Holy Spirit

Why Believe the Bible?

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Our world is filled with Christians who love, the Bible, God’s word and try live their lives as Christ-like as they possibly can. As a Christian myself, it is not easy, but then again, anything that comes to easily you won’t appreciate as much as something that has challenges along the way.

Bible, Open Bible

On the other side of the coin, the flip side, there’s skeptics, many of them, with titles of their own – atheist, agnostic, etc. And these skeptics will try poke holes in the Bible and mock the Christian faith either to understand why or to deliberately sabotage a believers faith journey.

How do you answer them when they question the Bible or the Christian faith? Or why you believe what you do?

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My prayer today is that this post will help you respond wisely to those questions.

Why believe the Bible?

What is the Bible?

The English word Bible is derived from Koinē Greek: τὰ βιβλία, romanised: ta biblia, meaning “the books” (singular βιβλίον, biblion). The word βιβλίον itself had the literal meaning of “scroll” and came to be used as the ordinary word for “book“. (Logos 9, word defintions).

Secondly, The Bible is a compilation of 66 books and letters written by more than 40 authors during a period of approximately 1,500 years. Its original text was communicated in just three languages: Hebrew, koine or common Greek, and Aramaic. The Old Testament was written for the most part in Hebrew, with a small percentage in Aramaic. The New Testament was written in Greek. The sections – the Old and New Testament–the Bible contains several more divisions: the Pentateuch, the Historical Books, the Poetry and Wisdom Books, the books of Prophecy, the Gospels, and the Epistles.

The Bible itself is the inspired Word of God, or “God-breathed” (2 Timothy 3:162 Peter 1:21). It unfolds as a divine love story between the Creator God and humankind. In the pages of the Bible, we learn of God’s interaction with humans. We discover his purposes and plans from the beginning of time, throughout history and the future.

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Sound familiar?

“Why do you believe the Bible?” the skeptic asks. “Because it’s God’s Word,” the Christian replies. “Says who?” the skeptic responds. “Says the Bible,” the Christian answers.

Ir is easy to see why the logic that Christians love might not persuade a skeptical person. The reasoning seems as unpersuasive as the parent who responds to their kid’s question with, “Because I said so!”

Thankfully, there are powerful arguments to back up our belief in the Bible. One of my favorites is how the Old Testament prophets knew what the New Testament apostles saw. Take Isaiah, for example. Isaiah knew that God’s chosen Messiah would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7). He knew that the Christ would come from the family of King David (Isaiah 11). He knew that the Savior would be pierced for sins, suffer silently, be buried with the rich, and see the light of life again (Isaiah 53). How in the world did Isaiah, living seven hundred years before the birth of Jesus, know all that?

The apostle Peter has a reason: 

“For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit”. 2 Peter 1:21

The Old Testament prophecies were indeed written by humans. But those humans had help. The Holy Spirit. That’s how they knew things no human could know. The prophets’ knowledge, given by the Holy Spirit, is one of the persuasive reasons that we Christians believe in the Holy Bible.

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Why Believe In Jesus? 

Has anyone ever called you crazy for believing in Jesus Christ? “Wait, you actually believe that Jesus was born from a virgin, died on a cross, and then came back from the dead? Seriously?” 

The apostle Paul defended his faith, our faith, perfectly, in front of two skeptical politicians during his trial in Caesarea: 

“Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. ‘You are out of your mind, Paul!’ he shouted. ‘Your great learning is driving you insane.’ ‘I am not insane, most excellent Festus,’ Paul replied. ‘What I am saying is true and reasonable. The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner’” Acts 26:24-26.

I love that logic. Paul pointed out that Christianity didn’t happen in a corner. There were real witnesses of the real things that happened in a real place on our real planet. The early Christians didn’t rely on how they felt or what they believed in their hearts. Rather, they put their faith in what they had seen, heard, and witnessed—the words and works of the Savior, who was seen alive publicly after his death by hundreds of witnesses (1 Corinthians 15, Acts 2, Acts 13)!

Their faith, just like ours today, is true and reasonable.

You are not a fool to trust in Jesus.

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My Favorite Reason To Believe 

My favorite reason to believe in the Bible is, admittedly, not all that logical. It’s much more personal and emotional. It might not be persuasive enough to change an unbeliever’s mind, but I still hope it tugs at an unbeliever’s heart. That reason is Jesus’ uniqueness.

There’s no one like Jesus. There’s no god, no philosophy, and no religion that offers what Jesus offers. Listen to how the prophet Isaiah described him: “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” Isaiah 53:5.

Who else offers to take our place and our punishment and give us peace? Only Jesus!

I’ve been asked what I thought of other religions that, like the Bible, teach us to love one another. I reply, “I agree with that, but what do they offer me when I fall short of love? What can they promise me when I sin?” Many spiritual people and religious paths can tell us how to love, but only the Bible proclaims a Savior who loves the unloving. Only one Scripture gives us grace, full and free, to you and me.

Yes, the Old Testament prophecies are persuasive. Yes, the New Testament apostles give compelling testimony. But, in the end, it’s the uniqueness of Jesus Christ that wins over Christian hearts and compels us to trust the Bible that Jesus trusted.

That’s why I believe.

