September 3, 2017 – Bible Doctrine # 1 – The Bible

Survey of Bible Doctrine, Week 1 – The Bible’s Authority and Inspiration

OUTLINE OF THE LESSON:

Authority – The Bible is our only and final doctrinal authority

  • Jesus accepted scripture as His final authority – Matthew 5:17-18
  • Jesus defended Himself and justified His actions with scripture – Matthew 4:4-10
  • Jesus obeyed the scriptures – Matthew 26:51-56

Inspiration – 2 Timothy 3:16 – “theopneustos” – God breathed

  • The Bible is God’s Word – 1 Peter 1:23-25
  • The Bible came from God, not man – 2 Peter 1:20-21
  • The Bible is inerrant and infallible – Titus 1:2
  • The Bible tells us how to live – 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Lesson Date: September 3, 2017

Focal Scripture Passage: Matthew 5:17-18, 4:1-10, and 26:51-56; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Peter 1:23-25; 2 Peter 1:20-21; Titus 1:2

AIM: To lead students to recognize that the Bible is God’s authoritative and inspired Word that contains valuable instructions for our daily life, and to encourage them to read the Bible every day this week.

 

Before class: Gather some religious literature from non-Christian religious organizations. These may be obtainable at the local public library or from the Internet. If you can’t locate actual literature, make some representations by taking stacks of paper, folding them in half and stapling them like booklets. Write some of these titles on the front of the booklets: “The Book of Mormon,” “The Watchtower,” “The Koran,” “The Teachings of Mohammed,” “The Writings of Confucius,” “The Humanist Manifesto,” “Unitarian Universalism,” “The Satanic Bible,” and “Human Reasoning and Common Sense.” Another option would be to cut some book shapes out of construction paper, label them with the titles listed above, and place them on the walls of your classroom. Have enough copies of the lesson outline handout for your anticipated attendance. Write “The Bible” on the marker board or chalkboard.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the class’ attention to the various pieces of religious literature you have brought or displayed. Tell the students there are many different religious books in the world. Millions of people read those various books and try to live by their teachings. Hold up your Bible, and ask the following rhetorical questions:

  • What makes the Bible different from all the other religious books?
  • Can the Bible really be trusted and believed?
  • Isn’t the Bible filled with errors?
  • Is the Bible superior to all the other religious books in the world?
  • Is the Bible superior to your own human reasoning and common sense?

Tell the class they will find answers to those questions in today’s lesson. Point out the lesson outline on the board and tell them they will learn about the Bible’s authority and inspiration.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Central Truth):

