Temple Baptist Church - 5-23-2010
A. When I think of the “Old Paths,” my mind goes immediately to the first of all: the Word of God. I took an unusual text today because I wanted to use a First Mention Principle.
B. Biblical Hermeneutics is the study of the principles of interpretation concerning the books of the Bible. These “Principles” are essential to “rightly dividing the word of truth.” There are some 30 “Principles” used in Biblical Hermeneutics of which I will use two this morning.
1. The First Mention Principle: "God indicates in the first mention of a subject the truth with which that subject stands connected in the mind of God." (The First Mention declares that “God said!” Not “man said” or “the pope said” or the “Baptist said” but “God said!” The Author of the Bible is God Almighty Himself and is not up for debate. You can believe it or disbelieve it, it does not change it. You can obey it or not obey it, it does not change it.)
2. The Direct Statement Principle: "God says what he means and means what he says." “And God said let there be light: and THERE WAS LIGHT!” (What God says is always right and He means what He says. His promises are always true and His predictions always come to pass. His actions are always faithful to His words.)
C. The Word of God is all important because it is the “Old Path” that leads to all others. If we do not have complete confidence in our Bible, how can we have confidence in any other part of our faith? All that we believe and hope for is anchored deeply in the foundation of our faith, the Bible.
D. The Bible is our final authority for both faith and practice! Many people claim faith in Jesus Christ based upon the authority and veracity of the Bible and yet reject His principles by maintain that the Bible is authored by man. If its principles cannot be relied upon then neither can its Person be trusted. The Bible declares that his commandments are not grievous.
E. I want to look at inspiration as we begin “The Old Path Of Scripture.”
INSPIRATION OF THE SCRIPTURES
1. What Inspiration Means: 2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…” Inspiration of God simply means God breathed. By Inspiration we mean that the Holy Spirit moved the human writers of the Bible in such a way that they recorded the very words and sense of God. Genesis says “God said!” Simple enough is it not? As one man so adeptly put it:
The Bible is a supernatural Book like no other that has ever existed, either secular or sacred. And not even the greatest of religious books can come close to the Bible! Although a few other religious writings, such as the Koran and the Book of Mormon, make claim to being special revelation from God, it will be found in every case that they lack the credentials which authenticate the Bible as the true record of God's revelation. The claim to be the true revelation of God is not of human origin, but rather it is the claim the Bible makes for itself. Over and over again it states that the words are from God Himself: "Thus saith the Lord." The point at issue here is not whether other books such as the Koran contain some truth. The book that is the true revelation of God must in fact be infallible and without error in all matters of history, science, medicine, etc., as well as theology and morals.
2. How Inspired Scripture Was Given: 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.”
a. Human Penmanship – “holy men of God spake” (God used men to pen the Holy Bible. Later, we will see that God used men both in inspiration and preservation of the Scripture.) Heb 1:1-2a "God, Who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son. . ." Note the inference here that the writings of the Old Testament prophets have the same infallibility as the New Testament message of Christ Himself! We are dealing with a supernatural, God-breathed Book!
b. Divine Authorship – “as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (The same Greek word for "moved" is translated "driven" in Acts 27:17, where the ship was totally controlled by the wind and at the mercy of the storm.)
3. What Inspiration Does And Does Not Mean:
a. What Inspiration Of The Scripture Does Not Mean
1) Inspiration does not mean natural inspiration, which is no more than human genius. Artists, poets, and musicians are inspired by natural inspiration. We mean more than this when we speak about the inspiration of the Bible.
2) Inspiration does not mean simply that the Book is inspiring. Some believe that the Bible is only inspired as it inspires the reader. The Bible does inspire all those who read it. But we mean more than this when we speak of the inspiration of the Bible.
3) Inspiration does not mean partial inspiration. We do not mean that parts of the Bible are inspired and are therefore reliable, and that parts are not inspired and are therefore unreliable. We do not believe,
for instance, that the Gospels are more inspired than the Epistles or the Books of the Pentateuch.
4) Inspiration does not mean progressive inspiration. There is a progressive revelation in the Bible in the sense that there is much fuller truth in the New Testament than is revealed in the Old Testament, but the Old Testament is just as much inspired asthe New Testament.
