Episode 227

Disciple Up # 227
7 Letters to 7 Churches
By Louie Marsh, 9-8-2021

This is just about the only part of Revelation I will teach on. I’m not quite as bad as Martin Luther about this though.

He put both Revelation and the book of James into the appendix of his New Testament translation into German. He called the book of James, “a right strawy epistle.” And of Revelation he said that “Apostles ought not to write like that.”

I love the book of James and would not presume to tell an Apostle how to write. However, most of the book does leave me pretty cold. But not these 7 little letters.

False view of them as ages of church history. This was around when Luther lived because he accepted it, at least in part. When it really began, I don’t know.

Episode 219

Disciple Up # 219
Is a Literal Translation Always Better?
By Louie Marsh, 7-14-2021

Article Read From: https://www.christianitytoday.com/partners/creative-studio/more-literal-than-thou.html

Legacy Standard Bible;  https://lsbible.org/

The Legacy Standard Bible has an app for both Apple and Android with as much of the Bible as they’ve completed available to read if you’d like to check that out go the store and type in “Legacy Bible app” and it should pop up.

The Literal Version: https://www.lsvbible.com/

My personal favorite translations:

ESV

The NIV and NASB are also good.

The NLT is good for people who don’t read well.

Won’t know about the LSB till it’s all out and I have chance to check it out.

What about the KJV?

If you had the perfect translation and you have a poor reader who can’t read it and so gives up. What good is it then?

What place should readability have in a translation?

Can you over do it on one translation?

As you read it in a different, because the word order is different, and different words are used, you’re going to see things that you missed before.

Please Get In Touch!

Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


Check out the Disciple Up Facebook page:

My books – 

Episode 209

Disciple Up # 209
Wrestling with Scripture
By Louie Marsh, 5-5-2021

 Intro. Excerpts from the article I’m discussing today, with a link to it below. Also some links to John Stott’s books are below as well. 

John Stott Would Want Us to Stop, Study, and Struggle

JOHN W. YATES III

APRIL 26, 2021

It was a bitterly cold January afternoon and rain was pinging sideways off the windows when John Stott emerged from his study. It was teatime, and a large pot was brewing on the small counter of the kitchenette of The Hermitage, Uncle John’s cozy living quarters in one of the old farm buildings at the Hookses, his rural retreat in Wales.

“Oh JY,” John said to me, wearily, rubbing his temples, “I have a terrible case of PIM.” His acronym stood for pain in the mind. It was his way of describing what it felt like to wrestle over a difficult writing project or a seemingly intractable problem, and it was a phrase I knew well after 18 months working as John’s study assistant.

Over tea, we discussed the progress he had made that day and the state of my research on the chapter he would tackle the following day. We also indulged in shortbread cookies (which were known to be an effective treatment for PIM). As he rose to return to work, he patted down the white tufts of hair he had disturbed at his temples and said.

“JY, there are certain tasks which cannot be done without acute pain in the mind. They are rarely fun, but always worthwhile.”

Another favorite acronym of John’s was BBC. He took delight in explaining that this did not stand for the British Broadcasting Corporation, but rather for balanced biblical Christianity. John was not afraid of taking an unpopular stance if Scripture required it. But he never rushed into an opinion. In his quest for a balanced and biblical Christianity, he worked tirelessly to understand every perspective on a topic before coming to a carefully considered judgment rooted in Scripture.

In an age of sound bites and Twitter feeds, many Christian leaders are so busy trying to keep up with current events that few of us take time to stop, to study, and to struggle for the sake of teaching God’s people. All too often, we take a side and stick to it without the discipline of listening or questioning our instincts. The thin veneer of our discipleship is showing cracks as a result.

In this complex and constantly changing world, we do not need more commentary. We need more pain in the mind. John was willing to endure this pain, not just in the quiet of his study, but also in the company of others. He understood that the work of preaching and teaching requires the steadfast suffering of careful thinking.

John Yates is the rector of Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. He served as John Stott’s study assistant from 1996 to 1999

https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2021/april-web-only/john-stott-100-pain-in-mind-balanced-biblical-christianity.html

Some Books By John Stott

The Cross of Christ:

https://www.amazon.com/Cross-Christ-John-Stott/dp/083083320X/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=John+Stott&qid=1620083222&sr=8-2

The Message of the Sermon on the Mount:

https://www.amazon.com/Message-Sermon-Mount-Bible-Speaks/dp/0830824235/ref=sr_1_10?dchild=1&keywords=John+Stott&qid=1620083268&sr=8-10

Your Mind Matters:

https://www.amazon.com/Your-Mind-Matters-Christian-Classics/dp/0830834087/ref=sr_1_18?dchild=1&keywords=John+Stott&qid=1620083268&sr=8-18

Between Two Worlds: (excellent book on how to preach)

https://www.amazon.com/Between-Two-Worlds-John-Stott/dp/0802875521/ref=sr_1_13?dchild=1&keywords=John+Stott&qid=1620083268&sr=8-13

 

 

 

Episode 187

Disciple Up # 187
What About Repentance, Works & Salvation?
By Louie Marsh, 11-25-2020

Intro. Happy Thanksgiving!

An E-mail comes in:

Hello louie this is josh again and I have been struggling to understand this topic that I have came apon concerning ones salvation. The topic is a few questions, are we saved in just believing in christ or Is repentance required for salvation? Roman’s 10:9-13. In this passage Paul does not mention repentance as a need for salvation. Is believing enough or is there more we need to do to be saved?

