We're looking at a series of lessons which builds one upon the other. I'll go back, repetition is how we learn and will help us blend in the previous lesson with our lesson tonight.
Where are the Directions?
“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.” — John 12:48
Jesus speaks of the judgment. Everyone will face a judgment.
A Resurrection with only two possible outcomes –
- Eternal – Life
- Eternal – Damnation
“And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” — Matthew 25:46
The Words of Jesus will judge. Where did Jesus get these words?
“For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.” — John 12:49
Jesus Christ, acting under the authority of God the Father, gave mankind the Words that would be used to judge us all in the last day.
- John 14:26
- John 16:13
Jesus points out in John 14, 15, and 16 how the Holy Spirit is going to do that, He's talking to someone particular. He's talking to the apostles.
All 3 members of the Godhead working together to make sure the words that are going to be used to judge us would be available to the 1st century Christians, Matthew 3:16,17.
- GOD – The Father, The Originator
- GOD – The Son, The Executor
- GOD – The Holy Spirit, The Communicator
God was in charge of the whole thing from start to finish and was active in every aspect of it. All carried out by God.
Nothing was left out!
So how did the directions which came directly from God get from the 1st century Christians to 21st century Christians?
Through Written Language
They had ALL the directions! How do WE know that we do?
- 1 Corinthians 2:13
- 1 Thessalonians 2:13
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” — 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Gaining Confidence in the Direction of the Bible
Key Elements to Learn from 2 Timothy:
- “All scripture…” – All of it!
- “…is given by inspiration of God…” – God Breathed
- 1 Corinthians 14:37
- Galatians 1:11-12
- “…and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect…” – Complete -- Nothing left out, missing, lacking
- “…throughly furnished…” – Fully equipped; Fitted; Thoroughly furnished
- “…unto all good works…” – ALL
The same God who delivered the Word to the 1st century Christians made sure they were written down. He gave them the very Words, . He made sure it was written down exactly how He wanted it. From beginning to end, God is in charge of this. If these words are going to judge you in the last day wouldn't God make sure we have it just as God wants us to have it?
NOTHING LEFT OUT!
- 2 Peter 1:3 – the 1st century Christians had everything they needed for life & godliness.
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17 – what was recorded as scripture had the same Divine stamp of completion and perfection.
God gave those words to those men, so that we can be complete, and perfected.
How Do We Know That the Bible we Have Today is All of God’s Direction?
How do we know that what we hold in our hands today is the same thing that was received by God in the 1st century?
- Nothing has been changed?
- Nothing has been left out?
- That we have everything we need today?
How can we be confident today? Because we can have confidence in God's Word if we will trust in His Word, and turn to it, and obey it.
Let's look at history and how God preserved the Old Testament Law.
It was written by Moses, mediated by Angels about 1400 years before Christ.
Alexander the Great came and conquered the known world. Why? Because he made all of them into a common people in the Greek culture, a common tongue, known as the Greek language.
- Galatians 4:4
He planned it from the very beginning. In the fullness of time, just prior to when Jesus came into the world the Greeks conquered the known world and they made Greek the common language.
Then, the Romans conquered the Greeks and made vast roads, and made it easier for people to travel. And, at this time the Old Testament Law was also translated to the Greek, into the Septuagint.
God preserved His word throughout the history of the Israelite nation.
Through thousands of years, during the time of the Judges, Kings, and wars with enemies such as Assyria, and Babylon when the kingdom was destroyed, God preserved the law for His people.
- Through the good and bad kings, God preserved His word.
- Through all of the wars, God preserved His Word.
- King Hezekiah restored temple worship, the law was still there because God preserved His Word.
- Babylonians – Captives allowed to return, because God had preserved the Word.
- Ezra restored temple worship using the Law of Moses, because God had preserved the Word.
Throughout the whole of Hebrew history God preserved the Old Testament scriptures.
- In Daniel they fell to the Babylonians, and then to the Medes/Persians, and then the Greeks, and finally the Romans.
- 12 yr. old Jesus Christ questioned the scholars - using the same Word of God.
Then, in the 1st century A.D., the New Covenant comes along.
Is God going to be any less protective of the New Covenant than He was the Old?
How do we know that God Preserved the New Testament for our Direction?
- 5,686 Greek manuscripts for the New Testament
- Over 19,000 copies in the Syriac, Latin, Coptic, and Aramaic languages.
- Total supporting N.T. manuscripts – 24,000.
- Cross-checking for accuracy = 99.5%
- No doctrinal conflicts
The critics dismiss the New Testament as reliable.
What about the writings of: Plato, Aristotle, Caesar, and Homer?
- The New Testaments documents are better preserved and more numerous.
- The evidence for the New Testament’s reliability is far greater than the others.
- The Christian has substantially superior criteria for affirming the New Testament documents than he does for any other ancient writing.
Evidence = Trust
The early church writers who lived in the first couple of centuries following Christ quoted a lot of scripture in their writings, specifically from the New Testament.
- Justin Martyr
- Clement of Rome
They quoted so extensively, from the New Testament that even if every single manuscript and copy of the Bible were suddenly destroyed, the entire New Testament, with the exception of only a handful of verses, could be RESTORED from their writings.
As Christians, we can have the confidence that what we hold in our hands is exactly what we are supposed to have.
Critics argue: “We don’t have the originals.”
We don’t have the original autographs of: Plato, Aristotle, Caesar, Homer and other ancient authors.
When we hold our Bibles today, we can be 100% confident that we are holding in our hands an accurate and complete record of the Word of God.
- Nothing was left out in the 1st century.
- Nothing is left out in the 21st century.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” — 2 Tim. 3:16-17
- Hebrews 11:1
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the EVIDENCE, of things not seen.
Our faith is not on ideas, hoping and wishing, but the evidence that the Word of God is exactly that.
This is the words of Jesus Christ, given to the apostles, confirmed by the Holy Spirit and these are the words that are going to judge us in the last day.
When the words of Jesus are laid beside your life and that word is going to judge us, does your life follow along with that word.
To become a Christian...
- John 8:24
We recognize that, and the truth of that. If on the day of judgment I haven't believed on the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember,... there are two possibilities. One whose life doesn't coincide with the Jesus' Word it will be everlasting destruction.
- Luke 13:3
My life has to show compliance with His words that I need repent of my sins or else I'll face eternal punishment.
- Matthew 10:32
If my life doesn't coincide with what Jesus said there, and I'm not willing to confess Him then my life will be in eternal punishment.
- Mark 16:16
If my life doesn't show that I believe in Jesus Christ, and was willing to be baptized for the remission of my sins trusting Jesus to save me from my sins, he's not going to do it.
Remember, what is going to judge us in the last day... not my words, or someone else's words, but Jesus' words.
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." — Mark 16:16
- Acts 22:15-17
If you are not a Christian, will you believe Him and trust what He has to say?
Do you believed in Jesus Christ, are you willing to repent of your sins and confess His name before men? Will you be baptized for the remission of your sins trusting in Jesus to save you? And, like those on the Day of Pentecost, Acts 2, it tells us that the Lord will add you to the church.
If you are seeking direction for your life, and be willing to trust in the Words of Jesus for your life, contact us so that we can meet with you.