2 Timothy 3:16 – 17 “Authority of the Bible”
I. Key issue… everything hangs on what authority you give to the Bible.
A. Is it “advisory?”
1. Is it one voice of many you consider?
-- Media, science, government, friends, rumor, etc…
2. Is it something that you can “discount” if you don’t like?
-- Motives, training, culture, history, etc…
B. Where you put the Bible in order determines EVERYTHING.
1. The Bible is INSPIRED (It is God speaking to us).
2. The Bible is INERRANT (Without mistakes and divinely preserved).
3. The Bible is INFALLIBLE (Trustworthy in message… always effective).
4. The Bible is INTERNALLY CONSISTENT (The Bible interprets the Bible).
5. The Holy Spirit ILLUMINATES the meaning (Personal message).
C. Bottom line:
a. “Manuscripts” ancient text ranging from first century forward…
1.) 5,686 texts plus 24,000 fragments (1.3 million pages)
2.) Variance: less than 5%
b. Prophecy: 100% accuracy.
1.) “Dead Sea Scrolls” contains a copy of Isaiah that is at least 100 years before the time of Christ. (Confirms it existed before Jesus.)
2.) Over 300 prophecies about Jesus fulfilled.
c. Scientific agreement: round earth (Is 40:22), law of conversion of mass and energy (1 Peter 3:7), hydraulic cycle (Eccl. 1:7), number of stars (Jer. 33:22), increasing entropy (Ps 102:25 – 27), the value of blood for life (Lev. 17:11), atmospheric circulation (Eccl. 1:6), gravity (Job 26:7)
d. Archeological evidence:
1.) Genesis 14, five kings defeated by Abraham was thought to be a myth until the discovery of the Ebla Tablets. (They mention the five kings.)
2.) In 1930 Gertsang discovered a layer of wall around historic Jericho that fell out.
3.) The existence of Nineveh was laughed at until 1840’s when explorers dug into the hill named after Jonah.
2. The Bible “has been faithfully preserved and proves itself true in human experience.” [FMC statement of faith]
II. So what does the Bible say about itself?
A. It is profitable (useful) for many uses:
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,  that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” [2 Timothy 3:16 – 17]
1. In other words: it teaches us what we need to know.
2. Salvation, relationship with God, relationship with others.
B. It keeps us out of trouble:
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.” [Psalm 119:9]
1. Pure means “clean”
2. Generally we are repulsed by the contaminated and rotten.
***** So why do we like it in real life with things that are destructive? *****
(Answer: because it provides something in the short term. See Hebrews 11:25]
C. It keeps us alive:
“For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life.” [Proverbs 6:23]
1. Sometimes we don’t know what is best, and there are some very dangerous things loose in this world. (e.g. AIDS)
2. Light exposes what is in the darkness… gives clear insight to what is really happening.
III. Why is this so dangerous?
A. It was the first part of the temptation:
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, `You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?” [Genesis 3:1]
1. Satan ALWAYS starts with undermining what God said…
a. Two traits of the devil’s presence: darkness and questioning God’s Word.
b. Simple strategy: control the battle field. (If you are on your own you are helpless against the enemy of your soul.)
***** “He who controls the language controls the battle.” *****
2. Once the question has been planted, there is no way to know what direction it will take.
B. Our culture has an allergy to any authority outside itself.
1. If you believe the Bible… there are some ugly names.
a. Social pressure, marginalize, threaten, and then silence.
b. The Bible is NOT believed from so many different directions the pressure can get to us.
It is claimed that 80% of college bound students who profess to be Christians return no longer believing in Christ. (Dr. James Dobson put this at 86%.)
2. Bottom line:
“Nothing has more impact on spiritual growth than reflection on Scripture.” [Hawkings and Parkinson “Move” p. 19]
a. No Bible… no growth.
b. No growth… then death.