What got me thinking about this was this video I watched on this topic, which I would like for you to watch and see if what his is saying is right

Mike, holdingfirmly channel on YouTube

If You Do Well Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOAdqrvjUn0&feature=youtu.be

“The Great deception among most Professed Christians is they refuse to recognize that Patient Continuance in Doing Well is the determining factor on whether or not they will enter the Kingdom of God. They think Salvation is a Package deal, that once they ‘receive Jesus forgiveness of past, present and future sins is assured and nothing they do or don’t do from that point forward has any bearing on the outcome of their inheritance of eternal life. Under the ‘not of works’, collective reasoning ‘doing well’ may be a by-product of Faith, but its never a necessity in that ‘NOT doing well will disqualify them form the Kingdom.”

Mistakes – “he told Cain to do well which he wouldn’t have done if he had a sin nature.” BUT Jesus regularly told people who were fallen to “go and sin not.” Plus later he says the whole structure of the Scriptures is God telling us to do well, but that contradicts which said about Cain.

“God expects an increase of His grace.”  What does that even mean? How can you or I increase God’s grace since that comes from him and is a part of him?

This is based on a misunderstanding of the Old Testament Covenants (yes, there were more than one) and the New Testament covenant of Jesus.

He only quotes part of this passage and then concludes that the disciples were able to deal with sin –

21And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” 22Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” 23He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”” (Matthew 20:21–23, ESV)

– when the passage proves the opposite! Great example of Is eisegesis – forming an opinion and then forcing it upon the text.

This man cannot properly interpret Scripture.

He either doesn’t know about or ignores one of the primary rules of interpretation of Scripture which is: You interpret the Old Testament in light of the New Testament. Not the other way around, which is what he does.

He points out that in the OT you had to work to be saved or in the kingdom, then he quotes Jesus to support this (mangling His words as seen above) and then concludes he’s right. He forgets or ignores that Jesus lived under the Old Covenant and spoke to people who lived under it too!

It’s not till He rises from the grave that the New Covenant takes effect.

They FAILED when they betrayed Christ!

I’m not saying he’s bad or evil or is deliberately trying to mislead. I am saying he’s wrong, woefully wrong and in a way that anyone who’s taken even ONE class on how to interpret the Bible ought to be able to see.

Josh’s Questions:

Are we saved in just believing in Christ or Is repentance required for salvation? Roman’s 10:9-13. In this passage Paul does not mention repentance as a need for salvation. Is believing enough or is there more we need to do to be saved?

  1. Does God expect an increase of his grace?
  2. Can you be saved in your sin by faith alone?
  3. Are there deeds required in faithfulness.

Watch out for Proof Texting

A proof text is a passage of scripture presented as proof for a theological doctrine, belief, or principle.  Proof texting (sometimes “proof-texting” or “proof texting”) is the practice of using isolated, out-of-context quotations from a document to establish a proposition in eisegesis (introducing one’s own presuppositions, agendas, or biases). Such quotes may not accurately reflect the original intent of the author, and a document quoted in such a manner, when read as a whole, may not support the proposition for which it was cited. The term has currency primarily in theological and exegetical circles.

8But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”” (Romans 10:8–11, ESV)

Notice that this doesn’t mention repentance. So is it really necessary? Proof texters would say this proves it’s not important! But they taking the wrong approach. You need to look at all the verses on this subject and see what they say. Note that this verse doesn’t say you have to ask God to forgive your sins either.

Is that now something we don’t do?

Repentance is one of the things we do, along with believing, confessing and being baptized, that we do when we make Jesus the Lord of our lives.

  1. Does God expect an increase of his grace?

Honestly and sincerely I don’t know what this means.

20Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,” (Romans 5:20, ESV)

15For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:15, ESV)

6which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth,” (Colossians 1:6, ESV)

  1. Can you be saved in your sin by faith alone?

I already answered this.

  1. Are there deeds required in faithfulness?

14What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” (James 2:14–19, ESV)

26For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.” (James 2:26, ESV)

You aren’t saved by works, but your works prove your faith. That’s it and that’s all.

This guys “Doing Well” stuff has another fatal flaw in it that I’ve save for now – HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOU’VE DONE WELL ENOUGH TO BE SAVED?

 He gives no standard for us to look too. There’s nothing about that in the Bible. So you are left up on your own never being sure if you are accepted by God or not.

You don’t have to have read much of the NT to see that this kind of insecurity isn’t typical of the language used about salvation. If he’s right then no one can ever know they are saved since they cannot know if they done well enough.

Please Get In Touch!

Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


Check out the Disciple Up Facebook page:

My books – 

Episode 177

Disciple Up # 177
Greater Than – Hebrews Pt. 1 – Prologue
By Louie Marsh, 9-16-2020

Intro.

Prologue

Hebrews 1: 1-4

1  Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2  but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3  He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4  having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. Hebrews 1:1-4 (ESV)

VERSE ONE:

1  Long ago,  – God has been communicating with mankind for a long, long time, nothing new about it.

 at many times He didn’t do it all at once but scattered the prophets and others throughout Israel’s history.

 and in many ways,

 This refers to the difference of the various revelations in contents and form. Not the different ways in which God imparted his revelations to the prophets, but the different ways in which he spoke by the prophets to the fathers: in one way through Moses, in another through Elijah, in others through Isaiah, Ezekiel, etc. At the founding of the Old Testament kingdom of God, the character of the revelation was elementary. Later it was of a character to appeal to a more matured spiritual sense, a deeper understanding and a higher conception of the law. The revelation differed according to the faithfulness or unfaithfulness of the covenant-people.   Vincent – Word Studies in the New Testament.

10  so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. Ephesians 3:10 (ESV)

A very striking phrase. The adjective occurs only here, and means variegated. It is applied to pictures, flowers, garments. Ποίκιλον is used in the Septuagint of Joseph’s coat, Genesis 37:3. Through the Church God’s wisdom in its infinite variety is to be displayed—the many-tinted wisdom of God—in different modes of power, different characters, methods of training, providences, forms of organization,   Vincent – Word Studies in the New Testament.

