The Basis for Belief – 2 Peter 1:16-21

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Grace Bible Church

The Basis for Belief – 2 Peter 1:16-21

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Pastor Scott L. Harris

Grace Bible Church, NY

September 20, 2009

The Basis for Belief

2 Peter 1:16-21

Introduction

In John 19 the apostle records the dialogue between Jesus and Pontius Pilate prior to the crucifixion. Pilate asks Jesus, “So you are a King?” Jesus replied, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate then made a remark that is even today one of the great questions of mankind. Pilate asked, “What is truth?”

What is truth? Every man and woman that has ever lived has had to deal with this question because every human behavior is ultimately guided by what that man and woman believes to be true. We tell our kids to eat their vegetables. Why? Because we believe they are good for your health. When tell them, “Stay away from that!” Why? Because we believe that something (fire, power tools, bad influences) will bring them harm. We encourage others to vote for this particular politician and not for that one. Why? Because we believe this politician will do a better job than the other candidate (or more perhaps more accurately, we believe this politician will not mess things up as much as the other candidate). We buy this particular product instead of the other one because for various reasons we think it will be better for us. From the simple to the complex, from the mundane and inconsequential to the extraordinary and life changing, our decisions are ultimately grounded in our perceptions of what is true. We live according to our system of belief.

What is truth? Our perception of it is the foundation for our every action, but are our perceptions correct? Is what we are believing really true? Is it in accordance to reality, or are we believing lies? Sometimes it is not easy and perhaps impossible to figure out what is true. Many who have sat in a jury box have found that out. Sometimes it is because of contradictory information. I recall the McMartin Preschool trial in Los Angeles some years ago. 15 million dollars and 2 1/2 years were spent trying to answer the question about what did or did not happen there. In the end, the jury could not tell what was true and what was false, so they acquitted the defendants. At other times it is because of a lack of information. One of my mom’s co-workers served on the jury for the O.J. Simpson trial. She was very upset when it was over to find out how much evidence had been kept from her – evidence that would have resulted in a different verdict.

What is truth? It is a question vital to our existence for to believe incorrectly can result in death. The common illustration of this is taking medication. You must make sure you are taking the correct drug in the correct amount or serious injury or death could result. A more graphic example occurred while I was still living in California. There was a man who was well known for his sky diving photography. He had made thousands of jumps and on this particular day he was video taping a sky dive with some friends. The video is normal until just before the end of the tape when the shots become extremely erratic and then abruptly end. It turned out this professional sky diver had jumped without his parachute. He sincerely believed he had it on, but his belief was false and it cost him his life.

Truth is vital to your existence, and if it is vital to your physical well being, then it is even more vital to your spiritual existence and well being. What is your answer to the following questions? What is life all about? What will happen when you die? Where will you spend eternity? Why do you believe you will get there? How do you know what you are believing is correct? Are you believing a lie or the truth? Could there be anything more tragic than stand before God to be judged and only find out then, much too late, that what you have sincerely believed is actually a lie?

What is Truth? How do we know it is true? Turn in your Bibles to 2 Peter 1 as we examine this morning what God’s word says about the basis for our belief.

Review

Over the last several sermons we have been going through the first chapter of 2 Peter and some related passages. We have been dealing with some of the very basics of the Christian life and today’s sermon has the same theme. Knowing the foundation for our faith, the basis of our belief, is vital to living for Christ.

In 2 Peter 1:1-2 Peter tells us that his desire for us is that we have grace and peace increased in our lives. That grace and peace will be increased as we get to know God better. (See: Introduction to 2 Peter)

In verses 3 & 4 Peter tells us what God has already done for us. Stated simply, God, by His divine power, has already given us everything that is needed to live life in a godly manner. Nothing is lacking. His power to live the Christian life is unleashed as we get to know and trust God more. In addition, God has given us His precious and magnificent promises which we can hold on too as absolute truth. By those promises we can become more Christlike in our character and escape the bondage of the sin that controls this world. (See: Power for Living – 2 Peter 1:1-4)

In verses 5-11, Peter tells us that though God has already provided everything we need, there is still a part for us to do. We have to be obedient to do what God says. Obedience is what plugs us into the power source. It is by obedience that we add to our faith the character qualities of moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and agape love. Obedience also keeps faith active and alive with a vision for the present and future. Disobedience leads to short-sightedness and eventually to spiritual blindness. (See: Steps to Maturity – 2 Peter 1:5-9) Obedience also gives us a subjective assurance of salvation for it keeps us from sin and the guilt sin brings.(See: Assurance of Salvation – 2 Peter 1:10-11)

