Presentation on theme: "Centrality of Scripture Scripture’s claims about its origins The importance of Scripture Basis for Scripture’s central position."— Presentation transcript:
Centrality of Scripture Scripture’s claims about its origins The importance of Scripture Basis for Scripture’s central position
Scripture has its origins in God, is the Word of God, the wisdom of God, and a personification of Christ. It comes to us via humans who are given the words by the Holy Spirit In sum, it is divinely inspired and claims to be so.
NIV 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God- breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, NIV 2 Peter 1: 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
NIV 2 Peter 3:15 Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. 16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
NIV 1 Corinthians 2:13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. NIV 1 Thessalonians 2:13 And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.
The importance of Scripture It is God’s special revelation to humanity Where we find out the character of God, what He has done for us, our place within his plan, our need for salvation and how we can be saved. It also shows us how to go about deciding what to do and how to think and act. It should be the entire basis for Christian belief and action
Scripture is the only means of salvation NIV Romans 1:16a I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes NIV John 20:31 But these [actions of Jesus in John's Gospel] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Scripture makes exclusive claims about salvation through Jesus NIV John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. NIV Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
Scripture is a personification of Jesus who reveals God to us NIV John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. NIV John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
All of Scripture matters not just the bits we like E.g. Jesus claimed the Old Testament as Scripture, appealed to it and gave authoritative interpretations of it NIV Matthew 5:17 "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
For the Christian it should be the basis of the way we think, from which we critique and rethink all else NIV 2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
The Bible urges Christians to stick to scripture for their beliefs and actions NIV 1 Corinthians 4:6 Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written." Then you will not take pride in one man over against another.
Paul saw this as so important he threatens those who lead others astray by doing otherwise NIV 1 Corinthians 4:21 What do you prefer? Shall I come to you with a whip, or in love and with a gentle spirit?
The Bible warns against being led astray by looking elsewhere for information about God and salvation Other forms of revelation may reveal some truth about God but only enough to condemn, not to save us
It is dangerous to follow traditions, people, teaching that does not fit with Scripture Without Scripture as a yardstick, there could be no way to test the accuracy of people’s claims about God
Jesus warned against the danger of traditions NIV Mark 7:8 You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men." 9 And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! As did Isaiah 700 years earlier NIV Isaiah 29:13 The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.
Paul berates those who follow leaders rather than Christ/the Bible NIV 1 Corinthians 1:12 What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas"; still another, "I follow Christ." 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?
General revelation (the world around us and the knowledge in built into us) can only reveal God's existence, power and judgement (Romans 1-2). Other than that it is ambiguous (open to interpretation). We need Scripture.
NIV Romans 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-- his eternal power and divine nature-- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Basing a knowledge of God on human experience is not enough, and can be flawed. Experience needs to be interpreted in line with the Scriptures Scripture validates and fits with our experiences e.g. our sense of justice, our notion that there should be purpose in life
Experience can lead to false or true beliefs depending on how it is interpreted It should make people ready for Scripture and help them understand it more deeply but cannot replace it
Scripture does not allow for picking and choosing of sections Any notion of morality in Scripture is intimately and specifically connected to a relationship with Jesus, based on faith in his work for us on the cross We cannot just pick out the moral teachings and leave the rest
The danger of picking and choosing what we like from the Bible and/or mixing bits of it with bits of other religions that we like is that we will construct something which is fabricated to suit us, is without basis and to which we cannot be called to account It also does not take into account the sinfulness and fallen nature of mankind and our intellect/reasoning capabilities
We cannot figure out the truth about God, salvation, the purpose of life without God revealing it to us. This is what he has done in the Scriptures.
Basis for Scripture’s central position Is that it is the divinely inspired Word of God that reveals to us what we desperately need to know and could not know otherwise
Some arguments in defence of Scripture’s centrality The fact that the world does not accept Scripture does not affect its validity Scripture teaches that people cannot accept it as true without the help of the Holy Spirit To believe in Scripture we need God given humility and understanding via the Spirit
NIV 1 Corinthians 2:14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. NIV Acts 16:14 One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message. NIV 1 Corinthians 2:12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.
The Scriptures testify to their own authenticity The best way to test it is to read it The best evidence I can give to argue for it is to have you read it The power is in the words and in God’s actions, especially in the life of Jesus
Some arguments anyhow Scripture makes sense of the world in a way nothing else does e.g. sense of purpose, notion of good and evil and our sense of justice, suffering, knowledge that the world is not as it should be It is the same story written over 1500 years by many different authors
There are numerous fulfillments of prophecies contained in the Scriptures There is an immense amount of historical backing/evidence which fits with the Bible. No other religious writing can claim this. The Resurrection
The fact of the early church (lots die for what they believe in even though it may be untrue but who would die for something they knew to be untrue because they invented it?) Unique answer to sin and salvation in the gospel
All other religions focus on what people can do in order to be right with God or find Nirvana but the Scriptures offer salvation as a free gift from God, who saves us. It does so while encouraging righteous action which is beneficial to others Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Christians-make sure Scripture and Scripture alone is at the centre of your beliefs and actions Others-read it and test it for yourself Ephesians 1:17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe.