Have you ever tasted something that has obviously been watered down? Even the finest coffee or tea loses some of its flavor when it is diluted with too much water. A watered down message can lose its potency as well. In the world today, there is an attempt by some to water down the Word of God in an attempt to make it more palatable to the changing morals and attitudes of our culture. But the Bible doesn’t conform its message to public opinion polls. It doesn’t change its doctrines in response to societal consensus. It should never be watered down.
God’s Word is eternal—ever old, ever new, and ever sure. The Bible is as venerable as, “Thus says the Lord,” and as contemporary as, “The Last Days.” It spans the ages, being ageless. We can count on it in every condition: in sickness, in health, in poverty’s vale, or abounding in wealth.In a world of lies, His Word is truth. In a world of opinions, His Word is accurate down to the last jot and tittle.
Because God is eternal, His Word is established in the heavens. Because He cannot fail, His Word cannot be broken. Because He is unchanging, His Word is certain. Heaven and earth may pass away, but the Scripture will endure forever.
The Inspiration of Scripture
The word “inspiration” is taken from 2 Timothy 3:16, where the apostle Paul said, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God. . .” Peter gave additional insight when he wrote, “No prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation [or origination], for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:20-21).
Inspiration can be defined as the power of the Holy Spirit upon the human writers of the Scripture so that as they spoke and wrote the books of the Bible, they were recording the very words God intended to give the human race.
I’ve never understood pastors who stood in the pulpit without a firm belief in inspiration. Why would anyone devote his life to preaching a Book he didn’t believe?
Arthur W. Pink said, “Upon the foundation of the Divine inspiration of the Bible stands or falls the entire edifice of Christian truth.”
The Inerrancy and Infallibility of Scripture
The doctrine of inspiration leads logically to the tenets of inerrancy and infallibility. If holy men of old spoke and wrote as they were borne along by the Holy Spirit, those words must be trustworthy in all respects. The word “inerrancy” means that the Bible is without error in its original manuscripts. The word “infallibility” means that it is accurate, unfailing, and authoritative.
It’s possible to accumulate a lot of information and store up a lot of data. But only the Bible provides an infallible foundation for true knowledge.
The Indestructibility of Scripture
The Bible is also indestructible. Reuben Archer Torrey, who was a champion of the Bible in an age of encroaching liberalism, thundered: “It is so self-evident as to be practically axiomatic that what man has produced man can destroy. If then men produced the Bible why have eighteen (now twenty) centuries of assault upon the Bible been unable to destroy it?”
Torrey went on to say that the Bible has been attacked by many people of great ability and power, using all the intellectual, scientific, philosophical, political, and physical forces they could command. Emperors tried to burn it. Scholars tried to discredit it. Critics tried to bury it. The world has tried to ignore it. But it’s still the best-selling book of all time. While human governments have fallen, while human philosophies have faltered, the Bible still stands.
The Influence of Scripture
If the Bible is the inspired, infallible, inerrant, and indestructible Word of Almighty God, it should have a lasting influence on our lives. When our Creator and Redeemer tells us something, that word is determinative. If it’s a command, we must obey it. If it’s a truth, we must accept it. If it’s a promise, we must believe it. Otherwise we are double-minded people, unstable in all our ways (James 1:8). A watered down message leads to a waterlogged life.
Let’s cherish our Bible. Read it to be wise. Obey it to be safe. Believe it to be happy. Proclaim it to be joyful.
Wouldn’t you love to live in a Norman Rockwell painting or on a Currier and Ives card in December? Christmas is when we want to roast chestnuts on an open fire, deck the halls with boughs of holly, ride in a one-horse open sleigh, hang our stockings by the chimney with care, and have ourselves a merry little Christmas.
Year after year we try to create a perfect picture-postcard experience during the holidays, but the effort seems counterproductive. Instead of the most wonderful time of the year, Christmas can be the most stressful time of the year—a whirlwind of traveling, shopping, spending, entertaining, and even churching. It’s hard to have joy in a whirl.
According to the American Psychological Association, seven out of ten people feel stress from not having enough time for their Christmas activities, and the same number worry about having enough money.
Not surprisingly, most of the stress falls on women. Far more women than men worry about having enough money for gift-giving, and women are more likely to take on added workloads by running to purchase last-minute gifts and working overtime in the kitchen to feed all the guests.
So how can you bring joy to the whirl?
Those tiny, temporary wisps of ice we call snowflakes are a wonder of creation. They are the artwork of the heavens, God’s celestial geometry.
There’s no easy way to explain the complexities of a simple snowflake. When you see millions of them falling across the mountains or prairies or among the skyscrapers of your city, just think that each one began as a wisp of water vapor or a tiny droplet of moisture high in the earth’s atmosphere. A small sheath of ice formed around it until it became a crystal of ice. As these tiny crystals blew around like dust in the clouds, they grew in size and became heavy enough to tumble out of the cloud.Worn-Out Knees
On February 26, 1829, a Jewish boy named Loeb Strauss was born in a cottage in the Bavarian village of Buttenheim. As a young man, Loeb changed his name to Levi and wound up in California, where he opened a textile company. One day, a gold miner walked into Levi’s shop. “Look at these,” said the miner, pointing to his pants. “I bought them six months ago, and now they are full of holes!” When Levi asked why, the miner explained, “We work on our knees most of the time.”
“What you need is some really strong material,” replied Levi. A tailor was called—and the rest is history. Soon miners across the West were wearing Levi Strauss’s jeans.
It seems to me that we Christians should have the same problem that plagued that miner—worn-out pants—for we ought to do most of our work on our knees.
Looking back on The Jesus You May Not Know, are you wondering what to do with all that you learned? Today, Dr. David Jeremiah shares practical tools for building a deeper intimacy with Christ than you’ve known before.All Sermons by Dr. David Jeremiah