Habibi, We have had many Bible studies. By studying the Bible together, we discover how to live life. This is part of my assignment to you, as you said, “To help me know how to live.” I take this task extremely seriously and as a great honor. God has given me the responsibility to help you live life well. In fact, Deb and I are making many fundamental changes in our lives in order to help you live yours. We do this because God and His love has directed us to do so.
I would have no hope of helping you or anyone else, if it were not for the Word of God. I really have very little to say of value that does not come from the Bible. So it is absolutely essential for both of us to recognize that the teaching of the Bible has authority over us. It is not a matter of my opinion or your opinion, but rather, What does God say about this?
Forty four years ago, I left a selfish life leading to death and doom, and became a Christian. Because I did so, instead of death and doom, I have life in abundance. Every day is filled with deep joy and meaning. My relationship with Deb, and our five children are not perfect, but they are extremely good and healthful to me. I am absolutely convinced that this has happened in my life because of my obedience to God and His Word–the Bible.
What I have, I hope to give to you. If I am able to do so, it will be because together we sit under the authority of the Word of God, not leaning on our own understanding, rather leaning on Jesus and His Word. So let’s study the authority of God’s Word over our lives.
Why I believe the Bible
The Bible Answers the Deep Questions of Life
My Habibi, I have thought long and hard about why I trust the Bible. I have looked back at my life and asked the question, Why do I believe in Christianity? and Why do I trust the Bible as God’s Word?
With me, it began as a boy, when looking up at the starry sky, asking the basic questions of life; What is life about?, Where did all things come from?, What is beyond the stars?, Who am I?, What is the meaning of all this? Although, I knew nothing of God, my prayer was God, if you are there help me find you. He did help me find Him.
It was in my third of college, when the searchings of my heart had reached I critical point, when God began to answer my questions. The answers began to come in the introductory material of a para-phrase version of the Bible–The Living Bible by Ken Taylor.
Basic questions were asked like, “Are you Lonely?” followed by the Scripture reference which showed one how not to be lonely. Habibi, honestly I did not understand the Scriptural answers given, but the idea intrigued me that, in the Bible, I had a book which would answer the deep questions of my life.
The first way in which the Bible proved reliable to me is that it revealed to me my greatest problem. The Bible informed me that I am a sinner in need of forgiveness. My basic problem was a lonely heart alienated from God. This information, I immediately recognized in my heart, to be true. Now after forty four years of serious daily study of the Bible, and walking with God through all those years, I can honestly say that the Bible does answer the deep questions of life. Those answers have satisfied my intellectual curiosity, emotional needs, and relational deficiencies. More importantly, I have learned how to have my sins forgiven, be reconciled to God, and live a productive, meaningful life.
God, through the Bible, has radically altered the trajectory of my life and actually given me life by answering the deep questions of life. In another lesson, we will look at those answers together, but for today I just wanted to explain why I trust the Bible and except it as the authority of my life.
The Bible Claims to Be God’s Word
Having come to trust the Bible, I found additional reasons to believe it as my authoritative guidebook for living–It claims to be God’s Word.
2 Timothy 3: 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
- In the context of 2 Timothy, “All Scripture” refers to the Bible.
- The Word “inspired” literally means, “God breathed.” the Bible claims to be the result of God’s creative breath. Just like the world came into existence by the creative activity of God so the Bible did as well.
- All Scripture is all that is needed to be quipped for all good things.
2 Peter 1: 16-21
In the context of this passage, Peter is exhorting Christians to continue to grow in the Truth of God’s Word. In 2 Peter 1:16-17, Peter explains why He has the authority to do so.
Peter’s Experience gives him Authority to Speak
2 Peter 1: 16 For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”— 18 and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.
The Word of God is More Authoritative than Peter’s Experience
2 Peter 1: 19 So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update
1 Timothy 3:16-17 and 2 Peter 1:19 are the classic proof texts to show that the Bible claims to be authoritative, but they are only two of hundreds of instances where the Bible itself claims to be the Word of God.
In fact, warnings are given not to add or take away from the Word of God
Revelation 22: 18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.
There are many other facts which have helped me trust the Bible, as the authority over my life: 1. fulfilled prophecy, 2) archeological findings3) the cohesiveness of the Bible (66 books, 1,600 years, 39 authors, one cohesive story). All of these have helped me recognize that the Bible is the Word of God and the authority of my life, but most important for me is that God continues to answer my questions, and satisfy my life with His leading from the Bible.
What Should we do if we Disagree with the Bible?
Proverbs 3: 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
We cannot be loyal to friends, if we are not loyal to God and His Word. God’s Word tells us what it means to be loyal. Jesus is our Habibi first of all. He is working to save us in every way. If we love our friends, we will be loyal to Jesus. Jesus will tell us how to be loyal to one another.
New American Standard Bible: 1995 update