The Bible: Part 1: Authority
We are continuing to put forward positive reasons for faith, and today we start a mini-series looking at the bible as a ground for believing. The 1689 chapter 1 paragraph 5 reads, ‘We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the church of God to a high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scriptures; and the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, and the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man’s salvation, and many other incomparable excellencies, and entire perfections thereof, are arguments whereby it does abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God; yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth, and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.’ This paragraph is stating that there are many inward evidences in the bible which give evidence that the Bible is in fact the word of God. We are going to be exploring a few of these in order to show the reasonableness of Christian faith. We will handle the major objections to the handle in some of the things we say but will also address them later on when we get to the major objections to the faith.
There is a standard way to prove that the bible is God’s word. You lay out all the evidence that makes it seem reasonable that the bible is in fact what it claims to be. You would traditionally lay out the prophecies of the Messiah and show them fulfilled; the wonderful way in which the Scriptures were written and preserved; the unity of the storyline of the whole bible; the superior morality of the Bible; and the astounding beauty of the gospel; the agreement of the Bible with experience, etc. We are not going to take the traditional approach. In fact we have a bone to pick with the traditional approach. We want to begin answering the question ‘How do you know the Bible is the word of God?’ in a different way. We begin by making this statement, the bible is the word of God because it says it is the word of God. We hope to show that this is the only place one can faithfully begin, and then in following messages we will also lay out the other arguments which confirm this statement.