Archive of Daily Bible Lessons
April 20-30, 2004


To Sit at the Feet of Jesus


Pressing on to Know Jesus


Spiritual Insight for Knowing God


How to *Have it ALL*
  No Bible lessons were issued on 4/24-25/04


Experiencing the Lord's Goodness


Living as Jesus Lived


Knowing God by Feasting at His Table


Serving God... by His Grace


Christian Basics: The Bible

Bible Lesson
April 20, 2004

To Sit at the Feet of Jesus

That I may know Him {Jesus} and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. (Philippians 3:10-12)

As you can easily tell from Philippians 3:10-12 {quoted above}, the Apostle Paul's goal in life was to grow in intimacy with Christ Jesus. "That I may know Him."

  • Paul wanted to know Jesus so well that his life in this spiritually lifeless world would become as one who has been "resurrected from the dead."
  • Apostle Paul humbly admitted that he had not yet reached such spiritual maturity. "Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected."
  • Thus, in light of his own need to grow, coupled with the excellence of his goal, the single focus of Paul's life was to: "press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me."
Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Jesus and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me."

And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her."
(Luke 10:40-42)

Paul's focused quest is similar to the heart that Mary demonstrated, as recorded in the gospel of Luke.

  • Luke chapter 10 reports certain events that took place when Jesus visited the home of two sisters: Mary and Martha.
  • Mary "sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word." (Luke 10:39)
  • On the other hand, Martha bustled around as a busy hostess, desiring to serve her Lord in a more *tangible* way.
  • However, Martha's busy labors distracted her from having intimate fellowship with Jesus, the very Person she was attempting to serve. "But Martha was distracted with much serving." (Luke 10:40)
  • The solution seemed obvious to Martha. She insisted that Jesus should send Mary her sister to help. "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." (Luke 10:40)

How startled Martha must have been when Jesus indicated that she was the one with the problem, NOT Mary. "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things." (Luke 10:41)

  • The many concerns of Martha's busy ministry were causing her to experience anxiety and inner turmoil.
  • Martha's desire to serve the Lord had deteriorated to fussing and bustling about.
  • Then Jesus gave Martha an astounding revelation that put everything into perfect spiritual perspective. "But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:42)

What an amazing truth was revealed to Martha when Jesus said: "Mary has chosen that good part." That "good part" was to spend TIME with Jesus. To know Him. To learn from Him.

Mary grabbed hold of *the good stuff* -- the BEST stuff there is. Namely, she got to know Jesus better. Had fellowship with Him. Sat quietly at His feet. Listened enraptured to His words of truth and grace. It just doesn't get any better than that!!!

The *bottom line* of today's lesson is this: it is often good and necessary to be like Martha -- serving God by using your hands and feet. However, the greatest of all possible goals is to know Jesus -- REALLY know Him. To attain this goal, you need to sit quietly at His feet from time to time. Be WITH Jesus. Meditate upon the glorious nature of His Person. Then, like Mary, just shut up and listen.

May my meditation be sweet to Him.
I will be glad in the LORD.

(Psalm 104.34)

Dear Lord Jesus, shape in me a heart like Paul, like Mary. Stir in me a passion to know You better. May this become the consuming goal in my life. Forgive me for allowing busy service to eclipse You, the one I desire to please. Help me to spend frequent quiet times at Your feet. Then, when I rise up to serve You, may my heart always remain at Your feet, abiding in You, Amen.

Bible Lesson
April 21, 2004

Pressing on to Know Jesus

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)

In prior lessons, you have noted that humility is one of the relational realities that God wants to develop in your life so you can live daily by the grace of God. "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (James 4:6)

In today's Bible verses you see evidence of the Godly humility that had developed in the Apostle Paul through the years. "Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended."

When the Bible book of Philippians was written, Paul had been a devout believer in Jesus for 25 to 30 years. Yet, he felt that he had not yet attained a knowledge of his Savior to the extent needed so that his entire life could be a demonstration of resurrection living.

Consequently, Apostle Paul had one great goal that directed his life and service: "one thing I do." Namely, his all-consuming passion was to achieve an ever closer, ever more intimate walk with Jesus. Paul's all-consuming goal was: "that I may know Him." (Philippians 3:10)

One of the significant obstacles that can keep you from knowing Jesus better is your past.

  • Failures of the past can plague you with condemnation.
  • Wrongs done to you in the past can tempt you to self-pity or bitterness.
  • Past successes can give you false assurance that things must go well today.
  • Past blessings can distract you from seeking the Lord's fresh work in your life now.
  • But only if you let them!

