Jesus, the Message of the Bible

May 13, 2006

Introduction: [Adapted from God Wrote a Book, by James MacDonald] – RECOMMEND IT – MRC!
1. This is our FINAL study in the series: God Wrote a Book – so far, we’ve studied:
 Evidence for the Bible You Shouldn’t Ignore
 Where Did the Bible Come From? How did we get the 66 books we call the Bible?
 What Can the Bible Accomplish? – Psalm 19:7-11 [Great passage!]
 How to Benefit from the Bible:
>  3 ways:  Pick it Up // Size it Up // Eat it Up!
2.  Our focus of this study has been the Bible as our source of truth – the foundation of our faith!
- whatever source of truth a person has, and everyone does have one, it is an issue of FAITH
- what are you going to trust for eternity? How reliable is your source of truth?  How consistent is your source of truth?
3.  Our source of truth is God’s Word -- we believe it’s alive and powerful – it’s no ordinary book
[Review Memory Verse:  Psalm 19:11] – GET A BRAVE SOUL TO QUOTE IT! – then the class
 Psalm 19:11 Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward
AND . . .[say them all together]
 Psalm 19:7 The LAW of the LORD is PERFECT, restoring the soul; The TESTIMONY of the LORD is SURE, making wise the simple.
 Psalm 19:8 The PRECEPTS of the LORD are RIGHT, rejoicing the heart; The COMMANDMENT of the LORD is PURE, enlightening the eyes.
 Psalm 19:9 The FEAR of the LORD is CLEAN, enduring forever; The JUDGMENTS of the LORD are TRUE; they are RIGHTEOUS altogether.
 Psalm 19:10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
 REPEAT 19:11
4.  Our study this morning takes to what the bible is all about:  * The glory of God through the Person and Work of Jesus Christ!
5.  The previous subjects are important ones, but why is this one especially important?
[various answers – Col. 1:16-18]
 Colossians 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities -- all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
6.  I’d like to begin our time with a quote from Martin Luther, key figure in the Reformation:
“The Bible is the cradle wherein Christ is laid.” – Martin Luther
Input: What does that statement communicate?


- one of things to which we need to remember about the Bible: 


