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The Church of the Love of Christ
Copyright 2001
Montgomery Paul Webb
  1. The Bible’s Own Testimony
  2. The Written Revelation of God
  3. The Divine Witness through the Jews
  4. The Authority and Inerrancy of Scripture
  5. Conclusion
  1. Any literary work must be understood first by its own words. The Bible may introduce itself. Consider the following verses.
    1. II Timothy 3:16: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. (Citations KJV unless indicated).
    2. Hebrews 4:12: For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
    3. Matthew 4:4: …Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
    4. John 20:30,31: And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
    5. Isaiah 55:11: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
    6. II Peter 1:20,21: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
    7. Psalm 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.
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  2. The Bible claims to be the written revelation of God and to explain how he may be known to any individual.
    1. Scripture indicates that through a spiritual discernment of the physical world a person can derive a general knowledge of God.
      1. That God exists and is full of glory can be observed from creation. Psalm 19:1-4: The heavens declare the glory of God: and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world…, cf. Luke 19:40.
      2. That every person possesses a natural sense of morality testifies to our being made in the image of God. Romans 2:14,15: For when the Gentiles…do by nature the things contained in the law, these…shew the work of the law written in their hearts, the conscience also bearing witness….
      3. Our resources of food and our general well being also testify to God. Acts 14:17: Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.
      4. God created the times and boundaries of nations, that people would seek him. Acts 17:26,27: And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord….
      5. However, centuries of university study have proven that a general knowledge of God cannot be established by formal logic. God is either accepted or rejected by faith. Professors could have arrived at this conclusion much sooner by merely consulting the Bible. I Corinthians 1:17,19,21: For Christ sent me…to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect…For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent…For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

    2. However, human nature rejects an awareness of God.
      1. The first man in history, Adam, represented all of humankind. His deliberate disobedience to God collided with the moral order of the universe, which not only led to our separation from God, but caused the human spirit to degenerate into a condition of sickness. Romans 1:19,20,28,29: Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made…And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate (perverted) mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness….
      2. The condition of the human spirit is so debased, that even when God presented himself before a chosen people with the greatest succession of miracles in history, they were unable to understand the meaning of what was happening. Their spirits were blinded by their moral sickness, until 40 years later, when the power of God overcame their resistance and enlightened their minds to an awareness of all he had done. Deuteronomy 29:2–5: And Moses called unto all Israel, and said unto them, Ye have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt unto Pharaoh, and unto all his servants, and unto all his land; The great temptations which thine eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles: Yet the Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day. And I have led you forty years in the wilderness….
      3. Comprehension of God comes by the power of the Holy Spirit testifying to the human spirit through life experiences and Scripture. I Corinthians 2:10,14: But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit…But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned, cf. Acts 16:14; I Thessalonians 1:5.

    3. God has given specific knowledge concerning his person, plan, and will through individuals and events in history as recorded in Scripture
      1. After the Fall of Adam, God made specific revelations to the biblical forefathers, from Abraham to Joseph, and to the prophets, divinely inspired messengers, that a people peculiar to him would be established on earth, Genesis 12:1,2; Deuteronomy 18:18,19.
      2. The Bible records numerous instances of God revealing himself through  —
        1. his spoken word, I Samuel 3:4; Habakkuk 1:5;
        2. dreams, Numbers 12:6; Daniel 7:1;
        3. visions, Isaiah 1:1; Ezekiel 8:3;
        4. a visible manifestation of himself or an angel, Genesis, chps. 18,19; Joshua 5:13;
        5. miracles, Exodus 3:2; Judges 6:37;
        6. even the casting of lots, Exodus 28:30; Proverbs 16:33, prior to Pentecost,
        7. the day when the baptism of the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the church following Christ’s ascension, to empower and guide believers, Acts 1:4,5,8; 2:1–4,14–20.
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  3. The written revelation of God was entrusted to the Jews, Romans 3:1,2.
    1. The Bible records particular events in history caused by God to establish again relations with humankind.
      1. After the Hebrew people were delivered from bondage in Egypt, God desired to talk directly to them to form a covenant, Exodus, chp. 19.
      2. In the desert of Mt. Sinai, the people were terrified due to the overwhelming power of the presence of God and requested that only Moses speak on his behalf, Deuteronomy 18:16, cf. Exodus 19:18,19.
      3. God promised to raise up prophets like Moses in the course of their relations to act as his spokesman, (to be recognized by their ability to perform signs and wonders and to foretell the future, while having a message consistent with prior Scripture, Deuteronomy 13:1–3; 18:18–22).
      4. God gave Moses tablets of stone with a law and commandments that formed a covenant with the people. Moses was instructed to place the writings in a gold box, the Ark of the Covenant, to be kept in the tabernacle, (a tent designed to serve as the temple of God during the people’s wilderness experience), Exodus 24:12; 25:16; 40:1–3,19–21.
      5. The writings of succeeding prophets also were given this special status as the Word of God and stored in the ark of the covenant, which collectively became the Bible, Joshua 24:26; I Samuel 10:25; II Kings 22:8; Daniel 9:2.

    2. The record of historical events from God culminates in the person of Jesus Christ.
      1. The tabernacle was built according to instructions given by God, and then, it was filled by his Spirit, that he could dwell among his people, Exodus 25:8,9; 40:34.
      2. As the nation Israel was formed, God’s presence continued at the later constructed temple in Jerusalem, which replaced the tabernacle, II Chronicles 7:1–10.
      3. However, due to the sin of the people, eventually God’s Spirit left the temple, and not long thereafter, the succession of prophecy ceased, Ezekiel 10:18.
      4. But, God had promised through his prophets a future Davidic king, the Messiah, II Samuel 7:14–16; Psalm 2:7–11; 72:8–11; 89:1–4, 19–37.
      5. With the coming of Christ, again God dwelt among his people, the events of which are recorded in the New Testament.
      6. God’s revelation through Christ remains today in Scripture and by the power and witness of the Holy Spirit, John 14:16; Acts 1:8.

