In our series, What We Believe, today we considered our doctrinal belief regarding the Bible, taking a look at Paul’s second letter to Timothy, particularly chapters three and four. We broke our consideration into two parts, each to answer a question: Part One: Why is the Bible so important to us at Grace Bible Church? And Part Two: What we actually believe about the Bible. To listen to the sermon, click here.
Part One: The Bible is critical to our ministry because… (3:1-4:8)
…we believe that with the passing of time the church of Jesus Christ will increasingly struggle with faithfulness to the demands and standards of Christianity, and will actually drift further from faithfulness. (3:1-5a)
…we believe that the greatest threat to the church of Jesus Christ will continue to be the incessant attacks of unprincipled, abusive, false leaders who infiltrate the church to gain satisfaction of their own desires, and not to service the Lord Jesus. (3:5b-9)
…we believe that the need for bible-saturated, faithful leaders will always be one of the primary needs of the church until her Lord returns. (3:10-17)
…we believe that the as the church continues through the ages she will increasingly battle the influx of members whose primary desire is to acquire and “call” only those teachers and preachers who will implicitly agree to NOT challenge or convict those members with the application of biblical truth, but will instead cater to their listeners self-centered, culture-pleasing desires. (4:3-4)
…we believe that with the close of the text of Scripture (the death of the apostles), the Bible itself became a one-and-for-all-time completed book, and is thus the only remaining source of authoritative, divinely provided insight and instruction for humans. (4:5-8)
Part Two: Therefore, because we believe the Bible is inspired, we believe it is… (3:16-17)
(An easy way to remember these points is to remember them according to the vowels, “A,E,I,O,U”)
ADEQUATE: …it contains sufficient information for me to know God and live a life that pleases Him and those around me.
Example: When hungry and tempted by Satan to turn stones to bread, Jesus quoted Scripture: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God…”
EFFECTIVE: …it is able to do exactly what it says it can do.
Example: In the Sermon on the Mount: “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished.” (Also, see Isa 55:10-11)
INFALLIBLE: …it cannot lie or mislead.
Example: In praying for His disciples, He said, “Sanctify them in truth, Thy word is truth.”
OBLIGATORY: …it must be obeyed.
Example: When tempted by Satan to bow down and worship him, Jesus’ reply: “For it is written,” each time He was tempted to disobey. For Jesus, the Word of God must be obeyed!
UNDERSTANDABLE: …people must be able to know what the Bible means by what it says. God chose to communicate with us, and He must be a perfect communicator, despite the limitations of those He intends to communicate with.
Example: Numerous times in Scripture Jesus asks His opponents, “Have you not read…”, and He expects them to be able to understand the point He is making from the Scriptures. It would not have been fair for Him to make this challenge if indeed they might not be able to simply understand what had been written. (Cross-ref: Mark 2:23ff)