The Bible - Part 3 - What are you doing with the Bible

SERMON TOPIC: The Bible - Part 3 - What are you doing with the Bible

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 8 May 2011

Topic Groups: BIBLE

Sermon synopsis: A comparison of the Qumran manuscript of Isaiah with the Massoretic text revealed them to be extremely close in accuracy to each other. A comparison of Isaiah 53 shows that only 17 letters differ from the Massoretic text. Ten of these are mere differences in spelling (like our 'honor' and the English 'honour') and produce no change in the meaning at all. Four more are very minor differences, such as the presence of a conjunction (and) which are stylistic rather than substantive. Out of 166 words in this chapter, only this one word is really in question, and it does not at all change the meaning of the passage. We are told by Biblical scholars that this is typical of the whole manuscript of Isaiah. (SOURCE: R. Laird Harris, Can I Trust My Bible? - Chicago: Moody Press, 1963)

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The Bible Part 3

11 Tim 3v16, 17

All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Recap of the Bible part 1 and 2.

We have looked at the indestructibility of the Bible, and man's disregard for it.

We saw contrasts between the Bible and the Quran, attacks on it by liberals and alternatives and additions.

We looked at how the canon of Scripture was established.

We also saw the need for not only Revelation, but also illumination and appropriation.

The New Testament & contemporary literature.

When the New Testament is compared with other literature of that period, it stands out as the most remarkable book of the ancient world.

There are only 10 manuscript copies of Caesar's Gallic wars, written about 60BC, the oldest is from AD 900, nearly a thousand years later.

The New Testament & contemporary literature.

Of the 7 manuscript copies of Plato’s Tetralogies, written about 400 BC, the oldest also dates to around AD 900, a span of roughly 1300 years.

Homer’s Iliad was written about 900 BC . The earliest of the 643 copies goes back to 400 BC, 500 years after it was written.

The New Testament & contemporary literature.

By contrast we have 5366 copies of ancient Greek New Testament manuscripts!

In addition the oldest copies are far closer in time to the originals than any other ancient writings. The earliest manuscript containing most of the New Testament dates to AD 200 and there are fragments going back to AD 125, only 25 to 75 years after the originals were written.

The Old Testament.

Similarly the reliability of the Old Testament has been established.

Before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the oldest complete Hebrew manuscript was dated to AD 1008, more than a 1000 years after the last book was written (about 325 BC). This raised questions about how faithful they were to the originals.

The Dead Sea Scrolls (found in caves at Qumran).

The discovery in1947 of the Dead Sea Scrolls confirmed the reliability of the Old Testament.

Forty thousand fragments of 400 manuscripts were found, 100 of which were Biblical, including the complete book of Isaiah. Every OT book was represented except Esther.

The manuscripts have been dated to between 200BC & AD 200 making them the oldest in the world. When compared to much more recent manuscripts they were almost an exact match.

The Dead Sea Scrolls (preserved now at the Shrine of the Book)

What are you doing with God’s Word

The secret of success is determined by your daily routine.

John Maxwell said:

Do 5 things every day even if it’s just for 15 minutes.

He said every day I: think, read, write………

If you take 5 swings with an axe at a tree every day, one day the tree will fall and it won’t be because you did particularly well on that day, but because you swung that axe 5 times every day.


Is the Word of God a daily priority for you.

Sometimes material things start having more prominence in our lives and we need to be reminded of the needs of our spiritual man.

One way we do this is through the discipline of prayer and fasting, but as we have just seen our end results are not determined by once off motivational messages or a Revival meeting etc but by our daily routine.

Looking at the circle representing your 24 hour day in 2 hour segments, how much time is given to sleep, eating, watching TV, hobbies, housekeeping, exercise, entertainment, and prayer, reading God’s Word, fellowship, service and witnessing?

Man shall not live by bread alone.

Deut 8:3.

So he humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man does not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.

Luke 4:4.

Jesus quoted this passage of scripture when he was tempted by Satan in the desert and it’s a truth that needs our full attention, because it shows how the Lord allowed the Israelites to hunger physically to show them the importance of HIS WORD.


1 Peter 2:2.

Like Newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.

Colossians 3:16.

Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom…….

God’s Word is not the Christian substitute for Tarot cards or Tea leaves.

