Wondering What to Believe?
Does Nature Give Proof of God?8 Digging Deeper
Can I Hear God's Voice?8 Digging Deeper
- Does God Care About My Concerns?
- Best practices for a thriving relationship.
- God wants us to know Him
- Ways that God communicates to us today.
- God gives us scriptures through men.
- Life changing love letter from God.
- God provides us a way for a relationship with Him through Jesus.
- Are you too busy for God?
Can I Trust the Bible?7 Digging Deeper
- Is it possible for us to know if the Bible is true?
- The differences and similarities between faith and trust.
- The significance in the magnitude of New Testament manuscripts compared to other ancient manuscripts.
- How large numbers of discovered manuscripts support the authenticity of the Bible.
- Why do you think about the very small (.001) part of critical textual variations found in the New Testament?
- How has the Bible impacted your life?
- Do you trust the Bible?
Who is God?8 Digging Deeper
- God reveals himself throughout time so that people can worship the one true God.
- Evidences of the Existence of God.
- A God that always keeps his word.
- God’s ways above our ways.
- The Truth of God’s Nature.
- God is a loving, caring, beneficent God.
- A God that is God is long-suffering and forgiving.
- Striving to become more like God.
Who Am I?7 Digging Deeper
What is the Meaning of Life?7 Digging Deeper
- What is the meaning of your life? What is your purpose?
- How Jesus brings meaning to our lives.
- How does knowing Jesus will judge both the good and the bad in our lives impact the way we live?
- What do you make of the reading from Ecclesiastes 5:15?
- What do you want to be said about your life when you’re gone?
- How our understanding of the meaning of our life impact the way we live.
- What would you say was the meaning of the life you’ve lived so far?
Is there a Right and Wrong?7 Digging Deeper
- The different standards for determining what is right and what is wrong.
- Is it in our nature to know what is right and wrong?
- Is right and wrong discerned by each person for themselves or is it ultimately determined by a higher authority?
- What to do in a situation where two people have different beliefs on what is right and wrong?
- Is there a standard when determining what is right and wrong?
- Is the Bible is our absolute moral standard for topics such as honesty, sexuality, the value of human life?
- Do you believe you can determine with absolute certainly what is right and wrong?
Who Wrote the Bible?8 Digging Deeper
- The Truth in the Bible.
- The Origin of the Bible
- The single author behind the many writers in the Bible.
- God foreshadowing discoveries made in today’s world.
- Why people downplay the evidences in the Bible.
- Foreshadowing of Jesus in the Old Testament
- Using doubt as an excuse to not change.
- What it means to have faith in the Bible.
Why Does God Allow Evil?9 Digging Deeper
Does God Love Me?5 Digging Deeper
If a person believes the Bible, then there is a solid basis of authority and a textual standard that can be consulted, studied and explained. Of course, people may have differing views of what the Bible says and those will need careful investigation in the text. Hopefully, careful, honest and judicious study of the text will lead to some definitive answers. God does not specifically address every question that we may raise but he does speak on the fundamental, basic questions of the purpose, meaning and value of life and relationships. Where God does not speak, we must not speak for him, make rules for him or press our opinions as law.
Why can we believe that the Bible has moral authority on life issues like those named in the question?
The Scriptures (the Bible) reveal God as our creator, Lord, savior, and judge. He is God and we are not. Because of who he is and what he has done and is doing, we are accountable to him for the way that we live our lives. In the preface and first three of the Ten Commandments, God said that the basis of the commandments are his existence, moral nature and actions in delivering his people from Egypt:
You shall have no other gods before me.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:1-6)
God has revealed himself in the Scriptures. Whatever is written there is his will for us. The Scriptures found in the Bible claim to be “breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). This means that the Scriptures are authorized and approved by God and provide us with God’s truth on every matter that they address. That’s why people are commended for “searching the Scriptures to see if the things taught are so” (Acts 17:11). To reject the word of God is to reject God.
The law that God revealed to Moses was taught to the fathers who were to teach it to their children for generations to come (Deuteronomy 6:1-11). The Lord commends the person who delights “in the law of the Lord” and who “meditates on it day and night” (Psalm1:2). David loved God’s word and praised it because it came from God and gave him wisdom and guidance for life:
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the LORD is sure,
making wise the simple;
8 the precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the LORD is clean,
the rules of the LORD are true,
and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold,
even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey
and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward. (Psalm 19:7-11)
Psalm 119 is 176 verses that express love for God’s word and praise to God for his perfect word. Every verse of this the longest psalm and the longest chapter in the Bible commends the word of God as our guide in life. Among them are these thoughts: “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (verse 11) and “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (verse 105).
The word of God found in the Bible is to be taught and applied to life. Isaiah the prophet spoke to a generation that desired to seek out mediums and necromancers (those who claim they can contact the dead) and urged them to listen to the revealed word of God: “Consult God’s instruction and the testimony of warning. If anyone does not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn” (Isaiah 8:20). About 458 B. C. when God’s people desperately needed to be taught God’s word, Ezra the prophet and scribe “set his heart to study the Law of the LORD, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel” (Ezra 7:10).
Throughout the Old Testament, the words “thus says the Lord” or “the word of God came to” a prophet (as in Jeremiah 1:4; 2:1) speak of the moral and spiritual authority of God’s revealed word. God’s people were to obey that word in order to honor and please God.
The New Testament Scriptures reveal the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth who claimed to be the perfect revelation of God. The words of Jesus and his apostles on whatever subject they address are to be taught and obeyed. Here is what Jesus claimed:
8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. (John 14:6-11)
Earlier in the Gospel of John, Jesus said that he spoke as the Father directed him and that his word will judge us on the last day.
The crowds who heard Jesus’ authoritative words said, “No one ever taught like this man” (Matthew 7:29). Jesus claimed that his words were spirit and life (John 6:63). He said that only those who listen and obey his words would be blessed by the Father in heaven (Matthew 7:21-27).
Jesus appointed his special servants, the apostles, to preach the message of the kingdom of God and eternal life to all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). These apostles were guided by the Holy Spirit in their preaching and teaching so that what they said and wrote were the words of God (John 14:25-26; 16:13-15; Luke 24:45-49; Acts 2:1-4; Galatians 1:1, 11-12; I Corinthians 14:37). Jesus said to his apostles, “The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me” (Luke 10:16).
This means that the words of God found in the Bible must be respected, studied and taught as an authoritative guide for life. The words of God in the Bible are to be applied and obeyed. They are an authoritative guide in all issues and subjects that they address whether it be matters of faith and doctrine, morals and ethics or work and relationships. Since the Bible addresses moral issues like honesty, sexuality, the value of human life and other life issues, then it is God’s word on those topics. If we are to please and obey God that word must be correctly interpreted, taught and obeyed.
If a person does not believe the Bible, then the discussion must begin with what moral authority determines the right or wrong of these questions. Is there even a moral authority? If so, what is that moral authority? Is it objective, universal and permanent? Who or what determined that moral authority? If there is no God, then we cannot trust our brains to determine right from wrong because our brains are nothing but a collection of atoms formed by mindless matter. C. S. Lewis reasoned this way:
William Lane Craig reasons:
Lane explains how God’s moral nature determines right and wrong:
Thus, the question resolves to whether we believe in God or not. If we believe in God, then if not in the teachings in the Bible, how and where does God communicate with us? If in some other way than in the Bible, what reasons do we have to believe that other way is right?