Sunday, October 27, 2013

Biblical Preservation

Temple Baptist Church - 10-27-2013
1 Peter 1:18-25
A. Is what we just read not clear concerning the bible:
1. Inerrancy and infallibility – “not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible
2. Perfectly preserved – “liveth and abideth forever … But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
3. If inerrant, infallible, and perfectly preserved, then the inspiration is intact through the preservation.
4. This is where I stand!
B. A couple of weeks ago, I preached on the subject of biblical inspiration: God breathing into the word of God through holy men of old.
1. Inspiration: to infuse. Therefore, if God “infused” His inspired word into manuscript form, when did it cease to be inspired? Were the first copies inerrant and infallible; if yes, then were second copies inerrant and infallible; if so, then were the third copies inerrant and infallible; and this list could go on.
2. We either have the word of God or we only have a manmade book that contains the word of God at best or just part of the word of God at worst. If we have the word of God in the English, then just believe it! Our bible says it is inspired: just leave it alone and preach it!
3. The bible never causes doubt! It instills within the reader extreme confidence. Its pages are full of clarity concerning its purity and preservation! Men do not become liberals or doubters by reading the word of God. They become such by reading after or sitting under men who cast doubt upon what we have in our hands today. WHEN DID MEN QUIT BELIEVING THE WORD OF GOD? I still believe it!
4. I copied a doctrinal statement sent to me not long ago and will read it to you to show you what I mean concerning the confusion of our day concerning the scripture.
“We believe in the inerrant, infallible word of God but let me be transparent with you, I personally do not believe that a translation of the Bible is inspired and therefore it is (not the) inerrant, infallible and preserved Word of God. I believe God's word in its original language is inerrant and infallible, however not the translation itself. I am sorry I do not see (a) translation of the Bible as inspired from the scriptures.
Having said the above, I believe the KJV is the best English Translation and the most accurate … This is my honest and transparent answer. We are not liberal concerning the Bible - we stand firm on the inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible, but I am not educated enough to make a claim that a translation of the Bible is inspired by God.”
a) Here is what he just said: that only the originals are inspired, inerrant, and infallible. No translation is inerrant, infallible, or inspired. The King James is simply the best translation from the best text.
b) Then he said that he is not liberal and stands “FIRM ON THE INERRANCY AND INFALLIBILITY OF THE BIBLE AS INSPIRED FROM THE SCRIPTURES!” BIBLE defined - the sacred scriptures of Christians comprising the Old Testament and the New Testament. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) He is about as confused as a termite in a Yo-Yo and did not get that way from reading the bible!
c) The originals were manuscripts and not in book form. What I am holding up to you this morning is a BIBLE. Do you see the utter confusion that scholasticism has caused.
d) Then he blames his confusion on a lack of education but I believe his problem is HIS EDUCATION. He has been taught by “educated” men not to believe the perfectly clear verses that we just read in 1 Peter this morning.
e) We often correctly say, “God says what He means and means what He says!”
C. We have an inspired bible! 2 Timothy 3:16 says so. One Greek scholar told me that the word “scripture” in this verse referred only to the originals. The word “scripture” is only used once in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, the word “scripture” is used 31x and “scriptures” used 21x. In all but one of these instances, the Greek word for scripture or scriptures is the same as 2 Timothy 3:16. The usage that is different is found in 2 Timothy 3:15 but the word “holy” that precedes it equates it with the inspired scripture of the next verse. The inspiration that God gave in the originals is certainly intact through preservation. As far as I can discern, in every other instance, these words refer to the word of God that they were using at the time (copies, not the originals).
1. Many ask the question, “How do you know that God inspired the bible?” The answer is simple: by faith! Whatsoever is not of faith is sin and God gives every man the right to believe or not to believe. We believe in God by faith. How to we believe in God? Our faith comes through the preaching, teaching, reading, and studying of the bible.
2. It takes a foolish man to deny the perfection of this universe. It takes a foolish man to believe that this all came into being through randomness. It takes more faith to believe in evolution that it does creation.
3. It is just as foolish to deny the perfection and preservation of the King James Bible. Foolish men deny the bible today! Biblical inspiration in the originals without biblical preservation in future copies and translations would be a bigger “train wreck” than Obama Care!
4. Jack Moorman, who wrote the book “Missing in Modern Bibles,” said it this way: “We have a strange anomaly today; Christians claim to believe what the Bible says about its own inspiration but virtually ignore the equally direct statements concerning preservation. To say that you believe in the full inspiration of Scripture while at the same time accepting the textual theories inherent in the modern versions, is about as incongruous as taking Genesis one literally while holding to the theories of Darwin.”
D. This week, I want to take a biblical look at biblical preservation.
1. Over 100 years ago, Dean John William Burgon wrote: "If you and I believe that the original writings of the Scriptures were verbally inspired by God, then of necessity they must have been providentially preserved through the ages."
2. In Inspiration, God gave us His Faultless Word. In Preservation, God gave us His Faithful Word which remains the Faultless Word.
E. As with the previous message on Biblical Inspiration, I will not do an in depth study of Biblical Preservation but a several questions need to be answered in order to inspire confidence in our King James Bible.
1. We need a biblical explanation, not mine or yours, nor that of some Greek and Hebrew scholar. The word “preserve” in Psalms 12 means to guard, maintain, protect, obey, or a monument. “Preserve” is an absolute term, not a relative one!
2. The bible says all that needs to be said on the subject and people can either believe it or not. I am not here to convince the unbeliever nor am I here to defend what God said. As the bible declares its inspiration, it also declares its preservation. You cannot believe one and reject the other!
F. Though possibly well meaning, bible scholars who deny inspiration and divine preservation for today have done believers a great injustice. They open several “cans of worms” that cause God’s people to doubt the bible.