I. The Word of God Is Not a Destination


 The Bible is not an end in itself – the goal of life is not to KNOW the bible and quote all the verses or be able to explain everything in the Bible
> the bible is God’s revelation about Who He is and what He’s done and is going to do!
> as the Psalmist says in Psalm 8 – the heavens declare the glory of God . . . the Word of God reveals the glory of God
• It tells us of His holiness (completely separate from sin)
• It tells us of His grace (giving us what we do not deserve)
• It tells us of His mercy (withholding what we do deserve – i.e. judgment)
• It reveals His omniscience (knows all), His omnipotence (all powerful) and His omnipresence (every where present at the same time)
• It reveals His love and faithfulness . . . . the list goes on and on
Point:  Our goal is not to know the Bible in and of itself – IT NOT THE 4TH MEMBER OF THE TRINITY
- our goal is to know the God of Bible – specifically, Jesus Christ
- Paul helped to clarify that in the following passage:
 Philippians 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;
- maybe it would help to put like this: 
 The Bible is not a destination; it’s a BRIDGE to a better place – that place is a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Our Lord made this subject very clear in His High Priestly prayer in John 17 the night He was betrayed and would be crucified the next day:
[READ this carefully and slowly]
 John 17:1 Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, 2 even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. 3 "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4 "I glorified [gave the right opinion of] You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 Now, Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”
- Jesus could say this because He also stated of what He said to Philip, one of the 12 disciples, after Philip had asked Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father.”
 John 14:9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?
Point: * The Bible is all about the glory of God and His Work – from Creation to Redemption to the Final Judgment – it’s all about His glory!
> specifically, the message of the Bible is about the ‘seed of the woman’ mentioned in Gen. 3:15 who brought us Redemption through His sacrificial death and glorious resurrection!
“We don’t worship a book; we worship the One who wrote the book.” (MacDonald, p. 114)
- that’s how Paul could write Phil. 2:9-11:
 Philippians 2:9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
- to help us better understand this point, think about the Pharisees – they missed the point about the Word of God being about a Person and not a set of ‘rules’ or a ‘law’ in an of itself:
Example:  Pharisees
- these people were a 1st century religious sect that prided themselves on their obedience to the literal Word of God – in short, they didn’t miss a ‘jot or tittle’
> they even wore the Scripture as a fashion statement in bracelets and headbands (Mt. 23:5)
“If we didn’t know better, we might have thought that these would be the ones most likely to welcome God’s Son when He came to the earth as the long-promised Messiah.  Instead they argued with Jesus, resisted Him, falsely accused Him, and ultimately carried out their plot of murder by crucifixion.  Yes, that’s what these ‘lovers of God’s Word’ did.” (Ibid, p. 114)
Q:  How can that happen?
- The secret to their blindness is revealed in a conversation Christ had with them.
[context: the Pharisees were persecuting Jesus & trying to kill Him – Jn. 5:16-17] – Jesus responded
 John 5:39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me.”
- just before He said that, Jesus made it very clear to them that God’s Word DID NOT abide in them because they didn’t BELIEVE in Him, the One God had sent:
 John 5:38 "You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent.
- you might say: But faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Rom. 10:17)
- that’s true, but what does the Word of God reveal?
 Holiness of God & the sinfulness of man
 Love of God to send His Son to die for us
 Sinless & Miraculous life of the Son Who was the Lamb of God who came to “take away” (not just cover) the sin of the world (John 1:29)
Point:  Jesus is the message of the Bible!
“The point is that if you are not growing in your knowledge of Christ, then you are failing to achieve God’s purpose for giving you the Bible, no matter what else you may be learning from it.” (p. 116)
- the purpose of the bible is that we as sinners might be reconciled to God through faith in Christ:
 John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
- salvation is the BEGINNING point of our knowledge and understanding of Who Jesus is and what He’s done for us
[Explain at the point of salvation, the Holy Spirit enters into our hearts and dwells there – Jesus referred to the coming of the Holy Spirit in John 14 and 15 – He is the ‘down payment’ of our salvation, securing us in the Body of Christ – ‘sealed unto the day of redemption’ – Eph. 4:30]
- one of the reasons why some don’t understand the Word or ‘get it’ is because they are unregenerate (unsaved) – that person doesn’t have the ability to understand truth other than the Gospel message:
 1 Corinthians 2:14 But a natural man [a person still in the sinful condition we are all born with] does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
- I think James asks a very important question in his book:
Q:  Could that be your struggle?
[Explain salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone!]
- you might be thinking:  But how could a God of love send anyone to a place called hell?
* Hell is not actually a statement about God’s love; it is a statement about God’s holiness.
 Exodus 34:7 – who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.
 Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ dies for us.
 2 Corinthians 5:21  He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
 John 5:24  Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
 John 1:12  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.


II.  Some Closing Questions to Ask:


 Do you believe that Jesus is God’s Son?
 Do you believe that He died on the cross to pay the penalty for you sins?
 Do you believe if you turn from your sin and by faith ask God to forgive you, that He will do it?
 Are you willing to pray a prayer of confession & commitment right now along those lines?
 Do you study the Word to know the Word or do you study the Word to know God?
 What evidence is there in your life that you really know Jesus Christ and love Him?
- Jesus said, ‘if you love Me, you will keep my commandments’ (John 14:15)
 What is the next step of growth for you in your walk with the Lord?
> Reading – study – memorize – meditate – obey it – sharing the word – teaching…
[Wrap up comments about the Word – it’s authority, sufficiency, power, etc. – yet it continues to be under attack (that will never change till the final judgment – when God Himself has the final word about man and his sinful condition!]
Conclusion:
Next Week: May 21 – The DaVinci Code: Separating FACT from FICTION – 3 week study on a cultural ‘hot topic’ that has serious ramifications to the person and work of Jesus Christ and implication to His Word!
- Give each person a book: A Quest for Answers: The DaVinci Code, by Josh McDowell
- Give each couple a magazine: The DaVinci Code: A Companion Guide to the Movie (magazine)