 God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,

“In many ways.” Adverb from old adjective polutropos, in Philo, only here in N.T. The two adverbs together are “a sonorous hendiadys for ‘variously'” (Moffatt) as Chrysostom (diaphorōs). God spoke by dream, by direct voice, by signs, in different ways to different men (Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Elijah, Isaiah, etc.). –  Robertson – Word Pictures in the New Testament.

VERSE TWO:

 2  but in these last days

Yes, we are living in the Last days and have been for over 2000 years.

16  But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: 17  “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18  even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. Acts 2:16-18 (ESV)

he has spoken to us by his Son,

Hath spoken (elalēsen). First aorist indicative of laleō, the same verb as above, “did speak” in a final and full revelation – Robertson – Word Pictures in the New Testament.

Note the absence of the article. Attention is directed, not to Christ’s divine personality, but to his filial relation. While the former revelation was given through a definite class, the prophets, the new revelation is given through one who is a son as distinguished from a prophet. He belongs to another category. The revelation was a son-revelation. See 2:10-18. Christ’s high priesthood is the central fact of the epistle, and his sonship is bound up with his priesthood… – Vincent – Word Studies in the New Testament.

whom he appointed the heir of all things,

Hath appointed (ethēken). First aorist (kappa aorist) active of tithēmi, a timeless aorist.

Heir of all things (klēronomon pantōn). See Mark 12:6 for ho klēronomos in Christ’s parable, perhaps an allusion here to this parable (Moffatt). The idea of sonship easily passes into that of heirship (Galatians 4:7; Romans 8:17). See the claim of Christ in Matthew 11:27; Matthew 28:18 even before the Ascension. –  Robertson – Word Pictures in the New Testament.

27  All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Matthew 11:27 (ESV)

through whom also he created the world. Hebrews 1:2 (ESV)

1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2  He was in the beginning with God. 3  All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4  In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5 (ESV)

VERSE THREE:

 3  He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature,

The word apaugasma, late substantive from apaugazō, to emit brightness (augē, augazō in 2 Cor. 4:4), here only in the N.T., but in Wisd. 7:26 and in Philo. It can mean either reflected brightness, refulgence (Calvin, Thayer) or effulgence (ray from an original light body) as the Greek fathers hold. Both senses are true of Christ in his relation to God as Jesus shows in plain language in John 12:45; John 14:9. “The writer is using metaphors which had already been applied to Wisdom and the Logos” (Moffatt). The meaning “effulgence” suits the context better, though it gives the idea of eternal generation of the Son (John 1:1), the term Father applied to God necessarily involving Son. See this same metaphor in 2 Cor. 4:6. – Word Pictures in the New Testament.

Charaktēr is an old word from charassō, to cut, to scratch, to mark. It first was the agent (note ending = tēr) or tool that did the marking, then the mark or impress made, the exact reproduction, a meaning clearly expressed by charagma (Acts 17:29; Rev. 13:16-17). Menander had already used (Moffatt) charaktēr in the sense of our “character.” The word occurs in the inscriptions for “person” as well as for “exact reproduction” of a person. The word hupostasis for the being or essence of God “is a philosophical rather than a religious term” (Moffatt). – Word Pictures in the New Testament.

 and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.

Rend. maintaining. Upholding conveys too much the idea of the passive support of a burden. “The Son is not an Atlas, sustaining the dead weight of the world” (quoted by Westcott). Neither is the sense that of ruling or guiding, as Philo (De Cherub. § 11), who describes the divine word as “the steersman and pilot of the all.” It implies sustaining, but also movement. It deals with a burden, not as a dead weight, but as in continual movement; as Weiss puts it, “with the all in all its changes and transformations throughout the aeons.” It is concerned, not only with sustaining the weight of the universe, but also with maintaining its coherence and carrying on its development. – Word Studies in the New Testament.

After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high

indicates that the work of purification was done by Christ personally, and was not something which he caused to be done by some other agent. – Word Studies in the New Testament.

Comp. Psalm 110:1, 8:1; 10:12; 12:2; Ephesians 1:20; Revelation 3:21. The verb denotes a solemn, formal act; the assumption of a position of dignity and authority The reference is to Christ’s ascension. In his exalted state he will still be bearing on all things toward their consummation, still dealing with sin as the great high priest in the heavenly sanctuary – Word Studies in the New Testament.

20  that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, Ephesians 1:20 (ESV)

VERSE FOUR:

4  having become as much superior to angels

The informal and abrupt introduction of this topic goes to show that the writer was addressing Jewish Christians, who were familiar with the prominent part ascribed to angels in the O.T. economy, especially in the giving of the law. – Word Studies in the New Testament.

 as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs

The comparative only in Hebrews. In the sense of more excellent, only in later writers. Its earlier sense is different. The idea of difference is that which radically distinguishes it from κρείττων better. Here it presents the comparative of a comparative conception. The Son’s name differs from that of the angels, and is more different for good. – Word Studies in the New Testament.

Please Get In Touch!

Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


Check out the Disciple Up Facebook page:

My books – 

Episode 164

Disciple Up # 164
Colossians: The Supremacy of Christ
Pt. 7(8): Put on the Garments of Grace, Col. 3:12-17
By Louie Marsh, 6-17-2020

Intro: Today we continue our look at Paul’s Putting off and on metaphor and focus on the positive side of it.  We’ve already seen we must put off the old man, now our focus must change.

Where you can find past episodes on Colossians:  134, 135, 137, 142, 146, 152, 160, 164. Please note my numbering of my Colossians are off by one – this should be Part 8!

Signs in Longmont for guys running for County Coroner – we don’t want to become our own spiritual coroner.