In verses 12-15 Peter tells his readers that he will always be ready to remind them of these truths even though they have heard them before. Peter wants to stir them up by way of reminder so that they will remember the truth and live according to it after he is gone. Why should they live according to what Peter told them? Because Peter told them the truth! (See: Remembering What You Know -2 Peter 1:12-15)

In our passage for today, Peter stresses that what he and the other Apostles have told them is the truth. What he has told them has been in strict agreement with reality.

Fables

2 Peter 1:16a

Let’s begin with 2 Peter 1:16. Peter says, “For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Stop there.

Peter says, “We have not told you fables.” Fables is from muqoV / muthos. We get our word myth from it. Peter did not get his information from myths which are the inventions of man which tell fictional stories to try to explain the world. Myths were the hallmark of both the Greek and Roman religious systems. Multitudes of stories were made up about the actions and activities of the various gods and goddesses in their religious pantheon that tried to explain why things were like they were in the world. The sun was the chariot of Apollo going across the sky. Evil came about because Pandora opened a box and let all the evil things out. Wars were won or lost depending on the favor of particular gods or goddesses. The world stays up because it is supported on the shoulders of Atlas. Man has fire because Prometheus stole it from the Gods. Crops succeed or fail based on the whims of various gods particularly Dionysus and Demeter. You fall in love and have children due to the intervention of Eros and Aphrodite, etc. The mythology of the Greeks and Romans is no longer believed (except by a few), but at the time of Paul those myths were thought to be absolutely true by many. People lived and behaved according to their belief of those myths.

There are many other myths created by man to explain the world. Some are very old and some are relatively new, or are at least new versions of old stories. They are just as fictitious as the ancient myths of the Greeks and Romans and yet they are believed today by many to be true. Let me give you a couple of examples.

The New Age movement is generally a collection of Eastern-influenced metaphysical thought systems and it has many subdivisions. It has become fairly established in America and with it many of the ideas of eastern mysticism are commonly accepted by people in western societies. Among these are Yoga, Transcendental Meditation and reincarnation. The New Age movement has repackaged Yoga as a form of physical exercise, but its core is still a religious exercise of aligning the Kundalini force through physical positioning and stretching and meditation. Transcendental Meditation is now promoted as a relaxation technique, but its core is also still spiritual in emptying yourself which allows anything to come in. Reincarnation is so widely believed that even a large percentage of people claiming to be born again Christians also think they will be reincarnated in the future. I will talk more about these things in the future when we start exposing the foundations of modern false teachers and their teachings.

Hinduism itself has many myths including several creation stories. In one there is the union of the primeval man and woman or birth of the “Golden Seed.” Another story, told in the Bhagavad-Gita, god generates the world as the seed or egg fertilizing himself. In yet another Hindu story, in the beginning everything was water. Above the water rose the tree “Teri-Ramula.” After time passed a worm started to eat the tree and the dust from it fell into the water and slowly the world formed. Finally the tree fell, the bark on the lower side becoming the skin of the world. The bark on the top became the skin of the sky and the trunk became rock and the branches the hills.

There are of course lots of other myths and fables. Each claim to be true, but they have no basis in reality and are simply the inventions of men’s minds. Millions of people believe these various myths suffer the tragic results. Some live in unending guilt. Some are pessimistic, some are apathetic and some even nihilistic about life, death and eternity. Others live in despair with their only hope in somehow escaping from reality and being removed from conscious existence. The world currently suffers because of a myth in Islam.

One of the teachings of Islam is the promise of paradise and 70 virgins to those who die in Jihad. This is the only guarantee of heaven in Islam so that becomes an attractive offer in itself. Since some Imams have said that dying as a suicide bomber qualifies to receive the promise, there have been many who have strapped explosives to their bodies and blown themselves up trying to kill as many of their enemies as possible. But there are no virgins and they are in a place quite different from paradise as they await in torment for God’s final judgment which will send them to a Christless eternity.

