Andrew Fountain - Truth and the Bible

To watch the video clips shown during the sermon, see the links below


Full sermon notes - Newlife Values pt3: Truth and the Bible

1. What do people think of the Bible?

  • If you ask the average person in the street what they think of the Bible, what kind of responses do you think you would get?
    • antiquated irrelevant old book?
    • wise sayings mixed with myths?
    • stories for children?
  • What if you searched for the word “Bible” on youtube ?
    • aliens and UFO’s
    • Muslims trying to disprove it
    • Atheists ridiculing it (e.g. 101 contradictions in the Bible)
    • Christians responding (e.g. 101 contradictions refuted)
    • People re-enacting the stories with Lego
  • Here is what I found
  • However, you also get some amazing stories of people’s lives being changed
  • The Bible does have a supernatural power
    • That is why we quote from it frequently in “The True Seeker”
    • That is why we have free N.T.s to give away to people who are interested
  • But not “magical” —you can’t keep a copy in your bag for good luck
  • needs to be understood correctly

2. Is there Truth?

“Question marks”

Image source: MacCheeky

  • how terrible it is to have no answers
    • is everything relative, true for me but maybe not true for you?
  • what is right and wrong?
    • dignity of human life?

Basic Human Rights

Canada Department of Justice

  1. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
  • No scientific reason for this.
    • In the animal kingdom, the weak are quickly weeded out by predators.
    • There is no scientific reason for us being different to the animals.
  • What we need is a solid rock of truth that we can trust
    • We can build our lives on its foundation
  • The Bible is that foundation

3. Food and Direction

  • There are some amazing promises in the Bible for us if we value it
    • The very first sermon I ever preached

Joshua 1:5–9

5 No one will be able to resist you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not abandon you or leave you alone.

6 Be strong and brave! You must lead these people in the conquest of this land that I solemnly promised their ancestors I would hand over to them.

7 Make sure you are very strong and brave! Carefully obey all the law my servant Moses charged you to keep! Do not swerve from it to the right or to the left, so that you may be successful in all you do.

8 This law scroll must not leave your lips! You must memorize it day and night so you can carefully obey all that is written in it. Then you will prosper and be successful.

9 I repeat, be strong and brave! Don’t be afraid and don’t panic, for I, the Lord your God, am with you in all you do.”

Version: NET Bible

  • note that the only Bible Joshua had was the first five books, called “the Law”—not just laws, that was it’s name.
  • One of the most well-knows verses in the New Testament about the Bible is 2 Timothy 3:16,17

2 Timothy 3:16,17

  • All Scripture is breathed out by God and useful
    • for teaching,
    • for reproof,
    • for correction, and
    • for training in righteousness,
  • that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.
  • This says that the Scriptures are “breathed out” by God
    • That does not mean it was not written by people, in their own writing style, using their own language and idioms
    • But it does mean that God worked behind the scenes through them to ensure that whatever they wrote
      • communicated what he had revealed to them
  1. Has no errors (what we mean by “no errors”)
    • original manuscripts
    • understood in context
  2. Our authority in everything it addresses
    • Which cell phone plan?
      • Principles to follow
  3. Are the words of life
  • So what is the value in the Bible?
    • First of all it has the teaching that brings life
    • Here are some more examples:

for teaching...

  • But the teaching is also what makes us grow as Christians
    • Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up. (1 Pet 2:2)

2 Timothy 3:16,17

  • All Scripture is breathed out by God and useful
    • for teaching,
    • for reproof,
    • for correction, and
    • for training in righteousness,
  • that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.
  • Jesus said that people who heard his teachings and followed them were like a man who build a house on the rock
    • those who didn’t follow them were building a house on the sand, which one day would collapse
    • So what are you building?
      • You cannot be building on the rock of Jesus’s teachings if you are not reading them
      • But of course it is not enough simply to read them—you have to obey them as well
    • “Reproof, correction and training in righteousness”
      • This sums up what it can do in our lives
        • Reproof is when we get things wrong
        • Correction is about guidance and steering
          • When you are at the rudder of a big ship, you have to correct its course from time to time
        • training in righteousness is about “spiritual food” to make us grow and mature
  • Word and Spirit?
    • The Word is written by the Spirit, you can’t say “Word and Spirit” as if they were different
    • Like saying Canada and Ontario

Truth and the Spirit

  • John 14:17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; but you know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
  • John 14:25-26 These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
  • John 15:26 But when the helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify of me.

Truth and the Spirit cont’d

  • John 16:12-14 I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you into all truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak; and he will tell you things to come. “He will glorify me, for he will take of what is mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are mine. Therefore I said that he will take of mine and declare it to you.
  • 1John 5:6 And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.
  • Newlife church is built on these three things: Truth, power and love

John White’s story

  • Pat, a six-foot, genial athlete, was another guy who had me worried. Friendly, helpful, but clueless. On impulse I loaned him a book about daily Bible study and never saw him again for six months.
  • When we ran across each other later I was astounded. Same face. Same build. Different man.
  • I had forgotten about the book but Pat hadn’t.
    “It changed my life, he told me seriously, “at least, daily, prayerful Bible study did.”
  • It was not the sort of language he would have used six months before. Pat has now been a missionary for many years.
  • I need not have been surprised. Scripture claims to have a profound effect on us.

—quoted from The Fight by John White (IVP)

  • This is the way that I read...
  • Some little things are important to me and help me be regular in reading:
    • I have a Bible I like—it is nice and pleasant to read
    • I have one or two spots that I like to be when reading it that are private and get me into the right frame of mind
    • I have a pen, just for marking it with
  • When I think back about the things that have changed me in my life
    • It is when I have understood something in the Scriptures
    • It is when I have come to see some truth in the Scriptures, that my life has fundamentally changed (through the Spirit of course)
      • It is not inspirational speakers
      • or motivational poster on the wall
      • or people shouting at me and telling me to change

“Reading Plan”

Image source: Bible Gateway

  • Response time: hand out Bible reading plans

Updated on 2012-11-15 by Andrew Fountain