  1. I) THE CLOTHING OF CHRIST (vs. 12-14)

12  Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13  bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14  And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:12-14 (ESV)

  1. A) Chosen People Choose Compassion (vs. 12)

1, “God’s chosen ones” = used of Israel in OT, now it’s us – dearly loved by God!

2, Because this is true we – as a Body – must put on these things.

a, Compassion leads to kindness, humility leads to gentleness & patience.

b, Compassion = “bowels of compassion”  literally “inwards parts” used of seat of emotions.  That’s heart to us, but bowels to eastern people

3, We know that we CAN be and act this way, because the Lord tells us here being this way is A CHOICE!

  1. B) Applying These in the Church (vs. 13)

1, There may have been hard feelings in Colossian church over fight with false teachers, may have felt bitter about growing churches in neighboring towns.

a, How do we handle these problems in the church?

2, Paul says to first of all bear with one another.

a, Literally that means “to put up with”

3, We must also forgive each other, even if the other isn’t worthy of it!

a, forgive = “give freely or graciously as a favor” give being Charis in Greek – GRACE!

b, Literal translation could read “forgive yourselves.”  When we fail to forgive other believers we fail to forgive ourselves because WE ARE ONE IN CHRIST!

c, It’s written in the present tense – showing a continual, tireless effort must be made.  Matt. 18: 21-35

21  Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22  Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. 23  “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24  When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25  And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26  So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27  And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28  But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29  So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30  He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31  When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32  Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33  And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34  And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. 35  So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” Matthew 18:21-35 (ESV)

4, We must forgive this way, because this is the way God forgave us.  The finished work of Christ is the basis for our treatment of each other.

  1. C) Love – Superglue! (vs. 14)

1, Clothing metaphor is back.  We are to wear love “above all” which may mean “on top of all.”

a, Love, Agape, is more than just another virtue, it’s what holds them together and makes them come alive.  Without love they are nothing (I Cor. 13)

2, “Binds them all together in perfect unity.”  What does this mean?

a, Perfect as we’ve discussed before means complete, mature, something that has completed it’s purpose.  Love is what brings us together and makes us into a mature Body of believers.

3, This word was used in early Christian lit. to distinguish the baptized believer from someone still being taught.

4, The Gnostics – a heresy – used it to denote the man who has passed from mere faith to knowledge.

a, Preachers who harp on “I know that I know that I know!” are dangerously close to the gnostic heresy!

  1. II) PEACE IN THE BODY (vs. 15-17)

15  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:15-17 (ESV)

  1. A) Peace that Rules (vs 15)

1, This applies to both individuals and churches

2, Peace = referred to umpires who presided over and presented prizes at games, normally used in the sense of judge, decide, control or rule.

3, The Peace of Christ should rule and decide what is and isn’t right behavior in our lives and our churches.  I should obey when it tells me something I’m about to say or do isn’t right.

  1. B) Be Thankful (vs. 15)

1, “Within the Pauline letters the word-group regularly denotes gratitude that finds outwards expression in thanksgiving; there is an emphasis in Paul on the public aspect of thanksgiving.”

2, Why aren’t we more thankful?

a, Could it be because Christ isn’t as real part of our everyday lives as I’d like Him to be?

  1. C) Peaceful Ministry (vs. 16)

1, The Word of Christ

a, more than the Bible – although that’s part of it

b, it’s the gospel message which centers on Christ, it’s everything about Him, it’s His special presence with us!

2, Dwell in us

a, dwell is to become a permanent part of your thoughts and feelings

b, it also means Christ is to be allowed to dwell in each church Body.

3, Richly

a, We must let the full effects of Christ’s Grace overflow us.

b, We must let Christ truly be Head of this church.

4, We are to teach and admonish one another – music is a way of ministry as surely as teaching and preaching.

1, We are to do this wisely – ie. under the influence of the indwelling Word of Christ and the at the direction of the Peace of Christ.

III) DO ALL IN THE NAME OF JESUS (vs. 17)

17  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 (ESV)

  1. A) Whatever

1, This command isn’t limited to church or “spiritual” things.

a, it deals with both speech and actions

b, it deals with our entire life!

c, FOR THE CHRISTIAN THERE IS NO ESCAPE FROM IT!!!

  1. B) The Name of the Lord Jesus

1, This refers to His authority.

a, A Christian shouldn’t steal because you can’t do that with Christ’s o.k.

b, To act in the Name of someone means to act on their behalf – with their permission!

c, So this brings us back to verse 14, acting in the Name of Jesus is acting in Agape – God’s Love.

2, It also refers to Salvation

a, Acts 4: 8-13.

8  Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9  if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10  let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. 11  This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12  And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” 13  Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. Acts 4:8-13 (ESV)

b, “The whole content of salvation revealed in Jesus is comprised in his name.”

Please Get In Touch!

Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


Check out the Disciple Up Facebook page:

My books – 

Episode 163

Disciple Up #163
Staying Sane in An Insane World – Thinking Biblically
By Louie Marsh, 6-10-2020

 How to stay sane?

 First Think Biblically

God calls disciples to think Biblically not culturally and not to simply follow my feelings or to go by my instincts. No, God calls all disciples to think clearly, critically (I mean analytically not to be critical of others).

18  “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. Isaiah 1:18 (ESV)

We need to think like God thinks, to see the world as he does and then follow that truth.

People sometimes say, “The god I believe in …”  Perhaps the god you believe in isn’t the real, true and living God. And the only way to know for sure what he thinks is to consult, understand and depend upon the Bible.

C.S.Lewis: “If you do not listen to theology, that will not mean that you have no ideas about God. It will mean that you have a lot of wrong ones!”

