| Back to Home Page | Back to Book Index |

 

Preciousness of the Bible

 

Bible, Value of

The Bible is as necessary to our safe passage through this lifetime as oxygen is to sustain life. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Bible, Value of

Karen’s mother was startled to find her five-year-old going through a new Bible storybook and circling the word God wherever it appeared on the page. Stifling her first reaction to reprimand the child for defacing a book, she quietly asked, “Why are you doing that?” Karen’s matter-of-fact answer was: “So that I will know where to find God when I want him.”

           Wouldn’t it be nice to have her confidence that all we had to do was open a storybook and find God waiting for us? The truth is, we do have such a Book—the Bible. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Bible, Value of

A.C. Gabaeline rates J.N. Darby as one of the great teachers of the Word of God. Dr. Darby for many years lived among the rustic country people of Ireland—preaching the gospel to these farm families and living at their modest level.

           One day an infidel who was very well-known in those times challenged Darby, saying, “You claim that all Scripture is profitable. What possible earthly value could a verse like 1 Timothy 4:13 have―”The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments?” To which Darby replied, “Do you know that when I left my ecclesiastical position to come here to live among these very simple persons, it was that very verse that kept me from selling my own theological library? Make no mistake about it,” said Darby, “all Scripture is inspired of God and all of it is profitable!” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Bible, Value of

“I believe the Bible is the best gift that God has ever given to man. All the good from the Savior of the world is communicated to us through this Book. I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.” ―― Abraham Lincoln

 

Bible, Value of

The Bible is alive, it speaks to me.

           It has feet, it runs after me.

           It has hands, it lays hold of me.

―― Martin Luther

 

Bible, Value of

“When home is ruled according to God’s Word, angels might be asked to stay with us, and they would not find themselves out of their element.” ―― C.H. Spurgeon

 

Bible, Value of

John Wesley once wrote: “I am a creature of a day, passing through life as an arrow through the air. I am a spirit, coming from God, and returning to God; just hovering over the great gulf; a few months hence I am no more seen; I drop into an unchangeable eternity! I want to know one thing—the way to heaven…God Himself has condescended to teach the way. He hath written it down in a book. O give me that Book! At any price, give me the book of God!” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Bible, Value of

Andrew Young, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, urged the graduating class of the University of Maryland’s Eastern Shore campus to “get a bible” and read a chapter a day. “It won’t hurt you at all,” he said in his commencement address, “and it will give you more illumination and purpose in life. It’s better to invest fifteen dollars in a Bible now than twenty-five dollars an hour for a psychiatrist later.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

"THE UNIQUENESS OF THE BIBLE"
 
INTRODUCTION
 
1. Perhaps you have heard people say things like...
   a. "Oh, you don't read the Bible, do you?"
   b. "Why, the Bible is just another book; you ought to read..."
 
2. Perhaps you have heard...
   a. A teacher degrade the Bible before his or her students, ridiculing
      those who read it
   b. Those who are proud to have a Bible on their bookshelf, but only
      as one book among other "greats" of literature
 
3. But the Bible is more than simply one of the "greats"; it is
   unique...
   a. Meaning "one and only"
   b. Meaning "different from all others; having no like or equal"
      (Webster's)
 
[Our purpose in this lesson is to review in what way the Bible is
unique, how it is truly "different from all others; having no like or
equal".  For example, the Bible is...]
 
I. UNIQUE IN ITS CONTINUITY
 
   A. HERE IS A BOOK THAT WAS WRITTEN...
      1. Over a long period of time
         a. About 1600 years
         b. A span of 40 generations
      2. By approximately 40 authors from every walk of life
         a. Moses, political leader trained in the universities of Egypt
         b. Peter, fisherman
         c. Amos, herdsman
         d. Joshua, military general
         e. Nehemiah, cup bearer to the king of Persia
         f. Daniel, prime minister in the courts of Babylon
         g. Luke, physician
         h. Solomon, philosopher king
         i. Matthew, tax collector
         j. Paul, rabbi and tentmaker
      3. In different places
         a. Moses in the wilderness
         b. Jeremiah in a dungeon
         c. Daniel on a hillside, and in a palace
         d. Paul inside prison walls
         e. Luke while traveling
         f. John in exile on the isle of Patmos
         g. Others in the rigors of a military campaign
      4. At different times
         a. David in times of war
         b. Solomon in times of peace
      5. During different moods
         a. Some writing from the heights of joy
         b. Others from the depths of sorrow and despair
      6. On three continents:  Asia, Africa, Europe
      7. In three languages:  Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek
      8. With subject matter involving hundreds of controversial topics,
         such as:
         a. The origin of man and the universe
         b. The nature of God
         c. The nature of man, sin, and man's redemption
 
