Bible Doctrine 1: The Holy Bible
God’s Word teaches:
That the Holy Bible, consisting of 39 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament, is the inspired Word of God. We take the Bible as the final authority in all matters concerning Christian conduct and work – 2 Timothy 3: 16,17; Proverbs 30: 5,6; Revelation 22:18,19.
The Holy Bible is the inspired word of God and is the only source of knowledge from the Almighty God to all mankind. It is the contact point between finite man and the Infinite God; and its prime purpose is to give mankind a revelation of God (2 Timothy 3:15-17). The Bible is severally referred to as the Holy Scriptures (Romans 1:2; 2 Timothy 3:15), the oracles of God (Romans 3:2; Hebrews 5:12), the Book of the Lord (Isaiah 34:16), the word of God (Mark 7:13), the word of Christ (Colossians 3:16) and the word of life (Philippians 2:16). It is in two major parts; the Old and the New Testaments. It consists of 66 books; 39 of which are in the Old Testament, 27 in the New Testament. The Bible was originally written predominantly in Hebrew and Greek. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew and Aramaic, while the New Testament was written in the Greek language. Over 40 authors drawn from disparate generations spanning a period of over 1800 years were used by God to write the Bible. Even though their occupations, education and social classes were divergent, their theme was the same as they were inspired by the Holy Ghost (2 Peter 1:20). The inspiration of the authors can be attested to by some peculiar characteristics of the Bible, which are not found in any other book written by man. Such characteristics include its wonderful unity despite the fact that the authors lived in different ages; its versatility as it meets the needs of all people irrespective of race and language (Matthew 4:4). Its superiority to other books, the influence on individuals and nations; its preservation over the centuries, its fulfilled prophecies (Isaiah 7:4; Ezekiel 36:19; 2 Chronicles 7:19,20) and its perfection (Psalms 19:7;
The Pre-eminence of the Bible (Isaiah 8:20; Psalm 119:89) makes it indispensable to all men today. While other books have limited influence on man, because they are products of finite minds, the Bible which is God’s revelation to man has the solution to every problem today. Therefore, no man’s education is complete if he is ignorant of the provisions of the Bible. No Christian can live successfully without an adequate grasp of the Bible, and no Christian minister is really qualified for the ministry of the church of Christ without a thorough knowledge of the Bible (2 Timothy 2:15). Without a ready knowledge of the Bible, the Christian worker cannot be effective.
The central theme of the Bible is CHRIST and HIS WORK OF REDEMPTION (John 20:31; Luke 24:25-27; Revelation 1:1). He is The Old Testament concealed, and He is The New Testament revealed. To fully understand the Bible and to rightly interpret its messages; we must first receive Jesus Christ as Saviour and have a clear and definite experience of conversion. Those who do not know Christ and those who have wrong conceptions about The Bible has a Ministry to unbelievers as well as to believers too. To unbelievers, the Bible brings conviction for sin, which leads to repentance and faith in Christ Jesus. To
believers the goals of the Bible are various. It is to make believers perfect (Psalm 119:9, 11), to reveal the condition of their hearts (Hebrews 4:12; Jeremiah 17: 9, 10), it is a light to the believers feet (Psalms 119:105; 130), the food of the soul (Deuteronomy 8:3; John 21:17; psalm 19:10; Matthew 4:4), a medicine to the body and soul (Proverbs 4:20-22; Psalms 107:20; Matthew 8:8) and the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17; Matthew 4:1-11). It is a mirror to reflect (James 1:23); a hammer to
convict, and a fire to refine (Jeremiah 23:29); seed to multiply (1 Peter 1:23); leaver to cleanse (Ephesians 5:26; John 15:3); rain and snow to refresh (Isaiah 55:10); gold to enrich (Psalm 19:7-10); and power to create life and faith (1 Peter 1:23; Romans 10:17).
The Bible is God’s inspired revelation of the origin and destiny of all things. It is the power of God unto eternal salvation and it is the source of present help to the body, soul, and spirit (Romans 1:16; John 15:7). It is God’s will and testament to man in all ages, revealing His plan for man here and now and in the next life. It is the record of God’s dealing with men; past, present and future. It contains God’s message of eternal salvation to all who believe in Christ and of eternal damnation to those who rebel
against the gospel (John 3:18,36).
The purpose of the Bible then is to reveal God to man, reveal man’s need of God and show man the way to God. Man by searching cannot find God except God makes Himself known to him (Job 11:7). The Bible also reveals to man how to live, and through the fulfillment of its prophecies all human needs are met. We receive salvation, sanctification, Holy Ghost baptism, healing, deliverance, protection, etc. For us to profit maximally from the study of the Bible, all hindrances to spiritual receptivity must be removed: such as hardened heart (Matthew 13:3-6, 18-21), double-mindedness (James 1:8; Mark 4:15- 17), pride (Deuteronomy 8:11-14; Psalm 101:5; Proverbs 18:12), carnality (1 Corinthians 3:1-5) and unbelief (Matthew 13:58).
Every believer in the church today can benefit from the hidden treasures in the Bible. But this would require sacrifices on our part. Treasures are not found except by searching or digging earnestly. Likewise, deep Bible truths need to be sought for and in doing this we will discover Christ the more (Colossians 2:9; John 5:39). Certain spiritual preparations are required from believers in order to discover these treasures that would make them develop into the fullness of the stature of Christ. There must be earnest love for the truth for its own sake (Psalm 119:40,47,54,72,103); supreme love for God (Matthew 22:37; Deuteronomy 30:6; Psalm 73:25); and an intense desire to know more of Him (Psalm 42:1,2; 63:1). Also there should be a strong desire to make Him known to others (Proverbs 11:24-26; Romans 9:1-3), willingness to make personal sacrifice to study (Matthew 13:44-46; 12:42), a sense of ignorance and dependence upon divine teaching and willingness to practice as far as you learn (Psalm119: 60,101,106; James 1:22-25; Ezra 7:10). Other requirements are a fixed purpose to know, and do the whole truth (Psalm 119:63; 57:7; 108:1) and a cultivating state of mind that will not be diverted to make provision for the flesh (Romans 13:14; Matthew 26:41).
Above all, you need also a regular habit of prayer, resignation to the whole will of God and His word that will make you discover the treasures hidden in the Bible.
1. Admit that you are a sinner. "For all [humans] have sinned, and comes short of the glory of God....[and] the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 3:23)
2. Repent now. "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out ...[for] if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness " (Acts 3:19, 1 John 1:9)
3. Believe that God loves you and Jesus died for you. "God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet Sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:8)
4. Invite Jesus into your life through prayer of faith. Jesus says, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me" (Revelation 3:20)