A more modern myth is Evolution. We will elaborate on this in a couple of weeks when we discuss more fully the results this myth has brought. It myths include: An earth that is 5 billion years old, give or take a billion years. Life generating itself from non-life. Animals evolving from bacteria and algae. Vertebrate animals coming from the invertebrates. Birds evolving from dinosaurs. Man evolving from apes. Evolution is a modern mythology. Though it does not even qualify as a scientific theory, only a hypothesis, it is taught as fact in our public schools and countless programs, documentaries, and presentations. We all understand that the formula of: Frog + Kiss of Princess = Prince is a fairy tale. Yet the formula of Frog + Time & Chance = Man is taught as truth, but it is only myth of evolution.

What Peter is proclaiming is not a myth or fairy tale. It is not the invention of men. It is something quite different.

Eyewitnesses

.- 2 Peter 1:16-19

Peter says that what the Apostles have told about Jesus Christ is absolutely true because they were eyewitnesses of what they have reported. They were simply proclaiming what they had seen and heard. Peter says, “For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, ‘This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased’- and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. And so we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.”

Matthew 17:1-8 records the event Peter is describing here. “And six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and brought them up to a high mountain by themselves. And He transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. And Peter answered and said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud over shadowed them; and behold, a voice out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him!’ And when the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were much afraid. And Jesus came to them and touched then as said, ‘Arise, and do not be afraid.’ And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one, except Jesus Himself alone.” (See also Mark 9:1-8 and Luke 9:28-36)

Peter says that he, along with James and John were eyewitnesses of this event. It is something that really happened. It could even be verified in a court of law because it is on the testimony of two or three witnesses that the reality of a report or event would be established (Deuteronomy 19:15). The apostle John says something similar to Peter in 1 John 1:1-4, “What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of Life – and the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us – what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, that you also may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father; and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write, so that our joy may be made complete.”

John claims just as Peter does to be an eyewitness of the life of Jesus Christ. Both knew how Jesus lived, what He said, what He promised, how He died and how He rose again from the dead. These apostles are passing these truths on to us in what they have written and those truths are attested to by multiple witnesses.

This is something that is not true of these mythical religions. There were no eyewitnesses to attest to the truthfulness of any of the mythical stories of the Greeks and Romans. There is no claim of witnesses to the founding of what is now Hinduism. In Buddhism, Sidhatta Gautama was alone when he got his revelation of the four noble truths upon which that religion was based. Joseph Smith, founder of Mormonism, was alone when he found the golden tablets and had them interpreted by the angel Maroni. Since there were no witnesses to this event it is no wonder Mormonism is filled with so many other myths when the event that started it is a mythological invention of Joseph Smith.

Evolution is the same way. There are no witnesses to it. The evidence used to try to prove it are carefully selected observations and facts twisted and forced into the hypothesis which are then woven together in just so stories limited only by the imagination of man. Evolution is a myth, a philosophical invention of man that strives to explain the world apart from God. The sad part is that the very science used to support it actually contradicts it, yet modern man is so caught up in it that he believes the myth to be true.

For example, the finches of the Galapagos islands were used by Darwin as evidence of one species evolving into multiple species because he observed that there was a noticeable variation in the size and shape of their beaks on different islands. On the basis of these physical differences he concluded they were different species. The truth is that careful study of these finch populations demonstrate they are all just one species of finch which has variation in the size and shape of beaks. The dominance of a particular type of beak varies with the type of food supply available, but within even that population there are a wide variety of beak types. As conditions change on an island due to weather variations such as years of drought, so does the dominance of a particular type of beak within the finch population. Darwin’s evidence of evolution turns out not to be multiple species of finches, but just one species of finch which has the genetic information for a wide variety of beak types.

Let me quickly add that even if we granted the claim that isolated populations of animals that no longer breed with other isolated populations of the same animal are different species, a process referred to as speciation, such would not be evidence of evolution. Darwin’s finches are still finches even to those that want to claim them as different species. They have not changed into some other type of animal and they arose from finches, not lizards. Speciation is not the same as evolution. Speciation is the expression of certain morphological characteristics within a population as compared to a different population of the same animal. There is no new genetic information gained, only the expression of particular genetic information already in the animal. Often, these physical differences are due to the loss of genetic information. An example of this are domestic dogs. A Chihuahua and a Great Dane are very different from each other physically, but they are both still dogs and part of the larger group of Canines which include wolves, dingos, coyotes, jackals. All of these can interbreed with one another. In short, they are all just different types of dogs. Again, I will speak more about this issue of evolution in a few weeks.