1. If our preserved bible is not inerrant, then it is errant! If it is errant, then how many errors are there in the King James Bible: one, one hundred, one thousand, 100 thousand? And, if there are errors in the King James Bible, where are they? John 3:16, John 14:1-6, Romans 10:9-13, Hebrews 9:22? If we do not have the originals nor have we seen them, then every verse in the bible becomes suspect and, therefore, possibly in error!
2. If our preserved bible is not infallible, then it is fallible! You cannot have it both ways. If it is fallible, then it can and will fail. The promises of the bible along with the prophecies of the bible may or may not come true. Will God truly meet our needs? Is our Lord really going to return? Is heaven a reality and salvation eternal? You may think this is foolish but, if this bible is fallible, then please tell me which parts I cannot trust.
3. We can either believe this bible or we can believe those who do not. I choose to believe God!
G. Now, three questions:
1. Is biblical preservation an act of God or man? Did God inspire His word in the originals and then trust sinful man to preserve it?
2. To what extent did God preserve His word? Is our King James Bible the perfect word of God or does it contain the word of God? Is it plenary and verbal or are just the concepts or basic message inspired?
3. Will biblical preservation ever cease to exist? If divine biblical preservation is not for today, then when did it cease to be?
H. I want to let the bible answer these questions:
1. Is biblical preservation an act of God or an act of man? Let the bible give us the answer.
a. Biblical inspiration - Exodus 24:12, 16 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 … And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables. (I believe that we can all agree that this is inspiration. God hewed out the tables and inscribed the words of God upon them.)
b. Biblical destruction - Exodus 32:19 And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. (We can also agree that tables, manuscripts, and bibles can become worn or destroyed, thus causing a continual need for refurbishing or copying. Nothing made by man lasts forever, especially if it is greatly used or abused.)
c. Biblical 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. (The first mention of biblical preservation, as far as I can discern, takes place in this verse. Now, Moses makes the tables and God’s word is placed upon them by God Himself. "God indicates in the first mention of a subject the truth with which that subject stands connected in the mind of God." I know that some will fault this particular principle of bible interpretation and only use it when it fits their theology but I found the principle to be consistent.)
Throughout the bible, we find that God progressively enlightens us upon any previously mentioned subject so let us look at another instance of bible preservation.
d. Biblical inspiration - Jeremiah 36:1-2 And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that this word came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, (2) Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day. (The scroll was manmade while the words were inspired by God.)
e. Biblical destruction - Jeremiah 36:23 And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth. (The king rejected God’s word and destroyed the scroll in the fire.)
f. Biblical preservation - Jeremiah 36:28, 32 Take thee again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned. … Then took Jeremiah another roll, and gave it to Baruch the scribe, the son of Neriah; who wrote therein from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the book which Jehoiakim king of Judah had burned in the fire: and there were added besides unto them many like words. (Once again, the scroll was manmade and the preservation was overseen by God but written by man! Call me a heretic if you wish but what I find here is preservation and inspiration of the preserved scroll going hand-in-hand under the care of a faithful God!)
g. Now let us look at Psalm 12. 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. (The inspiration of God is evident in the wording: “pure words.” Now, what is it that the LORD is keeping and preserving in verse 7? “Pure words!” The preservation of the LORD keeps the inspiration of the “pure words” intact! Like or not, believe it or not, accept it or not, that is what the BIBLE says, not this preacher. I know, now you can go to the Hebrew and explain away what the BIBLE says, right? I believe that to do that, you will give a personal account to the author of the Bible because the scripture is wrong and you are right.)
2. To what extent did God preserve His word? Is our King James Bible the perfect word of God or does it contain the word of God? Is it verbal and plenary or are just the concepts or basic message inspired? The bible says that it is verbal and plenary: word by word and full or complete. Notice with me that the bible speaks of words, not thoughts or doctrines. We that are true Bible believers, stand for verbal inspiration of the word of God. This does nothing for us if that verbal inspiration and purity only apply to the original autographs which we do not have and have not seen. We need God’s exact word for today.
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.
2 Kings 10:10 Know now that there shall fall unto the earth nothing of the word of the LORD, which the LORD spake concerning the house of Ahab: for the LORD hath done that which he spake by his servant Elijah.
Psalms 119:140 Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.
Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
Luke 4:4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
3. Will biblical preservation ever cease to exist? The bible says that preservation is an act of God through man, not just man without God. Sinful man could not keep this precious book in the condition that we have it after thousands of years of copying and translation. Secondly, we have found, according to the bible that preservation has to do with words, not just thoughts or doctrines. Now, the final question as to this: if God preserved the orignians through man, how long did He preserve it in all of its perfection? Again, I must allow the bible to answer this question because.
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.
Psalms 33:11 The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
Psalms 100:5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
Psalms 119:89 LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.
Psalms 119:152 Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever.
Psalms 119:160 Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
Isaiah 40:8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
Matthew 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Luke 16:17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.
1 Peter 1:23-25 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (24) For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: (25) But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
The bible’s conclusion: God has preserved in the King James Version His original work of inspiration. The flower has not faded. The sword is as sharp as in the day it was first whetted. We can have no confidence in the originals that we do not have, therefore, we must have confidence in the bible that we hold in our hand and that bible is King James!

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