   B. YET THERE IS HARMONY AND CONTINUITY...
      1. For example:
         a. "The Paradise Lost of the book of Genesis becomes the
            Paradise Regained of Revelation."
         b. "Whereas the gate to the Tree of Life is closed in Genesis,
            it is opened forevermore in Revelation." (Geisler and Nix)
      2. Compare the continuity of the Bible with any other writings of
         men
         a. Imagine what you would have it you took just ten authors...
            1) From one walk of life, one generation, one place, one
               time, one mood, one continent, one language
            2) Speaking on just one controversial subject
         b. You would have a conglomeration of conflicting ideas, not
            harmony!
 
[The Bible is truly unique, one of a kind, in its continuity.  It is
also...]
 
II. UNIQUE IN ITS TRANSLATION AND CIRCULATION
 
   A. THE TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE...
      1. One of the first major books translated
         a. E.g., the Septuagint version of the OT
         b. Translated into Greek in 250 B.C.
      2. Between 1950-1960, 3000 Bible translators were at work
      -- "By the end of 1993, the whole Bible had been translated into
         337 languages; 2,062 languages have translations of at least
         one book of the Bible." - Guinness Book of World Records (1998)
 
   B. THE CIRCULATION OF THE BIBLE...
      1. As of 1804 - 409 million copies
      2. As of 1932 - one and a third billion copies
      -- "The world's best-selling and most widely distributed book is
         the Bible, with an estimated 2.5 billion copies sold, 1815-
         1975." - Guinness Book of World Records
 
["No other book has known the anything approaching this constant
circulation" (The Cambridge History of the Bible).  You would think that
if a person were sincerely seeking truth, he or she would give serious
consideration to a book that has drawn so much attention!  The Bible is
also...]
 
III. UNIQUE IN ITS SURVIVAL
 
   A. ITS SURVIVAL THROUGH TIME...
      1. Though written on material that perishes...
         a. ...having to be copied and recopied for hundreds of years by
            hand
         b. ...its style, correctness, or existence did not diminish
      2. Compared with other ancient writings, the manuscript evidence
         of the Bible:
         a. Is greater than any 10 pieces of classical literature
            combined!
         b. Is sufficient to ensure that we are reading the words of the
            original
 
   B. ITS SURVIVAL THROUGH PERSECUTION...
      1. Many have tried to burn it, ban it, and otherwise outlaw it
         a. From the days of Roman emperors
         b. To the present Communist-dominated countries
      2. Two illustrations of its survival through persecution:
         a. In 303 A.D., the Roman emperor Diocletian issued an edict to
            stop Christians from worshipping, and to destroy their
            scriptures.  Only 25 years later the Roman emperor
            Constantine called for 50 copies of the Bible to be prepared
            at the expense of the government!
         b. Voltaire, French atheist who died in 1778, predicted that
            Christianity would be swept from existence and pass into
            history within 100 years of his time.  50 years after his
            death, the Geneva Bible Society used his printing press and
            house to produce stacks of Bibles!
         -- How true is the statement:  "All flesh is as grass, and all
            the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass
            withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the LORD
            endures forever." - cf. 1 Pe 1:24-25
 
   C. ITS SURVIVAL THROUGH CRITICISM...
      1. "Infidels for 1800 years have been refuting and overthrowing
         this book, and yet it stands today as solid as a rock.  Its
         circulation increases, and it is more loved and cherished and
         read today than ever before.  Infidels, with all their assault
         make about as much impression on this book as a man with a tack
         hammer on the pyramids of Egypt."  - H. L. Hastings
      2. "No other book has been so chopped, knifed, sifted,
         scrutinized, and vilified.  What book on philosophy or religion
         or psychology...has been subject to such a mass attack as the
         Bible?  With such venom and skepticism?  With such thoroughness
         and erudition?  Upon every chapter, line and tenet?  And yet,
         the Bible is still loved by millions, read by millions, and
         studied by millions." - Bernard Ramm
 
[Next, consider how the Bible is...]
 
