The Reliability and Trustworthiness of the Christian Scriptures as God’s Word: The Essential Self-Testimony of Scripture | Part 3

PART 1 | THE RELIABILITY AND TRUSTWORTHINESS OF THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES AS GOD’S WORD | 

PART 2 | THE RELIABILITY AND TRUSTWORTHINESS OF THE CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES AS GOD’S WORD: THE ESSENTIAL NATURE OF THE CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW 

It is by God’s powerful and gracious Word that all things exist. One of the first things that we learn about God in the book Genesis is that by his word he creates existence out of nothing.1 Eight times in the first chapter we see that “God said” is followed by something being created. When God speaks, things happen, and this great truth is affirmed hundreds of times in the rest of Scripture. God acts through his word and establishes relationships through his word.2 By his word he calls Abraham out of pagan worship to follow after God (Gen 12:1, Joshua 24:2). By his word he promises the creation of God’s people (Gen 35:22-26), and by his word he does create the people of God. By the word of the Lord Moses was called to be the deliverer of God’s people from slavery (Ex 3); Israel was given the law as a gift to be shown how to live as God’s people (Dt 5); the prophets were called to speak and warn the people of Israel about their sin and rebellion and what it would lead to (Jer 1:4, Ezek 1:3, Hos 1:1, Joel 1:1, Micah 1:1, Zephaniah 1:1, Haggai 1:1, Zech 1:1). The Word of the Lord incarnated himself in the person and work of Jesus, so that he could be fully known (Jn 1:1-13). And finally, in Revelation we see a depiction of Jesus returning with the name “The Word of God” (Rev 19:1).

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Literary Structure: Colossians

“He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by[ him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,  and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,  if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.” Colossians 1:13-23

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The Reliability and Trustworthiness of the Christian Scriptures as God’s Word: The Canon of the New Testament | Part 6

As with the Old Testament, if a book of the New Testament was inspired by God, it belongs to the canon.1 An essential element to identifying books inspired by God in the New Testament is to look to the human author, primarily the apostles. An apostle was one who was chosen by Jesus and was a witness to his resurrection (Acts 1:21-26). Since all authority has been given from the Father to the Son, and Christ has identified the apostles as his representatives and commissioned them to teach in his name, what they say must be received as from God.2 To receive the apostles is to receive Christ, and to deny the apostles is to deny Christ (Mt 10:40, Lk 10:16, Jn 13:20). The apostles of Jesus are the foundation on which the church is built upon (Eph 2:20), Jesus being the cornerstone and foundation also (1 Cor 3:11). No one can lay a foundation other than that of Christ and his apostles. The metaphor of laying a foundation of a building indicates that it is not a reoccurring event, for if it was then the house would never actually be built.3 Therefore, the office of apostle has ceased, as has their ability of writing divinely inspired Scripture.

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The Reliability and Trustworthiness of the Christian Scriptures as God’s Word | Part 1

Since the beginning of time, there have been attempts to discredit the word of God. In fact, the origin of sin began when the serpent hissed, “Did God really say…”, planting a seed of doubt in the heart of the first man and woman. Satan convinced the woman that the word they received from God was untrue and should be abandoned. The first man and woman succumbed to the lies of the serpent and took up arms against the Creator in their rebellion of unbelief. Instead of living by every word that comes from God, they choose death. The same rebellion persists today in the pervasive belief that the Bible is an outdated, unreliable book and should be abandoned. The hiss of the serpent takes the form of religious and secular objections alike. We all want to receive benefits from the Creator without being responsible to him. We use the very same breath and mind that God gave us to deny him and scoff at him in unbelief.

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Bible Reading: The Esv Reader’s Bible

Our family just received the ESV Reader’s Bible for Christmas and it has been such a wonderful resource for bible reading.

The ESV Reader’s Bible is the entire bible in the format of a book! The titles, chapters and verses have been taken out and so it makes for a easier read. This is really helpful because often when we read our Bibles, we can treat our readings in a very inconsistent way. The Bible is not like marbles, in when you drop them on the ground, they scatter. But rather, the Bible is like a knitted piece of clothing, where everything is connected and interwoven. We can not understand the individual parts of Scripture if we do not know the story line of Scripture and where these parts fit into. The ESV Readers Bible helps us by providing a bible which presents Scripture as one book, one story line- as it was originally written.

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MATTHEW

The Gospel of Matthew – “Jesus Messiah: The King of the Jews”

By Caleb Ives

The Gospel of Matthew –  “Jesus Messiah:  The King of the Jews” 

Matthew is one of the three “synoptic” gospels that we find at the beginning of our New Testament.“Synoptic” essentially it means “seeing together.”  Matthew, Mark and Luke’s gospels share a large portion of the same material. In fact, 80% of Matthew’s Gospel can be found also in either Luke or Mark! But while Matthew’s Gospel has a lot of similar material to Mark and Luke, it has much to offer the disciple of the word that is unique from the other Gospels.

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1519

The Big Picture: Kings and Chronicles

by Caleb Ives

Recently, I had the privilege of teaching the historical books of Kings and Chronicles at the Inductive Bible School where I am on staff.  To be honest, when I first learned I would be teaching these books I was not filled with excitement.  It’s just history…

It’s just history?

I wonder why I, and many other Bible readers, tend to feel that way…Why should we care about who the ninth king of Israel was?  Why should we care about the Assyrian Empire? (the list goes on)

And why do we need to read it twice? (in Kings and then Chronicles)

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The Big Picture: Leviticus

Todd Livingston joins us today. Todd is from The Woodlands, Texas but currently lives in North Carolina where he teaches at Emmaus School Of Biblical Studies (ESBS). Todd was one of my teachers when I attended in 2011-2012. You can follow him on Twitter.

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For the past 3 years I have had the pleasure of teaching the book of Leviticus and it has become one of my favorites to teach. I know what you may be thinking … Leviticus? … seriously? But that’s the reason why I love it so much. I love it because it gets such a bad rap within our Christian communities because you actually have to do some work to get something out of it.

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1519

A Flexible Bible Reading Plan

It was September 2009 when I bought my first real Bible. I found it at Goodwill for $2- probably the best bargain ever.

It was September 2010 when I decided I was applying to an inductive Bible school for the 2011-2012 school year. God had changed my life, changed my heart, and through a series of circumstances he showed me that what I needed in my life more than anything was more of God- more of his character, his love, his truth, as revealed perfectly in his written word. I had a heart for God, but I had finally realized that as a young Christian I desperately needed more wisdom than I was getting from my everyday life. Something had to change.

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1519

90 day bible reading plan (Chronological order)

In 2010, I challenged myself to read through the entire bible in just three short months. I realized that I did not know the big picture of the bible and so I created a chronological bible reading plan. It was definitely a challenge but well worth it. It was at this time that the Spirit opened my eyes to the scandalous and radical message of the gospel. If you haven’t had a chance yet to read through the bible from back to front, I highly recommend it! It is roughly 13 chapters a day and should take less than an hour each sitting. If you stay on track you will have read the entire bible back to front in 90 days. If 90 days is too steep for you, there is also a more flexible bible reading plan available. I hope this is of benefit to you as it was for me.

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