By inspiration of God, Paul gives you a wonderful example of how to deal with the past: "forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead." Things of the past need not dominate your present. God's grace can cover past failures and pains. Today, you need to look forward to the next work of grace that God wants to bring forth as you walk on with Him.

  • Forget past failures
  • Reach forward to things which are ahead -- tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, and forever.

God commands you -- PRESS ON! LOOK UP! "I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

  • By orders from *Headquarters* {God Himself} your assigned goal is to know Jesus better and better, every day.
  • Press on toward your goal, using every ounce of the spiritual strength and energy that God's grace supplies you.
  • Along the way, you will partake of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
  • PRESS ON to a fuller knowledge of Jesus!
Lord Jesus, help me to forget things of the past that would distract me from You. I want to press ahead to get to know You better. Please reveal Yourself to me through Your Bible and Your Spirit. I humbly ask You to demonstrate Your grace in and through my life, in Your name, Amen.

Bible Lesson
April 22, 2004

Spiritual Insight for Knowing the God

Making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. (Ephesians 1:16-17)

The new covenant of grace by which you relate to God is designed to bring you an intimate knowledge of your Lord.

For you to grow in knowing God it is necessary that God reveal Himself to you. This is why Paul prayed for you as follows: "Making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of your Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him."

  • To grow your knowledge of God, you must be given heaven-sent spiritual insight: "that . . . God . . . may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation."
  • You cannot see God with your natural sight. "God alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see." (1 Timothy 6:16)
  • Neither can you know God by your natural wisdom. "The world through wisdom did not know God." (1 Corinthians 1:21)

Therefore, the things of God must be revealed to you by God Himself. "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to you through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God." (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)

  • Jesus rejoiced in the divine wisdom of this plan when He said: "I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight." (Luke 10:21)
  • In a conversation with Simon Peter, Jesus gave further emphasis to the fact that knowledge of God's nature MUST come from God Himself: "Simon Peter said, 'You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.' Jesus said to him, 'Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven'" (Matthew 16:16-17)

HOW can you know God better? To answer that question, take a brief look at two *major players* from the Old Testament -- namely, Abraham and King David. The Bible gives you some of the reasons why God revealed a LOT about Himself to these two folks...

  • The Bible refers to Abraham as *The Friend of God* -- "Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God." (James 2.23)
  • The Bible refers to David as *A Man after God's Own Heart* -- "God raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, 'I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.' " (Acts 13.22)

If you want to know God better, be His friend, like Abraham.

  • How did Abraham become God's friend? By believing Him. "Abraham believed God" (James 2.23a)
  • Now "belief" doesn't just mean accepting the fact of God's existence. Even the demons have that kind of belief: "You believe that there is one God? You do well. Even the demons believe--and tremble!" (James 2.19)
  • No, "belief" means TRUST. What kind of trust? The kind of trust that Abraham had, even though God commanded him to offer up his son, Isaac. "By faith Abraham, being tested, offered up Isaac... concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from where he even received him, in a figure." (Hebrews 11.17a, 11.19)

If you want to know God better, be a person after God's own heart, like David.

  • David showed a heart for God by doing God's will. "I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will." (Acts 13.22b)
  • Jesus emphasized this very same fact when He said: "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him." (John 14.23)
  • Moreover, David spent lots of TIME with God. Most of the Bible's book of Psalms consists of hymns that David wrote and sang while alone with God out in the countryside. David was assuredly: "the sweet psalmist of Israel" (2 Sam 23.1b)

BOTTOM LINE: To know God better...

  • Trust Him
  • Do His will
  • Spend much time alone with Him
Dear Lord, I long to know You more and more. I humbly confess that I need You to reveal Yourself to me. As I prayerfully read and study Your holy word, I pray that You would give to me the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You, Amen.

Bible Lesson
April 23 - 25, 2004

How to *Have it ALL*

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue. (2 Peter 1:2-3)

Your life is blessed whenever the Lord adds any of His blessings to your experience. Yet, there are times when you sense a need for God's blessings to be multiplied to you.

  • Know this for a certainty -- God desires to intensify His working toward you. "Grace and peace be multiplied to you."
  • The *raindrops of blessing* that God sends you may make your soul thirsty for more. MUCH more. God has promised you: "I will bring down the shower in its season. There shall be showers of blessing." (Ezekiel 34.26b)
  • Are you seeking SHOWERS of God's blessings? A torrential downpour, perhaps? Then know this -- God loves to pour forth in abundance. "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)

God's grace (His undeserved resource for living) is available to you in multiplied measures. God's peace (His heaven-sent spiritual tranquility) can be partaken of by you in magnified portions.

