This is our second study in a series titled


A)CREDO = Latin for I BELIEVE.


B)Jude —- a brother of Jesus and of James

said this in his short letter


V.3 “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.”


C)In this series we are following the storyline of the Bible and defining the essential doctrines of Christianity



A)Last month we began the series with a study titled TRINITY: God is. In that study we saw that

Bible teaches that there is ONE God –


B)Who eternally exists as three distinct persons – Father, Son and Spirit – Each FULLY and EQUALLY God!


Credo #2 tonight – Revelation God speaks

A)Revelation is the means by which God has chosen speak to us.



If you travel to LondonLondon Tube – Subway.

A)And there’s a recording that plays each time the doors open.


B)A British accent warns you of the gap between

the platform and the train. A voice says, “Mind the Gap.” It’s become a London trademark, “Mind the Gap.”


C)In fact, you can buy a T-shirt that reads, “Mind the Gap.”


God did just that! God paid attention to the gap.

A)A holy God is in heaven.


B)Needy humans are on earth. And sin has caused a gargantuan gap between them.

1)People are too sinful and too limited to discover God on their own.


C)The only way for us to know God is for Him to disclose His identity and His will.

1)And He has… God “minds the Gap…”


D)He’s spoken across the divide and bridged the gap between His holiness and our ignorance.


Tonight we are going to discuss – How God has spoken!

A)What He did to Mind the gap!


B)Speculation is human guesswork. Throughout the centuries proud men have not hesitated in speculating about who God is and what He desires.

1) People love to speculate: Witnessing  tool – what do you think God is like. { Freely talk / Pretend

Far more trustworthy than speculation is revelation. There is no need to guess about God.

A)He doesn’t have lockjaw. God has spoken.


B)Speaking of God’s revelation there are two broad categories – general and special revelation.


C)Think of general revelation as a billboard on Hwy. 78 – and special revelation as a text message on your cell phone.


D)A billboard communicates to everyone in the community over a long period of time.

1)A text message addresses a narrower audience and conveys a more specific message.


So it is with God’s revelation.

A)General revelation includes the witness of God we find in nature.

Psalm 19:1 tells us, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.”


B)Intelligent design speaks of a designer


C)Creation tells us that God is an Artist!


D)Different species of fish – kinds of flowers – climates

Landscapes – God is an Artist – He is creative

1)You cannot open your eyes without being compelled to see God!


D)He is glorious in his Creativity.

1)The Diversity and the Creativity in the body of Christ.


Creation tells us that God must be Beautiful because his creation reflects something of His glory.



General revelation also includes God’s providence – or His overarching supervision in the world.

A)God not only created. He sustains His creation.


B)When Paul preached to the agrarian community of Lystra, he attributed rain, and seasons, and growing cycles to God’s general revelation.


Paul says of God in Acts 14:17 “He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good, gave us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons…”

A)The processes of nature that sustain life on the planet say something about God’s goodness and love.


B)They’re part of His general revelation.

1) Often God in His providence orchestrates circumstances.


C)The rabbis have a saying, “Coincidence is not a kosher word.”


D)It’s true. Nations rise and fall. Promotions come. People cross paths because God is at work.

1) God is behind the scenes working through our situations to accomplish His purposes.


2)Sovereign over the affairs of men!


F)So His providence is also an example of His revelation.



A)God’s witness within us is another example of general revelation.


B)Our conscience – our sense of right and wrong

Romans 2:14-16

“For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.”



Paul is saying that EVERY human being — even though they are not a Christian  experiences general revelation through the INNER conviction of their conscience.

A)Anyone who has ever NOT done something because they innately knew it was wrong


B)Anyone who has ever done something they KNEW was wrong and then felt badly about it


C)Anyone who has ever apologized for something


D)Anyone who has ever appealed to a greater moral standard —

1) “That’s not right —you should NEVER do that


E)THAT is why even non-Christians will say that you shouldn’t take advantage of the poor.

1)Rape of murder or steal.

WHERE does this come from? God


Examples of General revelation tell us a lot about God

A)But they don’t communicate God’s name, His way of salvation, His standards for holiness, His justice, or His



This is why we also need Special revelation.

I do think the distinction between general and special revelation might best be summarized as the difference between works and words.


A)General revelation is sent through the works of

God, but when God gets specific He uses words.


B)The most intimate human communication takes place through words.


C)Teens and texting – so fast -

1)An executive secretary couldn’t type as fast with 10 fingers as teenage girl can with her two thumbs.


Kids today find it easier to put words in text than to speak them.

A)Early on, God chose to reveal Himself and His will in text, with ink, on parchment.


B)We call it “Scripture.” The Bible is the scripted Word of God.

1)Of course, the Bible isn’t the only book that claims to be from God.


C)Every religion has its sacred writings - the Koran of Islam, the Hindu Vedas, the Buddhist Sutras, the Book of Mormon


D)but when it comes to religious literature the Bible is in a class all by itself. It’s unique.