Peter, John and even Paul attests to the fact that there were many witnesses to the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. These things were recorded in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul remarks that the resurrected Christ was seen by Peter, then the other Apostles, to James, to over 500 brethren at one time, and finally by Paul himself. In Acts 26:26 Paul tells Governor Festus that King Agrippa knows about all the events concerning Jesus because “this has not been done in a corner.” In other words, Paul is saying these things were common knowledge throughout Judea and the surrounding territories. The facts concerning Jesus Christ & His teachings have been proven true by many witnesses.

When it comes to creation, the witnesses are God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. So if you want to know the answers to questions about origins, they are the ones you must go to for they were there. They are the eyewitnesses.

What is truth? That which conforms to actual reality and not just perceptions of it. Our knowledge of truth is made sure by eyewitness testimony. Here Peter says that the prophetic word, which was already certain, is made more certain because they were eyewitnesses of the transfiguration of Jesus and heard the confirmation of God declaring, This is My beloved Son with whom I am well pleased.” They had seen the fulfillment of what had been previously prophesied, so we will do well to pay attention to both the words of the prophets and what Peter says about their fulfillment in Jesus Christ.

We should be as attentive to the Scriptures as we would to a lamp shining in a dark place. David gives a similar description of the Scriptures in Psalm 119:105 saying, “Thy word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” Only the area around the lamp is illuminated so that we can see which allows us to both accomplish our purposes and avoid the obstacles that would cause us to stumble if we were still in the dark. Paul also used this analogy in 2 Corinthians 4:6 saying, “For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” We will be in need of the revelation of God that occurs in the Scriptures in order to walk as children of light (Ephesians 5:8) until Jesus Christ, the bright morning star (Revelation 22:16) returns and we are changed from mortal and corruptible to immortal and incorruptible when we are transformed into His image forevermore (1 Corinthians 15:51-54; 1 John 3:2).

Inspiration

2 Peter 1:20-21

But the writings of Scripture having an even stronger attestation that they are true than just the testimony of Peter, John and the other apostles. They are inspired by God Himself. Look at 2 Peter 1:20-21. “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”

The scriptures did not come by man’s desire. They did not come because someone thought them up. They came because God the Holy Spirit directed men to compose and record without error God’s revelation to man in the words of the original autographs, and yet do so according to their own personalities and style. Paul described this in 2 Timothy 3:16 saying, “All Scripture is inspired by God (literally “God breathed”). Scripture is not the product of humans, but of God Himself.

The Bible is unique among all writings. Other religions have sacred books, but none of them compare to the Bible. Consider the following:

*The Bible claims to be the Word of God. The phrase “Thus says the Lord” occurs 308 times in the Old Testament ( “says the Lord” – 480 times). The “word of the Lord” occurs 239 times in the OT and 15 in NT. The “the word of God” is used 5 times in the OT and 42 times in the NT. Passages such as Psalm 19 and Psalm 119 describe it in detail as coming from God.

*The Bible is the best preserved book from antiquity even though there have been numerous attempts to destroy it, pervert it, deny it and prevent it from being read. There are over 5,300 Greek manuscripts of the New Testament with thousands more early manuscripts in early translations with time spans of less than 100 years separating the originals from the earliest copies. The closest any other ancient writings comes to this is the Iliad of which there are 643 manuscript copies with the earliest 500 years later than the original. The accuracy of the Old Testament is attested to by the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls which date to the first century AD. The earliest Hebrew manuscripts know prior to this were the Massoretic texts which date from about 900 – 1,000 AD. Gleason Archer said that the texts are identical word for word more than 95% of the time with the remaining being “obvious slips of the pen and variations in spelling.” Comparison with the Septuagint, the Greek translation dating back to the second century B.C., also shows the reliability of the transmission of the Massoretic text. No other ancient book compares with the Bible as to quantity and reliability of its text.

*The Bible is the most read of all books despite prohibitions against it. It has been translated into more languages than anything else. It is the most influential book of all time despite the denials of its authority.

*The Bible was written over a period of 1500 years by 40 different authors, yet is unified in theme and purpose.

*The Bible is unsurpassed in the subjects it speaks of; the quality and variety of literature in it, and its realistic treatment of man’s condition. It is not the kind of book a man would produce even if he could.

*The prophets of the Bible had to be 100% accurate or they would be stoned (Deuteronomy 13:1-5; 18:22). No other religion requires this kind of accuracy from its prophets.

