Monday, February 26, 2018

Confirmation Session Notes 1. The Bible

Confirmation Journey 1. The Bible

(Read Chapter 10 of “What Christians Believe” and complete Assignment 1 before this Session)

The Bible is called a “Revelation” meaning an “Uncovering.” For us to know God, God must reveal God's self to us. Christians claim that the Bible not only teaches us to know about God, but to actually know God. God is revealed to us in different ways;

General Revelation

The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. (Psalm 19:1)

But there is a problem...

Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse; for though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened. (Romans 1:20-21)

We can only know of God what God chooses to reveal to us.

Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, God decided, through the foolishness of our proclamation, to save those who believe. (1Colosians 1:20-21)

Special Revelation

What God chooses to reveal to us is found in the books of the Bible.

The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the LORD are sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is clear, enlightening the eyes (Psalm 19:7-8)

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (2 Peter 1:3)

The claim is made for the books of the bible that they are “Inspired” or “God Breathed.” That God has used people, their circumstances, their background, their upbringing... actual characters and experience.. to teach us what God is like.

First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (2 Peter 1:20-21)

Some reasons to trust the books of the Bible

The Evidence of Manuscripts. Those who have recorded and copied the scriptures over centuries have been painstakingly careful. We have hundreds of manuscripts to verify that our bibles preserve accurate records of what the original authors felt was vital to communicate.

The Testimony of Archaeology. Archaeological discoveries verify the accuracy of many biblical texts. (for example 'The Dead Sea Scrolls')

The Words of Jesus. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. (Matthew 24:35) All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that the Spirit will take what is mine and declare it to you. (John 16:15)

Examples of fulfilled prophecy between the Old and New Testaments.
It is often claimed that Isaiah 53:4-9 pictures Christ's ministry. Just one of many such texts

It's unity.
66 books... all creating a unfolding picture of God.

It's difference to many other religious works.
(Such as the “Koran” or “Book of Mormon”)
Not the work of any one human author.
Not the product of any one period in history.

It's history
No other collection of books has been subjected to to the tests the Bible has been put to and survived.

It's influence
It has touched the whole realm of human life... art, politics, science, law etc...

It's depth
In over 2000 years no serious student of the Bible has claimed to have totally grasped it's message,

Our own experience
It has touched us. That's why we are taking confirmation classes.

The testimony of God's Spirit. It is important to link “Reading the Bible” with prayer and asking God to reveal what God wants us to know.

So prove it for yourself! The more we seek to live it, the more the Bibles words become alive to us.

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