Essential Elements: The Scriptures

At Gateway Church in Austin we began a new series called “Essential Elements: Building Your Core Faith.”  This week at the South Campus John Burke shared via video which you can watch here:

Essential Elements: The Bible | March 27, 2011 from Gateway Church on Vimeo.

Here are some of  his insights:

“The Scriptures claim that into the madness, God has communicated a love letter to humanity to guide us. God remains hidden and unseen because this life is a time of choosing whether we want God to be God—so He must remain hidden to allow that choice. But Scripture claims he has communicated to give us wisdom, security in His love, and guidance into Real Life for those who seek it.

If you’re already a Christ Follower—I hope today not only gives you a confidence in your faith, but a conviction to not just believe the Scriptures are from God, but to build the foundation of your life on them. If you’re skeptical, unsure or doubting this is much more than hopeful myth—I hope you can approach today with an open mind, realizing at best, any of us have a only tiny sliver of all the knowledge on planet earth—so maybe there’s some truth to this you haven’t given a fair run at yet.

The Bible is the most unique book in history—a compilation of  66 different books, written from 1500 BC to 100 AD, by 40 different authors, in 3 different languages. The Scriptures claim to be a Divine revelation from God. (2 Timothy 3:16)

How did God do it? Peter explains, ‘Prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit’ (2 Peter 1:21).

3500 years ago, God told the nation of Israel through his prophet Moses:’The LORD will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your fathers, if you obey the LORD your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul…I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live,20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him’ (Deuteronomy 30:9-10, 19-20).

God’s desire has always been to have people he could delight in and bless and help prosper. This is the God of the Old Testament, revealing his heart. Do you realize, God wants to delight in you and lead you to prosper—not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually prosper…and that starts, like this says, when you turn to the Lord with all your heart and soul…it flows out of love relationship with God. And that comes from following His will, revealed in His Book, to guide us so we can REALLY LIVE.

That was my contention when I was a skeptic. How do you differentiate if this is truly from God or another idiot?

Actually God answered that question before the foundation of any World Religion, 3500 years ago through Moses: ‘The LORD said to [Moses]…I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him…You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken’ (Deuteronomy 18:17-22).

God claimed to speak through prophets, validating their authority through actual historical events only God could know. With about 1800 prophetic statements, I can’t go into all of them—but let me give you an example. The example is important because it shows something else—the gods of mythology were all local deities—no other God speaks to ‘all the nations’ or shows concern for all the people of planet earth, dealing with real nations and verifiable history—But the God of the Old and New Testament does.

(To listen to a series called “Thread of Hope” which looks at the prophets, go here.)

We’ve got a choice to make. What are we going to build your life on? What is our truth source going to be?” Where will you get your guidance for life? Lots of people can give you their opinion, lots of books can tell you how to live. But there’s none other like the Bible. What Jesus was saying, ‘Friends, the wisdom of God’s Word works. You can build your life on it. If you trust it, obey it, and conform your life to it, you will never regret it ever!'”

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