1. The Bible—God's Holy Word
1. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO LEARN ABOUT JESUS?
1GW John 5:39, 40, 46, 47 The Scriptures teach us about Jesus. Almost all of the Bible writers, including Moses, wrote about the coming Messiah. If we do not study and believe the Scriptures, we cannot really become, or remain, a believer in Jesus. It’s important also, in this context, to realize that the Scriptures that Jesus told them pointed forward to Him, are what we call the Old Testament.
2. WILL ANY PART OF THE BIBLE EVER BECOME OBSOLETE?
2GW Matt. 5:17, 18 The “Law and the Testimony” are the Old Testament Scriptures. Two words here cause some to be confused: destroy & fulfill.
· Destroy = do away with; abolish; annul.
· Fulfill = do; carry out; show forth in its true meaning; complete.
· In this text, Jesus used the word "Destroy" as an opposite of "Fulfill," so "fulfill" could not mean "do away with" "or abolish." Therefore it would have to mean one or all of the other definitions: do; carry out; show forth in its true meaning;
Jesus came to show us how to keep the law of God. He did it; He carried it out; and He showed it forth in its true meaning. But He did not come to destroy it. In fact He couldn’t destroy it because, as He points out, “until heaven and earth disappear,” it would not pass away. So, the apostles couldn’t change it either.
3. FOR HOW LONG CAN WE EXPECT THE BIBLE TO BE VALID?
3GW Ps. 119:89-91 God's word is eternal. With God, there is no such thing as an off-hand remark. Whatever He says is true and of the utmost importance. There will never be a time when His word will not be valid.
· Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
4. WHO IS THE REAL AUTHOR OF THE BIBLE?
4GW 2 Pet. 1:19-21 The Holy Spirit inspired the men who wrote the Bible. They didn't just sit down one day and decide to write it themselves. They were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write the messages of Scripture. The Spirit gave them the information, and they wrote it down in their own words.
· Rev 1:11 which said: "Write on a scroll what you see..."
Often the prophets were shown visions or dreams, and then were asked to write it down. But the One behind it all was the Holy Spirit.
5. DOES GOD HIDE FROM US ANYTHING WE NEED TO KNOW?
5GW Deut. 29:29 There are evidently some things that God doesn't choose to tell us about. We may have questions to which we cannot find answers. But we can be sure that God reveals to us everything we need to know. God’s word, the Bible, is our "owner’s manual" which has in it all the information we need in order to be saved.
6. WHAT IS GOD'S CHOSEN METHOD FOR REVEALING HIS PLANS?
6GW Amos 3:7 God called men who were dedicated by Him to become prophets. The prophets were ordinary men, often called from their work-a-day lives. Some were shepherds or farmers, some were kings, some were statesmen, one was a Greek physician, two of them were fishermen, and one a tax collector. Some even wrote their messages while they were in jail (Jeremiah, Paul and John). The Holy Spirit called these men and made them prophets, and they told the people what God wanted them to know. No one simply decides to be a prophet: God is the One who calls the prophet to His work.
7. WHAT FOUR THINGS, AMONG OTHERS, CAN THE BIBLE DO FOR US?
7GW 2 Tim. 3:16, 17 All Scripture is given by God for four uses:
• It teaches us what God wants us to know. A good part of the Bible is dedicated to the history of God's people, and of the lives of men and women who did or did not follow His will. These stories help us to know how to follow the Lord, and/or the things we should not do if we want to remain in the Lord’s grace.
• Points out our sins. When we read the Bible we can compare our lives with the standard of righteousness revealed in its pages. The sacred pages of God's word will not fail to show us when we're right or wrong.
• Reveals to us our need to turn away from our sinful lives. As we see what happened to people in Bible times when they didn't following God's will, we can see that we don't want to make the same mistakes they did. The Holy Spirit works on our hearts to encourage us to make a U-turn away from our ways of sin and let the Spirit have complete control of our lives.
• Shows us how to live a life that is pleasing to God. We read the sayings of Jesus, the laws of the Old Testament, the lives of various righteous men. As we do, we begin to see what God wants us to do and the kind of life we should live. We find out that we want to please God above all else. The result: The Christian can learn how to be perfect; he can see the importance of asking Jesus to help him to do good works.
