I am preparing to teach during our AWANA program this evening and the theme for the night is the Word of God. The Bible is a unique book in human history. It is the very hear of God, communicated to us in a language that we can understand so that we can discover what God wants from us. Many people have asked throughout the ages, “what does God want from me”? Many others have tried to answer that question. The definitive answer is found in the pages of the Holy Bible. Parts of the Bible were written by different men over a 1,600 year period time. These people lived on different continents and came from vastly different cultures. Yet, the central message of the Bible is the same. Other parts of the Bible were written by God, Himself.
When He had finished speaking with him upon Mount Sinai, He gave Moses the two tablets of the testimony, tablets of stone, written by the finger of God. (Exodus 31:18)
Although God did not physically write every Word that we have in the Bible, He did direct those who wrote to write exactly what He wanted them to communicate.
The words of the LORD are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times. (Psalm 12:6)
Each word in the Bible was chosen by God. The overall message is clear and exact. Although the different men wrote through the lens of their own experiences and cultures, they wrote down exactly what God wanted them to write.
20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation,
21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (II Peter 1)
God used the Holy Spirit to impress upon the writers of the Bible write down exactly what He wanted them to write. We can trust the Word of God that we have in our hands today in the form of the Holy Bible.
The sum of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting. (Psalm 119:160)
The Bible is the verified source to knowing and understanding God while we live on this earth.
I. Jesus used the Bible to teach the Gospel
I remember when I was younger, I used to think that when Jesus was on the earth and preaching the Gospel to people that He was making up His teaching as He went along because He is God and He can do that. Upon further study, I discovered that Jesus actually used the Bible to teach the Gospel to the people around Him.
Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (Luke 24:27)
The reference to the Scriptures is explained in the text. Moses and the prophets is another way of saying the writings that we call the Old Testament today. Jesus helped the disciples fully understand the message of the Gospel by explaining (clarifying) the Old Testament to them. Even before His death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus had been using the Old Testament to explain the Gospel to the people.
44 Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”
45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, (Luke 24)
The teaching of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Messiah is found in the Old Testament. Jesus taught that to His disciples and others even before He went to the cross. He simply helped them understand. This is the goal when sharing the Gospel. We want people to come face to face with the Word of God and understand the message of the Gospel of the Messiah. Do you help the people around you understand the Scriptures so that they can clearly see the message of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ? Jesus had that calling and He taught His disciples to do the same thing. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, then you have the same calling today. Are you a diligent study of the Word of God, both the Old and New Testaments?
II. Paul used the Bible to teach the Gospel
The great apostle Paul was a fantastic missionary to the Gentile world. As a born again Christian and a Gentile today, I have directly benefited from the work and ministry of the apostle Paul. He was a very intelligent and learned man. He used that intelligence to help the people around him understand the message of the Gospel as found in the Word of God.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;
7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles;
8 and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. (I Corinthians 15)
Did you notice the two references to the Scriptures in the above verses? Just like Jesus, the apostle used the Bible to teach the people the message of the Gospel. The message is the same message that Jesus taught from the Old Testament. The Messiah would die to pay the price for our sins. The Messiah would be buried and resurrect on the third day, just as the Old Testament Scriptures teach. I see a trend today among evangelicals to focus on sharing the Gospel apart from the Word of God because the Bible tends to be very “controversial” in our modern society. This is a mistake because that means that we are no longer following in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus nor are we following in the footsteps of the apostle who brought the Gospel to the Gentile world. If not for the Bible, we would not know about the Gospel.
III. The Bible is the Gospel
We should never try to divorce the Gospel from the Bible. According to the apostle Paul:
For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Romans 1:16)
The Word of God (Gospel) is the power of God for salvation. When we remove the message of the Gospel from the Bible, we also remove the power. No wonder so many are not seeing others repent and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior! That is the natural result when we remove the message of the Gospel from the power source. I want to see results the way that the apostle Paul did. I want to see results the way that Jesus did. The secret to their success was the fact that the message was joined together with the power source. The Gospel write, John, explains it this way for us.
30 Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book;
31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20)
The Word of God explains Jesus, the Messiah, to us. The Word of God leads us to place our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. When we believe in Jesus according to who He is as presented in the Word of God, we have life in His name. When we share this truth with those around us, we need to present the power source, the Word of God.
My dear friend, I want to ask you, do you seek to invest the Word of God in the lives of the people within your sphere of influence? Do you see the power of God work when you share the Gospel with others? Could it be that you are taking the message of the Gospel to others without the power source?
May the Lord help us share the power of God with those around us by seeking to help others understand the message of the Gospel found in the Word of God!