Read: Article I
Last week we began looking at "what we believe and why we believe it" by addressing the covenant we have made together. This evening I want to begin looking at our articles of faith. It is of the supreme importance that we begin with what we believe concerning the Bible, because is it determines what we believe about everything else!
The Bible is a holy book, we must reverence it and stand in awe of it for there is no other book that compares with the Bible in all of literature. The Bible is a miracle book for no other book or piece of literature has withstood the test of time and prevailed over the centuries.
We as an independent Bible-believing Baptist church base everything we believe and preach on the fact that the Bible is a miracle book! It is the foundation on which all faith and practice is based. Written by men who were supernaturally inspired, it is the only complete and final revelation of God to man. From Genesis to Revelation it stands unified without error or contradiction.
I. It Is Miraculous In Inspiration.
A. Note some definitions.
a. The act of God in communicating truth to the mind of man not known before and incapable of being discovered by man unaided.
b. It was accomplished variously by mental suggestion, by external vision, or by oral statement.
c. cf. Ephesians 3:1-3
a. This refers to the controlling influence which God exerted over the human authors by whom the Old and New Testaments were written.
b. Revelation involved the communication of truth from God to man, and inspiration involved the recording of that truth.
c. cf. 2 Peter 1:19-21
a. The supernatural help granted by the Spirit of God to the reader of Holy Scripture to enable him to lay hold on the divine message.
b. cf. 1 Corinthians 2:9-14
B. Inspiration is the determining influence that acted on the sacred authors, moving them to put into writing the revelation which they had received from God.
C. We believe the Bible to be verbally inspired, that is every word is literally "God-breathed" so that we can look to the Scriptures and declare; Thus saith the Lord!
D. Everything we know about God, and all of our doctrine that is taught and preached is because God, through inspiration, has recorded His Word in the Bible!
II. The Bible Is Miraculous In Its Preservation.
A. The Bible is a unique book.
1. Only a small percentage of books survive for more than a quarter of a century.
2. Even less survive for a hundred years, and only a very small number survive for a 1000 years.
3. However, the Word of God has survived for thousands of years.
4. Roman Emperor Diocletian in 303 A.D. included the following in his royal edict:
a. He demanded that every copy of the Bible be destroyed by fire.
b. He killed great numbers of Christians thinking he could actually silence Christianity.
B. No other book has survived the perils of the centuries as has the Bible.
1. Times have drastically changed.
2. Rulers have risen to power and fallen.
3. The Word of God has been banned and burned.
4. Men have been commanded not to preach from its pages, yet it has always been preserved!
C. Notice the Scriptures:
1. Mt. 24:35, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."
2. Luke 16:17, "And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail."
3. Ps. 12:6-7, "The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."
III. The Bible Is Miraculous In Its Power.
A. The power to convict of sin.
1. cf. Acts 2:37, "Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart and said, Men and brethren what shall we do?"
2. It was the preaching of the Word of God that brought on this deep conviction.
3. The Word of God, carried home by the Spirit of God will prick men's hearts.
B. The power to bring salvation.
1. cf. 1 Peter 1:23, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God which liveth and abideth forever."
2. The human heart is the soil, the Word of God is the seed, God quickens it by the Holy Spirit, and the result is the salvation of man's soul!
3. Paul said, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth..." cf. Ro. 1:16
C. The power to cleanse.
1. cf. Ephesians 4:25b-26, "...Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of the water by the word."
2. Sanctify and cleanse means that the Word has the power to purify our lives inside and out.
3. Not only will the Word of God take the impurity out of the heart, but it will cleanse the outward life and make us usable in His service.
D. The Bible is miraculous in its power to bring:
1. Wisdom: Ps. 119:130, "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple."
2. Peace: Ps. 85:8, "I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints..."
3. Joy: Jn. 15:11, "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full."
4. Patience, Comfort, and Hope: Romans 15:4, "For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope."
Conclusion: We believe that we have a supernatural Bible! It is a miracle book! It is miraculous in its Inspiration, in its Preservation, and in its Power. Our position on the Bible separates us from many other churches and groups of believers. We are BIBLE Baptists. We believe that this Holy Bible, A.V. 1611, is the final authority in matters of faith and practice. God inspired it, preserved it, and empowered it...we are privileged to proclaim it here and around the world!