Pastor Barry/Gathering Church This I Believe Series Lesson 1: In The Beginning To hear this message and others go to THEGATHERINGHG.COM
In The Beginning… Genesis 1:1-3, Joshua 24:15
To establish what we believe as Christians, we begin at the beginning of the book. That book is the Bible. It is not any other scriptures of any other religion because no other religion has the supernatural record of the Bible. It is 66 books penned by 40 different human writers over a period of 1,500 years and says to be the inspired word of God. No book in the history of the world has been so attacked and yet survived. It is indestructible (Isaiah 40:8)! No other book has prophesied about future events with such perfect accuracy (over 300 fulfilled prophecies of the life and work of Jesus alone). No other book in history has been copied with such care which is clear from the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1947. No other book has embraced so many archeological discoveries or scientific facts. The Bible was even the first book in the world to be printed and distributed through the movable-type printing press invented by Johann Gutenberg in 1456. No other book in the world has been translated into so many languages. For these reasons alone the Bible should be first to be read by anyone seriously seeking the truth. So we begin at the beginning of that book…The Bible!
In the beginning of the Bible we read: “In the beginning God…” The book begins with God. God does not argue for His existence. He simply expects us to accept the fact that He exists, and why not? Even the atheistic scientist expects man to accept that the first molecule of the Big Bang Theory was just there. So rather one is a creationist or an evolutionist he must begin with faith. As Joshua said so clearly “you choose who you will serve, but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
Isn’t it ironic how “educated” unbelievers try and belittle Christians and their study of the Bible? They say we are ignorant for accepting the doctrine of one book while they have behind them the many scientific books and study of the greatest minds of science. Remember, The Bible is not one book. It is 66 books written by 40 different writers over a period of 1,500 years. How many “educated” unbelievers can say that they have studied so many writers over a period of so many years on their subject of argument? Defined “science” is the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. Note how the supernatural is left out of that definition? The Bible begins with the supernatural and does not argue for its existence. We are simply expected to accept the fact that the supernatural exists, and why not? God, after all, is supernatural and the experiments (if you will) and experiences of those that wrote and witnessed such things in the Bible are proof of it (the words experiment and experience have the same Latin root: they both come from the word experior, which means to gain knowledge through repeated trials). No wonder the Apostle Paul said:
Without faith (belief in the supernatural) it is impossible to please God, because anyone who approaches Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. Hebrews 11:6
Theology 2 Timothy 2:14-15, 3:16-17,4:1-3, James 1:22, Isaiah 55:8-11
We begin faith with belief in God and the supernatural. We discover more about Him through our study of the Bible. As Christians we believe that the Bible is the only “word of God” for it alone claims to be (2 Timothy 3:16-17)inspired (Greek: theopneustos [theh-op’-nyoo-stos]= “God breathed”) by Him and it alone contains the verifiable track record of prophetic fulfillment as evidence of its claims. The study of God is actually a science called Theology (Greek: theos = “God” and logos = “word” or “doctrine”. As Christian believers we are told in the Bible to 1.) study it: 2 Timothy 2:14-15, 2.) do what it says: James 1:22, 3.) and to teach it: 2 Timothy 4:1-3. We are also told that the study of God’s word 4.) will accomplish what He desires in us: Isaiah 55:8-11. We can also assume that if we do not study the Bible what God desires will not be accomplished in us. So “Christian” study your Bible… be Theologians!
God Romans 1:20-22, Psalm 53:1, Psalm 139, Genesis 1:27-28a, John 15:5
The Bible tells us that God has revealed Himself to man through the creation of the world and all that is in it (Romans 1:20). Man therefore has no excuse to deny His existence and yet many do. These are the “fools” according to the Bible (Psalm 53:1). As Christians we believe that God is Creator (Father) of all things and therefore Governor (Master) of all things.
The Bible clearly teaches that God is Transcendent (above His creation): Isaiah 55:9, yet desires to be Immanent (operating within) with His creation: Ephesians 4:6. God is Eternal (with no beginning or end): Psalm 90:2 and infinite (with no limitation in time or space), He is Immutable (unchanging): Malachi 3:6, Omniscient (all-knowing): Psalm 139:1-4, Omnipresent (everywhere present): Psalm 139: 7-10, and Omnipotent (all-powerful): and calls Himself “God Almighty!” Genesis 17:1. God’s moral attributes (characteristics) are clearly seen through His interaction with man. He is Holy (set apart from sin), Just, Righteous, Loving, Merciful, Gracious, Good and True and desires a blessed relationship with me and you! We were made to be fruitful (successful) but we can only do so when in relationship with Him.