5) Inspiration does not mean the inspiration of the thoughts only. Some say it is only the ideas and the general thoughts expressed in the Bible that are inspired, and that the general sense, therefore, is reliable but the words must not be relied upon. We do not accept this view.
b. What Inspiration Of The Scripture Does Mean:
1) Verbal Inspiration or “word for word.” Jeremiah 36:4 “Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah: and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the LORD, which he had spoken unto him, upon a roll of a book.”
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. (The Holy Spirit supernaturally directed the authors as they either dictated or wrote their portion of the Scriptures.)
Psalms 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
Proverbs 30:5a Every word of God is pure: (Bible believers are often called ignorant Bible-worshipers who believe in 'mechanical' dictation." You can call us whatever you wish, but this passage makes it perfectly clear that God spoke all the words to Jeremiah! The inspiration of the Bible is a supernatural miracle.)
2) Plenary Inspiration or “full inspiration extending to all parts alike.” 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (All of the Bible is inspired and every part of it is equally inspired. Full or from cover to cover, we have not only the very Word of God but we have all of the Word of God.)
Preservation Of Scripture
1. Now we get into a more controversial doctrine concerning the Bible. There are many fundamental Baptists that believe that the original manuscripts were inspired of God but the inspiration was lost in the preservation by both scribes and translators. If this were true, it would be a blatant lie to tell people that we have the Word of God in our hands today.
2. If it is the Word of God then it is pure; if it is not pure then we only have a man made book in our hands and both interpretation and authority lie in the hands of the experts who point out the mistakes in it.
3. To inspire the Bible and then leave preservation up to sinful, fallible man would be like miraculously saving a sinner and then leaving the keep of his salvation up to him. Both would be impossible to do. We either have the Word of God or we do not! If we have the Word of God, then the inspiration is intact through divine preservation!
4. Where do I stand? I believe that both inspiration and preservation are acts of God. It matters not if either King James or the translators of the AV 1611 were saved or not. It makes no difference to me if they were Bible believers or not. God has preserved His Word from the original manuscripts down to the Bible that we hold in our hands.
Psalms 12:6-7 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. (7) Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. (When you realize that preservation is an act of God, then you have no problem believing that we have the Word of God today.)
5. When Moses broke the Ten Commandments, an interesting thing happened. Let us look at a good verse of Scripture to back up what I have said about preservation being an act of God. (First Mention Principle of Bible Interpretation)
a. When God gave Moses the Law, He gave him both the tables of stone and the commandments (Inspiration) - Exodus 24:12 And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.
b. When Moses broke the original tables of stone, God told Moses to “Hew thee two tables … like unto the first” and then God gave the exact words a second time (Preservation) - Exodus 34:1 And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest. (God used Moses to make the tables just as he used men in the translation of the AV 1611 but both acts of preservation were of God.)
6. Therefore, we have the Word of God in the King James Bible:
a. Inerrant - The message was written down accurately and without error. Every word of God and, therefore, the very Word of God. We have an inerrant Bible in the King James Bible. I make no apology for it.
b. Infallible – The Word of God is without error in its doctrine and will not fail in its promises or predictions.
Evidences For Inspiration
1. There Are Internal Evidences
a. Its Details Of Events Beyond Human Knowledge - The Bible records details about Creation, reveals what is in the heart of certain people, the words of Satan, etc., which no human could possibly know about. For example, Moses is the human author of Genesis, and he did not have personal knowledge of many of the details recorded there.
b. The Unity Of The Bible - The Bible is a Book authored by some 40 human writers and compiled over 1,600 years -- yet it has an incredible doctrinal and structural unity! There is one theme; and no conflict! No other piece of literature, sacred or secular, has anything approaching this. Most of the writers did not personally know each other and many did not know what the others wrote and yet there are no contradiction nor errors.
c. The Supernatural Doctrines It Contains –
1) The Doctrine of God -- Compare the triune, infinite, sovereign, holy, and loving God of the Bible with the various "deities" concocted by men. The God of the Bible could not have been invented by man, for He altogether transcends our finite intellect. We could not have known God at all if He had not revealed Himself to us through His Word, both written and "made flesh."