The process for partaking of the showers of God's blessings simply requires you to grow in the knowledge of your Lord.
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus your Lord."

Another astounding truth about believing in Jesus Christ is that you have already been given everything you need in order that you can grab hold of the abundant Christian life: "His divine power has given to you all things that pertain to life and godliness."

  • This is not to say that you are aware of everything that is yours-in-Jesus, or that you are experiencing all that is yours-in-Jesus.
  • Nonetheless, God has already given you every spiritual provision needed to live as He desires ("all things that pertain to life") and to grow in Christlikeness as He wills ("all things that pertain to . . . godliness").
  • To grab hold of God's comprehensive spiritual resources you must seek always to know Jesus better and better and better: "God's divine power has given to you all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Jesus."

It is by grace that you initially came to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior. As you get to know Him better and better, grace will be increasingly multiplied in your life.

When you first met Jesus, God bequeathed you everything that you need in order to live the abundant life. As you grow in knowing Jesus, you will gain greater and greater access to all that God has ALREADY given to you in Christ.

Yesterday's lesson gave you three key methods for attaining steady growth in the knowledge and love and grace of Lord Jesus. Those three methods deserve to be repeated...

To know God better...

  • Trust Him
  • Do His will
  • Spend much time alone with Him
Dear Lord of abundant blessings, I praise You for Your bountiful grace. So frequently I underestimate Your goodness to me. What a staggering thought that You have already given me, in Christ, all that I need for a godly life. O Lord, I long to grow in knowing You, that all of these heavenly realities might be manifested in my life, for Your glory and honor, Amen.

Bible Lesson
April 26, 2004

Experiencing the Lord's Goodness

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good.
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
(Psalm 34:8)

The Bible clearly declares that you should seek to know God better in order to develop an increasingly intimate relationship with Him.

  • Your goal of knowing God isn't for the purpose of merely cataloging correct information about Him.
  • God's grace and peace are to be "multiplied to you" (2 Peter 1:2), not just *memorized* by you.
  • "All things that pertain to life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3) are to be yours, so that you can experience the deepest joys of godly living.

As you grow in the knowledge and love of Christ Jesus, His goodness will be increasingly experienced in your life.

Today's Bible verse is quite forthright concerning this point.
"Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good."

  • The Lord IS good. He is merciful, kind, gracious, and patient. The Bible abounds with declarations of God's goodness. "Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever." (Psalm 107:1)
  • God's infinite goodness is to be experienced by all His children, including you. "My people shall be satisfied with My goodness." (Jeremiah 31:14).

You are to "taste and see" God's goodness, not only to hear of it and talk about it.

How do you experience the goodness of the Lord? The Bible's answer to this question is: "Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!"

  • God's goodness is available for your personal experience whenever you trust in Him. "Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men!" (Psalm 31:19)
  • When you trust in God, His goodness shall bring forth peace in your life. "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." (Isaiah 26:3)
  • When you *lean on God* for support, His goodness shall bring forth rejoicing in your life. "Our soul waits for the LORD. He is our help and our shield. Our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name." (Psalm 33:20-21)

Faith in God is the pathway to experiencing His goodness.

  • You have noted in a number of these Bible lessons that faith in God is one of the relational realities that allow you to live by His grace.
  • Faith accesses grace (Romans 5:2). "The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him." (Lamentations 3:25)

The better you know God, the more you will trust Him. The more that you trust God, the more you will EXPERIENCE His goodness and faithfulness.

"And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You." (Psalm 9:10)
Lord, You are so good! Too often I fail to experience Your goodness, because I do not trust in You. forgive me, Lord. I long to taste of Your goodness. Teach me to live in dependence upon You, in Jesus name, Amen.

Bible Lesson
April 27, 2004

Living as Jesus Lived

Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner... Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. (John 5:19 & 14:10)

You are to live by trusting in the goodness of the Lord. "Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!." (Psalm 34:8)

Jesus is the ultimate example of living by such trust. When you ask yourself, "What would Jesus do?" the Bible gives you the answer loud and clear. Read on!

Jesus lived by depending upon the intimate relationship He had with the Father:
"I am in the Father, and the Father in Me."

  • When Jesus spoke or took action, it was not on His own initiative or by His own resources. "The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works."
  • Although Jesus was God manifested in the flesh, He did not resort to using His power as God in order to deal with life in this sinful world. The Bible says that Jesus... "being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant." (Philippians 2:6-7)
  • Jesus lived as a dependent human servant, trusting in the Father to work in and through Him.
  • Many centuries before Jesus was born of a virgin, the Old Testament recorded the confessions that Jesus would make about His ministry here on earth: "For I shall be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and My God shall be My strength . . . The Lord God will help Me ; therefore I will not be disgraced." (Isaiah 49:5; 50:7)

Even before the foundation of the world, the Godhead decreed that God the Son, while manifested in human flesh, would live in dependency on the God the Father.

