Here We Still Stand – The Bible
Dr. Jerry Watts
Senior Pastor Elect
Dear Friends in Christ –
In a sermon on March 10th in 1522, Martin Luther said, “I did nothing; the Word did everything.” We stand on this Word in 2020 and will stand on the Word everyday ahead.
As I mentioned in last month’s article, over the next several months we will be digging into our confession of Faith found here on our website: http://www.faithabq.org/welcome/beliefs/
Together we will explore these confessions and how we can make such bold and confident claims.
We begin where the world began, with God’s Word. With a Word, our Heavenly Father spoke life into existence and by His Word we continue to live and breathe. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 we read:
EVERY SCRIPTURE IS INSPIRED BY GOD AND USEFUL FOR TEACHING, FOR REPROOF, FOR CORRECTION, AND FOR TRAINING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS, THAT THE PERSON DEDICATED TO GOD MAY BE CAPABLE AND EQUIPPED FOR EVERY GOOD WORK. (NET)
This means that God’s Word is how we orientate what we believe and how we live. As the people of God at Faith Lutheran we therefore confess,
WE BELIEVE AND TEACH THAT THE BIBLE IS THE INSPIRED WORD OF GOD AND THE AUTHORITATIVE SOURCE AND NORM OF THE CHURCH’S PROCLAMATION, FAITH AND LIFE. THE TRUTH WE LEARN IN THE BIBLE IS BOTH RELIABLE AND DEPENDABLE FOR BELIEVING AND LIVING AS FOLLOWERS OF JESUS CHRIST.
Why such confidence in God’s Word when so many today say it is outdated and unreliable? In this brief conversation I will articulate why the Bible reflects remarkable truth, reliable history, and is relevant to our reality.
The Scriptures reflect remarkable truth from beginning to end. However unlike any other ancient text about God it not only tells us Jesus rose from the dead, but that its historical reality anchor its confession. In other words, it says if the resurrection didn’t happen, our faith would be in vain. The Scriptures record the resurrection with over 500 eyewitnesses, is referred to by non-Biblical historians, and includes women as the first eyewitness (important because if you were fabricating an account you wouldn’t have women as the first eyewitness in a patriarchal society). These are just a few pieces of the vast evidence for the historicity of the resurrection. And of course, if the resurrection is true then so is every other claim in the Bible. Remarkable truth points to the reliable Word.
God’s Word also reflects reliable history with archeological evidence, a willingness to show unflattering details, vast numbers of consistent scrolls, and the early first century account. I focus on just two of those examples for brevity. The Pilate Stone, a replica seen in the picture below with Faith members in Caesarea Maritima not far from where it was found in 1961. This stone confirmed the Biblical account of Pontus Pilate as governor in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion. What once was challenged has now been confirmed archeologically. Early documentation reflects historical accuracy and allows for eyewitness confirmation. Apostles like Peter, Paul, or early disciples like Luke wrote very early accounts. For example, we know Luke’s first volume, his Gospel, was written before Acts which never mentions Paul or Peter’s death – key leaders in the church, facts he wouldn’t have left out. This reflects a first-person early account of the Bible’s absolute confession of Christ as Lord.
Finally, the Bible is reliable because it reflects the reality of our human condition and the human heart. The history of the world reflects the imperfection of humanity and the Bible diagnoses the heart not as we wish it would be but as it really is. Thankfully we have a God who came to the cross not with wishful thinking but with sacrificial love.
God’s Word is reliable and leading us to Christ alone. As you think about and pray about what we believe and confess as the people of God, I pray that like Luther who staked his life on God’s Word, we too can confess, “God’s Word does everything”.
Here We Still Stand In Christ,