If we are to share the gospel with confidence and preach with authority, then we must know that the gospel we are proclaiming and the book we are expounding are true. If you think you can magnify grace by shrinking truth, you will find you make people blind to both.
When you teach your children about the creation, the flood, Moses, Jesus walking on water, etc… When you stand behind the pulpit to preach and share the gospel with your friends there is one question that towers above all others… Are you you telling the truth?
Our two boys came in from the snow and my wife said that I needed to talk with the boys and that she was so frustrated. Our older son hit our younger son with a snowball and when we confronted him he said that he rubbed the snow into his own face. So we gathered for family devotions and opened up 1 John 1. We needed a little law that night! So we went around the room and everyone shared some sins. When we got to my older son he said that he needed to confess he did not respond well to his mom when confronted. We asked if there was ANYTHING else he needed to confess and he said no. Then we asked our younger son and he started crying and confessed that he in fact did rub snow in his face. We did not know whether we should cry or laugh.
We don’t have anything if we do not have the truth! Many might say, “here you go again! You Christians think you have a monopoly on the truth.”
We have no monopoly on the truth, the truth is on free parking and it is for everyone. We do not have the truth, God has the truth and he has given it for us all.
Jesus quotes from an obscure verse and an obscure psalm in the Old Testament.
What Jesus is doing is quoting from a verse that seems to be referring to wicked kings, judges and magistrates. He is trying to puncture their pretentions.
It says in the law that wicked men were called some sort of gods. He wants to undermine their pretensions about the word god.
What is debated in John 10 is not the scripture, but the deity of Christ. The fact that the scriptures are true and cannot be broken is unquestioned.
The word scripture cannot be broken or fall short of fulfillment. They were and are the word of God and who would dare suggest that a document written by God could be in error. This would be blasphemy.
It is worth noting that Jesus believed that the Old Testament had a shared and understandable meaning. Over and over Jesus quotes the Old Testament and chides the jews of his day that if they had understood the scriptures, then they would understand what is going on.
You have maybe heard the poem of the 6 blind men and elephant. We are all blind men and we are groping the elephant. This is what many people think each religion is, but just a groping blindly at an elephant. This illustration is flawed for two reasons:
1. The story is told from the vantage point of omniscience and the story teller can see the elephant.
2. The story breaks down if the elephant speaks and tells everyone that he is an elephant.
If the elephant speaks about himself, is it humble to talk about not knowing who the elephant is or is it just being hard of hearing.
I have been apart of a mainline denomination my entire life and we have been dialoging about homosexuality for 40 years. Dialoging does not accomplish anything except continue the conversation until unorthodoxy gets its way and then the conversation is over.
Have we consulted the democracy of the dead? The history of the church for centuries has been clear on so many issues. This current generation of liberal protestantism is simply a pimple on face of Christ, if that!
Every speck and every aspect of the law and prophets is fulfilled. Similarly, when he tells the pharisees that they should not neglect their tithes of spices without neglecting justice. He does not say that we just do justice and forget about the rest. No! He says that they should have not neglected the one.
How do we know whether Jonah really happened and Jesus was telling a story to make a point? Well because he mentioned the historical people of Nineveh and the queen of Sheeba. If Jesus is right in accepting Old Testament history, then boat loads of modern scholarship is wrong.
Did an imaginary preacher, preach to an imaginary city, and imaginary people repented who will actually rise from judgment to judge the actual hearers of Jesus’ day? … That is a really good question.
It would be like me saying…”The men of Gondor will rise in the judgment day!” You would think I am getting my nerd on, but you would not be convicted.
If we lose inerrancy, then we do not just lose Warfield and Hodge, we lose Jesus!
Doesn’t it make more sense that Jesus knows Jewish history better than 19th century German theologians?
I remember coming right out of seminary teaching 15 minutes on a bible study of Galatians and whether or not Paul wrote that letter. My people were sitting there thinking “It says ‘Paul, to the church in Galatia.’ Ok, Pastor Kevin we could have saved 15 minutes here. We got it, that Paul wrote this letter.”
If you are a 15 year old or a first year seminary student, then let us have remarkable patience, but if you are a preacher then you are not in a position to be preaching God’s word. This cannot be stated to strongly. Christianity from the beginning has made its ties to history.
If Jesus was not born, lived, died and rose again then we do not have a great hope. We have a great hoax. Pack it in and watch football and do something else. If he did not rise again, then we are of all men most to be pitied.
If we go back to Genesis 2, then who is the one speaking? It is the narrator. It is not a quote from God, but Jesus points back to that narration and says that God said those words.
When Jesus was tempted he quotes Deuteronomy and he believes it is powerful. If it was enough for Jesus in the wilderness, then the Scriptures are enough for us.
Some have said you guys are about the word, but we are about word of God made flesh. As DA Carson says, “Damn all false dichotomies to hell.”
To rebel against the bible is to rebel against God. Scripture must be inerrant because God is inerrant.
Inerrancy means that the world of God always stands over us and we never stand over the word of God. There is no avoiding the fact that if we reject inerrancy, then we put ourselves over God’s word.
We either have to accept the scriptures with every jot and tittle or we have to conclude that God is unreliable.
How are we to believe in a God that can give us hope and do the unimaginable and be bold in our evangelism without the scriptures?
Many liberal christians speak about how we need to worship Christ and not Scripture. We often think this sounds good, but as J.I. Packer says, “Which Christ are we talking about? The one who affirms and submits to the scripture or another Christ?”
The only Jesus who stand above or over Scripture is the one of our own invention. Jesus submits to the scripture and so should we.
As you preach and teach over years what will your people sense is the final word. The bible or you. The bible or your epxeriences. The bible or peer reviews.
Don’t create a culture where your people trust you more than the word. Teh bible will never be wrong, but you will be wrong. I told our people recently that they need to decide whether or not they are going to stand on the word of God or some other word.
In Acts 24, when in front of Felix it says he was alarmed by Paul’s words. Does your gospel alarm people? What would you have said if you were Paul?
Oh that we might never have any of our people saying that they were never warned and alarmed of the coming judgment. “My pastor never told me that I needed a savior.”
They marveled at Jesus … why? Because he was clever? He was funny? He was so smart? They marveled because he spoke as one who has authority.
I was listening recently who was questioning why people listen to Jon MacArthur when he did not go to the right schools, he is not funny, he does not look good, he does not have a great personality, he is not a good oratator, etc… His church is packed probably because John believes and preaches as if the word of God is truly God’s word. People are not listening to John, but to God and his word.
If only we could all have a paragraph like this written about us!
We have nothing but the word of God and prayer in our arsenal. If you have something else in your arsenal, then don’t bother using them because you will not be growing a church.
I often feel like I have a pea shooter going into a battle when I preach, but do you believe in the power of the word? We have hand grenades that the Holy Spirit will use to blow up. Go preach on Sunday with confidence in the power of the word.
Do we dare say what God says and dare speak as if God said it. These are the two challenges of evangelism.
It is impossible to revere the scripture more than Jesus did. Bibliotry is nonsense!