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 What sort of “faith”?  Historical evidence  Reliability of the Bible  Was He only human?  What Jesus claimed  His teaching, works character; prophecy.

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Presentation on theme: " What sort of “faith”?  Historical evidence  Reliability of the Bible  Was He only human?  What Jesus claimed  His teaching, works character; prophecy."— Presentation transcript:

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2  What sort of “faith”?  Historical evidence  Reliability of the Bible  Was He only human?  What Jesus claimed  His teaching, works character; prophecy  The problem of the resurrection Who is Jesus?

3 Why did Jesus die?  The pollution of sin  The power of sin  The penalty of sin  The partition of sin Pictures Pictures from …  the Law Courts (justice)  the Market Place (debt)  the Temple (sacrifice)  the home (relationship)

4 How Can I Be Sure of my Faith? How Can I Be Sure of my Faith?  the philosophical question!  faith = decision to trust based on evidence  difference between fact and feeling in a relationship  the promise of the word of God  the effect of the work of Jesus  the witness of the Spirit of God

5 Why and How Should I Read the Bible?

6 A unique book A manual for life A love letter from God

7 Why and How Should I Read the Bible? The Bible … a unique book “An inspired and authoritative written record of God’s care for His children”

8 Why and How Should I Read the Bible? With other books, you find out … With the Bible, you are found With other books, you search within … With the Bible, you are searched A Unique Book

9 Why and How Should I Read the Bible? A Unique Book “Blessed are those who do not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers. But their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night. They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in season and whose leaves do not wither. Whatever they do prospers.” Psalm

10 Why and How Should I Read the Bible? A Unique Book Uniquely Popular: 44 million Bibles sold each year 6.8 Bibles in each American household 1,250,000 Bibles and Testaments sold in the UK each year 53% of people in the UK own a Bible; 72% have a Bible in their home “Forget the modern British novelists and TV tie-ins; the Bible is the biggest -selling book every year” The Times

11 Why and How Should I Read the Bible? A Unique Book Uniquely Powerful: “The Bible is high explosive. But it works in strange ways and no living man can tell or know how that book, in its journey through the world, has startled the individual soul in ten thousand different places into a new life, a new world, a new belief, a new conception, a new faith” Stanley Baldwin (Prime Minister), 1928

12 Why and How Should I Read the Bible? A Unique Book Uniquely Powerful: In a world with rising interest in the occult, the offer of meeting with the living God is more thrilling, more satisfying, and much wiser The teaching of the Bible and the words of the Bible exercise power over occult forces

13 Why and How Should I Read the Bible? A Unique Book Uniquely Precious: Immensely valued where it has been forbidden by law “People do not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” Jesus: Matthew 4 4

14 Why and How Should I Read the Bible? A Manual for Life God has spoken to us through His son, Jesus Hebrews 1 2 The main way we know about Jesus is through God’s revelation recorded in the Bible (God has also revealed himself through creation and speaks directly through his Spirit) To know God, we need to know Jesus; to meet Jesus, we need the Bible

15 Why and How Should I Read the Bible? A Manual for Life “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that God’s servant may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” 2 Timothy 3 16, % human work 100% inspired

16 Why and How Should I Read the Bible? A Manual for Life “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that God’s servant may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” 2 Timothy 3 16, 17 For Jesus, what Scripture said, God said

17 Why and How Should I Read the Bible? A Manual for Life “The Scriptures are perfect” Irenaeus, c AD “Scripture which has never erred” Martin Luther “… written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit … have God as their author” Vatican II

18 Why and How Should I Read the Bible? A Manual for Life Inspiration Inspiration doesn’t mean it’s all easy to understand! Peter found some of Paul’s letters “hard to understand”! 2 Peter 3 16 The Bible was written over 1500 years by at least 40 authors, in a whole range of genres (historical, narrative, poetry, prophecy, letters & apocalyptic) Every great doctrine has its difficulties, e.g. suffering

19 Why and How Should I Read the Bible? A Manual for Life Billy Graham “… I went back and I got my Bible, and I went out in the moonlight. And I got to a stump and put the Bible on the stump, and I knelt down and I said, ‘Oh God; I cannot prove certain things. I cannot answer some of the questions …but I accept this book by faith as the Word of God’. I stayed by the stump praying wordlessly, my eyes moist … I had a tremendous sense of God’s presence. I had a great peace that the decision I had made was right.

20 Why and How Should I Read the Bible? A Manual for Life If we accept that the Bible is inspired by God, then its authority must follow

21 Why and How Should I Read the Bible? A Manual for Life Jesus’ supreme authority Mark , (above church leaders of his time, and above the opinions of others) Our authority for what we believe (tells us what God has said) Our authority for how we act (the Ten Commandments; at work; under pressure; sexual morality) Rules that bring freedom (driving on the left - break the rules, you get hurt!)

22 Why and How Should I Read the Bible? A Love-letter from God The Bible is more than a manual - God spoke then, but God also speaks now “You diligently study the scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” Jesus: John 5 39, 40

23 Why and How Should I Read the Bible? A Love-letter from God “Scripture is the manger or ‘cradle’ in which the infant Jesus lies. Don’t let us inspect the cradle and forget to worship the baby.” “The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold on me.” Martin Luther

24 Why and How Should I Read the Bible? A Love-letter from God In the Bible, God speaks to those who are not yet Christians: David Suchet as Poirot “From somewhere I got this desire to read the Bible again. That’s the most important part of my conversion. I started with the Acts of the Apostles and then moved on to Paul’s letters - Romans and Corinthians. And it was only after that I came to the gospels. In the New Testament I suddenly discovered the way that life should be followed.”

25 Why and How Should I Read the Bible? A Love-letter from God In the Bible, God speaks to Christians As we study the Bible, we come into contact with Jesus He brings us joy and peace The Bible gives us defence against spiritual attack “The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” Hebrews 4 12

26 Why and How Should I Read the Bible? Some practical matters … Be realistic about time Get alone if you can Take diary, notebook, coffee! Ask God to speak to you Start with something like the gospels Ask: What does it say? What does it mean? How does it apply to me? Put it into practice

27 Why and How Should I Read the Bible? Some practical matters … Fruit … perseverance … prospering


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