The Book of God

(audio sermon)

The Bible is the most influential book in the world, the most popular book in the world, and the most prophetic book ever written. This sermon gives both believers and unbelievers good reasons to read the Bible.

Speakers notes follow –

The Book of God

2 Tim 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.

1 Thess 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 a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.

John Wesley ‘Give me the Book of God’ – I treasure it – it does things to me

Most Influential Book

1/3 world followers – 1/3 great religions

100m printed – 4Om sold (popular bestseller) 349 lang (international) Koran 47 (7.4 times Koran)

Daniel Radosh (Journalist) quoted by Washington post ‘The familiar observation that the Bible is the best- selling book of all time obscures a more startling fact : The Bible is the best-selling book of the year every year’

Foundation of Western civilization – most advanced – law / education / science

Quoted daily – CIeland McFee (author) ‘shelves of library’

Influenced some of the greatest minds – W.E.Gladstone (Brit Prime M)

– Most influential book

Most Powerful Book

Heb 4.12 For the word of God is alive 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.

Its authority commands obedience like no other – quote ends debate

I read: Gnostics / Apostolic Fathers / Koran / Gita – feeling (try it!)

Converts sinners / comforts grieving / feeds hungry / guides lost / inspires seeker

World knows its different – Wimber ‘lights are good’

Napoleon ‘no mere book- living creature’ – its Author gives it power

Luther – ‘it runs after me’

– Most powerful book

Most Prophetic Book

2 Peter 1.20-21 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

Only holy book with predictive prophecy – proof of divine inspiration

Geisler & Nix (authors) – on Koran / Mormon / Veda

Hundreds (Jesus 300) detailed (Bethlehem / lots / 30 silver / donkey)

Inspired Construction

1500 yrs | 40 authors – eras | classes | circumstances

Single story – begin / build / climax / end – paradise lost / gained (tree)

– ‘In the beginning – if anyone adds’ (closes itself)

Moses (political leader) David (King) Amos (herdsman) Joshua (General) Dan (prime minister under a King) Luke (doctor) Peter (fisherman) Matthew (tax collector) Paul (Rabbi)

Written by God? St Paul’s Cathedral – Sir Christopher Wren

Central character – Jesus: Law (foundation) Prophets (expectation) Gospels (manifestation) Acts (propagation) Epistles (interpretation) Revelations (consumation)

– ‘seed that crushes – coming soon’ (Alpha- Omega)

– Most prophetic book

Most Historically Verifiable Ancient Book

Luke 1.1-4 Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

Eye witness detail – descriptions of time & place

John 5.1-3 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie

– In Jerusalem / near sheep gate / Bethesda / fire colonnades

Luke 3.1-2 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene— during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.

– Tiberius (Emp) Pilate (Gov) Caiaphas (Priest)

Koran (commentary – little visual description) Gita (conversation)

Nelson Glueck (one of greatest archaeologists) no artifacts contradict Bible

– Most historically verifiable ancient book

How to Read it

Psalm 1.1-3 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.

Spurgeon – ‘A Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone that isn’t’

1) Informative – study it for truth about God and faith

2) Devotional – ‘living & active’ – ‘it runs after me’ – ready to hear God’s voice and be transformed

– More on this in weeks to come

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