Validating the Good News

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: Isaiah 41:21-29


I.        How do I know that the Bible is inspired? How can I be really certain that it comes from God?

           A.       There are various ways to show that the Bible must have came from God.

           B.       Today we will use methods that the Bible itself suggests.

II.       If the scriptures and their authors were really inspired, then the things predicted would come true. - Deuteronomy 18:21-22

           A.       Isaiah emphasized this point many times. One characteristic that distinguishes God from idols is that God can reveal the future accurately - Isaiah 41:21-24

                      1.        The challenge to the false idols: Prove yourselves by revealing the future, good or bad so that we can see if it comes true.

                      2.        Or even show the past with accuracy.

                      3.        God has shown the future in the past and continued to reveal it - Isaiah 42:9

                      4.        God proves there is no other God by his prophecies that have come true - Isaiah 45:20-21

                      5.        There is no one like God - Isaiah 46:8-11

           B.       Jesus showed the truth of himself by predicting his own end.

                      1.        How many people could do that accurately?

                      2.        John 2:18-21 - Predicted being raised from the dead after three days.

                      3.        Mark 8:31 - Predicted suffering, rejection by leaders

           C.       Many modernists have expressed doubts about when the Scriptures were written.

           D.       Many times books are dated as late as possible because they contain prophecies that are too accurate.

           E.       Rather than admit that the books are inspired, they date the books to the time prophesy is fulfilled.

           F.       The book of Isaiah is an important book because two complete copies were found among the Dead Sea scrolls. These scrolls date to 200 years before Christ was born!

                      1.        Isaiah 53 contains an incredibly accurate description of the Christ.

                                 a.        Not physically beautiful - vs. 2

                                 b.        Rejected by men - vs. 3

                                 c.        Wounded, bruised, scourged - vs. 5

                                 d.        Mock trial - vs. 7,8

                                 e.        Died "before his time", without children - vs. 8

                                 f.        Killed with wicked, buried with rich - vs. 9

           G.       Some may say these don't count. Jesus knew the Scriptures and made them come true.

                      1.        Many of these things were not under Jesus' direct control.

                      2.        Most were carried out by non-believers who would rather show that the Scriptures were not fulfilled.

III.      Another method of verifying the Scriptures are by the miracles that accompanied the prophets of God

           A.       God himself bearing witness through signs and wonders - Hebrews 2:3-4

           B.       Moses worked wonders to prove God was with him - Exodus 4:1-9

                      1.        The children of Israel crossed the Red Sea - Exodus 14:30-31

                      2.        Yet even the children of Israel, recipients of all these wonders had trouble holding on to their beliefs - Numbers 14:11

                      3.        Gideon believe the evidence before him - Judges 6:13-14, 17, 20-22

                      4.        Elijah dramatically proves God's existence on Mount Carmel - I Kings 18:24ff

           C.       How do we know that the miracles were not some parlor trick?

                      1.        The miracles were not of the type that would be easily bluffed.

                      2.        Even the enemies of Christ admitted the fact of his miracles. What they disagreed with was the conclusion.

                                 a.        The Jews acknowledge that a man could see, but they looked everywhere for evidence that it was not a miracle - John 9:17-21, 26-34

                                            (1)      “Born in sin” refers to the belief that blindness was a punishment for sin

                                            (2)      Thus, they are admitting that he was born blind

                                 b.        The leaders did not doubt that Lazarus was raised from the dead. They did not want people believing in Jesus as a result - John 12:9-11

IV.     A commonly expressed belief is that Jesus never actually said he was God.

           A.       This is totally false. Jesus claimed to be equal with God the father in many places.

                      1.        The paralyzed man was healed to prove that Jesus had the power to forgive sins - something only God could do - Mark 2:5-12

                      2.        Jesus claims to be the "I am" - John 8:58

                      3.        Jesus had glory with God before the world began - John 17:5

                                 a.        God will not give his glory to another - Isaiah 42:8

                      4.        Jesus and God are one - John 10:30

           B.       Not only that, his claims were accompanied by miracles.

           C.       If he was lying, God would not have allowed the miracles to occur.

V.       The obvious conclusion is that the Bible is inspired. Jesus did live on this Earth and he was more than just a man. He proved without a doubt that he was God in the form of a man.

           A.       John 5:36 - His works bear witness that God sent Jesus

           B.       John 7:31 - If Jesus was not the Christ, could the Messiah do anything more?

           C.       John 20:30-31 - These were written that you may believe.

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