How do know that Bible is the Word of God? How can we trust that the Bible is true? These are important questions that deserve an answer. Let us answer that query in three ways.
**The Bible is Inspired.
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
**The Bible is Infallible.
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
**The Bible is Authoritative
And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 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 1:19-21
These things are true. Therefore, let us commit to the continued study of God’s Word!
“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.”
We learn early on that it is not proper to discuss money except in limited cases in our society. Protocols for speaking about money are probably helpful as they keep us from burrowing into someone else’s business. A healthy distance is not a bad thing.
But, did you know that Bible discusses money quite often? Money and material items are mentioned over 800 times in the Bible. Jesus teaches us about giving in chapter 6 of this sermon. Let’s examine what He said.
A fundamental underpinning for Christ’s teaching in vs. 2-18 is found in v. 1. It is do not serve God to be seen by others. Our motivation for serving, giving, praying, and fasting is not the attention of others but the attention of God. We should serve and give quietly and humbly and not to be seen of men.
Teachings such as this are quite the opposite of what we hear in our world today. We are bombarded with messages about self-promotion, self-aggrandizement, and self-awareness. We want others to know what we are doing because we love the pats on the back and the praise of men and women.
The praise of others is nice but it is not long lasting. At times, the same people who praise you one day are just as liable to criticize you the next day. Recognition is ok but it tends to be shallow and short-lived.
It is far better to do our works for the praise of God. May we seek to be God-pleasers first and not man/woman-pleasers. If we do, we shall be rewarded by God.
17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.22 Professing to be wise, they became fools.
God has revealed Himself to humanity. Paul clearly teaches in this passage of Scripture that everyone is without excuse. God has made Himself known. Some may believe and many others may refuse to believe. But, God has revealed Himself nonetheless.
God has shown us Himself through creation. God’s attributes are seen by the creation that is all around us. One only needs to look to the mountains and the oceans or even the lilies or the leaves to see God’s handiwork. God has revealed Himself clearly.
God has also made Himself known through the conscience. We as human beings know right from wrong because that knowledge is innate within us. Why? We are created in God’s image and cannot not know. (Genesis 1:26-27) We need special revelation of Christ’s life, atoning death and resurrection for salvation. But we have all the evidence we need for God’s existence. We know He lives. We just do.
God has revealed Himself through Christ, Jesus. Hebrews 1: 1-2 teach us the following: 1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds. Jesus is the final, complete revelation of God to humanity. The Son of God lived for our righteousness, died as our substitute on the cross, was buried and then raised from the dead by the Father. You want to know who God is? Look to Jesus. I implore all to trust Him as Savior, believe on His name and be saved.
God has made Himself known to us. Hallelujah! What a Savior.
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
One thing we learn from this Scripture is this—the standard of love is high in the Kingdom. Christ compels us to go further than worldly norms. This is born out in two ways.
First, we are to love our neighbors and love our enemies. Loving those who love you in return is not enough. We are commanded to love our enemies. We are called to love those who don’t like us, disagree with us, and even persecute us. Once again, Christ is our example as He died for us even when we were still in our sin (Romans 5:8) and enemies with God. (James 4:4)
Also, we are told to pray for our enemies. Do not curse them, but, pray for them. Jesus asks, in v. 46-47, if we only treat those who love us well, what good is it? Instead, we are to go above and beyond in showing love for others by praying for their good and that they would come to know Christ as Savior and Lord.
This teaching is not easy to hear and obey. But kingdom living requires it. The Holy Spirit lives within us (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) and will enable us to do all that Jesus has commanded. Let us all commit ourselves to do what Christ has clearly instructed in this passage of Scripture. Be perfect (complete) as your heavenly Father is perfect!
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
The creation accounts teach the origins of all things. The last act of creation was bringing human life into existence. A consideration of Genesis 1:26-27 would be in order here.
God created human beings. Humans are not biological, evolutionary accidents. Rather, each person is created specifically and personally by the Lord Himself. Each life has dignity and worth no matter the “human” circumstances of their birth. Why? Because God created them.
God created human beings in His image. All people, male and female, are created by God to be image bearers in this world. Being created this way means that humans can think, reason, and have fellowship with God. Even though sin destroyed that fellowship, humans can now have relationship with God through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The image may be marred because of sin, but, each human carries the imago dei nonetheless.
Finally, God created human begins for His glory. Our purpose in life comes from glorifying God by believing in Christ, trusting in God for salvation, and in living for the Lord each day. We don’t find purpose in glorifying ourselves. We find contentment and peace in glorifying God. We are created for His glory and not our own.
“Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: “I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God.
God is only, supreme, and eternal. This simple statement is packed with theological heft and power. Let us examine it further.
God is the only true God. Apart from Him, there is no other. All others gods are fakes and counterfeits. Idols cannot see, hear, or act. The God of Scripture sees, hears, and wills the entirety of everything. Yes, there is only one true God.
God is supreme. 1 Samuel 2:2 tells us “No one is holy like the LORD, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.” Every person and entity in the universe bows the knee to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Lord is supreme over all.
God is eternal. Consider this quote from Psalm 90:2—Beforethe mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. Before anything was, God is. He is the one who was, the one who is, and the one who is to come. (Revelation 1:4)
Let us give thanks and praise to the only God, the supreme God, the eternal God!
Let us give thanks today for the Word of God. God has revealed Himself to us. He has given us much of Himself. The Bible may not answer every question we have. But, it contains a storehouse of inexhaustible riches that cannot be exceeded.
**We should be thankful for the eternal nature of God’s Word. All else will fail and every other writings will cease. But the Word of the Lord will abide forever.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Matthew 24:35
**We ought to give thanks for the power of God’s Word. God’s Word is powerful and active in our world and in our lives as Christians. God’s uses the Scriptures to change us and shape us in ways that are seen and unseen.
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
**Let us be thankful for the inspiration of God’s Word. The Bible is “God-breathed” and profitable in our lives. There is no other writings that rival it in the entirety of the universe.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
As we continue in this New Year, let’s make a commitment to study God’s Word faithfully and diligently. Let us be exhorted to read it and know it better than we ever have. And may we seek to obey its commandments and follow its precepts more closely each and every day!
Are you primarily a giver or primarily a taker? Do you give more than you receive? Simply put, are you a giver or a taker?
God’s people ought to be givers in this life. We should be thankful when we receive and still be overwhelming in giving. We have been made stewards of our time, our talents, our treasures, and God’s truth. Are you giving abundantly in these areas of your life?
Great benefits accrue to those who give. Let us look a three of them today.
**Givers are promised blessings. Jesus statement (as recorded by Paul) reminds us that blessing and benevolence follow giving. Reciprocity should not be our motivation for giving. We should give expecting nothing in return. But, it’s wonderful to know that we are blessed in our generosity.
“In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, `It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ” Acts 20:35
**We can expect our gifts to bring forth a great harvest. When we sow to the Spirit, we will realize a harvest someday. We may not see the entirety of the harvest in this life. But we can give with the assurance that nothing is wasted when we give in the name of the Lord!
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:7-9
**We have the opportunity to show forth God’s love when we give. The God of the Bible is a giving God. Nothing helps us shine the light any better than giving. God gave to us and now we have the wonderful privilege of distributing those blessings to others. Commit yourself to a life of giving in all areas of our existence. Let us shine the light of the gospel through our giving.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16