In a society in which there is so much unbelief and so many other beliefs, we can’t just assume that people view the Bible as reliable or relevant, never mind as God’s word. Often, before we can tell them what the Bible says, we have to make a case for why they should listen. That’s what we are going to look at in this article and the next. So, how do we know that the Bible is God’s word? We use our EAR. EAR is an acronym we will use to present three lines of evidence for the divine authority of the Bible. It stands for Experience, Agreement and Revelation.
Experience When you read the Gospels, you find the Lord’s word had power - He told the paralysed to get up, the blind to see, the demons to depart, the dead to rise, and it happened. Those who were healed by Christ were living proof of the divine authority of His word.
So it is with the Bible. This book has a message that transforms lives, and you can testify to that. Your own testimony is a powerful tool, whether you are witnessing to atheists, cultists, or people from other religions, because their worldview doesn’t even pretend to offer what the gospel offers - the assurance of salvation, new life, and a personal relationship with God by grace.
Even if you weren’t in the gutter of sin, you have your own experience of the gospel giving you new life and an interest in things that once you had no interest in. You have your own experience of knowing the reality of God in your life.
Write out and memorize your own personal testimony so you can deliver it in less than a minute. You should be able to tell briefly why you wanted to be saved, how you were saved, and what it means to you now. The gospel isn’t dry theory or dull theology - it is something that makes a powerful, positive difference in the lives of those that embrace it.
If you want to prove there is power at a socket, you plug in an appliance. You, and millions of others, have ‘plugged in’ to the biblical gospel and proved it to be ‘the power of God unto salvation’, Rom. 1. 16.
Agreement Sometimes you will meet people who will tell you they tried to read the Bible but gave up. One of the things I have found helpful is to emphasize the unity of scripture. The Bible is a collection of sixty-six books, written by about forty different authors over a period of about 1600 years, and yet it tells one story - the story of God redeeming fallen humanity through Christ.
All the stories of the Bible come together to tell that one story - that is remarkable. Imagine if someone came to you with a piece of a jigsaw or a paragraph of text, then sometime later someone else gives you another piece of a jigsaw or another paragraph of text. This happens over a period of years, and when you look at all the jigsaw pieces you find they all fit together to form a picture, or when you put all the paragraphs together, they form one story. What would you conclude? You certainly wouldn’t put it down to luck. You would recognize someone was behind it all. When it comes to the Bible, the only one who could have been behind it all is God.
Not only do all the stories come together to tell one story, but all the stories individually illustrate that one story. That’s why the Sunday School teacher can go through the Old Testament and not only tell the children wonderful stories but from those stories present Christ and preach the gospel. It is useful to have a couple of examples ready to share if opportunity arises. For instance, you could relate the story of Noah’s ark and say, ‘God warned of judgement for sin, but provided a way of salvation through the ark, and those who sheltered in the ark were saved from the judgement. The ark took it for them, and they were brought into a new creation - that’s the message of the gospel’. Or, you could sketch out the story of Joseph, ‘It’s the story of a beloved son who claims he is destined to rule. He is rejected by his own people, handed over to the Gentiles and condemned as a criminal, but he rises to prominence and becomes the saviour of the world’. You can then enlarge on these points of correspondence and show that the God of the Bible is sovereign in history, telling the story in advance over and over again.
To be continued in the final part of this short series.
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