father…” (John 1:1,14).  Jesus WAS and IS Deity. He came in the flesh to show us God and to lead us to the Father.

Jesus is the Truth: “I am the Truth” seems easy to understand.  Jesus said he was the embodiment of truth.  The essence of truth.  The incarnation of truth.  John wrote, “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” and that He was “full of grace and truth” (v. 17,14).

Jesus is the Life: Speaking of Jesus, the Incarnate Word, John wrote, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (Jn 1:4-5)

In a metaphorical way Jesus himself acknowledged that He was the giver and sustainer of spiritual life.  “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” (Jn 6:51)

Islamists may complain.  Infidels may criticize.  And courts may convict evangelists for preaching Christ. However, the Bible is still true.  Jesus is The Way.  The Truth.  The Life. 

Ken Weliever, the Preacher’s word, March 2, 2017

A Church Kitchen In Jerusalem

One of our readers asked for help in responding to a brother who is defending church kitchens on this basis: how do we know the Jerusalem church didn’t have one to use in the daily serving of food to its widows (Acts 6:1-6)?

First, the question is not, “How do we know they didn’t have a kitchen?” It is, “How do we know they did?”  We can only follow the apostolic pattern (Phil 3:17) by observing what the Bible says the early Christians did.  Guessing about things they might have done, but things about which the Bible says nothing, opens the door to endless innovations.

Second, it is not at all likely that the Jerusalem church even had a building at this point in its existence, much less a kitchen!  There was so much poverty in the group that many were forced to sell land or houses just to meet the physical needs of their brethren (Acts 4:34-35).  Given that, and the fact that their number quickly swelled into the thousands (Acts 2:41; 4:4), where would they have gotten the funds to build a meetinghouse sufficient for so many?  Luke (in Acts 2:46) points to the temple courts as their meeting place.

Third, the only justification for a local church having any facility is that it is a means of carrying out the work God has assigned the church (collectively).  A building is authorized because we are commanded to assemble for worship (Heb 10:25; Acts 20:7; etc.).  Classrooms for edification/instruction in God’s word might be included (Eph 4:11-12; etc.).

If one is going to argue in favor of a gym, they must show that recreation is a local church function. If one is going to argue in favor of a kitchen and eating hall, they must show that eating is a church function. Facilities for doing unauthorized things are themselves unauthorized. If the New Testament contained any commands or examples that made dinners and recreation the church’s work, brethren would not resort to arguments such as the one we are considering. Not only are there no positive statements to support such things, Paul’s prohibitions in 1 Corinthians 11 explicitly place eating in the realm of the home, not the local church. “What!  Do you not have houses in which to eat and drink? … If anyone is hungry, let him eat at home” (22, 34).

Fourth, who’s kidding whom?  What church has so many members lacking food and cooking capability that a kitchen in the meetinghouse is legitimately the most practical way to provide for them?  And more to the point, in what congregation is preparing meals for indigent members the exclusive, or even the primary, use of such facilities?  It is dishonest to justify building a facility for one purpose, then switching (perhaps all the while planning) to use it for others.  By such tactics we might console ourselves, but God is not deceived.

By Frank Himmel

I Will Trust

Today, we want to discuss things we must trust, that is, if trust the Lord.  The Scripture is the only place we can turn to discover anything true about the future (Isa 46:9-10).  We are blessed by God that He has chosen to tell us about the future. He wants us to be certain about some things.

I Will Trust:

  • We are vanishing (Jas 4:6, 14; Job 8:9; 9:25-26; 14:1-2; Psa 39:5; 90:10; 1 John 2:17; 1 Thess 4:16-17)
  • We will be raised from the dead when Christ comes (John 5:28-29; Acts 24:14-15; 1 Cor 15:20-23)
  • We will be judged by Christ (John 12:48-50; Acts 17:30-31; Rev 20:11-15)
  • We will be separated by Christ (Matt 13:47-50; 25:31-33; 7:21-23)
  • Some will be assigned to Heaven (John 14:1-3; Rev 21:1-4; 22:1-5)
  • Many will be assigned to Hell (Matt 25:41, 46; Matt 8:12; 13:42; 13:50; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30)

3 More Certainties:

  • If you are in Hell, you cannot say “God is cruel” (Rom 5:6, 8; 2 Pet 3:9)
  • If you are in Heaven, you cannot say “I deserve this” (Rom 5:9-11)
  • Some here today still need salvation from sin (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38)

I Will Not Trust

Trusting the Lord requires two things.  First, we must trust His word and obey it.  Secondly, we must expect His providence to be at work in our lives.  But when we trust the Lord, there are some things we mustn’t trust.

I Will Not Trust:

  • My upbringing, my goodness or my accomplishments (Phil 3:3-6)
  • Result: Enthusiasm in serving the Lord (Phil 3:7-14)

I Will Not Trust:

  • My strength or my wisdom (2 Cor 1:8-11; 1 Sam 7:12; 2 Cor 12:9)
  • Result: Comforting and strengthening others (2 Cor 1:3-7)

Trusting the Lord means that we Do Not trust many other things.  Are you trusting the Lord to save you — from your sins? (1 John 2:1-3; Acts 2:36-38)  Are you trusting the Lord to secure you — for an eternity with Him?  (1 John 5:11-13)  Will you stop trusting everything — except Him?