Believing the Bible

4335840947_14026b2da5Memory Verse:  “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16)

The Bible is the best selling book of all time. At least a hundred million copies are sold each year; and more than six billion copies  have been distributed throughout the world. Why is it so popular? Because people believe it. They know that it is true. Sixty-three percent of American adults believe that the Bible is the word of God. (Rasmussen Reports)

The Bible was written by men, but God told them what to say. “Holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:2) When Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible, he wrote what God told him to write. He recorded ideas that originated in the mind of God, such as the Ten Commandments.

People who think they’re smart usually know nothing about life. God is smarter than all of us put together, and he actually does know everything. All of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are to be found in him. Since he’s God and we’re not, he gets to make the rules. He gets to say what’s right and wrong, not us. The Ten Commandments are God’s rules for living a happy and successful life.

The Bible is God’s testimony, and it is truth. Satan keeps telling the same old lie. He insists that the truth is not true. He says, the Bible’s not true; there is no God; there’s no such thing as right or wrong; and there is no such thing as truth. He tries to keep everyone in the dark and keep them from hearing the truth of God’s word.

Truth is the most power weapon we have. When you know what the Bible says, you’ll be armed with the truth; and you won’t believe the lies of the Devil. He will have no power over you, and you will be free from his influence.

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32) When you believe the Bible, you will know that God is our Creator. You will know Jesus, the Son of God, and you will be part of the Kingdom of God.

Abraham knew God, and he “staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that what he had promised, he was able also to perform.” (Romans 4:20-21)

He acted like he believed what God said. In fact, he based his whole life on it. That’s the same kind of faith you have. That’s how you became a Christian. You believed that Jesus died for you, that your sins would be forgiven, and that God raised him from the dead. You believed that the Bible is true.

It is your job as a Christian to believe the Bible to such an extent that you base your life on it. That is the kind of faith that pleases God, the faith he accounts as righteousness.

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The Same Spirit That Raised Up Jesus From the Dead

When you become a believer in Jesus Christ, the Spirit of God does three things for you. He regenerates you, he baptizes you into the body of believers, and he seals you unto the day of redemption. When you love the Lord, he can do more for you, and you know that he is alive in you.

In John 14:15-18, Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

Look at what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit in Romans 8:11, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”

This is not just any old Spirit. He is the same Spirit of God that raised up Jesus from the dead, and he is alive in you. He is the most powerful Spirit in the Universe, and He is alive in you. You have access to him 24 hours a day. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He will teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance.

All of the promises of God apply to you. That’s why you can say with confidence. “Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world. I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me. My God shall supply all your needs, according to his riches in glory.”

You don’t have to be afraid of anything, because the greater one lives in you. He will protect you, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

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You Shall Come Forth As Gold

I was at home, building a tool shed, when God‘s still small voice spoke to me inside. “You shall come forth as gold.” I knew that it was God for two reasons. It was completely out of context with what was going on in my thought life; and, it was a direct reference to a Bible verse. “When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10) I knew that something important was about to happen to me. I just didn’t know what it was.

I am always excited to hear from the Lord, but I was uneasy about this “fire” business. Immediately, I told my wife, Marie, “Good news, we’re going to come forth as gold. The not-so-good news is that, apparently, we are about to go through some kind of fire.”

The first thing we thought of was King Nebucannezzar’s fiery furnace. But we were sure that we had already been there and done that. This was something that had not happened yet. I knew of two verses where Jesus is associated with fire. But I had never understood either of them.

This is what John the Baptist said about Jesus. “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall Baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:” (Matthew 3:11). But the verse that bothered most was this one, “Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughtly purge his floor, and gather his wheat unto the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” ( Matthew 3:12)  Honestly, I was afraid of that fire.

I should have known that the Lord would not do anything to hurt me. He would never throw me into a burning fiery furnace. He was doing something to help me. God’s fire is on the inside and he doesn’t burn us. But he does destroy evil desires, addictions, and cravings. That is the most effective way for us to get rid of them. He is a purifying fire who burns up all the trash that’s in our hearts, and leaves only the good things of God.

Here’s an example of what the fire of God has done for me. I used to have a terrible problem with anger. I was like a volcano that could erupt at any time. My wife and kids, and co-workers were terrorized by my fits of rage. That was the first thing to go. It was obvious that God did it because it disappeared overnight, and it has never come back.

I am telling you this because I know that God will do the same for you. He makes it possible for us to live the the Christian life. The Bible is true, and you can apply everything it says to your life.

Let me show you something I find fascinating. John the Baptist is the last of the Old Testament prophets. There was a long period where God was silent between the time of Malachi, and that of Jesus and John the Baptist. Look at what God said through his prophet Malachi.

“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts.”

But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” (Malachi 3:1-3)

God said that Jesus would refine us like silver and gold, which means, burning away all the impurtities. It excites me to realize that he is presently doing what God said he would do in my life, and in the lives of everyone who is born of God. It’s something that he does for us because he loves us.

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Do You Have the Inward Witness?

The Holy Spirit is the same Spirit that raised up Jesus from the dead. You have to know whether He lives in you, or not. But how can you tell?

This is what the Bible says about the Holy Spirit, and you know that the Bible is true.

“Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.”  (1 John 4:13)

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” (Romans 8:16)

“And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. And there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”  (1 John 5:6-7)

Here is something from my own experience that might be helpful.

I used to be self-absorbed. My thought life was all about me and my interests. I was always thinking about fulfilling my goals, and my hopes and dreams. Always asking myself, “Now what am I going to do for me?”

When I was a young man, just getting out of the Army, I needed a job to support my family. In desperation, I cried out to God for help. He answered my prayer. He gave me a job, and a whole lot more.

I really did appreciate his help and I told him so. I started paying attention to God and reading his word. I read about the Holy Spirit and I believed that was alive in me. But I was still the same selfish person I had always been.

After a while, I could see that I was changing. Instead of being so self-centered, I was genuinely interested in the people around me. I was patient and kind to them, instead of grouchy and impatient. I knew that I had not changed myself. This could only be the work of the Holy Spirit. I was glad to know for sure that he was definitely alive in me.

The Lord was changing from the inside. He was changing my interests and my desires. He was providing me everything I needed. He was providing me faith to believe his word, and love for others that wasn’t there before. And he is still doing these things for me

That is how I knew for sure that I had experienced the new birth.

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