In this new series, we will explore many topics that bring doubt into our hearts: how can Christianity stand alone among all the world religions? How can there be a loving God when so many bad things have happened to me? How can God compare to the scientific truths around us? Why is the Bible so special; isn’t it just written by ordinary men?
Pastor Miles brings answers to the church through this message series, explaining what to do with our doubts and how we can learn to trust God.
Doubt [diakrino] = to separate, distinguish, judge or evaluate. A process of evaluating and judging competing ideas, convictions, ambitions, and commitments.
Even Christians can experience some level of doubt concerning the Bible and many have never read the whole book.
Doubt about the Bible is prevalent in our day. Non-Christians describe it with these top five terms: story, mythology, symbolic, fairy tale and historical, but 62% of them have never read it. Even Christians can experience some level of doubt concerning the Bible and many have never read the whole book. (And if you are a Christian, how can you live out a book that you haven’t read? The only way you can prove that you believe it is by reading it!)
Today Pastor Miles speaks to our doubts about the Bible and what God has done to allay our doubts.
The Father’s story gives context to our doubt and the Bible is the book that reveals the story. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Hundreds of times throughout Scripture, we find the words, “Thus sayeth the Lord,” as God spoke to His prophets. He also wrote the Ten Commandments on stone with His finger!
In our human experience, any time multiple witnesses give an eyewitness account, their viewpoints can differ dramatically. Yet the Bible has 40 authors who lived on three different continents and wrote over a 1600-year period about hundreds of topics in all sorts of literary genres - and this book still tells one continuous story about God’s salvation of man. The only way this is possible is by God’s Spirit inspiring the Bible’s authors.
The chart below displays manuscript evidence for ancient texts that came along before the printing press. For the writings of Plato, for example, the earliest copy we have preserved of Plato’s writing is 1200 years newer than the original - so what happened in between this copy and the original? It is the result of copies of copies of copies - so how reliable can it be? And yet Plato is famous for his writings and his ideas are the foundation of our philosophical system! Other ancient writings are just as widely accepted as the true works of the original authors, and yet none of them even come close to the evidence and authenticity presented by New Testament texts.
TIME SPAN BETWEEN ORIGINAL & COPY
NUMBER OF COPIES
The Son of God engages our doubt as the living version of that book. John 1:1, John 1:14, Matthew 5:17
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
The Bible actually became flesh in Jesus. His words, actions, attitudes, reactions to His enemies, teachings, and miraculous power, was all God’s Word displayed in a living man. He engaged our journey and displayed the living God in our story. God not only gave us a book, but a person to show us what it looks like to live the book. Jesus never denied the character of the book or contradicted the spirit of the book, rather He showed the purpose of the book as its living version.
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” Matthew 5:17
If the Bible is not true, then Jesus is a liar and we should not believe Him. He tells us to trust God’s Word as truth and came to ensure the fulfillment of its prophecy and promises.
The Spirit of God comforts us in our doubt by speaking the Word to our individual lives. Hebrews 4:12-13, John 14:26
God breathed the story of the salvation of man into His prophets for them to write down and report to others. Then He sent His Son to live it so that people could see it and touch it. Even after Christ died on the cross, returned, and ascended into heaven, God sent the Holy Spirit to guide us; He did not leave us to ourselves.
Have you ever listened to a preacher who does not even know you, your drama, or your secrets, and yet it feels as though the message is speaking directly to you? How can that be? It is because the Holy Spirit does know you, and the Bible messages spoken all over the world are the living Word of God, used by a living God to speak to you in a living relationship.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:12-13
That means that the Word of God is all up in your business! Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. You can put your Bible away in a drawer, but you cannot put away the Spirit of God.
God wants you to understand the truth of His Word and the point of the whole story - that He created you, desires to have an eternal relationship with you, and provided a way for this to happen. Bring your questions and doubts to Him - He can handle them!