by J. Gerald Harris

The Authenticity of Scripture
Dr. J. Gerald Harris

In a 1977 interview in Christianity Today Billy Graham was asked what he would do differently if he had his life to live over again. He replied, "One of my great regrets is that I have not studied enough. I wish I had studied more and preached less. People have pressured me into speaking to groups when I should have been studying and preparing."

Donald Gray Barnhouse, who was the pastor of the Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, said that if he knew the Lord was coming in three years he would spend two of them studying and one preaching.

Max Anders, in his book The Bible: Embracing God's Truth, says, "One of the reasons that we do not study our Bibles diligently is because we study it in a vacuum. That is, we study it without any specific need to use what we learn."

A US Army officer once told of the contrast in his pupils during two different eras of teaching at the Artillery Training School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. In 1958-1960 the attitude was so lax that the instructors had a problem getting the men to stay awake to listen.

But during the 1965-1967 classes, the men hearing the same basic lectures were alert and took copious notes. The reason -- these men knew that in less than six weeks they would be facing the enemy in Vietnam. But, folks, we are in a warfare and every day we need to put on the whole armor of God. And we need to take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, so that we might be able to successfully defeat the enemy.

Another reason Bible study seems so irrelevant to many Christians is that they have no meaningful spiritual interaction with non-Christians; no vital ministry to growing believers and no personal and internal struggle for godliness. All of which brings the truths of the Bible to apply to life.

But this evening I want to say some things that will help to authenticate the Word of God.


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