ABF Series: God Wrote a Book
Jesus, the Message of the Bible

Introduction: [Memory Verse – Psalm 19:11]
* The glory of God through the Person and Work of Jesus Christ!
 Colossians 1:16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities -- all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.
“The Bible is the cradle wherein Christ is laid.” – Martin Luther
Input: What does that statement communicate?


I. The Word of God Is Not a ________________
 The Bible is not an end in itself


 The Bible is not a destination; it’s a ______________ to a better place – a _____________ ________________ with Jesus Christ.

*  The Bible is all about the glory of God and His Work – from Creation to Redemption to the Final Judgment – it’s all about His glory!
“We don’t worship a book; we worship the One who wrote the book.” (MacDonald, p. 114)

Example:  _______________

“If we didn’t know better, we might have thought that these would be the ones most likely to welcome God’s Son when He came to the earth as the long-promised Messiah.  Instead they argued with Jesus, resisted Him, falsely accused Him, and ultimately carried out their plot of murder by crucifixion.  Yes, that’s what these ‘lovers of God’s Word’ did.” (Ibid, p. 114)


“The point is that if you are not growing in your knowledge of Christ, then you are failing to achieve God’s purpose for giving you the Bible, no matter what else you may be learning from it.” (p. 116)

Q:  Could that be your struggle?
* Hell is not actually a statement about God’s _____; it is a statement about God’s ___________.

 

II.  Some Closing Questions to Ask:
 Do you believe that Jesus is God’s Son?
 Do you believe that He died on the cross to pay the penalty for you sins?
 Do you believe if you turn from your sin and by faith ask God to forgive you, that He will do it?
 Are you willing to pray a prayer of confession & commitment right now along those lines?
 Do you study the Word to know the Word or do you study the Word to know God?
 What evidence is there in your life that you really know Jesus Christ and love Him?
 What is the next step of growth for you in your walk with the Lord?

Closing Comments/Observations:

 


Conclusion:
NEW ABF series:  May 21st – The DaVinci Code: Separating FACT from FICTION
Homework:  Read the following:
1) A Quest for Answers: The DaVinci Code, by Josh McDowell
2) The DaVinci Code: A Companion Guide to the Movie (magazine)


ABF Series: God Wrote a Book
Jesus, the Message of the Bible
Introduction: [Psalm 19:11]
Today:  * The glory of God through the Person and Work of Jesus Christ!
 Colossians 1:16-18
“The Bible is the cradle wherein Christ is laid.”
Input: What does that statement communicate?
I. The Word of God Is Not a Destination
 The Bible is not an end in itself
 Philippians 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;
 The Bible is not a destination; it’s a BRIDGE to a better place – a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
 John 17:1-5; John 14:9
*  The Bible is all about the glory of God and His Work – from Creation to Redemption to the Final Judgment – it’s all about His glory!
“We don’t worship a book; we worship the One who wrote the book.” (MacDonald, p. 114)
 Philippians 2:9-11
Example:  Pharisees
Quote – p. 114
 John 5:39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me.”
 John 5:38 "You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent.
“The point is that if you are not growing in your knowledge of Christ, then you are failing to achieve God’s purpose for giving you the Bible, no matter what else you may be learning from it.” (p. 116)
 John 3:16
 1 Corinthians 2:14
Q:  Could that be your struggle?
* Hell is not actually a statement about God’s love; it is a statement about God’s holiness.
 Exodus 34:7 – who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.
 Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ dies for us.
 2 Corinthians 5:21  He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
 John 5:24  Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
 John 1:12  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.
II.  Some Closing Questions to Ask:

Closing Comments