The Bible’s Proof Part 2 (One Year Discipleship Course by David Cloud)
MEMORY VERSES: Hebrews 11:1; 2 Peter 1:16
In the previous lesson we looked at four evidences of the Bible’s divine inspiration.
We went over:
- Christ’s resurrection proves that the Bible is the Word of God.” In this lesson
we will consider three more.
- The testimony of Jesus Christ proves that the Bible is the Word of God.
- The Bible’s unique construction and the manuscripts proves that it is the Word of God.
- Fulfilled prophecy proves the Bible is the Word of God.
Today we are going to start with…
5. The Bible’s factualness proves that it is the Word of God.
Everything the Bible says is true and factual.
For example, the Bible says man is a sinner, and that is not difficult to confirm. Just look at the world! When asked for his opinion on original sin, Samuel Johnson, the famous British lexicographer, replied, “With respect to original sin, the inquiry is not necessary, for whatever is the cause of human corruption, men are evidently and confessedly so corrupt, that all the laws of heaven and earth are insufficient to restrain them from crimes.” David Berlinski, a Princeton educated “secular Jew,” says, “One need hardly be a Christian to appreciate the wisdom in these remarks” (The Devil’s Delusion, p. 33).
The Bible is true not only in its statements about man, but also in its statements about everything. Though the Bible is not a scientific manual, it is scientifically accurate, even from its earliest pages, which were written nearly 4,000 years ago.
Following are some examples of the Bible’s scientific accuracy, beginning with statements from the pages of Job, probably the oldest book in the Bible. The late Henry Morris, who had a Ph.D. in hydraulic engineering, said:
“These references are modern in perspective, with never a hint of the mythical exaggerations and errors characteristic of other ancient writings … perhaps of even greater significance is the fact that in a 4000-year-old book filled with numerous references to natural phenomena, there are no scientific mistakes or fallacies” (The Remarkable Record of Job).
Job said the earth is hung upon nothing (Job 26:7). This is obvious to our modern generation, as we have seen the actual pictures of the earth hanging in space, but to previous generations it was not obvious and there were many commonly-held myths about the earth sitting on the back of Atlas or a turtle or an elephant, etc.
Job said the air has weight (“the weight for the winds,” Job 28:25). It was not until the 17th century that Galileo discovered that atmosphere has weight, and the modern science of aerodynamics is based on this scientific fact. Further, the weight of air is important in the function of the earth’s weather. “The ‘weight of the winds’ controls the worldwide air mass movements that transport the waters evaporated from the oceans inland over the continents” (Morris, The Remarkable Record of Job).
Job described the springs of the sea (Job 38:16). Man had no way to know about the fresh-water springs on the ocean floor by firsthand observation until recent times Job didn’t have any super submersibles to check that stuff out. Modern science has discovered that there are thousands of underwater springs that add millions of metric tons of water into the oceans each year.
Job understood that light has a way and that darkness has a place (Job 38:19). “That is, light is not to be located in a certain place or situation. Neither does it simply appear, or disappear, instantaneously. Light is traveling! It dwells in a ‘way,’ always on the way to someplace else.Though usually traveling in waves, sometimes it seems to move as a stream of particles, but it is always moving. When light stops, there is darkness. Thus, darkness is static, staying in place; but light is dynamic, dwelling in a way” (Morris).
The Bible says that the light creates wind (Job 38:24), but it is only in recent times that modern weather science has discovered that wind is created as the sun heats up the surface of the earth, causing the hot air to rise and cooler air to fall, creating weather systems.
Job describes the amazing hydrological cycle (evaporation, atmospheric circulation, condensation, precipitation, run-off) (Job 36:27-28; Ecc. 1:7; Jer. 51:16). The process of evaporation and condensation was not discovered until the 17th century and not well understood until the 20th.
1 Click 2 The Bible says plants and animals reproduce after their kind (Genesis 1:11, 12, 21, 24, 25). This is in perfect harmony with everything that can be observed and tested by modern science. There is great variety within kinds, different types of roses and dogs, but there is no reproduction between kinds, between roses and dandelions or dogs and penguins. Breeding experiments have demonstrated that there are genetic barriers that restrict change. The fruit fly has been used in genetic experiments since the early 1900s. Tens of millions of fruit flies have been artificially bred, bombarded with x-rays, doctored, and poisoned. The result has been a variety of mutant fruit flies but no evidence that the fruit fly could evolve into some other type of insect or animal. This is proof of the Bible’s 3500-year-old statement that all creatures reproduce according to kind.