Therefore, when Jesus came into the world, He said: "Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Behold, I have come--In the volume of the book it is written of Me--To do Your will, O God." (Hebrews 10.5-7)

As it was between Jesus and the Father, so it is to be between you and the Father.

  • Jesus lived His human life by depending upon the Father, showing you how you are to live.
  • Jesus lived by trusting in the Father to work in and through Him. You are to look to the Father to do the same in and through you.

The LORD is on my side. I will not fear.
What can man do to me?
The LORD is for me among those who help me;
Therefore I shall see my desire on those who hate me.
It is better to trust in the LORD
Than to put confidence in man.
It is better to trust in the LORD
Than to put confidence in princes.

Psalm 118.6-9

Lord Jesus, my hope and my strength, I want to live as you lived. I want to face my life in this world as You did. I want to learn to depend upon the Father, even as You depended upon the Father. Teach me, Lord, I pray in Your name, Amen.

Bible Lesson
April 28, 2004

Knowing God by Feasting at His Table

Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. (2 Peter 3:18)

God's new covenant of grace is a covenant of relationship. That is the reason why Christianity is NOT a "religion." Instead, Christianity is a personal, one-on-One relationship between you and the living God.

God's grace is available to enable you to grow in spiritual intimacy with your Savior.

  • "Grow in the grace and knowledge of your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." In this Bible verse, notice that your growth in God's grace is linked to your growth in how well you know Jesus.
  • By God's grace, you were born again. Thus, you became a *spiritual infant* in Christ.
  • Now -- by the grace of God -- you are to grow-up to *spiritual adulthood* by virtue of an ever-increasing knowledge of Jesus.
  • The most strategic area of your spiritual growth is your progress in achieving a deepening relationship with your Lord : "that you may have a walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him . . . and increasing in the knowledge of God." (Colossians 1:10)

From the physical standpoint, a child needs plenty of nourishing food in order to grow-up to healthy adulthood. The same is true from the spiritual standpoint.

  • You were born again to spiritual childhood.
  • To *grow-up* spiritually you must have plenty of nourishing food; and that food is God's Bible. "As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby." (1 Peter 2:2)
  • It is through the Bible that you learn of the grace of God. The word of God is "the word of His grace." (Acts 20:32)
  • Also, the word of God has the Lord Jesus Christ as the constant, primary subject. "And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, Jesus expounded to them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself." (Luke 24:27).

Of course, the Holy Spirit is the Person who guides you into all of these great truths of the Lord Jesus. Jesus said: "When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth . . . He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you." (John 16:13-14)

God's will for your life is that you shall feast daily upon His Word. This allows you to grow in His grace that you might know Him better.

The Bible is one of the main provisions that your Heavenly Father has given you, to help you grow up sound and strong.

"Thus says the LORD: Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight." (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

Bottom Line: One really good way for you to grow in the grace and knowledge of Lord Jesus is to sit down at God's table, and feast on the delicious food to be had in His glorious Bible.

Ho, every one that thirsteth,
Come ye to the waters,
And he that hath no money;
Come ye, buy, and eat!

Yea, come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price!!!

Wherefore do ye spend money
For that which is not bread?
And your labor for that which satisfieth not?

Hearken diligently unto Me,
And eat ye that which is good.
Let your soul delight itself in fatness!

(Isaiah 55.1-2)

Dear God and beloved Father, I want to dine always at Your table. Feed my spirit and teach me by Your Word. Forgive me for spending time and labor for that which is not bread. By Your grace, through the bread of life which is Your Word, make me grow in knowing You, Amen.

Bible Lesson
April 29, 2004

Serving God... by His Grace

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves
To think of anything as being from ourselves,
But our sufficiency is from God,
Who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant.
(2 Corinthians 3:5-6)

When you live by the new covenant of grace, God impacts your life.

  • God makes you sufficient by His grace at work in you. "Our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant."
  • Because of God, you are made sufficient {enabled} to be a *minister* of His new covenant.
  • A "minister" is a SERVANT. God's grace has endowed you with His Spirit and the inherent ability to serve Him.
  • How do you serve God? You do so primarily by serving your fellow man, that's how.
  • Your "sufficiency" to do the works of God stems from His grace at work on you, in you, and through you.