*No Archeological find has ever been proven to contradict the Bible’s historical accuracy. There have been many claims over the years, but as the claims are examined they end up being proven false and the Bible true.

*No discovery by use of the scientific method has ever contradicted anything in the Bible. What so often is presented as science that contradicts the Bible quickly reduces down to philosophical assertions, not actual science. The truth is the Bible revealed many things more than a thousand years before being discovered by science including the earth is round, the hydrological cycle, the law of the conservation of matter and energy, the law of increasing entropy, springs in the ocean, atmospheric circulation, animals reproduce after their own kind and life is in the blood.

*The Bible claims to be completely adequate to meet all of man’s spiritual needs. It answers all of man’s great philosophical questions.

Lewis Sperry Chafer wrote, “It is not such a book as man would write if he could, or could write if he would.” In other words, man is not capable of writing a book such as the Bible by himself, and if he was, he would not write it.”

Conclusion

While finite man cannot comprehend an infinite God, the Bible gives man a vast and adequate revelation which contains all that God wants man to know presently (Deuteronomy 29:29; 1 Corinthians 13:12; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:3; Revelation 10:4). The Bible is not a collection of myths and stories. It is not the invention of man. It is the product of the Holy Spirit working through man. I have complete confidence that it is true. Jesus proclaimed it to be true (John 17:17). It is verified by eyewitness, and God is not a man that He should lie nor the son of man that He should change His mind (Numbers 23:19). It reveals what is good and what is evil exposing our own hearts and directing us how to live.

The question now is what do you do with it? Claiming to believe it but not living according to it is worthless. Remember, that people do behave according to what they really believe regardless of their claims. Your fruit will reveal your actual beliefs. Heed Peters advice in verse 17, “you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place.”.

Are you a student of the Bible so that you can know the truth and follow God? Are you spending the time in His word as you should, or are you distracted by the world’s enticements and deceptions? You make that choice every day and will reap the consequences good or bad depending on your choice.

Let me conclude today with a challenge to each of you that if you are not doing so already, that you spend daily time in the Scriptures. And then apply the principles and precepts in what you are reading to your life. If you have never read through the entire Bible before, the

Bible Survey class, which starts tomorrow at 7 pm, is a good opportunity to do so with others and be able to gain an overall knowledge and understanding of God’s word.

KIDS CORNER

Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – 1) Write down all the verses mentioned. 2) Count how many times “Bible,” “Scripture,” or “word of God” are mentioned. 3) Talk with your parents about the importance of knowing and applying what the Bible says in your own life.

 

THINK ABOUT IT!

Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. What is truth and why is it so important to your physical, mental and spiritual well being? Why can be hard to know the truth? Answer the following three questions: What is life all about? What will happen when you die? Where will you spend eternity? How do you know your answer to those questions is true? What is a fable / myth? What were the commonly believed myths at the time of Peter’s life? What are some myths from eastern mysticism (the New Age Movement) that are commonly believed in America today? What has been the result of the Islamic myth that those who die in Jihad will gain paradise and be given 70 virgins? How is evolution a myth? What is the importance of eyewitnesses in establishing truth? To what was Peter and other apostles eyewitnesses? Why is this important? Are their multiple eyewitnesses to the revelation claims of other religions? To evolution? Do “Darwin’s finches” of the Galapagos Islands demonstrate evolution – why or why not? What is the fundamental difference between what is called speciation and evolution? Why is it important to pay attention to the Scriptures? How are they analogous to a lamp? What is the origin of the Scriptures? What are some of the ways in which the Bible is unique among all writings? What is the danger of claiming to believe the Bible and yet not live according to what it says? Are you spending adequate time in God’s word or are you distracted by the world’s enticements and deceptions? What needs to change?

 

Sermon Notes

– 9/20/2009

The Basis of Belief – 2 Peter 1:16-21

Introduction

Every human behavior is ultimately guided by what that man and woman _______________to be true

Is your ________________of what is true in accordance with reality or are you believing lies?

Truth is vital to ___________ existence for to believe incorrectly can result serious injury or even death.

Truth is even more vital to your _____________ existence and well being than to your physical.