Jesus shows us his authority in many places including the Sermon on the Mount when he repeatedly says, “You have heard it said but I say…”

To think like Jesus, to think Biblically means that you’ll really be different. Not different in a way that is considered cool, but different in a fundamental way that won’t be appreciated by many if not most people.

To really think Biblically I must to this:  21  but test everything; hold fast what is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 (ESV)

Test everything – especially things that make me feel good while sending me off in a slightly different direction in life.

This kind of testing, comparing everything to Scripture – needs to become a deeply ingrained habit that the disciple does automatically!

1  Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1 (ESV)

An Example of Thinking Biblically

 34  But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35  And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36  “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37  And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38  This is the great and first commandment. 39  And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:34-40 (ESV)

1st Question: Who is my neighbor?

29  But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30  Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31  Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32  So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33  But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34  He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35  And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36  Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37  He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” Luke 10:29-37 (ESV)

Is this a command to love yourself?

2nd Question:  What is the command here?

A: To love my neighbor. This isn’t two commands – it’s ONE. The command is to love my neighbor.

The second part of this is an explanation of HOW we are to love our neighbor. People have always known there are different kinds of love. Love my dog, spouse, baseball, various unhealthy sweets etc.

“As yourself” explains that this command is for us to love our neighbor the way we normally LOVE OURSELVES. This selflove is assumed – NOT commanded. This type of self-love, or self-preservation as we’d probably call it, is noted throughout Scripture.

28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, Ephesians 5: 28-29 (ESV)

Conclusion: This command is NOT a command to have high self-esteem. To make it say that is to twist the plain meaning of the text to fit into our modern therapeutic, psychologized world view. A view which did not exist prior to the last century and NEVER existed or was taught in the Bible.

Second Connect thinking to peace

4  Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5  Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 8  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:4-9 (ESV)

Please Get In Touch!

Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


Check out the Disciple Up Facebook page:

My books – 

Episode 146

146 Disciple Up

The Supremacy Of The Son, Col. 1: 15-23

By Louie Marsh, 2-12-2020

 

Intro. To help us understand vs. 15-20 underline the words ALL & EVERYTHING and then underline what they are connected to and you’ll find the following –

1) Firstborn of ALL creation (15)

2) He created ALL things (16)

3) He is before ALL things (17)

4) ALL things hold together in Him  17

5) He is supreme in ALL things (18)

6) ALL of the fulness is in Him (19)

7) He has reconciled ALL things to Him (20).

 

This passage is a hymn to the Son & shows us just how great He is.  Compare this to man-made gods like you find in the Iliad.  They are big men – Christ is the eternal God!

 

  1. I) WHO HE IS (vs. 15)

 

15  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. Colossians 1:15 (ESV)

 

  1. A) The Image of God

1, What does God look like?  John 14:8-9

 

8  Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9  Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? John 14:8-9 (ESV)

 

2, Christ will make us into this Image  Eph. 4:23-24

 

23  and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24  and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:23-24 (ESV)

 

  1. B) Firstborn over all creation

1, What this does NOT mean!

a, that God first made Jesus & then Jesus made everything else

b, this is J.W. doctrine which they stole from Arianism.

 

2, What it DOES mean.

a, Firstborn (15) NOT first created

 

16  For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:16-17 (ESV)

 

b, Vs. 16 says He created ALL things therefore He can’t be a created being Himself.

c, Vs. 17 He is BEFORE ALL things, therefore He can’t be a thing.

1, A thing = a created object, living or otherwise.

 

3, Firstborn over all creation!

a, How can Paul write that since we KNOW Jesus wasn’t the first person ever raised from the dead?

b, because the term “firstborn” doesn’t always mean “first one born”

c, The term usually means “preeminent” and is used that way in ancient lit. This is because the firstborn son had right of succession (unless crippled then next son was called “firstborn”).

51  Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh. “For,” he said, “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house.” 52  The name of the second he called Ephraim, “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” Genesis 41:51-52 (ESV)

 

9  With weeping they shall come, and with pleas for mercy I will lead them back, I will make them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble, for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. Jeremiah 31:9 (ESV)

 

4, This passage is telling us that Jesus of Nazareth is the uncreated, eternal, self-sustaining God!

 

  1. II) WHAT HIS UNIVERSAL STANDING IS (vs. 16-20)
  2. Relating to Creation (vs. 16-17)

 

16  For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. Colossians 1:16-17 (ESV)

 

1, He created the EVERYTHING

a, the physical universe, the spiritual universe (angels, seraphim)

b, They were made for Him – He is their Lord by right of creation!

2, He sustains all things (17)

a, “hold together” is in the present tense

b, without His continuous sustaining activity everything would disintegrate.

 

  1. B) Relating to Redemption (vs. 18-20)

 

18  And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19  For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20  and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. Colossians 1:18-20 (ESV)

 

1, He is Lord of the church.

a, it’s head – director – as our head directs our body

b, it’s beginning – the source of the body’s life

c, it’s pathfinder – the 1st one to be raised to an incorruptible state, He shows us the way to our eternal state in heaven.

2, He contains the Fulness (19)

a, the word “God” or “Father” in vs. 19 isn’t in the Gk. text, it’s placed there by translators to help us understand what Paul is saying.

b, Lit. Trans. = “in Him all the fulness was pleased to dwell”

c, What?  OT help.  24  Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD. Jeremiah 23:24 (ESV) OT teaches that God fills the universe, the word “pleased” is used of God’s pleasure.

d, SO Christ was the place or the one in Whom God, in all His fulness was pleased to dwell.  And ALL His attributes are perfectly displayed in Him.  This is permanent –

 

9  For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, Colossians 2:9 (ESV)

3, He has reconciled ALL things to Himself (vs. 20)

a, How? By dying a bloody violent death on the Cross

b, Who was reconciled?  US – if we accept the free gift that He bought with His life.

c, Not just people – ALL things!