  1. Introduction.
    • Be sure everyone has a copy of the new Sunday School Member Quarterly, titled “Survey of Bible Doctrine.” Tell the class that this quarter we will study Bible doctrine, rather than studying through a single book of the Bible.
    • Explain that many people hold sincere beliefs about God, the Bible, Jesus, and salvation, but cannot articulate why they believe what they believe. Our goal for this quarter is to learn what we should believe; but most importantly, why we should hold to those beliefs.
    • Explain that the word doctrine simply means “teaching.”
      • Tell the class today’s lesson serves as a foundation for the rest of the doctrinal lessons.
      • The doctrines we will study this quarter are not only Baptist doctrines, they are Bible
      • The Bible is our ultimate authority on doctrinal matters.
      • As we study these thirteen doctrine lessons, we will repeatedly ask the question: “What does the Bible say about….”
      • Since the Bible is our authority, if the Bible says it, that settles it. This is the uniqueness of Christianity.
    • Give each student a copy of the lesson outline handout.
  2. The Bible’s Authority – Jesus Accepted it.
    • Tell the class the Bible is our AUTHORITY.
    • Write the word “Authority” on the board.
    • Ask them to suggest a definition for the word “authority” (a dictionary definition might say something like: “The right and power to command, enforce laws, exact obedience, determine, or judge”).
    • Since the Bible is our authority, it has power to command, require obedience, and make judgments between right and wrong.
    • Explain that we base our belief that the Bible is authoritative on the fact that Jesus Christ demonstrated His belief in the authority of the Bible.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Matthew 5:17-18.
    • Explain that the word law refers to God’s Word recorded in the Old Testament
    • Ask the students to fill in the blanks in this sentence: Jesus didn’t come to ___________ the law, but to ___________ it.
    • Ask: “What did He say about how long the law would last?” (it will last longer than heaven and earth exist).
    • Stress the fact that Jesus Christ accepted scripture as His final authority.
  3. The Bible’s Authority – Jesus Used it and Obeyed it.
    • Read Matthew 4:1-10 to the class.
    • Tell the class these verses tell the familiar story of Jesus being tempted by the devil.
    • Tell them throughout this time of temptation, Jesus used the same tool three times to defend Himself against the devil.
    • Ask everyone to look back at verses 4, 7, and 10.
    • Ask: “What was that tool?” (He quoted the Bible to answer the devil).
    • Ask: “Did that tool (the Bible) work for Jesus?” (yes).
    • We must understand that Jesus defended Himself and justified His actions with scripture.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Matthew 26:51-56.
    • Ask: “Why did Jesus stop Peter from defending Him, allowing Himself to be arrested?” (so that Bible prophecies about Him would be fulfilled).
    • These verses teach us that Jesus obeyed the scriptures.
    • If Jesus Christ, who was God in human flesh, accepted the Bible as His authority and obeyed the Bible completely, then we should do the same.
    • Tell the class we have learned that the Bible is authoritative. That means we must obey its commands and accept its judgments.
  4. The Bible’s Inspiration – Where did it Come From?
    • Tell the class that next we will deal with the Bible’s INSPIRATION.
    • Write the word “Inspiration” on the board.
    • Ask everyone to turn to 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Read those verses.
    • Ask: “How much of the Bible is inspired by God?” (all of it).
    • Explain that the word inspired literally means the words of the Bible were breathed out of the mouth of God (the Greek word is “theopneustos” – “theo” means god, and “pneustos” means breathed out).
    • Ask: “Do I have the right to ignore some Bible passages as being less important or less inspired than the others?” (no, because all scripture is inspired by God).
    • Ask: “What do these verses say the Bible is useful for?” (doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness). Briefly explain those words:
      • Doctrine is instruction and teaching about the will and ways of God.
      • Reproof is telling someone about their sin in order to bring them to a point of confessing their sin.
      • Correction is “straightening up again,” to get the one who has confessed his sin back on the right course.
      • Instruction in righteousness is nurturing and training in the ways of right-living.
    • Tell the class the Bible was inspired by God and it tells us how to live.
  5. The Bible’s Inspiration – It’s Validity and Truthfulness.
    • Ask a volunteer to read 1 Peter 1:23-25.
    • Ask: “What is the Bible called in verse 23?” (the Word of God).
    • Note that salvation comes through exposure to the Bible. That’s why we want to get lost people in our Sunday School classes.
    • Ask: “How long will the Bible last?” (forever).
    • Ask a volunteer to read 2 Peter 1:20-21.
    • Ask: “Did the Bible come from man or from God?” (it came from God).
    • Explain that since the Bible came from God it is God’s
      • The Bible is God’s Word; it does not simply contain God’s Word.
      • If it merely contained God’s Word then parts of it would not be God’s Word.
      • Such uninspired passages could not be trusted, leaving us trying to figure out which parts are true and which parts are not.
      • Fortunately, the Bible is God’s Word and everything it says is true and accurate.
    • Ask: “When you open your Bible and read a passage, who is speaking to you?” (God Himself is speaking directly to you).
    • We often casually refer to the writings of Paul or Moses or David, but we must remember that the Bible is God’s message to us. We are not merely reading the words of men, we are reading the Word of God delivered to us through the pens of “holy men of God.”
    • Tell the class there has been much debate in modern times as to whether the Bible is completely and totally true.
    • Ask: “How can we know that God’s book is accurate and true? Many people today say there are errors in the Bible. How can we know that the things God has told us in the Bible are inerrant (without error) and infallible (they will certainly come to pass)?”
    • Tell the students Titus 1:2 settles that issue. Read that verse.
    • Ask: “What does this verse tell you about God’s truthfulness?” (God cannot lie).
    • Explain that God, who has limitless power, has chosen to limit Himself in such a way that He cannot
    • Since the Bible is God’s Word and God cannot lie, then the Bible is completely true and accurate.
    • Tell the class the Bible is God’s Word, it came from God, and it is completely inerrant and infallible.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17 again. The end result of studying the Bible is stated in verse 17, which says Bible study will make us mature (the literal meaning of the word perfect) and equip us to do all types of good works for God. The Bible is God’s Word that He has miraculously delivered to us. It is our one and only source of authority. In the Bible, God tells us how to live. As such, we ought to read it and obey it.

These facts are true, but the key question is this: “Do you want to be spiritually mature and completely equipped to do God’s work?”

Tell the class the Bible is God’s Word and they should obey it, but they can’t obey it if they don’t read it. Ask the students if they are willing to make a commitment before God to read the Bible every day this week. Lead a closing prayer, encouraging everyone to silently make his or her personal commitment to God.

 

CONCLUSION: Tell the students a good way to read the Bible every day is to follow the Daily Bible Reading Guide found on pages 4-5 of their Sunday School Member Quarterly. Show this to the class and urge everyone to read the Bible every day. Explain that since this is a doctrinal study, they will need to locate many different Bible passages in various parts of their Bibles. Tell them not to hesitate to use the table of contents in the front of their Bible to help locate the various Bible passages. Encourage everyone to come back next week to learn about God’s special revelation to man.

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