The Bible says the heavens cannot be measured and the stars are without number (Genesis 22:17; Jeremiah 31:37). Before the invention of the telescope, man could see only a few hundred stars with the naked eye. Yet today we know that the stars are innumerable, just as the Bible says. There are 300 billion stars in our Milky Way galaxy alone. In 1999, observations by NASA astronomers, using the Hubble Space Telescope, suggested that there are 125 billion galaxies in the universe. The most up-to-date star count was announced in July 2003 as 70 sextillion observable stars (70,000,000,000,000,000,000,000). This was the conclusion of the world’s largest galaxy study, the Two-Degree Field Galaxy Redshift Survey, which is considered 10 times more accurate than previous ones. The team of scientists did not physically count the stars. Instead they used some of the world’s most powerful telescopes to count all of the galaxies in one region of the universe and then to estimate how many stars each galaxy contained by measuring its brightness. They then extrapolated these figures out to the whole universe visible through telescopes. This massive figure, of course, probably covers only a tiny percentage of the actual stars.
The Bible says there are paths in the sea (Isaiah 43:16; Psalm 8:8). Since the 19th century the ocean currents or paths have been charted and ships travel these paths just as trucks travel on roads. Writing in the mid-1800s, Matthew Fontaine Maury, Superintendent of the U.S. Navy’s Depot of Charts and Instruments in Washington, D.C., observed, “There is a river in the ocean: in the severest droughts it never fails, and in the mightiest floods it never overflows; its banks and its bottom are of cold water, while its current is of warm; the Gulf of Mexico is its fountain, and its mouth is in the Arctic Seas. It is the Gulf Stream” (Maury, The Physical Geography of the Sea, 6th ed., 1856, p. 25). Since then, other sea paths have been discovered.
The Bible says the life is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11). This was written about 3,500 years ago, but it was not understood scientifically until recent times. For centuries doctors used “blood letting” as a healing method. George Washington, America’s first president, probably died because of this bogus practice. Modern medicine has learned what the Bible has taught all along, that the life of the flesh is in the blood. The amazing system of blood vessels and capillaries carries the life-giving oxygen and other necessary elements to every part of the body. The blood also forms a major part of the infection fighting and clotting systems, which are necessary for the “life of the flesh.”
The Bible is not a book of science, but wherever the Bible touches on science it is accurate. This proves its divine origin, because all other ancient books are filled with scientific errors. Even science books just 100 years old are filled with errors.
6. The Bible’s candor proves that it is the Word of God.
When men write biographies of their heroes, they commonly omit or whitewash their faults; but the Bible exhibits its divine quality by showing man as he is. Even the best of men in the Bible are described with all their faults. We read of Adam’s rebellion, Noah’s drunkenness, David’s adultery, Solomon’s apostasy, Jonah’s pity party, Peter’s disavowal of his Master, Paul and Barnabas’ petty strife, and the disciples’ unbelief in the face of Christ’s resurrection. The Bible was written by Jews, yet it candidly describes the faults of the Jewish people: their stubbornness and unbelief that caused them to have to wander in the wilderness for 40 years; their idolatry during the period of the judges; their rebellion that caused them to be rejected from the land and scattered throughout the earth for two millennia; their rejection of the Messiah.
7. The Bible’s indestructibility proves that it is the Word of God.
Above all other books combined, the Bible has been hated, vilified, ridiculed, criticized, restricted, banned, and destroyed, but it has been to no avail. As one rightly said, “We might as well put our shoulder to the burning wheel of the sun, and try to stop it on its flaming course, as attempt to stop the circulation of the Bible” (Sidney Collett, All about the Bible, p. 63).
In A.D. 303, the Roman Emperor Diocletian issued an edict to stop Christians from worshipping Jesus Christ and to destroy their Scriptures. Every official in the empire was ordered to raze the churches to the ground and burn every Bible found in their districts (Stanley Greenslade,
Cambridge History of the Bible). Twenty-five years later his successor, Constantine, issued another edict ordering fifty Bibles to be published at government expense (Eusebius). In 1778 the French infidel Voltaire boasted that in 100 years Christianity would cease to exist, but within 50 years the Geneva Bible Society used his press and house to publish Bibles (Geisler and Nix, A General Introduction to the Bible, 1986, pp. 123, 124).
Robert Ingersoll once boasted, “Within 15 years I’ll have the Bible lodged in a morgue.” But Ingersoll is dead, and the Bible is alive and well.
