5 Bible Verses about the Bible



Commentary from the sermon “Why Bother with the Bible? — Part One” by Alistair Begg:

“What is the Bible? …

“First of all, the Bible is a library; it is a collection of books. It is one book, but it is one book encompassing sixty-six other books. Anybody who takes a Bible and opens it up will notice that it is apparently broken into two disproportionate pieces. There is a part which in the table of contents is called the Old Testament, which goes from Genesis to Malachi, and then there is the New Testament, which goes from Matthew through to Revelation. The Old Testament is made up of the books of the Prophets, and of the Law, and of the Psalms. …In the New Testament, we have the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and John; and then we have the Acts of the Apostles, the minute book of the early church, or its history book; then we have the Letters, written by different individuals to different gatherings of God’s people; and then we have the book of Revelation … the insight into a realm yet experienced that was granted to the apostle John. …

“… But it’s not only that. It is also a book like no other book. Oh, it has sold more than any other book and continues to sell as the best-selling book always, all the time. But that isn’t what makes it unique.”

Hebrews 4:12 “The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

Commentary from the sermon “The Word of God Is…” by Alistair Begg:

“The writer points, then, first to the vitality of God’s Word—to its vitality. He says, ‘It is alive. It is living, and it is active’—that the Word of God is not simply a catalog of historical data. There is no question that it deals with all our yesterdays. There is no question that it provides for us a resource chronicling the events of man since creation—not in all their entirety but such as God intended for it to be within the frame of the Word. But while it does that, that is not all that it does. And the writer to the Hebrews says that the divinity and the authority of the Scriptures is understood in the way that it comes, as it were, and actively impinges upon the lives of men and women.

“There have been other books—tons of them. There have been other books that have possessed significance. There are books that cost a fortune today to buy in antiquarian bookshops. Some are academic. Some are poetic. But the Bible, beyond all other books ever written, is possessed of a vitality as a result of its divine authorship. And the Scriptures themselves speak. They come to hearts and to lives in a way that is not true of other material.”

2 Peter 1:20–21 “No prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

Commentary from the sermon “An Eyewitness Account” by Alistair Begg:

“The Scriptures are not the product of the personal insights of the prophets themselves. That’s what some people believe. And if that were the case, then we could simply view the words of the prophets as limited by human fallibility—in which case, then, we could overturn what was previously written on account of fresh insights. In other words, if Isaiah was just a kind of bright guy living six hundred years BC and came up with a bunch of stuff that he wrote down—it’s kind of helpful: a little bit of poetry, a little bit of history, a little bit of maxim for life—if that was all it was, then six hundred years BC to 2000 AD is a long time, and we could safely say, ‘Well, of course, we know so much more now than some old guy 600 BC knew. I mean, goodness gracious! They thought the world was flat. They didn’t know anything. They thought the earth was flat. They didn’t know anything at all. But all we know now will allow us then simply to overturn it.’

“No, no, no, no, not for a moment. Because the word that Isaiah spoke was the Word of God. He spoke the Word of God. Therefore, it is not up for grabs to be investigated, to be overturned. The Old Testament prophet wasn’t volunteering his ideas or his perceptions only to be corrected then by a more scholarly successor. You know, ‘Well, here’s the best that I can do,’ says Isaiah—‘Have a great life; see you around somewhere’—fully understanding that someone’s going to come along after and say, ‘Well, we don’t really bother with that anymore.’ No. They weren’t volunteering the best of their ideas. The prophetic word remains forever God’s Word.

“So when you read the Bible—listen!—when you read the Bible (all of the Bible, Genesis to Revelation), you’re not reading the words of some ancient who speaks for himself, but you are reading the words of the living God himself. … ‘For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man.’ Well, what did it have its origin in? ‘Men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.’ Like ships carried along by the wind, the prophets raised their sails, so to speak. They were obedient. They were receptive. They were not automatons. They were not dictating machines. They were dealing with the reality of their own history. They were speaking from the uniqueness of their personality; that’s why you see the ebb and flow within the Scriptures itself. But as they raised the sails of their personality and their lives and their availability, it is the Holy Spirit of God that fills their sails, carries them along in the direction of His choosing, in order to provide fulfillment of His purpose and all that is necessary for His people.

“So the doctrine of inspiration is simply this: that the Holy Spirit took real men with differing personalities from a variety of social settings, and the Holy Spirit cooperated with them while revealing Himself through them.”