19  For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20  For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21  that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22  For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. Romans 8:19-22 (ESV)

d, Romans 8:19-22, teaches that Christ has drawn all of creation back to God.  When He returns all creation will be restored.

e, So now all things are obligated twice over.  Once by right of Creation and twice by Redemption.

 

III) WHAT ALL THIS MEANS TO US  (vs. 21-23)

 

20  If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— 21  “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22  (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23  These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. Colossians 2:20-23 (ESV)

 

Avoid the appearance that lacks reality.

 Please Get In Touch!

Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


Check out the Disciple Up Facebook page:

My books – 

 

Episode 141

Disciple Up # 141
Is the Bible Reliable?
By Louie Marsh

Show Intro – Read E-mail from John Explain this was part of my Basic Bible Questions and this chapter was taken largely from Evidence that Demands a Verdict by Josh McDowell found here: shorturl.at/eoQ68

I have asked this question about the truth of the Bible first for good reason. Everything in Christianity hangs on how this question is answered.

If you say, “Yes, the Bible is true,” then you approach the Scriptures as the very Word of God, accept everything it says as truth revealed by God, and have a standard for truth and morality that transcends time and cultural shifts and quirks. If the Bible is true, then the Christian faith is true also, Jesus is the Son of God and Savior of the world, and everyone should believe and follow Him.

On the other hand, if you say, “No, the Bible isn’t true, it’s simply a collection of writings of men who lived a long time ago,” then you have no eternal standard and are left on your own to decide what’s true and what isn’t. So our faith and the identity of Jesus are left hanging.

The so-called middle ground, that the Bible contains both truth and error, doesn’t really leave you in any better position. Because the end result is that you are the one who decides what’s true and what isn’t. So again we have no standard, and in essence are left to be our own little “gods,” deciding between right and wrong.

The historic Christian position is to accept the Bible as God’s Word, inspired and true in the normal sense of that word. And yes, that is the position I hold.

As will be seen below God has provided us with an overwhelming amount of evidence to support the truth and validity of the Bible. We will only be able to cover a small part of this evidence, but even that should go a long way to answering this question is the Bible Reliable?

What Does the Bible Say About Itself?

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.  2 Tim. 3:16-17 (NLT)

 The Bible makes the astounding claim that it is God message to mankind! The real author of the Bible is God Himself – working through men that He picked! Not only that but Paul makes it clear that it’s not only inspired by God, but practical as well. The Bible tells us that it is God’s Word and is to be used and followed in every area of our lives!

 Because of that, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. Pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a light shining in a dark place—until the day Christ appears and his brilliant light shines in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophets themselves or because they wanted to prophesy. It was the Holy Spirit who moved the prophets to speak from God. 2 Peter 1:19-21 (NLT)

 The reason we are told to obey the Bible is that it is God authority for living. Peter says it came about when God moved people to speak or write things down, not when they felt like it themselves. The Bible is like a light directly from God that shows us what to do and how to do it, and what not to do as well.

People sometimes think that this status as God’s Word was something given to the Bible by people who lived long after it was written. But that’s just not true! Look at what Paul and Peter said about their writings:

 If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. 1 Cor. 14:37

 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. 2 Peter 3:15-16

You can see from the emphasis I placed in the verses that Paul knew God was inspiring him, and that Peter agreed, placing Paul’s writings in the same class as the writings of Moses or David!

It’s clear from these few Scriptures that we’ve studied (and there are more we don’t have time for now) that the Bible claims for itself a unique status – God’s Message to Mankind!

But is there any evidence to back this up? Are we being asked to believe the Bible is true just because it says so? Or is there credible evidence to support this amazing claim?

How do we know the Bible is true?

1) Through it’s Uniqueness.

  • The Bible is unique in its continuity. It was written over 1500 year span (that’s more than 40 generations), by over 40 different authors. These men came from every walk of life, including Kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, poets, scholars, etc.
  • The Bible is Unique in its Languages. The Bible was written on three different continents (Asia, Africa, Europe) in three different languages.
  • Hebrew, was the language of the Old Testament. In 2 Kings 18:26-28 its called “the language of Judah.”
  • Aramaic, was the “common language” of the Near East until the time of Alexander the Great (6th century BC).
  • Greek, the language of the New Testament, it was the international language of the Roman Empire during the time of Christ.
  • The Bible is Unique in its translations. As far is known today, the Bible was the first book to be translated into another language. The Greek translation of the Old Testament was made in c. 250 B.C. The Bible has been translated, retranslated and paraphrased more than any other book in existence. By 1977 the number of translations stood at 1603.
  • The Bible is Unique in its survival. It has survived through time better than any other book in history. The Bible is one of the oldest books in the world, yet more copies of the Bible exist than any book its age.
  • It’s also Unique in its survival through Persecution. The Bible has withstood more attempts to destroy it than any other book every written. Here’s just a few examples…

In 303 A.D. Diocletian issued an edict to destroy Christians and the Bible. Twenty-five years later Constantine commissioned Eusebius to prepare 50 copies of the Bible at the expense of the Roman Empire.

Voltaire, noted Frenchman, said before his death in 1778 that in 100 years Christianity would be extinct. Fifty years after he died the Geneva Bible Society was using his printing press to publish Bibles!