The communist regimes in Russia and China tried to destroy the Bible and its influence, but they have been completely unsuccessful. There are more churches in Russia today than ever before in its history, and printers cannot print enough Bibles to satisfy the insatiable demand in China.
In fact, many who set out to disprove the Bible have been converted, instead. The following are a few examples:
Gilbert West, an English poet who was included in Samuel Johnson’s Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets, while a student at Oxford set out to debunk the Bible’s account of Christ’s resurrection. Instead he proved to himself that Christ did rise from the dead and published Observations on the History and Evidences of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
George Lyttelton, an English Statesman, author, and poet who was educated at Oxford, determined to prove that Paul was not converted as the Bible states. Instead, Lyttelton wrote a book providing evidence that Paul’s conversion was real and that it is evidence that Jesus actually rose from the dead. The book was titled Observations on the Conversion and Apostleship of St. Paul.
Frank Morison, a lawyer, journalist, and novelist, set out to write a book to disprove the resurrection of Christ. Instead he was converted and wrote a book in defense of the resurrection entitled Who Moved the Stone?
Simon Greenleaf, Royal Professor of Law at Harvard University and one of the most celebrated legal minds of America, determined to expose the “myth” of the resurrection of Christ once and for all, but his thorough examination forced him to conclude that Jesus did rise from the dead. In
1846 he published An Examination of the Testimony of the Four Evangelists by the Rules of Evidence Administered in the Courts of Justice. William Ramsay, a renowned archaeologist and New Testament scholar, began his historical research in Asia Minor with the assumption that he would find evidence to disprove the Bible’s historicity. He concluded, though, that the book of Acts was written during the lifetime of the apostles and that it is historically accurate. His discoveries led to his conversion to Christianity.
Dr. Richard Lumsden, professor of parisitology and cell biology, was dean of the graduate school at Tulane University and trained 30 Ph.D.s. When he was challenged by a student about the evidence for evolution, he sought to refute the student by demonstrating evolution’s scientific evidence. Instead, he became convinced that the evidence is lacking. This led to an examination of the Bible, which led to his conversion to Jesus Christ.
Lee Strobel, who has a law degree from Yale, was an atheist when he worked as a journalist for the Chicago Tribune. After his wife’s conversion to Christ, he determined to use his investigative skills to prove that the Bible is not true. He says, “I plunged into the case with more vigor than with any story I had ever pursued. I applied the training I had received at Yale Law School as well as my experience as legal affairs editor of the Chicago Tribune.” Strobel became convinced that the Bible is true and that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. He has written many books defending the Christian faith, including The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus and The Case for the Resurrection.
“Down through the years, the Bible has been a mighty anvil that has worn out the puny hammers of the scoffers” (Christian Home Bible Course).
8. The Bible’s universal appeal proves that it is the Word of God.
In spite of the aforementioned attacks, the Bible is the most popular book in the world, by far. Some books have been translated into a few dozen languages, but the Bible in whole or in part has been translated into every major language of the world, plus most minor ones–more than 2,450 so far. Translation work is progressing in another 2,000 languages. Compare this with other religious books. The Hindu scriptures have been translated into 46 languages, and the Muslim Quran into about 40.
9. The Bible’s doctrine of salvation proves it is the Word of God.
The Bible is the only religious Scripture that teaches the doctrine of salvation by grace. Every other one teaches salvation by works. Hinduism says salvation is through practicing dharma and working out one’s karma. Islam says salvation is by surrender to Allah and obedience to his commands. Buddhism says salvation is by reaching nirvana through life works and meditation and asceticism. If you visit the Buddhist monastery at Boudha in Kathmandu any time of the day you will find Buddhists walking clockwise, fingering their prayer beads and twirling their prayer wheels. They do this because they are trying to work out their salvation.
The Bible, on the other hand, says that salvation is God’s free gift to sinners. This gift was very costly for the Giver. It was purchased with a great price, which was the atoning sacrifice of God’s Son on the cross. But for the sinner it is free.
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
The Bible says there is nothing that the sinner can offer God in order to atone for his sins. What could we offer? Righteous works? The Bible says our righteousness is as filthy rags before God’s great holiness (Isaiah 64:6). Money? What would the God of creation do with our pathetic currency? A pure heart? The Bible says the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). How, then, could we purchase our own salvation?
“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isaiah 64:6).
