Reason Why I Believe the Bible Was Inspired and Given By God
(Last Sermon of John Newton Hall)
As Noted by J. A. Scarboro
1. There is a God. All the universe proclaims this truth.
2. The Bible is the only book in the world in the language of God, and the best language of men. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, the language of religion and law. The Old Testament is now a text book in Hebrew and a student cannot graduate from a university of languages unless he has read the Old Testament in Hebrew, and no man is considered educated by scholars unless he reads in Hebrew. God is master of languages, and He selected the Hebrew as the language in which to give us His will as revealed in the Old Testament.
The New Testament was written in Greek, the best and purest human language. It puts the largest thoughts into the shortest sentences and words, and God selected that language in which to complete His revelation. When God had completed His revelation in these tongues He petrified them. Other languages change. These do not. So perfect are they that one who can read or speak Hebrew or Greek now could have conversed intelligently with speakers of those languages in the time of David and our Savior.
3. Because there are mysteries in the Bible. Men are too ignorant to comprehend God’s thoughts, and for this reason many things which God says men cannot understand. Shall we refuse to believe it because it is mysterious? Since it claims to be a revelation from a God of mysteries, how could we believe it was from Him if it contained no mysteries? Nature is from God, and we know nature is mysterious. If the Bible is from God, it, too, will therefore contain mysteries. What is the attraction of gravitation? We are told it is the natural tendency of free bodies to move toward the center of the earth. But what makes Mother Earth reach out her hands to call her children to her breast? Nobody knows or can tell. What is death? Who can tell? What is life? We do not know. Scientific men have argued eighty-five principles to explain the mystery of life, no two of which agree. What is electricity? How does it work? Marconi and Edison say they do not know.
There are thousands of such mysteries within and about us - nature is full of them. We do not refuse to believe in nature because she is mysterious and refuses to yield up her secrets to our weak minds. Shall we refuse to believe the Bible because we do not understand it? “The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.” The mysteries convince me the Bible is from God.
I read Butler’s Analogy of Religion and went to sleep over it. Then I read Bogarty’s Analysis of Butler’s Analogy and he woke me up. He understood Butler.
Men could not have indicted or invented the Bible, because it is above human comprehension, just as nature, the other book of God, is above it, and therefore I know that both nature and the Bible are from God.
(1) God is. It makes that perfectly plain.
(2) I am a sinner. It makes that perfectly plain.
(3) Man needs salvation. That is perfectly plain.
4. Because it is so simple. It makes all that is necessary, for our happiness, for us to know, perfectly plain.
(4) Jesus came to die for us and give us eternal life. That is perfectly plain.
Thus God in the Bible makes present conditions and needs plain, and promises to make the future plain when we need it.
5. Because the Bible is so brief. If God wrote it then it will be pregnant with truth. It is pregnant with truth. Therefore God wrote it.
McClaren preached one hundred and sixteen sermons from one text. How long would it take a man to explain all the truth in the Bible, even if he understood it, on that basis?
Lofton preached or wrote sixteen sermons on the word “so,” in the text “God so loved the world.” How that word “so” does grow and expand as the preacher goes on with it. But how long would it take him to preach all the truth in all the words of the Bible?
When I was a boy, quite young, not more than twelve, perhaps, I heard an old Methodist preacher preach from the word “eternity.” He said it was used one time in the Bible. But as he preached and the thought and truth grew on me, I felt I was but an infinitesimal atom in God’s universe and God’s “eternity.”
The Bible is not like any other book. If men had written it, it would have been like other books. Therefore, we know that God wrote it.
Addison’s History of the Creation of Light is one of the finest books man ever wrote. But the Bible puts more in one verse than there is in Addison’s history. “God said, Let there be light.”
One man wrote an evolutionary history of the world. The Bible tells the whole story in one verse: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
Another wrote five volumes on the life of Washington. The Bible puts the biography of Enoch, who lived much longer than Washington, into one verse: “Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.”
Still another wrote two volumes on the life of Christ, showing he was both human and divine. The Bible tells the whole story in two words: “Jesus wept.”
Men cannot write that way. God can. The Bible is written that way. Therefore the Bible is from God.
6. Because the Bible deals honestly with men and tells the truth on them faithfully and impartially.
Fiction manufactures heroes and tries to produce faultless men.
If the Bible had been written by men evil would have been concealed. It is not in human nature for men to reveal their own evil thoughts and bad conduct. But the Bible tells the truth just as it is. It tells how that great and good man, Abraham, lied. It tells how Moses did not please God. Of David committing murder, adultery and falsehood. It tells the truth on Peter and Paul. Some modern folks claim perfection, but we do not read of such folks in the Bible. God speaks the truth. You must face the truth just as it is, so you had best be careful.
7. Because it is adapted to every need. Here is warning, instruction, help, comfort, guidance for everybody and every class and condition of men. No man or men could write a book adapted to the needs of all men and conditions in all ages, covering their wants, material and spiritual. The Bible is a book that does this. Therefore, the Bible is from God, not of men.
I could go on thus much longer, but I must regard your patience and my strength.
“Oh! I forgot to quote my text! Let me read it to you.” “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that that believe” (I Thessalonians 2:13).
[From: Christopher Cockrell, Editor, The Berea Baptist Banner, September, 2010. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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