When I was a young preacher inclined to foolish debates, Bro. Henry Mahan frequently advised, “Bro. Don, if you get into a spitting contest with a skunk, you may win the contest, but you will always come out smelling like a skunk.” I’ve lived long enough to highly value that wise counsel.
Almighty God, for Grace We Pray — Don Fortner (Tune: The Doxology — LM)
1. Almighty God, for grace we pray, Attend our gath’ring here today; We’ve come to worship at Your throne Through Christ, Your well beloved Son.
2. Your Holy Spirit send this hour And fill Your servant with His pow’r: Leave not Your messenger alone, But give him grace to preach Your Son.
3. Our hearts remove from earthly care And fill with grace, and praise, and prayer; Reveal Your Son, expose our sin, And turn our hearts in faith to Him.
4. Give life and faith to ransomed souls, And make each wounded spirit whole; Comfort the broken hearts that mourn, And magnify Your darling Son.
The Greatest Standing Miracle
“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:21)
The Holy Scripture, by virtue of its very existence, is the greatest miracle in the world. If I should see my great-grandfather, who has been dead since I was a boy, rise up out of the earth, that fact would not be more miraculous than the existence of the Word of God! Try to grasp just a little of what was required to give us this Sacred Volume.
This Book was written in three languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek), by about forty different authors, who lived on two separate continents, over a period of fifteen to sixteen hundred years. Parts of it were written in palaces, parts in prisons. Some of it was written by well educated men in great cities, other parts were written by shepherds and fishermen. Parts of it were written during times of war, pestilence, and danger, other parts during times of ecstatic joy. Those who wrote the words of this Book were taken from virtually every walk of life: judges, priests, kings, prophets, prime-ministers, herdsmen, scribes, fishermen, and soldiers. Yet, in spite of all these varying circumstances, conditions, workmen, and ages of time employed in the production of Holy Scripture, it stands as one Book. It is perfectly one in all its parts. It is free of error and free of contradiction. The more I think about that fact, the more amazing it appears.
I cannot state what I am trying to convey more clearly than A.W. Pink did when he wrote…
“Imagine forty persons of different nationalities, possessing various degrees of musical culture, visiting the organ of some great cathedral and at long intervals of time, and without any collusion whatever, striking sixty-six different notes, which when combined yielded the theme of the grandest oratorio ever heard; would it not show that behind these forty different men there was one presiding mind, one great Tone-Master? As we listen to some great orchestra, with its immense variety of instruments playing their different parts, but producing melody and harmony, we realize that at the back of these many musicians there is the personality and genius of the composer. And when we enter the halls of the Divine Academy and listen to the heavenly choirs singing the Song of Redemption, all in perfect accord and unison, we know that it is God himself who has written the music and put this song into their mouths.”
There is only one sane explanation for the existence of the Bible. — “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
Inspired, Inerrant, and Authoritative
“All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Either the Bible is the holy, inspired, inerrant Word of God, or it is a lie. As C. D. Cole stated, “It is utterly inconsistent to extol the Bible as a good book, and at the same time deny its infallibility.” But the fact that the Scriptures are God-breathed, perfectly inspired cannot be rationally denied by anyone.
The multitude of prophecies given in the Bible, that have been exactly fulfilled to the very letter, demand that honest people acknowledge the divine origin of the Bible. Prophecy is the foretelling of future events before they come to pass. This is the acid test of divine revelation. The Lord God himself appeals to fulfilled prophecy throughout the Bible (Deuteronomy 18:22; Isaiah 41:21-23; 2 Peter 1:19-21). Fortune tellers, palm readers, and other practitioners of witchcraft frequently make general predictions that astound men. The Word of God does not make vague, general predictions, but specific, precise predictions, and stakes its veracity upon their fulfillment.
The Lord Jesus Christ was, of course, the central theme of Old Testament prophecy (Psalm 22; Isaiah 53); but there were a multitude of specific prophetic statements made about him in the Old Testament that were exactly fulfilled (Isaiah 7:14; Micah 5:2; Acts 13:29). The prophecy concerning Josiah, the boy king of Judah, was made during the days of Jeroboam and fulfilled three hundred and fifty years later (1 Kings 13:2; 2 Kings 23:15-16). Numerous other fulfilled prophecies could be cited by anyone even casually familiar with Holy Scripture. These are facts which no one can refute.
Let men cavil as they will; the Bible is the very Word of God. It simply cannot be explained in any other way. It is an open Book. Its truths are not written in the language of scholars, but in the common language of common men. The Bible is the Book for the people. It was delivered by God to his saints, not to the pope, not to priests, not to academics, not to the clergy, but to the saints of God. There is nothing hidden, nothing written in secret codes. Everything is open. If the gospel is veiled, it is not because there is a veil upon the Book of God, but because there is a veil upon the hearts of men (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Let us understand that the Bible’s inspiration and infallibility has very serious consequences. If the Bible is indeed the Word of God, its authority cannot be questioned. Its teachings cannot be disputed. All that it says must be received as true, submitted to, and obeyed. Its words must be candidly, honestly, and faithfully interpreted. There must be, on our part, a docility of spirit before God’s holy Word. We must bow before God, as he speaks in his Word, with hearts willing to be taught of God, crying saying with Samuel, “Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth” (1 Samuel 3:9).
THE GRACE BULLETIN
June 17, 2012
Grace Baptist Church of Danville 2734 Old Stanford Road-Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438 Telephone (859) 236-8235 - E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor
Schedule of Regular Services
Sunday 10:00 A.M. Bible Classes 10:30 A.M. Morning Worship Service 6:30 P.M. Evening Worship Service