There are carnal Christians who just like the world, want to know about the future, eg: Armageddon, the 2nd coming of Christ and the end-time signs or even “personal prophecy”

But they ignore the Principles clearly given in God’s Word on how to live.

Story: Pastor do you have a Word from the Lord for me, but the person concerned is clearly ignoring ministry from the pulpit and God’s written Word

Are you using God’s Word to argue.

11 Timothy 2:23-25.

Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.

And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel, instead he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.

Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth.

Are you using God’s Word to judge others.

Ephesians 6:17.

Remember it is not your sword to cut others to pieces, but it is the Sword of the Spirit.

Matthew 7:1-2.

Do not judge , or you too will be judged.

For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

Are you using God’s Word to judge others?

Matthew 7:3-5.

…….First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brothers eye.

The plank of self-righteousness must first be dealt with before we can minister God’s Word to others.

Story: Man visiting his father’s murderer


Are you using God’s Word to judge others?

John 4.

In the account of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well we see how different Jesus approach was to those of us, who like the Pharisees categorise sin.

Matt 21:31,32. Jesus said the Prostitutes and Publicans were going into Heaven before them.

Are you using God’s Word to judge others?

John 8.

The Pharisees brought a woman to Jesus who was caught in the act of adultery and said

“The Law of Moses says this woman should be stoned, what do you say”

Jesus said “let him that is without sin cast the first stone” when the crowd left He said to the woman where have your accusers gone?

Are you an accuser or a Judge or an Advocate

Are you using God’s Word to judge others?

1 John 2:1. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ the one who is truly righteous.

Rev 12:10. … For the accuser of our brothers, who accusers them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.

Satan is the Prosecutor, Jesus our Advocate, and God the Father is on the Throne as Judge.

When your brother or sister is on trial, whose side are you on

Are you using God’s Word to Judge others.

Zechariah 3:1-5.

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him.

The Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”

Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel.

The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.” Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.”

Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by.

God’s Word is for self-examination.

James 1:22-25.

Do not merely listen to the word,

and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it-he will be blessed in what he does.

God’s Word is for self-examination.

1 Corinthians 11:28.

A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup.

Do you get up in the morning and go to work or to Church without looking in the mirror to wash your face, shave, brush your teeth, comb your hair or do your make-up?

Then why do we do it spiritually?

God’s Word is for self-examination.

Whose face do you see in the mirror? (yours or some one else)

Do you look in the mirror every morning? or

Do you just go by feel. (Reading)

Or rely on others viewpoints.

Or think because you looked fine yesterday you should still be okay.

Some think a once a week look in the mirror on a Sunday is enough.

God’s Word is for self-examination.

Hebrews 4:12-13.

For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

God’s Word is for self-examination.

Has God spoken to you recently?

What did He say?

What have you done?

Romans 12:1-2.

Remember the key to behaviour is not the will but the mind, if you surround yourself with God’s Word it will renew your mind and transformation will take place and you will be able to prove what God wants.

Matt 13. In the parable of the sower, the seed is God’s Word, but the ground is our heart and we are responsible to guard it from wrong influences (greed, worry, doubt etc)

God’s Word is for self-examination.

What is the condition of your heart?

Hard, stony, thorny or is it good soil ready and prepared and receptive for God’s Word.

Do you ever take time to break up the fallow ground? Hosea 10:12.

(if you came into this meeting with a hard heart in all likelihood it won’t result in any lasting change in you)

Do you dig trenches in your heart to retain the water God sends? 2 Kings 3:16-17.

Do you gather up the fragments when He feeds you as He fed the 5 thousand? John 6:12-13.

Heart’s must be prepared for God’s Word.

Hosea 10:12.

Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.

Do you spend time preparing your heart for the Lord to speak to you so that his Word does not fall on hard ground?

Hearts must be prepared for God’s Word.

2 Kings 3:16-17.

And he said “This is what the Lord says: Make this valley full of ditches. For this is what the Lord says: You will not see rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink.

Luke 8:15.

But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a good crop.

We must meditate on God’s Word.

John 6:12-13.

When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples,

“Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.”

So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

Does God’ Word excite you, is it your delight

Psalm 1:1-2.

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night.


Scripture quotations taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (