Defending the Word of God
Are you able to defend the word of God against unregenerate skeptics? Do we need to defend Gods word? That might be the ultimate question.
Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our fcommon salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you gto contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.
Spurgeon once said, ‘ ‘Defend the Bible? I’d sooner defend a roaring lion!
1 Peter 3
13 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”s 15 But sanctify the Lord Godt in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; 16 having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. 17 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
Why is it important to defend Gods word? After all, the elect will come to faith. The enemy is a dog on a leash-he has to ask permission to do anything to Gods people.
In reality, arguing with the world is silly;
The world in its own wisdom would never understand or seek God (Rom. 3:11) but always suppress or distort the truth in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18, 21). Keep in mind, however, that some of these are the elect and God will use our defense to draw the elect to himself.
So why do we defend? Simply because God tells us to; It is sanctifying to the believer. Does not Gods word say that His word will accomplish all that it is set on, not to return void?
2 Cor 10: 4 For the mweapons of nour warfare are not of the flesh but have odivine power pto destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and qevery lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to robey Christ, 6 sbeing ready to punish every disobedience, twhen your obedience is complete.
In other places, where you see the exhortation in regards to ‘sound doctrine’, this implies a need for apologetics. Are you familiar with the term apologetics?
The term comes from the Latin Apologia; In English language it is apology.
a defense, excuse, or justification in speech or writing, as for a cause or doctrine.
To begin with, we will discuss briefly, bibliology and sola scriptura
Bibliology is :
Definition of BIBLIOLOGY
: the history and science of books as physical objects : bibliography
often capitalized : the study of the theological doctrine of the Bible
Is the Bible truly God’s Word? Our answer to this question will not only determine how we view the Bible and its importance to our lives, but also ultimately will have an eternal impact on us.
What is the canon of Scripture? The basis of Christianity is found in the authority of Scripture. If we can’t identify what is Scripture, then we can’t properly distinguish any theological truth from error.
What does it mean that the Bible is inspired? While there are different views as to what extent the Bible is inspired, there can be no doubt that the Bible itself claims that every word, in every part of the Bible, is inspired by God (1 Corinthians 2:12-13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Does the Bible contain errors, contradictions, or discrepancies? If you read the Bible, at face value, without a preconceived bias for finding errors – you will find it to be a coherent, consistent, and relatively easy-to-understand book.
Is there proof for the inspiration of the Bible?
Since for unbelieving men religion seems to stand by opinion alone, they, in order not to believe anything foolishly or lightly, both wish and demand rational proof that Moses and the prophets spoke divinely. But I reply: the testimony of the Spirit is more excellent than all reason. For as God alone is a fit witness of himself in his Word, so also the Word will not find acceptance in men’s hearts before it is sealed by the inward testimony of the Spirit. The same Spirit, therefore, who has spoken through the mouths of the prophets must penetrate into our hearts to persuade us that they faithfully proclaimed what had been divinely commanded … John Calvin Institutes of the Christian Religion 1.7.5.
Compare Scripture with Scripture. False doctrines, like false witnesses, agree not among themselves. William Gurnall
The Scripture is to be its own interpreter, or rather the Spirit speaking in it; nothing can cut the diamond but the diamond; nothing can interpret Scripture but Scripture. Thomas Watson
You all have by you a large treasure of divine knowledge, in that you have the Bible in your hands; therefore be not contented in possessing but little of this treasure. God hath spoken much to you in the Scripture; labor to understand as much of what he saith as you can. God hath made you all reasonable creatures; therefore let not the noble faculty of reason or understanding lie neglected. Content not yourselves with…divine truth…you accidentally gain in conversation; but let it be very much your business to search for it, and that with the same diligence and labor with which men are wont to dig in mines of silver and gold. Jonathan Edwards
The Scripture is both the breeder and feeder of grace. How is the convert born, but by “the word of truth” (James 1:18)? How doth he grow, but by “the sincere milk of the Word” (1 Peter 2:2)?
Sola Scriptura is a Latin term: it means scripture alone.
The Lord told me is no substitute for what Gods word says;
“Sola Scriptura is the doctrine that Scripture, and only Scripture, has the final word on everything, all our doctrine, and all our life. Thus it has the final word even on our interpretation of Scripture, even in our theological method.”
Frame goes on to say:
“This activity takes place even at the most fundamental levels of Bible interpretation: the study of words and syntax, the work of translation, the attempt to paraphrase. So what we call “interpretation” is a species of application: in it, scholars ask their own questions of the text and apply the text to those questions.”
AA Hodge writes:
. What is meant by saying that the Scriptures are the only infallible rule of faith and practice?
Whatever God teaches or commands is of sovereign authority. Whatever conveys to us an infallible knowledge of his teachings and commands is an infallible rule. The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the only organs through which, during the present dispensation, God conveys to us a knowledge of his will about what we are to believe concerning himself, and what duties he requires of us.
Does everyone have at least a Strongs Concordance?
What does the bible say of itself?
2 Timothy 3:6
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
How much of the Bible is inspired (God-breathed) by God?
If you acknowledge this, why is it that we are complacent when the word is read? Example: People talking during the time when the word is read. I do not say this as a rebuke but as a basis for our apologetics on the subject. Can we rightly defend this idea if we don’t believe that God speaks when scripture is read?
According to the passage in Tim, what four areas is the Bible profitable?”
It teaches us the doctrine of God, i.e. about the church (last week)
It reproves; ‘convicts’
It corrects error’s/misconceptions. i.e. the church is only universal
It instructs us how to pursue righteousness.
Who directed the people who wrote the Bible?
2 Peter 1:21″For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
How long will God’s words still be true for us?
“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.”
So, at this point we have established a few facts about the word of God. The next phase is how can we defend Gods word when the moment arises.
Gods word is unique; 66 books; 27 new testament Written over a 1500 year span, over 40 generations, 40 authors from all different walks of life.
Peter was a fisherman
Amos was a herdsman
Joshua was a military general
Nehemiah, a cupbearer
Daniel, a prime minister
Luke, a doctor,
Solomon a king
Matt a tax collector
Paul a rabbi
It has essentially the same theme through all of scripture: God is Lord, Men are not and are fallen creatures; There is a savior; all who believe in Him will be saved. Come unto him all who are heavy laden, and of course, the consummation of all thigs.
Written on 3 different continents: Asia, Africa, and Europe.
Written in 3 different languages: Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.
The bible has been read by more people and published in more languages than any other book.
It has survived all types of actions; Time, persecution, criticism.
Please tell me another book that can claim that? Is there one?
The bible is reliable:
Let’s first consider the meaning of reliable. In short, reliability means something is trustworthy. It can also mean that something is consistently good in its quality. In reference to the Bible, reliability has to do with whether or not what it contains – from ideas to history to geography and more – is trustworthy or not. If, for instance, the Bible is full of historical and factual errors or blatantly contradicts itself, it’s hard to trust it or view it as reliable.
Scripture teaches us that only God is adequate to witness to Himself. There is no created person or power which is in a position to judge or verify the word of God. Thus: “when God made promise to Abraham, since He could swear by none greater, He swore by Himself…” (Heb. 6:13).
Yes it is; Has it been corrupted over time;
It is a fact that the original writings of the bible are gone; however, before that occurred copies were made.
These copies were incredibly accurate, very meticulous, and very precise. The people who copied them were extremely dedicated to God and their copying tasks. They took great care when copying the original manuscripts. This copying method is so exact, and so precise, that the New Testament alone is considered to be 99.5% textually pure. This means that of the 6000 Greek copies (the New Testament was written in Greek), and the additional 21,000 copies in other languages, there is only one half of 1% variation. Most of these variants are due to spelling or such. Important to note is that not one Christian teaching or belief is dependant or changed by any of this 1% variant.
So how do we defend the scripture?
One prominent pastor writes:
“How do we do that? Well there are two possibilities. You could defend Scripture from outside Scripture, then you would make human reason the ultimate determiner of Scripture’s truth. Far better to let Scripture defend itself and then you let Scripture be the ultimate determiner of its own veracity. And so we take what is called a presuppositional approach to the defense of Scripture, we presuppose the truthfulness of Scripture. We assume it to be so. And any faithful, diligent exercise in studying Scripture will yield the fact that this is truly the Word of God, we let Scripture speak for itself, not trying to defend Scripture from outside Scripture, but from inside Scripture. Let God speak in defense of the Word which He has written.”
So, we use the word. We have nothing else to use. We use it’s historicity; We use Christ and the characters of the bible as historic figures that can be proven. We take the things they said in regards to scripture, God and Christ.
G. Bahnsen writes:
‘The Christian faith is based upon God’s own self-revelation, not the conflicting opinions or untrustworthy speculations of men. As the Apostle Paul wrote: “your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (I Cor. 2:5).”