2) The Doctrine of Man -- The painfully honest presentation of man as base, corrupt, vile, and helplessly depraved would never have been written so by natural man. Even the hideous sins of David, "man after God's own heart," are revealed!
3) The Doctrine of Sin -- Natural man minimizes sin and extols man's "innate goodness." The Bible does just the opposite and the natural man could never accept the fact of a literal hell as the just punishment of sinful, unrepentant mankind. Therefore, both the cults and most of the lost deny it.
4) The Doctrine of Salvation -- Man, universally and innately, seeks salvation through his own efforts. Thus, if the Bible were a human book, salvation would be obtained by works. BUT, the Bible clearly presents salvation ONLY through the shed blood of the Son of God! !
5) Fulfilled Prophecy - A major portion of the Bible was prophetic at the time of its writing, and much of this has already been fulfilled in the minutest detail! This is one of the strongest internal proofs of Inspiration. For example, over 300 prophecies about the birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Christ have already been fulfilled. In the 24-hr period of the crucifixion, some 21 different prophecies were fulfilled. The odds of this being mere chance is staggering!
2. There Are External Evidences - Psalm 119:160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
a. The Evidence Of Science - Although the Bible does not claim to be a book of science, it is correct wherever it addresses scientific matters. It has never had to be revised to harmonize with established scientific facts! ! ! (And NEVER will!)
1) "Every-day" Scientific Facts - such as Human anatomy, Botany, Geography
2) Scientific Verities - Long before scientific discoverys were made, the Bible declared them - the importance of the blood (Lev 17:11); the earth's position in space (not on the back of a giant turtle!- Job 26:7); the unseen number of stars (Gen 22:17; Deut 1:10); the manner of animal repro-duction (Gen 1:24-25); the existence of other planets (Heb 1:2); the fact that air has weight (Job 28:25); existence of the jet streams (Eccl 1:6); the hydrologic cycle (Eccl 1:7); the earth is a sphere (Isa 40:22; Eccl 1:5).
b. The Evidence Of Archaeology - This is perhaps the greatest of external proofs. No archaeological discovery has ever contradicted the Word of God!
1) Topographical & Geographical - The hills, valleys, plains, deserts and mountains are all where the Bible says they are. There are no mistakes though there were no accurate maps or such information. At the time of the Bible’s writing.
2) Ethnological - The family tree of the nations in Genesis 10, and the various migrations mentioned in the Bible have been verified. The ancestry of the Hebrews from Mesopotamia through Abraham has been verified. Excavations at Ur reveal it to be the idolatrous pagan city so stated in Joshua 24:2.
3) Chronological - All the pertinent evidence uncovered has supported the record and order of Biblical events and the circumstances involved.
4) Historical - The collapse of the Jericho walls, the presence of Hebrews in Egypt, and a number of other startling archaeological discoveries have confirmed the historical trustworthiness of the Word of God.
c. The Evidence Of Supernatural Transformation Of Believers - Not only has the Bible changed the course of nations, but the most heathen of cultures have been literally transformed by its life-changing power! No other piece of literature in the history of mankind has even come close! Drunks have been made sober, harlots made chaste and lives ruined by sin have been made whole again.
d. The Bible's Inexhaustible Literary Treasures - How many books have you read twice? three times? Can you think of how many sermons by Bible-believing preachers are preached out of this book each week? how many doctrinally sound books have been written about it in the last decade?!!?
Job 23:12 either have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
Psalms 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
Psalms 119:2 The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.
Psalms 119:162 I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.
Jeremiah 15:16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.
e. The Bible's Honored Promises - Whoever follows what the Bible says receives what the Bible promises.
Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
f. The Bible’s Practical And Holy Law – Holy but Workable - The Ten Commandments used to be the basis of British and U. S. law. (Still are, technically, in the U.S.) But whenever man has sought to make laws contrary to the Bible, it has brought tragic and destructive consequences! (Example: death penalty)
The King James Bible Is Still The Word Of God
The King James Bible Is Still The Only Bible
The King James Bible Is Still Perfect
The King James Bible Is Still Inspired
The King James Bible Is Still Saving
The King James Bible Is Still Cleansing
The King James Bible Is Still Convicting
The King James Bible Is Still Effective
The King James Bible Is Still Eternal