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  4. The Bible represents the authority of God.
    1. Scripture conveys the Word of God.
      1. Over 2,000 passages in the Old Testament are introduced by such words as, Thus saith the Lord, Exodus 24:12; II Samuel 23:1–3; II Kings 20:1,5; Jeremiah 1:19; 5:14; 7:27.
      2. In more than 90 instances, the New Testament refers to Old Testament writings authoritatively with the words, it is written, Mark 1:2; Acts 1:20; Romans 1:17; I Corinthians 1:19.
      3. Paul affirmed his own writings as the Word of God, I Corinthians 2:12,13; 14:37; Galatians 1:11–12.
      4. Peter placed Paul’s writings on the level of Scripture, II Peter 3:15,16.

    2. Christ viewed the Bible as the Word of God.
      1. Jesus upheld the authority and inerrancy of Scripture in his teachings, Matthew 5:18; Mark 7:13; Luke 16:31; 24:27; John 10:35.
      2. At no time did Christ ever question the authenticity or authority of Scripture.
      3. Jesus authenticated in advance the writing of the New Testament, John 14:26.

    3. The Holy Spirit superintended the writing of Scripture.
      1. II Timothy 3:16: All Scripture is given by the inspiration of God….
      2. II Peter 1:20,21: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
      3. The Bible refers to Scripture as words out of the mouth of God, Psalms 45:1; 78:1; Isaiah 55:11; Matthew 4:4.
      4. However, the Bible employs human elements:
        1. many individual styles are used;
        2. much of the history is based on tradition, Genesis, chps. 1,2;
        3. many secular works are cited for supporting references, Numbers 21:14; Joshua 10:13; I Chronicles 9:1,2;
        4. supernatural experiences are described by authors in human terms and concepts, Ezekiel 1:4–28; Revelation, chp. 5;
        5. errant human experiences are reported, such as the testimony of Elipham, Bildad, and Zophar in the book of Job.

    4. The word of God is not errant. (Inerrant = freedom from errors).
      1. The Bible sets forth the truth. When all facts are fully known, the original manuscripts of Scripture, properly interpreted, are completely accurate and without contradiction, in doctrine, history, science, geography, geology, or other disciplines of knowledge.
      2. The universe was created by God, Genesis, chp. 1; Jeremiah 32:17-19; who is all knowing, Psalm 147:5; and incapable of lying, Romans 3:4; Hebrews 6:18.
      3. The Bible authenticates itself.
        1. The Bible was written over 1,500 years by more than 40 authors, with a message entirely consistent throughout every chapter and verse.
        2. The Bible has shaped history, moved civilizations, and been relied on by the most advanced societies on earth.
        3. 2,000 years after its completion, the Bible is still the best selling book in history, because its message reflects the reality of life.
        4. Isaiah 40:8: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
        5. Matthew 5:18:…Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
      4. Inerrancy does not mean a rigid style, set forms of grammar, or verbatim quotes of prior passages of Scripture. It allows for different accounts of the same event, approximations in relating facts, variety in detailed descriptions and points of view by authors, or the language of appearance to set forth conditions of spiritual reality.
      5. To abandon the belief in the inerrancy of Scripture leaves human reason as the source of all authority, to sit in judgment on God and the text of the Bible.
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Summary Conclusion: The Bible is the historical record of God’s relationship to the human race that identifies who we are and what is the meaning of life. It refers to points in time before history began, even to the first man and woman ever to live, and to a breach in their relationship to God, which affected all humankind. However, it concentrates on action taken by God to reestablish relations with humanity, outlining a plan he is carrying out to have a people of his own. In the process, the Bible also reveals factors essential to a proper understanding of life, such as — where evil comes from and what will be its final outcome; what are proper standards for right and wrong; what happens after death; and what will take place when history ends. Most of all, the Bible demonstrates how God is revealed through the person of Jesus Christ.

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This outline constitutes a chapter from Only The Essentials: Clear and Simple Outlines on Complex Theology. Copyright 2001 by Montgomery Paul Webb. All rights reserved. However, permission is granted solely to private individuals to make ten copies of any disc containing this book, to include whatever other publications are available therein from the Church of the Love of Christ, for distribution to friends and acquaintances, on the conditions — 1. that the entirety of the contents of the disc is copied;— 2. and that absolutely no change, addition, or omission is made.

From printed material, photocopies only of any chapter can be made privately by individuals for distribution to friends and acquaintances, on the conditions — 1. that the entirety of the chapter is copied and distributed, including the pages of the chapter rendering the name The Church of the Love of Christ, the author’s name, and the copyright notice; — 2. and that absolutely no change, addition, or omission is made.

Chapter outlines include — What Is the Bible? | Can God Be Known? | Who Is Jesus Christ? | Who Is the Holy Spirit? | What Is the Trinity? | What Is the Kingdom Of God? | What Is Faith? | What Is Holiness? and What Is the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus? | What Is the Church? | New Testament Giving and Prosperity. | What Is Spiritual Warfare? | Can Anyone Understand Predestination?

Additional chapters include — A Second Call to Reform and the Philosophy of the Church of the Love of Christ. | The Constitution of the Church of the Love of Christ.

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