The Bible --- The Word of God Copied and pasted from (The Open Bible - New American Standard) a section called "the Christian Life study Outlines and Notes". It reviews the foundamental doctrines of the Bible on fifteen topics, namely: The Bible - the Word of God God Jesus Christ The Son of God The Holy Spirit Sin Judgements Rewards The Church Prayer Faith The Abundant Life Repentance The New Birth God's Plan of Salvation How to Witness Effectively I thought of sharing this with you to enhance our growth in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. It is suggested by the writer that this study is equal to an advanced college course in Systematic Theology. I am just copying the Studies in its Outline sequence for your reference. I pray that our faith in Christ will grow stronger and confident after the studies. Study Outline #1 - The Bible - The Word of God It is so important for a young Christian to start right; therefore, the first lesson is designed to help establish your faith in the Bible, for it is the Word of God. Keep in mind that the Bible is not a book of philosphy, although it is philosophical. Do not go to the Bible for a scientific treatise. However, there is no discrepancy between ascertained facts of science and the Bible. The Bible is not a book of history, but is found to be accurate whe recording history. The Bible was given to man from God, revealing Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and God the Son, the only Saviour (John 14: 6 - Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father, but through Me.") He is the centre and the circumference. It is Christ from Genesis to Revelation (John 5: 39 - "You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life: and it is these that bear witness of Me.") THE BIBLE CLAIMS TO BE THE INSPIRED WORD OF GOD (2 Timothy 3: 16/17 - "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.") "All Scripture is inspired by God." By "inspired" we mean that the Holy Spirit exerted His supernatural influence upon the writers of the Bible. Therefore the Scriptures are God inspired word for word. By this we mean that every word, in the original, is fully and equally inspried in all of its teachings. The Bible does not just contain the Word of God, it is the Word of God. The writers of the Bible did not write by natural inspiration, or an act of the human will. "Men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God" - 2 Peter 1:21.) David said, "The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue" - 2 Samuel 23:2) The Holy Spirit is the Author of the Bible. Man is the instrument used by the Holy Spirit to write the Bible. Results: The infallible Word of God. Therefore, the Bible is free from error and absolutely trustworthy. (Psalm 118:89 "Forever, O LORD, Thy word is settled in heaven"). (Matthew 24: 35 "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away"). THE BIBLE IS A DIFFICULT BOOK (1 Corinthians 2: 14/16 - "But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no man. For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, THAT HE SHOULD INSTRUCT HIM? But, we have the mind of Christ.") The Bible is a difficult book because it came from the infinite to the finite - from the unlimited, all powerful God, to limited man. Therefore, you cannot understand the Bible as you would understand the writings of Plato or Socrates. You can study the great philosophers with the natural mind, and by dilligent application, grasp their profound meanings. If the Bible could be understood by a nautral man, it would be a natual book, and could not be the Word of God. Since the Bible is from God, and therefore spiritual, before you can receive its teachings, you must be born of the Spirit (John 3:6) and filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18). Always approach the Bible praying that the Spirit will be your teacher and will guide you to a better understanding of His Holy Word, or it will remain a difficult, closed book. (John 16: 12-15). THE BIBLE IS A BOOK OF ONENESS (2 Peter 1: 21 - "for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.") The oneness or unity of the Bible is a miracle. It is a library of 66 books, written by over 35 different authors. In a period of approximately 1,500 years. Represneted in the authors is a cross section of humanity, educated and uneducated, including kings, fishermen, public officials, farmers, teachers, and physicians. Included in the subjects are religion, history, law, science, poetry, drama, biography, and prophecy. Yet its various parts are as harmoniously united as the parts that make up the human body. For 35 authors, with such varied backgrounds, to write on so many subjects over a period of approximately 1,500 years in absolute harmony, is a mathematical impossibility. It could not happen! Then how do we account for the Bible? The only adequate explanation is "....men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God". THE BIBLE CLAIMS SPECIAL POWER (Hebrews 4: 12 - "for the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.") The Bible claims dividing power as the sword. The Bible will separate man from sin (Psalm 119 : 11), or sin will separate man from the Bible (Isaiah 59: 2). The Bible claims refelcting power as a mirror (James 1: 22-25). In the Bible, we see ourselves as God sees us - as sinners (Romans 3: 23). The Bible claims cleansing power as water (Ephesians 5: 26). David prayed that God would wash him from iniquity and cleanse him from sin (Psalms 51: 2). The Bible claims reproductive power as seed (1 Peter 1: 23). We are children of God, because we have been born into the family of God by the imperishable seed of God. This is the new birth (John 3: 1-7). The Bible claims nourishing power as food (1 Peter 2: 2). The Bible is spiritual food for the soul. No Christian can remain strong in the Lord and not study the Word of God. THE BIBLE COMMANDS THE BELIEVER TO STUDY THE SCRIPTURES (2 Timothy 2: 15 - 26.) "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God" is a command. As you study the Bible, ask yourself these questions: Who is speaking: God, demon, angel, or man? To whom is He speaking: to the nation Isreal, to the Gentiles, to the Church, to men in general, or to some individual man or being? How can this Scripture be applied to my own life to make me a better Christian?