  • The Bible is Unique in its survival of Criticism.  For more than 1800 years critics have been attempting to destroy the trustworthiness of the Bible. They have made about as much headway as a man armed with a tack hammer facing the Pyramids of Egypt would (John W. Lea, paraphrased). Bernard Ramm says, “A thousand times over the death knell of the Bible has been sounded, the funeral procession formed, the inscription cut on the tombstone, and the committal read, but somehow the corpse never stays put!”
  • The Bible is Unique in its Teachings. No other book in history presents truth like the Bible does. Below are just three of the many unique ways the Bible teaches truth.
  • Prophecy: The Bible contains by far the largest and most detailed predictions ever assembled. They include prophecies about the Messiah, Israel and her neighbors, etc. Not one prophecy in the Bible has ever been proven wrong – and that’s unique too!
  • History: Distinguished archaeologist Professor Albright wrote in his book, The Biblical Period, “The Table of Nations in Genesis 10 stands absolutely alone in ancient literature without a remote parallel even among the Greeks…The Table of Nations remains an astonishingly accurate document…(it) shows such remarkable ‘modern’ understanding of the ethnic and linguistic situation in the modern world, in spite of all its complexity, that scholars never fail to be impressed…”
  • Personalities: The Bible deals very frankly with the faults of its main characters. Many ask why the Bible reveals the flaws of its hero’s. Well, the Bible has the habit of telling it like it is, it is indeed the Word of Truth.

2) Through Archaeology

 The science of Archaeology has greatly assisted Christians in showing the world that the Bible is what it claims to be – the Word of God and absolutely true. This only makes sense since if the Bible does give us an accurate account of God’s dealing with mankind you would expect it to be backed up by historical evidence.

Nelson Glueck, well known Jewish archaeologist wrote, “It may be well stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference.” He also wrote about “the almost incredible accurate historical memory of the Bible, and particularly so when it is fortified by archaeological fact.”

Let’s first examine the Old Testament to see how well it’s stood the test of science and time.

At one time critics rejected the Old Testament because it spoke about a mighty tribe called “Hittites.” Since no other reference to Hittites was then extant, the Bible must be wrong. Only it wasn’t. Since the late 1800’s the fact of a huge and powerful Hittite empire in the ancient east (Turkey was its center) has been proven and is now accepted by everyone.

Here’s a short course on what the Bible says about the Hittites:

  • Descended from Canaan’s son, Heth. Genesis 10:15
  • Called
  • Sons of Heth. Genesis 23:3, 20
  • Children of Heth. Genesis 23:5
  • One of the seven nations of Canaan. Deut. 7:1
  • Dwelt in Hebron. Genesis 23:2-3, 19
  • Governed by kings. 1 Kings 10:29; 2 Kings 7:6
  • Land of, promised to Israel. Genesis 15:20; Exodus 3:8
  • Israel commanded to destroy. Deut. 7:1-2, 24
  • Part of their land given to Caleb. Joshua 14:13
  • Not entirely destroyed by Israel. Judges 3:5
  • Made tributary in the reign of Solomon. 1 Kings 9:20-21

Not bad for an imaginary tribe is it?

For years Genesis 14 was considered to be historically unreliable. Yet the archives of Elba, discovered in 1964 contained thousands of clay tablets. One of those tablets lists the five cities mentioned in Genesis 14, and does so in the exact order found in the Bible!

Okay, okay – you might be saying, but what about the New Testament, how reliable is it?

Of all the New Testament writers Luke has often been singled out for a great deal of criticism. This is due to the fact that he wrote the book of Acts which is the only history book in the New Testament.

At one time most scholars agreed that he had completely missed the boat on the events surrounding the birth of Jesus. Critics argued that there had been no census that Quirinius was not the Governor of Syria at that time and that everyone could not have been made to return to their ancestral home.

Once again archaeology comes to our rescue again! Discoveries were made that show the Romans had a regular enrollment of taxpayers and also held a census every 14 years. This practice was begun by Augustus and the first one took place in either 22-23 B.C. or 9-8 B.C. The latter one is the one referred to by Luke.

We also now know that Quirinius was indeed Governor of Syria around 7 B.C. We know this because he name was found on an inscription in Antioch dated to that time period.

A papyrus found in Egypt gives directions on how to conduct the census. It reads, ‘Because of the approaching census it is necessary that all those residing from any cause away from their homes should at once prepare to return to their own governments in order that they may complete the family registration of the enrollment and that the tilled lands may retain those belonging to them.”

Luke gives to Publius the chief man in Malta the title, “The First Man of the Island in Acts 28:7. Inscriptions have been unearthed which give him the title of “First Man.”

Luke used the Greek word Politarchs to denote the civil authorities in Thessalonica (Acts 17:6). Since this title wasn’t found in classical literature Luke was thought to have been wrong. However, some 19 inscriptions have been found that make use of the title. Interestingly enough five of these are in reference to Thessalonica.

The Apostle Paul, writing from Corinth in Romans 16:23 makes mention of the city treasurer Erastus. A pavement was unearthed during the excavations of Corinth in 1929 which read ERASTUS PRO:AED:S:P:STRAVIT (“Erastus, curator of the public buildings, laid this pavement at his own expense”).

https://www.foxnews.com/science/biblical-town-emmaus-may-have-been-found

So what conclusion can we draw from the evidence so far seen? Obviously it speaks loudly that the Bible is a true, historically accurate and trustworthy document. Surely it is worth of our respect, attention and obedience.

Evidence from the Prophets

If you think that Archeology has produced an impressive amount of evidence to support the Bible as God’s Word, wait till you take a look the fulfilled prophecies of the Old Testament. Below is a list of prophecies we know from archeology and history have been fulfilled, with a estimation of the odds against it coming true.