Luke 24:25–27 “He said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”

Commentary from the sermon “Getting the Big Picture” by Alistair Begg:

“Genesis all the way to Revelation is the story of God’s amazing grace. It’s the story of the fact that God has purposed from all of eternity to redeem a people that are His own and that it is the utterly undeserved privilege of all who believe to be included in that great company; that in Genesis, when Adam and Eve discover their nakedness and they hide from God, God comes and pursues them, and discovering them in all of their nakedness, He provides them with a covering for their nakedness, pointing out in the very infancy of things that there will eventually come a day when He will provide a robe of righteousness, the very robe of His Son, so that we may, in royal robes we don’t deserve, live to serve His Majesty; that all of those big, amazing, dramatic stories in Leviticus and on about the sacrificial system and blood and smoke and curtains and bells and all of these things, they’re all pointing to the fact that God is wholly other than us, that He cannot tolerate to look upon sin; that because He’s so incredibly holy, sin must be punished; because He is so amazingly loving, He provides for sinners a sacrifice of atonement—so that from the very beginning all the way to the end, the focus is ultimately found in Jesus.”

2 Timothy 3:15–17 “From childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

Commentary from the sermon “Sufficiency of the Word” by Alistair Begg:

“The Gospel was not preached as a means to an end. The Gospel was not preached in order that the culture of Ephesus might be changed. The Gospel was not preached so that the Temple of Diana would be pulled down. The Gospel was not preached so that Christian people could have a kind of better lifestyle for themselves as a result of the benefits of the Gospel message spilling out into the culture. No, the Gospel was preached for no other reason than that men and women might be saved. And as a result of the transformation of individual lives, families, communities, and cultures were radically altered.

“… This great summary statement on the part of Paul is showing that the Bible is absolutely essential to both maturity and Christian usefulness. He is not informing Timothy of the fact that Scripture is inspired; that wasn’t in any doubt in Timothy’s mind. Instead, he is reminding Timothy that the basis of the profitableness of Scripture lies in its inspiration. ‘The reason,’ he says, ‘that you can use it in this way is because of the nature of this book. It is unlike any other book in all of the world. Because,’ he says, ‘it is theopneustos; it is God-breathed.’

“Now, what that means is mysterious and wonderful. It is not that the Scriptures existed, and God came along and breathed life into the works of a man or men. But rather it is that God breathed—He spoke, and He spoke out the very Scriptures—and that their very existence by means of ordinary men in extraordinary times, by dint of their personality and in the environment of their historical context, writing as ordinary men inspired by the power of the Spirit of God… God was actually breathing out His truth, in order that through it men might come to salvation and in order that by means of it God’s people might be transformed.”

Psalm 119:97 “Oh how I love your law!
It is my meditation all the day.”

Commentary from the sermon “An Exposition of Psalm 119 — Part One” by Alistair Begg:

“Why this great love affair with the law of God?

“Well, first of all, because of its source. Because of its source. It is ‘the law of the Lord’ which ‘is perfect.’ It ‘convert[s] the soul’ (Ps. 19:7 KJV). The Lord is his portion (Ps. 119:57), and on account of the fact that His promise is so clear, he rejoices in that.

“So, the source is absolutely central to it. Love for God and love for His Word go hand in hand. … Don’t tell me you like Shakespeare, you love Shakespeare, and you couldn’t even quote a line of Shakespeare. You don’t love him. You could tell me you sincerely dislike it, and I could believe you. But don’t tell me you love it if I ask you to quote from somewhere and you can’t tell me. I should not tell you that I love the Bible if the only time I read it is on a Sunday morning or Sunday evening when I’m preaching to you. You’d say, ‘Pastor, you don’t love the Bible at all. If you loved the Bible, you would read it. If you loved the Bible, you would think about it. If you loved the Bible, when we met you and found you, we would know that you had been reading your Bible.’ …

“Secondly, on account of its substance. Why this great exclamation? Why this affection for it? Not only because it is the Word of God itself but because it is the Maker’s instructions. So if we’re asking …, ‘What is the way to godliness? What would a godly person ultimately look like? And how would we know what it would be like to be increasingly conformed to the image of Jesus?’—well, the psalmist helps us. Because what we have here, if you like, are the Maker’s instructions. ‘How am I supposed to live?’ Read the law. Peter, picking up this very notion in 2 Peter: ‘His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through [a] knowledge of him’ (2 Peter 1:3 ESV).”

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