The Preservation of the Word of God
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
I Peter 1:23-25
As we begin this message I want to give you three words. The first word is found in Psalm 119:89 (read). The Hebrew word for ''settled'' is ''natsab.'' It can also mean ''fixed,'' or it can mean ''established.'' What the psalmist is saying is that before the Word was delivered on earth, the Word existed in heaven. This Book written on earth is but a copy of what God has written in heaven.
I want you to look in I Peter 1:23-25. Here Peter says that ''we are born again, not of ''phtharte,'' corruptible or perishable seed, but of ''aphtharte,'' of incorruptible seed, ''by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.'' So here the apostle is inspired to say the Word of God not only endures forever, stands forever, abides forever, but it abides ''aphthartos.'' It abides incorruptible. It abides inerrant. It abides without mistake and without error.
Now, I just love words, and I love to study words. I want you to notice that Peter has, in this verse 23, the word ''corruptible'' and the word ''incorruptible.'' And the word for ''corruptible'' is ''phtharte.'' Now, if you want to make that word mean just the opposite of what it means, all you have to do is put an ''a'' in front of it. The addition of an ''a'' makes it an antonym.
Now, let me give you some examples to show you how that works. Are you familiar with the word ''gnostic?'' It means ''of or having knowledge.'' Now, if you want to change that word so that it means the exact opposite, all you have to do is put an ''a'' in front of it and you have ''agnostic,'' and what does that mean? An ''agnostic'' is ''a person who thinks it is impossible to know.'' In particular, it is a person who thinks it is impossible to know whether there is a God or a future life or anything beyond the material.
Let me give you another example. Do you know what the word ''muse'' means? It means ''to think, or consider deeply and at length, ...
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