 

#

Scripture Reference

Subject

Odds Against Fulfillment

1 Ez. 26:3-21 Tyre 1 in 7.5 X 107
2 Hosea 13:16, Micah 1:6 Samaria 1 in 4 X 104
3 Amos 1:8; Jer. 47:5; Zeph. 2:4-7 Gaza & Ashkelon 1 in 1.2 X 104
4 Ez. 25:3-4; Jer. 48:47, 49:6 Moab & Ammon 1 in 103
5 Isa 34:6-15; Jer 49:17-18; Ez 25:13-14, 35:5-7 Petra & Edom 1 in 104
6 Isa 13:19-22, 14:23; Jer. 51:26,43 Babylon 1 in 5 X 109
7 Jer. 31:38-40 Jerusalem Enlarged 1 in 8 X 1010
8 Lev 26:31-33; Ez 36:33-35 Palestine 1 in 2 X 105
9 Josh 6:2-5 Jericho 1 in 2 X 105
10 Ez 44:1-3 The Golden Gate 1 in 103
11 Jer 26:18 Zion Plowed 1 in 103

The probability of these 11 prophecies coming true is 1 in 5.76 X 1059. Let’s try to visualize that number. First of all we’ll round it off to 5 X 1059. Then let’s suppose that we had that many silver dollars. How big a pile would that make?

The volume of the sun is 1,000,000 times larger than that of the earth, yet out of 5 X 1059 silver dollars would could make 10 silver balls the size of the sun!

 It has been estimated that the whole universe contains about two trillion galaxies and that each galaxy contains about 100 billion stars. From our 5 X 1059 silver dollars we could make all of the stars in these galaxies 2 X 105 times!

Now suppose that we marked one dollar and stirred it into the whole pile before making them into balls the size of the sun. Then suppose that we blind fold someone and told him to go over to each of the balls and pick up the dollar which he thinks is the right one.

What chance would he have of picking the marked silver dollar?

Assuming he could travel 60 mph day and night it would take him 5 years to go once around each star, or 500 billion years for each galaxy! So let’s suppose that this guy is really fast and is able to look over all the dollars contained in the 100 billion stars of a galaxy in one second!

It would still take him 3 X 10 years (that’s 3 billion years!) to cover them all!

It is absurd to think that he would pick the marked coin! It is just as absurd to think that these prophecies were fulfilled by chance! Only an all-powerful and all knowing God could have written a book that is so amazingly accurate.

This is powerful evidence that the Bible is true and is a good reason for you to put your faith in the Bible as God’s Word! [This section was taken from the book, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Vol. 1, page 318, Written by Josh McDowell.]

Evidence From Ancient Literature

 Many people are bothered by the age of the Bible. They wonder how we can know that the Bible we have today is the same as what was originally written? After all how would we know if it had been changed several hundred years ago?

The answer to these questions are found in manuscript comparison.

The number of copies left of any ancient piece of literature is the main way to tell how accurate it is. Even more important than that is the period of time between when it was written and the date of our earliest copy is. The more copies and the shorter the gap between the original copy and the manuscripts we have means the more accurate the manuscript.

Below is a chart comparing the Old and New Testaments to some of the best known ancient literature.

 

Author

Date Written Earliest Copy Time Span # of Copies
Homer (Iliad) 900 BC 400BC 500 yrs. 643
Caesar 100-44BC 900 AD 1000 yrs   10
Plato 427-347 BC 900 AD 1200 yrs     7
Tacitus 100 AD 1100 AD 1000 yrs   20
Pliny the Younger 63-113 AD 850 AD 750 yrs     7
Thucydides 460-400 BC 900 AD 1300 yrs     8
Suetonius 75-160 AD 950 AD 800 yrs     8
Herodotus 480-425 BC 900AD 1300 yrs     8
Cataullus 54 BC 1550 AD 1600 yrs     3
Euripides 480-406 BC 1100 AD 1500 yrs     9
Demosthenes 383-322 BC 1100 AD 1300 yrs 200 (all from 1 copy)
Aristotle 384-322 BC 1100 AD 1400 yrs 49 (of any 1 work)
Aristophanes 450-385 BC 900 AD 1200 yrs  10
 
New Testament 40-11 AD 125 AD 25 yrs More than 24,000
Old Testament 1500-350 BC 200 BC ??? Over 800

As you can see we have more copies of the Bible than we do of any other piece of ancient literature. So why is it that only the Bible is attacked as untrustworthy? When was the last time you heard someone say that Caesar or Aristotle didn’t really write the books that have their names? If we are going to be fair we must judge all ancient literature by the same standards. By that standard the Bible stands head and shoulders above the rest as true and trustworthy!

Evidence From the Early Church

 If the Bible is indeed true and trustworthy then we would expect to find that it was widely read, used and quoted by the early Christians. Indeed it was!

If every single copy of the New Testament was completely destroyed, we could reconstruct the entire New Testament except for 11 verses!  How? Through the writings of the early church leaders, known as the Church Fathers.

 

The New Testament & the Early Church Fathers

Writer Gospels Acts Paul’s Letters General Letters Rev. Total
Justin Martyr 268 10 43 6 3 330
Irenaeus 1038 194 499 23 65 1819
Clement of Alex. 1017 44 1127 207 11 2406
Origen 9231 349 7778 399 165 17922
Tertullian 3822 502 2609 120 205 7258
Hippolytus 734 42 387 27 188 1378
Eusebius 3258 211 1592 88 27 5176
             
Totals 19368 1352 14035 870 664 36289

This chart leaves little doubt two things:

  • The New Testament was recognized quickly to be the Word of God.
  • The Bible we have is the same one that the early Christians had.

Conclusion

 After reading over this brief look at some of the evidence available the question we started with seems easy to answer now. Is the Bible reliable?

Yes! The evidence is amble and overwhelming – you can trust the Bible as God’s Word!

Yeah But…

 YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO ARGUE ANYONE INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

https://Alpha.org

Please Get In Touch!

Email – louie@discipleup.org

 


Check out the Disciple Up Facebook page:

My books –