The grace of God is brought to you through the Lord Jesus Christ. "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. . . full of grace and truth." (John 1:14)

  • When Jesus came to earth as "God manifested in the flesh," He came overflowing with the grace of God.
  • This abundance of grace in Christ is to be your ongoing spiritual provision for living the Christian life. "And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace." (John 1:16)
  • One work of God's grace, built upon another work of His grace, is to mark your pilgrimage day by day.

The grace of God justifies and sanctifies your life. "And now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified." (Acts 20:32)

God's grace, held forth by His word, brought about your new birth. When you believed on the Lord Jesus, you were forever justified (declared not guilty, righteous in God's sight).

  • Thereby, you obtained the spiritual inheritance of the children of God: "the word of His grace, which is able to . . . give you an inheritance."
  • This same grace of God has now become your heavenly resource for growing sanctification (that is, growing in godliness): "the word of His grace, which is able to build you up."

Part of your sanctification involves being set free from the dominating influence of sin in your life. God's grace provides this liberating reality. "For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace." (Romans 6:14)

As you learn to live by God's grace, instead of by your own best performance, the grace of God will work deep within you, bringing spiritual stability to your inner self. "It is good that the heart be established by grace." (Hebrews 13:9)

You were saved through God's unmerited grace toward you -- not as a result of any worthiness, effort, or ability on your part.

Out of gratitude for this free gift, you should seek to help and serve others with kindness, charity, and goodness, and not merely to please yourself.

You do not serve God in order to STAY SAVED, but because you ARE SAVED.

For by grace you have been saved through faith,
And that not of yourselves;
It is the gift of God,
Not of works, lest anyone should boast.
For we are His workmanship,
Created in Christ Jesus for good works,
Which God prepared beforehand
That we should walk in them.

(Ephesians 2.8-10)

Lord God of abounding grace, give me spiritual eyes to see and a humble heart to receive all the ways You want to mark my life by Your grace. Bestow on me a servant's heart, that I shall walk daily in the glorious works that You have decreed for me, in Jesus name, Amen.

Bible Lesson
April 30, 2004

Christian Basics: The Bible - 1

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 word "inspiration in 2 Timothy 3.16 is translated from the Greek word theopneustos which means "God-breathed."

  • Thus, when God chose a person to write one of the books of His Bible, He breathed the words of that Bible book into that person.
  • God used 40 people to write the various books of His Bible.
  • People were the Bible's writers. God alone is the Bible's Author. 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 1.20-21)

God breathed into His writers the EXACT words that He wanted in His Bible. The formal theological term for this doctrine is *Plenary Verbal Inspiration* --

  • Psalm 68:11 -- The Lord gave the word; Great was the company of those who proclaimed it.
  • Hebrews 1.1 -- God... spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets.
  • Acts 1.16 -- this Scripture . . . which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David
  • 1 Corinthians 2.13 -- These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
  • Galatians 1.11-12 -- I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.

The 40 people that God inspired to write His Bible came from many backgrounds SUCH AS teachers, shepherds, fishers, tax collectors, and so forth.

Each of these writers had his own vocabulary and cultural style. This fact presented no problem to God. God is the Creator of language, and Master of all styles. He gave His Word using the styles of David, Peter, Paul, and all the other writers -- YET God's Word remained GOD's Word. "The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, And His word was on my tongue." (2 Samuel 23.2)

  • A musician picks up a trombone and blows his breath through it, producing a "trombone sound. He picks up a trumpet and produces a "trumpet sound."
  • Each instrument produces a different sound, but it is the musician's breath which flows through the instrument, and the musician's music that the instrument plays.
  • So also did God breathe His Word through the human instruments of David, Peter, Paul, and the others. Each human instrument had his own unique vocabulary and "style," but God alone is the Bible's Author.

God inspired His writers to record some things that they themselves neither could know nor understand. The prophet Daniel often admitted that he didn't understand what he was writing. Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, "My lord, what shall be the end of these things?" (Daniel 12.8)

  • Suppose that you are a college student, sitting at a lecture given by an expert scientist. You diligently take notes of the lesson that he is giving.
  • Later you sit and read the notes you wrote, studying diligently to understand the sense of what you were taught.
  • This scenario would prove that you are the pupil but not the master; you are the writer, but not the teacher.
  • And the same sort of scenario was true of the writers whom God inspired to write His Bible --- "Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow." (1 Peter 1.10-11)

You can trust your Bible because it is the very Word of God. It is a letter of love and instruction from your Father in Heaven, written especially for YOU.

Dear Father, from the bottom of my heart I thank you for Your Bible. Please open my heart and mind to study it often, in fellowship with You. Help me to understand Your Word, and to live and obey that which You teach me. In Christ's Name, Amen.


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