by Steven Chan
16 November 2008
The basis of our faith that Jesus is the Christ is the Son of God is premised on the miracles that He performed which are recorded in the Bible (John 20:30, 31) and we know that the testimony of the Scriptures are true because it is an inspired record as stated in 2 Tim 3:16-17: “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.”
The evidence for the inspiration of the Bible comprises the fulfilment of Bible prophecies, the scientific accuracy of the Bible as well as its historical accuracy which continues to be confirmed by archaeological discoveries. All these evidence suggest that there are reasonable grounds for us to believe the Bible; it is not a blind leap of faith.
Certainly, the writers of the Bible were very rational and certain about what they wrote. For example in Acts 1:1-3, the writer, Luke, wrote thus: :The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” Luke referred to the many infallible proofs – in his instance, he was referring to the resurrection of Jesus – he was anchoring his faith on the fact that there were many infallible or indisputable proofs. It was not a faith in spite of the lack of lack of proofs; rather it was a faith based on many infallible proofs.
Similarly, in Luke 1:1-4, the writer also stated thus; “Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.
In the afore-stated paragraph, Luke said that his account was based on the testimony of eye-witnesses so that the readers may know “the certainty of those things in which you were instructed”. His purpose was to provide the readers with certainty of what they believed in. Our faith is not based on uncertainties or probabilities. It is based on the testimonies of eye-witnesses.
This was affirmed by one of the eye-witnesses in 2 Peter 1:16-21: “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that 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.”
Similarly, in 1 John 1:1-4, the writer John affirms thus: “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life– the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us– that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” Noticed that he declared that these things about the Word of Life (i.e. Jesus the Christ), was based on what they had seen, heard and handled – they were indeed eye-witnesses of who Jesus was and what He did.
The facts concerning God’s dealings with man as contained in the Bible, especially the life of Jesus, are not fables; they are given by eye-witnesses who suffered greatly because of their faith and testimonies – who often were “tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection…endured trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. Some were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. Some wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented– … Some wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.” (Heb 11:35-38). They gave their lives because of what they have seen, heard and believed. Their eye-witness accounts are rooted in historical places and events – and archaeologists have for many years been discovering the accuracies of these historical places and events – and thereby validating the historical records of the Bible.
That is why the writer, the apostle Peter declared thus: “and so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed” (2 Pet. 1:19). We need to pay attention to what the Bible says because they are inspired of God – “holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit”. The many prophecies in the Old Testament concerning Jesus began to be fulfilled when He was born of the virgin as prophesied in Isa 7:14 and fulfilled in Matt 1:23. These events were witnessed by the apostles and their testimonies have been recorded for us so that we may believe and have eternal life: “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:30-31) Jesus Himself said: “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him–the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.” (John 12:48). One day we will all be judged by the Word of God as is also described in Rev 20:12: “And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.” How well acquainted are we with the Bible? Do you know that you can trust the Bible?