No, salvation is the free unmerited gift of a loving and deeply compassionate God. As the Christian hymn says, “We owed a debt we could not pay; He paid a debt He did not owe.”
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Let me end with saying that salvation is a powerful supernatural miraculous life changing thing! Life changing. If it’s not then it is not Biblical salvation. You don’t find any other salvation in the Bible other than that. You’ve got the Ethiopian eunuch, the Phillipian jailer, you have Lydia and her little prayer meeting and you have Cornelius and his household, you’ve got the woman at the well and you have all kinds of descriptions of saved people in the Bible, people that got saved and they were all miraculous, supernatural, powerful life changing events…! Have you experienced that? A LOT of people I have met just don’t seem to have that. LIFE CHANGING! Change your direction. Changed my direction. I remember when I got saved the Lord took my foul mouth away from me immediately. I used to chew my fingernails for 30 plus years and I stopped almost immediately. I stopped making excuses and blaming others and took responsibility for my actions. All the sudden I had a hunger for Gods Word and Gods ways and Gods people and I wanted to separate from the evil things of the world. I knew that I had to give up rock and roll and everything pertaining to the pop culture. There was a great great change in my life and it has just continued. Sinless perfection there is none in this life. If we say that we have none we deceive ourselves the Bible says. BUT once you get saved you will hate sin the rest of your life! There will be great change, change in desires, change in direction. That is what God gives that is salvation. The Bible is all about God. We need to seek and find God everywhere in the Bible. We need to see God everywhere in life. God is supposed to be the center of man’s existence. (Trent Hackney)
The Bible says that God will prove himself to the sincere seeker Jeremiah 29:13 “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
God is the Father of Jesus parable of the prodigal son. The son foolishly went out and wasted his inheritance on riotous living and ending up in the pig pen and the Father is back there in the parable and the Father in the parable is just there watching down the road longing for the son to come back, that’s God. That’s God, God is good!
One of the great promises I hold to this morning is John 8:31-32 “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” The Bibles ability to speak to the heart, the Bibles ability to change lives we could go on and on. Changed lives. We should be concerned about young people in churches and one thing that is often missing it seems to me is salvation. It’s so easy to grow up in a Christian home and go through the motions and to know the words and to know how to act on the external on the outside but to have never really have been born again. (Trent Hackney)
“With great numbers of people claiming to be saved who have not experienced spiritual change, it has become difficult for men to know what salvation really is. Does salvation in Christ Jesus mean anything? Does it make a difference?
“There are a great many people in America and other parts of the world who claim to trust in Christ, but show no love for God, for His book, His people, or His ways.
“Oftentimes these have the idea that their mental assent toward the fact that Christ died for their sins is their ticket to Heaven. They agree that Heaven would be a good place to go when they die, and they say they believe that Jesus died for their sins so they can go there someday. Beyond this, they have little or no present interest in spiritual matters.
“The empty professer seems bored or upset when the evangelist tries to talk with him about the Bible. He might not even turn his attention away from the television program he was watching before the Christian knocked on his door. The professer’s attitude, though possibly friendly, broadcasts the fact that he will be relieved when the soul winner leaves.
“The children and family, fellow workers, and neighbors of this kind of “believer” get the idea that salvation must not mean anything. It appears that salvation is just some sort of prayer that guarantees one a ticket to Heaven but has little or nothing to do with daily life right now. What a wrong impression this is!
“Where is repentance in all this? Where is the fleeing of the wrath to come to find refuge in Christ (Heb. 6:18)? Where is turning to God from idols (1 Thess. 1:9)? Where is becoming a new creature (2 Cor. 5:17)?
“No wonder folk are laughing at Christianity in places where empty professions prevail. Oftentimes, that which is posing as salvation in Christ is, indeed, a laugh.” (Does Salvation Make a Difference? By David Cloud)
Pastor says he wants our theme to be the Word of God this year… Well that’s a good goal. How many real students of the Bible do we have in here? How many not only know how to study the Bible and use tools to study the Bible, but do so with a real heart for the truth and want to obey the Bible and that are willing to stand up for all of the Bible? There are no non essentials in this book. Brother Trent are you saying that we have to read our Bible every day? No, you don’t… you can be devoured by the Devil! You don’t say that about eating. Job 23:12 says that “Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.”
We need to be students of the Bible. It’s been said that the man who does not read is no better off than the man who cannot read. We need to be teachers so we can help somebody else.
Next week we are going to get into how to study the Bible.
What an amazing Book is the Bible!