IV. UNIQUE IN ITS TEACHING
 
   A. A BOOK OF PROPHECY...
      1. "It is the only volume ever produced in which is to be found a
         large body of prophecies relating to individual nations (more
         than ten in Isaiah alone), Israel, all the peoples of the
         earth, certain cities, the coming Messiah and His kingdom."
         - Wilbur Smith
      2. There is no other book of religious antiquity which provides so
         many explicit prophecies:
         a. So distant in the future
         b. Which came to pass
 
   B. A BOOK OF HISTORY...
      1. The Old Testament "embodies the oldest history writing extant"
         (Cambridge Ancient History)
      2. The Hebrews are the only race of people that can give such a
         clear and accurate picture of their origins
      3. "...in all of my archaeological investigation I have never
         found one artifact of antiquity that contradicts any statement
         of the Word of God." - Nelson Glueck
 
   C. A BOOK OF PERSONALITIES...
      1. The Bible deals frankly with the sins of its characters, even
         its heroes:
         a. Adam and Eve - putting off responsibility on to others
         b. Noah - drunkenness
         c. Abraham - cowardice, lying to save his skin
         d. Moses - disobedience to God
         e. David - lying, adultery, murder
         f. Peter - denying the Lord, causing division through hypocrisy
         g. Churches - divided, arrogant, materialistic
      2. The Bible has the habit of telling it like it was, and is
         unique in its portrayal of its key personalities
 
[Finally, we briefly note that Bible is...]
 
V. UNIQUE IN ITS INFLUENCE
 
   A. UPON THE LITERATURE OF THE WORLD...
      1. "If every Bible in any considerable city were destroyed, the
         book could be restored in all its essential parts from the
         quotations on the shelves of the city public library" (The
         Greatest English Classic)
      2. No one can truly be called "educated" who is ignorant of the
         Bible, for they would be ignorant of that which has influenced
         so many great writers
 
   B. UPON THE WORLD ITSELF...
      1. Our judicial system is based upon many of the principles found
         in the Bible
      2. Our standards of morality owe much to the Judeo-Christian ethic
      3. Even within the ancient characters of the Chinese language, are
         references to the Genesis story of Adam and Eve, the garden,
         and the Flood
 
CONCLUSION
 
1. All of this is not offered to prove the Bible to be the Word of
   God...
   a. Though its continuity and fulfilled prophecy are certainly
      evidences of it
   b. Rather that it is truly a unique book ("different from all others;
      having no like or equal")
 
2. Of course, I believe that what makes it unique is...
   a. Its origin - it comes from the mind of the One True God
   b. Its process of revelation - it came by the work of the Holy
      Spirit, who guided the many writers and made their works
      harmonious
   c. Its central message - that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Son
               of God who is the only Lord and Savior of mankind
 
3. Because of its uniqueness, I believe it may be rightly stated:
 
   "If you are an intelligent person, you will read the one book that
   has drawn more attention than any other, _IF_ you are searching for
   the truth."
 
Of course, as unique as the Bible may be, it is of little value unless
we receive it in our hearts and work it out in our lives:
 
   Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness,
   and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to
   save your souls.
 
   But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving
   yourselves.
 
   For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is
   like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he
   observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind
   of man he was.
 
   But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues
   in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this
   one will be blessed in what he does.
                                                   - Ja 1:21-25
 
May we never neglect this unique Book, but receive it into our hearts
and lives the way God intended!
 
Note:  Much of the material for this lesson was taken from "Evidence
That Demands A Verdict", Vol. 1, by Josh McDowell.

 

--《Executable Outlines