There is a new movie coming on next week called

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

A)Centers around Greek Mythology – Zues Posieden Hercles – all the Greek gods


B)Inter action with men – relations –


C)Very bazaar belief!

1)But many growing up in the greek cluture believed these myths to be true!


Now when you think about Christianity – It can seem a little farfetched at first – to person who knows nothing. Sargent Shultz

A)Before there was anything – there as God – dwelling in 3 persons


B)Create a world {spoke}– Man who would rebel

1)God the Son – would come – Crucified from before the foundation of the world.


C)Wait – several 1000 yrs – Predicting His coming

1)Man further and further away from God


D)All the while God was revealing himself to man


E)Hopeless – God send his son to be Savior

1)Doesn’t come riding Stallion – Comes as a baby

30 yrs obscurity.


3 Years of Public ministry – led to a Cross

A)Buried 3 days – Risen – 40 days -  Acsended


B)Church born – 2nd Coming –

1)At first blush the story sounds bizzaar


C)But the thing that separates this story from Greek Mythology or any other form of religion is the way that God has chosen to Reveal Himself to us.


D)Uniqueness of the Word

1)Highlight some of the Bible’s Uniqueness



 The Bible is unique in its continuity.

A)We say the Bible is one book - but its actually 66

books written over a 1500 year period - by 40 authors, on 3 continents, in 3 languages.


B)It was written in various places - prisons to palaces.

1)Its authors had various backgrounds – princes, peasants, farmers, and fishermen.


C)It was written under different circumstances -

triumph and tragedy.


D)It’s comprised of different types of literature - poetry, prose, and proverbs -

1)yet the Bible deals with scores of controversial subjects without a single contradiction.


No other book has such diversity yet unity.

A)From cover to cover the Bible has one central theme - the work of Jesus.


B)Try to find any other collection of 66 books with this continuity and you'll search in vain.


The Bible is also unique in its content.

A)Other books contain rules and rituals you have to

perform to get to God.


B)The Bible portrays salvation as God's free gift. It’s all about grace – what God has done to mind the gap.




The Bible is unique in its candor.

A)It treats its heroes with brutal honesty - "warts and

all." Noah got drunk –


B)Abraham lied – David stoopped to adultery and murder. The Bible has no skeletons. It has the ring of truth!


The Bible is unique in its correctness.

A) In fact, every new scoop of the archeologist's shovel

proves again the historical accuracy of Scripture.


B)The Bible is also scientifically reliable. 1900 years before Columbus set sail, Job 26:10 stated,

"(God) drew a circular horizon on the face of the waters, at the boundary of light and darkness."


C)Careful Bible students knew the earth was round long before explorers verified the fact.


The Bible is unique in its completed prophecies.

A) Isaiah 45 predicts by name the reign of the Persian King Cyrus – 200 years before he was born.


B)The Bible predicted the conquest of Alexander the Great - the rise of the Roman Empire

1) the rebirth of the modern state of Israel.


C)Daniel 9 predicts 500 years in advance, the exact day Jesus would make His final entry into Jerusalem.


D)The Bible contains 300-plus prophecies of Jesus’ first coming! .


The Bible’s predictive accuracy is evidence of its author’s vantage point.

A)The true God sits outside of time. He sees the end from the beginning.


The Bible is unique in its constancy.

A)It’s survived countless attacks.


B)In 303 AD, the Roman Emperor Diocletian ordered the destruction of all Bibles.


C)Christians at the time worried about the future of their movement. Yet how quickly the tide changed…

Diocletian's successor, Constantine, embraced Christianity and ordered 50 new copies of the Scriptures.


D)In fact, Constantine financed the project with money from Diocletian's coffers.


*It’s been said, "The Bible is an anvil that has broken many hammers."


Luke 16:17 tells us, "It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle (a stroke) of the law to fail."


Rome is history – Diocletian is a footnote – but the Bible lives forever.” 


The Bible’s uniqueness sets it apart from all other books.

A)No wonder the Bible is the world’s all-time best-seller.


B)And it has but one explanation – the Bible has a supernatural origin.


C)It’s God’s revelation. It’s from God to us!


This is why Paul writes to Timothy and tells him to read the Bible, study the Bible, live the Bible, preach the Bible. He says in 2 Timothy 3:16“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 complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”


Now When we say the Bible came from God to us we’re tempted to think He sent it to Earth tied to a meteorite – but God chose a far more spectacular approach – the processes of inspiration, canonization, preservation


First, let’s talk about inspiration. The Greek word translated inspiration means God breathed.

A)Inspiration is the supernatural process by which God breathed His Word into existence.


2 Peter 1:20-21 tells us, "No prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit."


B)People didn’t just make up the Bible. Its authors were influenced by the Spirit of God.


C)The Holy Spirit oversaw the natural process of the author’s writing to insure that what was written on the parchment was what God desired.


D)Think about this Jesus is called the Living word Just as the living Word, Jesus, shared some of his mothers features


Likewise we can expect the written Word to retain the writer’s style, vocabulary, culture, personality…

A)Four words help us understand what we mean when we talk about the doctrine of inspiration.