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Expect God to Do Something Unexpected

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God doesn’t do things the way we think he should? That theme emerges reading stories or listening to people explain why they left Christianity based on supposedly “intellectual arguments”. God doesn’t fit our expectations. He is not like us; he is wholly different.

Proverbs 16:9
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Although not put in exactly these words, the argument goes something like this: If God is perfect and good, he should have revealed himself more clearly, he should have preserved the Scriptures without any textual variants, he should have produced a Bible less open to so many different interpretations (it should somehow be transhistorical and transcultural), he should have completely removed evil and suffering right away.

These arguments could be rephrased: If I were God, I would have done things differently. In comparison to our enlightened reason, God’s actions are seen as wanting and deficient. Our preferences, wisdom, rationality, and expectations become the standard to which God must submit or be rejected as false and untrustworthy.

There seems to be no place left for a humble assessment of the limits and frailty of human ability and rationality.

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Scandal and Folly at the Cross

God often does not do things the way that we as humans think he should. The clearest example of this is Jesus’s crucifixion. Paul argues that “we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:23-25).

Scandal and Folly at Christmas

We are so familiar with the Christmas narratives that we often fail to see how they are similar to the crucifixion: certainly scandalous, debatably foolish, but nevertheless, God’s plan to fulfill his promises and save his people.

First, the virgin conception was scandalous. Joseph himself assumed infidelity and intended to divorce Mary.

Could God have done things in a way less open to ridicule? Or could he not have somehow provided more supernatural proof? Of course he could have; but he didn’t. And skeptics mock.

Meanwhile, Christians celebrate this truth as the way God chose to act to save the world through his Son Jesus, fully God and fully man.

It may be hard to believe, but God became man; he entered our pain, our suffering, and our death in order to defeat death for all of us. As the book of Hebrews makes clear, he experienced our limitations and temptations in order to become our perfect and eternal High Priest and to offer a perfect and final sacrifice for sin. Could God have done it a different, less painful, less embarrassing way? Maybe, but he didn’t.

Why the lowly birth? Why be born in poverty, in obscurity, and in weakness? We are so familiar with the Christmas story that we fail to see how counterintuitive this all is. In saving the world, God seems to have gone the most difficult route imaginable. Like Satan’s temptation to instantly give Jesus global sovereignty without the suffering of the cross, there could have been quite a few quicker and easier ways to get this done. But as Paul notes, God’s “folly” is greater than man’s wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:25).

Trust God to Be God

As you reflect on your season of your life, your struggles, your disappointments, your victories, your faith, and your hope, remember that:

God is God and we are not.

Jesus’s death on the cross was simultaneously foolishness to the wise in the world, to those who are perishing, and a demonstration of the power and wisdom of God to those of us who believe.

He doesn’t always do things the way we might expect or wish he would, but when it comes to God, shouldn’t we know by now to expect the unexpected?

Faith in God certainly doesn’t make us safe (as if we were living in a magical bubble in which nothing bad could happen and we were guaranteed success at every turn), but it does make us incredibly secure. Because he is faithful and good, we can trust and worship without always completely understanding.

Christianity did not begin, survive, and expand primarily through intellectual argumentation but through a demonstration of the Spirit.

Life may knock you down – but God’s faithfulness and your faith will raise you up again.

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Your inheritance is peace!

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Fix your eye on Jesus! Peace! Not on your difficulties!

In Jesus, we have received the greatest inheritance of all! The Kingdom of God is ours! The victory is ours! We are co hiers with Christ, adopted into Sonship with Him! Peace.

We are brothers and sisters with Christ!

 “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
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Stress is one of the most damaging factors to our physical, spiritual, and emotional health. Yet, when God created you and molded you with love, He didn’t destine you to live a life of permanent worry. He intended you to live a life filled with His peace! He has already given it to you, as the following Bible verse reminds us: “‘I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.’” (John 14:27)

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Scripture

“You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me. “Come now; let us leave.
John 14:23‭-‬31

Now that is a gift! All other gifts pale in comparison! Be filled with the Holy Advocate!

I understand that this peace is so often threatened or disturbed by various situations: at work, in the midst of your family, or in your health. Or through your relationships or financial difficulties.

So you may be wondering…how is it possible to enjoy this peace that God gives you? To not be “troubled” or “afraid” in the face of these disturbing events? God has only one word to say to you: “Trust.”

He’s inviting you today to return to His arms that you may have left. To surrender yourself totally to Him, to rely on Him. How do we do this, practically speaking, when the bills pile up? When the pain is unbearable? When nothing is going right any more? By choosing to believe and continuing to trust Him, whatever happens, despite the circumstances, because:

  • His Word is true, His promises certain.
  • He loves you personally.
  • He is taking care of you.

Perhaps you can’t seem to completely let go, and the more you struggle, the more your peace melts like snow in the sun. So it’s time to renew your trust in the One who can do all things…

Let’s pray together that this peace given to you won’t be stolen from you!…“Father, I admit that life’s worries tend to steal my peace. Today, I choose to turn to You. I want to fix my eyes on You and not on my difficulties. You are and You have, Lord, the solution to all my problems. I trust in You. In Jesus’ name, amen.” 

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Remain in the shadow of the Most High!

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