A. The Bible evidences itself to be God’s Word by the heavenliness of its doctrine, the unity of its parts, its power to convert sinners and to edify saints; but the Spirit of God only, bearing witness by and with the Scriptures in our hearts, is able fully to persuade us that the Bible is the Word of God. (1 Cor. 2:6,7,13; Ps. 119:18, 129; Acts 10:43, 26:22; Acts 18:28; Heb 4:12; Ps. 19:7-9; Rom. 15:4; John 16:13,14; 1 John 2:20-27; 2 Cor. 3:14-17)
NATURAL WAYS WE KNOW THAT THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD
The Bible evidences itself to be God’s Word by…
I. THE HEAVENLINESS OF ITS DOCTRINE
ISAIAH 55:8-9 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
“The mystery of Scripture is so [perplexing] and profound that no man or angel could have known it, had it not been divinely revealed. That eternity—should be born; that he who thunders in the heavens—should cry in the cradle; that he who rules the stars—should suck the breasts; that the Prince of Life—should die; that the Lord of Glory—should be put to shame; that sin should be punished to the full—yet pardoned to the full; who could ever have conceived of such a mystery, had not the Scripture revealed it to us?” – Thomas Watson. Works. Monergism Books. Kindle Edition.
II. THE UNITY OF ITS PARTS
40 authors, spanning 1,400 years, all with one message: “God is holy, man is not, Christ Jesus came to save sinners, we must turn from sin to faith in God’s Savior.”
ACTS 26:22-23 22 To this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so I stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come to pass: 23 that the Christ must suffer and that, by being the first to rise from the dead, he would proclaim light both to our people and to the Gentiles.
ROMANS 4:2-6 “2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: 7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; 8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”
III. ITS POWER TO CONVERT SINNERS
HEBREWS 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
1 PETER 1:23-25 “you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, 25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.” And this word is the good news that was preached to you.”
ACTS 2:37 “Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”
MARTIN LUTHER: I beat importunately upon Paul at that place, most ardently desiring to know what St. Paul wanted. At last, by the mercy of God, meditating day and night, I gave heed to the context of the words, namely, “In it the righteousness of God is revealed, as it is written, ‘He who through faith is righteous shall live.’” There I began to understand that the righteousness of God is that by which the righteous lives by a gift of God, namely by faith. And this is the meaning: the righteousness of God is revealed by the gospel, namely, the passive righteousness with which merciful God justifies us by faith, as it is written, “He who through faith is righteous shall live.” Here I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates. There a totally other face of the entire Scripture showed itself to me.” – The Legacy of Luther, Sproul and Nichols, Reformation Trust
CHARLES SPURGEON: lifting up his hands, [the man] shouted, as only a Primitive Methodist could do, “Young man, look to Jesus Christ. Look! Look! Look! You have nothin’ to do but to look and live.” I saw at once the way of salvation. I know not what else he said,—I did not take much notice of it,—I was so possessed with that one thought. Like as when the brazen serpent was lifted up, the people only looked and were healed, so it was with me. I had been waiting to do fifty things, but when I heard that word, “Look!” what a charming word it seemed to me! Oh! I looked until I could almost have looked my eyes away. There and then the cloud was gone, the darkness had rolled away, and that moment I saw the sun; and I could have risen that instant, and sung with the most enthusiastic of them, of the precious blood of Christ, and the simple faith which looks alone to Him. Oh, that somebody had told me this before, “Trust Christ, and you shall be saved.” Yet it was, no doubt, all wisely ordered, and now I can say,— “Ever since by faith I saw the stream Thy flowing wounds supply, Redeeming love has been my theme, And shall be till I die.” – Charles Spurgeon, Autobiography: The Early Years, Banner of Truth
IV. ITS POWER TO EDIFY SAINTS
LUKE 24:25-27, 30-32 “25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. . . . 30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”
EPHESIANS 2:19-21 19 you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.
NATHAN COLE: “And my hearing [George Whitefield] preach gave me a heart wound; by Gods blessing my old foundation was broken up, and I saw that my righteousness would not save me, then I was convinced of the doctrine of Election.” – George Leon Walker, Some Aspects of the Religious Life of New England (New York: Silver, Burnett, and Company, 1897), 89–92.
THE SUPERNATURAL WAY WE KNOW THAT THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD
I. But the Spirit of God only, bearing witness by and with the Scriptures in our hearts, is able fully to persuade us that the Bible is the Word of God.
2 CORINTHIANS 2:13 “And we impart [wisdom] in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.”
2 CORINTHIANS 3:14-17 14 But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 JOHN 2:20 “But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.”
Beloved, it is not enough to know the Scriptures and trust that they are the word of God.
JOHN 5:39-40 “39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.”
You must go to Jesus is faith, whom the whole Bible reveals! Your GPS can tell you exactly how to get to the Grand Canyon, but you have to go there to see it. The Bible tells you perfectly how to have eternal life, but you have to go to Jesus to get it.