B) literal, verbal, plenary, and inerrant.


Literal means we take the Bible at face value. What it says - it means.


When the Bible says God created the earth in six days - or Jonah was swallowed by a fish – or Jesus is coming again

       don’t try to spiritualize!


The Bible means what it says. There are Bible passages that are meant to be taken figuratively, but when they are, it’s apparent from the text.


Verbal inspiration means every word of the Bible is God-breathed, not just its thoughts or intent.

A)This is God's attitude toward Scripture. In Jeremiah 26:2, He tells the prophet, "Stand in the court of the Lord's house, and speak… all the words that I command you to speak… do not diminish a word."


B)All 774,746 words in your Bible are God-breathed.

The rabbis use to say… "When Messiah comes He’ll not only interpret the passages for us, He'll interpret the very words; He'll even interpret the letters; in fact, He will even interpret the spaces between the letters!"


C)They believed even the spaces between the letters were inspired.


Inspiration is also plenary – which means "the whole of Scripture."

A)Not just the parts that deal with theology or ethics, but all the Bible is inspired by God - even its historical and scientific statements.


B)Some folks have a "Dalmatian theology." They only take seriously a spot here or spot

1)Ok if your dog looks like this but your theology can’t look like this.


C)Thomas Jefferson took a Scissor to his Bible and cut out parts that He didn’t like.


D)In my flesh there are parts of the Bible that I don’t like

1)But I know that they are good for me.


Mark Twain – It is not the parts of the Bible I don’t understand that trouble me – it is the parts I do understand.


Also the Bible is inerrant. We believe that in the autographs (or original documents) the Bible is free from all error. Proverbs 30:5 in the NIV reads, “Every word of God is flawless…”


This was Jesus’ endorsement of the Bible. In John 17:17 He prays to the Father, "Your word is truth."

A)We believe in literal, verbal, plenary, and inerrant inspiration.


B)But Inspiration was just the first step of bringing us the Bible.


Next was canonization. The word “canon" means "reed". In ancient times reeds were used as measuring sticks.

A)The canon is the standard - the official list of inspired books.


B)It defines Paul’s phrase, "All Scripture."

C)The Old Testament Canon was determined by the Hebrews. Romans 3:2, tells us that God appointed the Jews as custodians of the Scripture.


Jesus affirmed the Jewish canon. He says in Luke 24:44, "All things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and the Prophets, and the Psalms concerning me."


These were the same three divisions that made up the Jewish Bible – and that make up our Old Testament today.

A)So The OT canon was decided by the Jews and affirmed by Jesus.


B)The NT canon was also affirmed by Jesus, but in advance!

1)He clarified the canon by limiting it’s authorship to the supervision of the 12 apostles.


C)In Matthew 18 Jesus gave His Twelve special authority “to bind and to loose.”

1)These were rabbinical terms which meant to prohibit and



D)And it was this authority that enabled the 12 apostles to establish the faith and practice of the early Church through the writing of the NT.


Peter affirmed Paul’s apostleship and calling as a writer of Scripture.



In 2Peter 3:15 Peter comments, "Our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which

those who are untaught and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures."


Peter admits Paul is difficult to understand at times. He tackled heavy subjects.

A)But Peter puts Paul’s letters on a par with sacred Scripture.


B)When the last apostle neared death, John knew he was the final person authorized to write Scripture, so he closes Revelation with a warning.


In Revelation 22:18 he writes, "I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the book of life…"


But wait if men wrote it and copied it – couldn’t it have a lot of errors

Let me also comment on the Bible’s preservation. Since we no longer possess the original documents, how can we be sure that what we read today is what was first written? How well has   the Bible been preserved?




There are two ways to test the reliability of an ancient document…

First, is the number of copies we have of that document. The more copies the more you can look for similarities or possible corruptions.

Second is the length of time between the writing of the copies and the date of the originals.


The logic goes, the older the copies - the closer to the originals – and the more likely they are to be free from errors.


Textual Criticism

This is where evidence for the reliability of the Bible is overwhelming.

Today we have 5400 copies of the Greek New Testament. This is an unheard of number of ancient manuscripts - a

mountain of corroboration.


We have just 5 copies of Aristotle, and 7 copies of Plato, yet no one doubts their authenticity. How much more should we trust the NT?


In addition, compare these 5400 documents and you'll find a 99% agreement. The 1% difficulty is mostly due to variations in spelling - and not one of these variants affects any major  biblical doctrine.



It’s also impressive to know that the oldest copies we have of the Greek classics are 800 years separated from the originals.


Whereas, we have portions of the NT dating back to a few decades of the time the apostle wrote them.


There’s a portion of John’s Gospel in a library in

Manchester, England - called “The Rylands Papyrus” - that dates within 30 years of John’s death.


Hebrews 4:12 says of the Bible, “The word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”


The Bible is like a surgeon’s scalpel.

It cuts to cure. It lays bear our motives. It does surgery on our hearts.


Hebrews 1:1-4

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.”