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This topic is adapted from the PursueGOD Video YouTube channel. This is part 1 of 12 in the Bible Basics for New Believers series.

How do we know what God thinks or what God wants? How do we know God’s truth? We know because he has revealed himself in the Bible.

The Bible Comes from God

We need God’s word to discern what is really true. Many voices in the world claim to speak with truth and authority. But God has spoken.

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God…

The Bible was written by many different human authors with different personalities, in different historical and cultural settings. But all the words in the Bible are also God’s words.

2 Peter 1:20-21 Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.

[Related: What Does it Mean that the Bible Is Inspired?]

The Bible Can Be Trusted

Because it is from God, the Bible can be trusted to tell us the truth and not deceive us or lead us astray.

Psalm 19:7-9 The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple… The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart…. The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair.

God not only gave his words, but he also preserves them. We can trust that the Bibles we have today accurately reflect the original writings. The comparison of ancient manuscripts shows this to be the case. The credibility of the Bible can be established in various ways – not only the manuscript evidence, but also archaeology, history, fulfilled prophecy, and the impact of the Bible on human culture and in individual lives.

[Related: Are There Contradictions in the Bible?]

[Related: Archaeological Evidence: The Bible – Can You Dig It?]

[Related: Manuscript Evidence: Has the Bible Been Changed?]

The Bible Speaks with Authority

As the words of God, there is ultimately no higher authority to which we can appeal. There is no truer source of truth than the Bible. Since it is from God, it is our anchor and foundation for life.

Matthew 7:24-29 Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock… But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against the house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.

Thus the Bible is the final word about our beliefs, attitudes and actions. Ultimately we are wise put it into practice in our lives.

[Related: Why Is the Bible Reliable?]

The Bible Is Necessary

The Bible is our only source for clear, definitive statements about God and his will. Without the Bible, we cannot know God personally, have our sins forgiven, or know with certainty what God wants us to do.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

The Bible equips us for life, including family, relationships, purpose, and more..

The Bible Is Sufficient

The Bible doesn’t give us every detail on every question in life. It is not a textbook on mathematics or medicine. But it contains all the words a person needs in order to become a Christian, live as a Christian, and grow as a Christian.

2 Timothy 3:15 You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Jesus Christ.

We don’t need to look outside of the Bible for anything we ultimately need to know about salvation, or about living our lives with significance and purpose.

The Bible Has Life-Changing Power

The Holy Spirit uses the Bible to bring about transformation in our lives. It is not just a book of suggestions. It is more than just ink on a page.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

Notice some of the things the Bible can accomplish in our lives:

Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

Psalm 119:25 I lie in the dust; revive me by your word.

Psalm 119:28 I weep with sorrow; encourage me by your word.

Psalm 119:99 Yes, I have more insight than my teachers, for I am always thinking of your laws.

[Related: Bible Basics (Series)]

[Related: Being Christian Without Your Bible?]

Everything we hear should be tested against the Bible. The Bible is the final authority for what we believe and how we live, because it is the word of God.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
  2. What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
  3. Why is it important that the Bible be the basis for our beliefs?
  4. How can the words of the Bible be authored by human writers and authored by God at the same time?
  5. If you thought that there were some small errors in the Bible, how do you think that would affect the way you read Scripture?
  6. Name and describe three things for which the Bible is necessary.
  7. Will the Bible definitely answer every question we bring to it? Why or why not?
  8. What is one issue that the Bible speaks clearly on? What is one issue that the Bible does not speak clearly on? How does this affect the emphasis you should place on these issues?
  9. Talk about an issue in your life where putting God’s words into practice made a difference for you.
  10. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.

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