8. WHAT IS THE RESULT OF LEARNING BIBLE TRUTH?
8GW Ps. 119:11 When we know what the Bible says, we can allow it to guide us so that we will live lives that are free from sin, lives that are guided by the Holy Spirit, just like those of the righteous men of old. Only as we stay close to Jesus can we keep from sinning. Most of all, we will find that we cannot save ourselves: we must surrender and let God do the work; for Jesus’ death on the cross, and His resurrection, has already accomplished all that is necessary for our salvation.
9. WHAT METHOD DID JESUS USE WHEN TEACHING BIBLE TRUTH TO OTHERS?
9GW Luke 24:25-27 Christ chose to teach the Bible one subject at a time. You'll notice that, before He revealed Himself to them, Jesus convinced the two disciples from the Scriptures that He was divine, and that He was supposed to die and then rise from the grave on the third day.
10. WHAT AFFECT DID JESUS' METHOD OF BIBLE STUDY HAVE ON THESE TWO MEN?
10GW Luke 24:32 When the men thought back on their conversation with Jesus on the road home, they began to understand more and more the work that God intended for His Messiah. The word they used to describe what happened is "opened:" "He opened to us the Scriptures."
Christ's method is the same method that we should use in studying the Bible. We should take one subject at a time and look through the Bible to find out what the Holy Spirit has inspired them to write on this subject. We should use the Scriptures, not only for inspiration, but also as an encyclopedia of spiritual knowledge. And as we put together the texts that each of the Bible writers penned on our chosen subject, we see the whole picture—much as a person putting together a picture puzzle. This method of studying by subject "opens" the Scripture to us. And this is the method we will use in these Bible Study Guides.
11. HOW EARNESTLY MUST WE SEEK GOD IN ORDER TO FIND HIM?
11GW Jer. 29:13 We will find the Lord if we seek Him with all our hearts. We must be diligent in our study of the Bible, and then we will come to be like our Lord.
We should not take this to mean that God is trying to hide from us so we have to go out and hunt for Him. No! God is ever present and wants to be found. But when we seek for Him with all our hearts, our minds tuned only to the Biblical subject at hand, we will find out things about God and the life He wants us to live that we might not learn if we merely read the Bible like it was another book. For God promises, through Jeremiah: (Jer. 29:14—“I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, . . .
OTHER TEXTS ABOUT GOD'S WORD:
Ps. 111:7, 8–God's precepts ". . . are steadfast for ever and ever, . . ."
Ps. 119:105--"Thy word is a lamp ... and a light."
Ps. 119:140--"Thy word is pure." (cf. Prov. 30:5)
Ps. 119:160--"Thy word is true."
Isa. 8:20--"If they speak not according to this word ... no light in them."
Isa. 40:8--"The word of our God shall stand forever."
Jer. 15:16--"Thy word was unto me ... joy and rejoicing."
Mark 14:49--"The scriptures must be fulfilled."
Luke 11:28--"Blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it."
John 10:35--"The scripture cannot be broken."
John 17:17--"Thy word is truth."
Rom. 10:17--"Faith cometh by ... the word of God."
Eph. 6:17--"The sword of the spirit ... is the word of God." (cf. Heb. 4:12)
2 Tim. 3:15--"The holy scriptures ... are able to make thee wise unto salvation."
1 Pet. 1:23--"Being born again ... by the word of God."
Think it through
"Whenever men choose their own way, they place themselves in controversy with God. They will have no place in the kingdom of heaven, for they are at war with the very principles of heaven. In disregarding the will of God, they are placing themselves on the side of Satan, the enemy of God and man. Not by one word, not by many words, but by every word that God has spoken, shall man live. We cannot disregard one word, however trifling it may seem to us, and be safe. There is not a commandment of the law that is not for the good and happiness of man, both in this life and in the life to come. In obedience to God's law, man is surrounded as with a hedge and kept from the evil. He who breaks down this divinely erected barrier at one point has destroyed its power to protect him; for he has opened a way by which the enemy can enter to waste and ruin." Ellen White, Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing (Pacific Press Publishing Association, Boise, Idaho) p. 52