Principal Point of Faith #1:
1. Why is the Bible different from any other book in the world?
(a) The Bible is fully and completely the sacred Word of God our Creator. The Bible has two parts:
1) the Old Testament, which contains 39 letters or books;
2) the New Testament, containing 27 letters or books
(b) The Bible is the only book that gives true knowledge about God and His plan of salvation. (See Hebrews 1:1-2; Psalm 138:2; 2 Timothy 3:16; Psalm 119:160). In this day it is our only source of information about God and His plan, and our only guide for true Christian conduct.
Why is the Bible our only source of knowledge about God?
The Bible is our only source of knowledge about God because we do not have direct communication with God today, as they did in Bible times. The Bible was given by inspiration of God.
2. Who wrote the Bible?
(a) The Bible was written by people who were guided by God. (See 2 Peter 1:21; 1 Peter 1:11; Hebrews 1:1-2).
“For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21)
3. In what way can the Bible benefit us today?
(a) It contains all that we need to form a character acceptable to God and is a thorough furnisher unto all good works (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
(b) The Bible promises eternal life to all who believe and obey its teachings. (See John 17:3; Romans 2:7; 2 Peter 1:11).
Who has eternal life now?
4. How can we best understand the Bible’s message?
(a) To understand and believe its message, we need to read the Bible with a mind open to conviction, and with a prayer for God’s blessing. (See 1 Timothy 4:13; Psalm 119:103-105; Jeremiah 15:16; Jeremiah 9:24). Note: Be careful not to read INTO the Bible what it is does not say.
(b) The Bible is its own best interpreter; i.e., the Bible defines its own terms.
Example: Paul taught the gospel (1 Cor. 15:1). What is the gospel of God? See Romans 1:16.
(c) Some parts of the Bible help us understand other parts.
Example: Jesus spoke a parable about a man who planted a vineyard ( Matt. 21:33). What is the vineyard of the Lord? See Isa. 5:7
(d) Not every statement in the Bible is to be interpreted in a literal sense (see 1 Corinthians 2:13). The Bible uses different literary tools to reveal the plan of God. These tools include parables, allegories, metaphors, and symbols-which must be studied and understood according to the Bible’s own rule of “comparing spiritual things with spiritual” (1 Cor. 2:13).
(e) When trying to understand the Bible, always start with the plain, general teaching of the Bible, and try to harmonize the difficult with the plain texts.
Example: Where is the future home of the righteous? Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:5. The Psalmist tells us in Psalm 37:11.
5. How can we know that we can trust what the Bible says?
(a) We believe the Bible to be infallible and inerrant in all matters pertaining to doctrine, faith and instruction in the way of salvation in the original form and languages in which it was written.
(b) The truthfulness of the Bible is confirmed by both internal and external evidence. Internal evidence includes its fulfilled prophecies, its subject matter, and the agreement of its authors on every point of the plan of God. External evidence includes the confirmations of extra-biblical authors, history, and archaeology.
How can we know that the Bible that it is not the product of any human mind?