Review

2 Peter 1:1-15

Peter desires his readers to ___________ in grace and peace – which happens as we know God better

God has already provided what we need to live in __________by His divine power and precious promises

By ____we are to add to our faith character qualities that mark Christian maturity and assure our salvation

It is good to be ____________of truth we have previously learned so that we do not forget to live properly

Fables

2 Peter 1:16a

Fables is from mu’qo” / muthos. We get our word ________ from it – fictional stories to explain the world

__________ were the hallmark of both the Greek and Roman religious system

There are many different myths still commonly ____________ by different men

The New Age movement has repackaged eastern mystical ___________to be accepted by western cultures

_____is repackaged as physical exercise. Transcendental Meditation is promoted as a relaxation technique

________________ is widely believed even by people professing to be Christians

Hinduism has multiple ___________ myths

An Islamic myth promising paradise & 70 virgins to those dying in _____has resulted in suicide terrorists

The modern myth of ______________ has resulted in the belief of many things that are not factually true

Eyewitnesses

.- 2 Peter 1:16-19

Peter and others were _____________________ of what he has reported about Jesus Christ

Matthew 17:1-8 – the _________________ (see also Mark 9:1-8 and Luke 9:28-36)

Truth is established in the mouth of two or three __________________ – Deuteronomy 19:15

_____________ was also an eye witness of the transfiguration and Jesus’ life – 1 John 1:1-4

There are not multiple witnesses to the revelation claims of ___________ religions – or evolution

Evolution is a ____________________invention of man that strives to explain the world apart from God

Darwin’s finches are all the ____________ species with variations of beak shape and size

Speciation express genetic information already _______while evolution requires new genetic information

There were ______witnesses to the life, teachings, death & resurrection of Jesus – 1 Cor. 15:5-8; Acts 26:26

The only eyewitnesses of ________________ are God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit

We should be as attentive to ________as we would to a lamp in a dark place (See Psalm 119:105; 2 Cor. 4:6)

Inspiration

2 Peter 1:20-21

The Holy Spirit directed men to write in their own style _______what God revealed to them – 2 Tim. 3:16

The Bible is _____________ among all writings:

It claims to be the word of __________ It is the best ______________ book from antiquity

It is the most ____________ , translated and influential book of all time

It was written over a period of 1500 years by 40 different authors, yet is ________in theme and purpose

It is ___________in the subjects addressed, variety & quality of literature, and realistic treatment of man

Biblical prophets had to be ______________ accurate or risk being stoned to death

No Archeological find has ever been proven to ____________ it

No discovery by use of the scientific method has ever _________________ anything in the Bible

It is ______________to meet all of man’s spiritual needs answering all the great philosophical questions

KIDS CORNER

Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – 1) Write down all the verses mentioned. 2) Count how many times “Bible,” “Scripture,” or “word of God” are mentioned. 3) Talk with your parents about the importance of knowing and applying what the Bible says in your own life.

THINK ABOUT IT!

Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. What is truth and why is it so important to your physical, mental and spiritual well being? Why can be hard to know the truth? Answer the following three questions: What is life all about? What will happen when you die? Where will you spend eternity? How do you know your answer to those questions is true? What is a fable / myth? What were the commonly believed myths at the time of Peter’s life? What are some myths from eastern mysticism (the New Age Movement) that are commonly believed in America today? What has been the result of the Islamic myth that those who die in Jihad will gain paradise and be given 70 virgins? How is evolution a myth? What is the importance of eyewitnesses in establishing truth? To what was Peter and other apostles eyewitnesses? Why is this important? Are their multiple eyewitnesses to the revelation claims of other religions? To evolution? Do “Darwin’s finches” of the Galapagos Islands demonstrate evolution – why or why not? What is the fundamental difference between what is called speciation and evolution? Why is it important to pay attention to the Scriptures? How are they analogous to a lamp? What is the origin of the Scriptures? What are some of the ways in which the Bible is unique among all writings? What is the danger of claiming to believe the Bible and yet not live according to what it says? Are you spending adequate time in God’s word or are you distracted by the world’s enticements and deceptions? What needs to change?

SUGGESTED REFERENCE WORKS:

Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Volumes 1 & 2 by Josh MacDowell

Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible by John W Haley;

Know Why You Believe by Paul E.Little

Both/And: A Balanced Apologetic by Ronald B Mayers

Many Infallible Proofs by Henry Morris

The Justification of Knowledge

by Robert L. Reymond Nothing by Truth by Brian Edwards

He is There and He is Not Silent

by Fancis A. Schaeffer Sola Scriptura by John MacArthur

Check out website links at www.GraceBibleNY.org/links

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