EVIDENCES OF THE DIVINE AUTHORITY OF THE BIBLE.
1. One of the greatest evidences that can be put forth as proof of the divine authority of the Bible, is the proof of the resurrection of Christ.
2. If this is proven without a shadow of a doubt, then the other pieces will have to fall into place.
A. Here is a writing from William Jennings Bryan that I thought would be interesting to you on the subject of the resurrection of Christ:
CHRIST'S RESURRECTION: "If the Father deigns to touch with the divine power the cold and pulseless heart of the buried acorn, and to make it burst out from prison walls, will He leave neglected in the earth the soul of man made in the image of his Creator? "If he stoops to give to the rose bush whose withered blossoms float upon the autumn breeze the sweet assurance of another Springtime, will He refuse the words of hope, to the sons of men when the frosts of Winter come?" People that do not want to accept and believe that Christ arose from the dead, seek out many inventions to prove that His resurrection from the dead was only a sham. They come forth with many theories. And theories they are, because none of them have ever been able to stand in the Light of God's Word.
B. The Theft Theory -- the disciples came and stole His body away while the soldiers were sleeping.
C. The Swoon Theory -- Jesus was not really dead but had gone into a faint or coma.
D. The Illusion or Apparition Theory -- The disciples were not at themselves, they only thought they saw Jesus.
3. There is so much atheistic infidelity in the world today, and much of it is in the pulpits of the land, until such study as this is very timely indeed.
4. We that are Christians, as a rule, do not question the authority of the Bible.
5. But of course, we have a tendency to throw reflection upon that belief by our failure to obey its teaching.
6. Many times we are as those that say unto Jesus, "Lord, Lord" but do not obey Him as our Master.
7. We, by no means, will be able to say all that we would like to say concerning the proofs of the resurrection of Christ, but we will say as much as time will allow.
8. Note the text, Acts 1:3. The KJV says that Jesus showed Himself alive, to His apostles, after His sufferings, by MANY INFALLIBLE PROOFS.
9. Not just proof. Not just proofs. Not just many proofs. But by MANY INFALLIBLE PROOFS.
I. MATTERS OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE ENEMIES AND THE FRIENDS OF CHRIST.
A. Both enemy and friend agreed that:
1. Such a man as Jesus lived.
2. He lived in the Bible assigned time.
3. He lived in the Bible assigned country.
4. He was nailed to the Roman cross.
5. He actually died on the cross.
6. The body was given to Joseph of Aramathea.
7. Joseph laid the body in a new tomb.
8. A great stone was placed at the entrance of the tomb, and an armed guard of Roman soldiers was stationed over it to guard it -- to make it as sure or secure as possible. Matt. 27:62-66.
9. The guard's main job was to keep the disciples from stealing the body away.
10. On the third day, the body was missing from the tomb.
II. WHAT BECAME OF THE BODY? IS THE QUESTION OF DISAGREEMENT.
A. Enemies of Christ, say the disciples stole the body away while the soldiers slept. Matt. 28:1-15.
B. Friends of Christ, say that He arose from the dead. Acts 1:3.
III. EXAMINATION OF THE ENEMIES' TESTIMONY.
A. If the soldiers were asleep, how could they have known what happened to the body?
B. It meant certain death for any soldier to be found sleeping on guard duty. Acts 12:18,19.
C. If they were asleep, why were they not brought to trial and punished?
D. The Roman army had the disciples completely in their power, why did they not compel them to deliver the body to them?
E. What motive could the disciples have had in stealing the body?
F. The disciples themselves did not understand nor did they believe that Jesus would arise from the dead. Mk. 16:13,14; Jno. 20:24-29.
IV. EXAMINATION OF THE FRIENDS' TESTIMONY.
A. They say, "He arose from the dead." Well, who are the witnesses to this?
1. Cephas, (Peter). 1 Cor. 15:1-8.
2. The twelve apostles.
3. More than 500 brethren at once (many of whom were still alive when Paul wrote 1 Corinthians).
5. All the apostles.
6. Paul himself.
V. TWO QUESTIONS ARISE ABOUT THIS PROOF AND THESE WITNESSES.
A. Could they have been mistaken about what they saw and heard?
1. No, Jesus was seen on too many different occasions by too many different people, for all of them to be mistaken.
2. They examined Him to be sure, for some of them had doubted. Jno. 20: 20, 24-29; 1 Jno. 1:1-4; Lk. 24:36-43; 2 Pet. 1:16.
B. Were the friends of Christ, who said that He arose, honest?
1. The had no inducement to tell a falsehood -- every earthly interest was against the stand that they took.
2. That Jesus arose from the dead, if not true, was the most unpopular and unwelcome story that could have been told.
3. How can one account for their persistence in telling their story?
a. They sealed their testimony with their own blood.
b. Martyrdom is the strongest proof of honesty on the part of any person.
4. Note the case of Paul in Acts 26:16; 2 Cor. 11:23-28.
5. Honesty shows in their lives. Note the purity of their lives. 1 Cor. 15:12- 19.
1. If He showed Himself alive -- He arose from the dead.
2. If He arose from the dead -- God raised Him.
3. If God raised Him -- He is Divine. God would not have raised an imposter.
4. If He is Divine -- All He said and endorsed is true.
5. The New Testament is His own -- The Old Testament He endorsed.
A. Notice Jesus' endorsement of the Old Testament.
1) The Creation -- Matt. 19:4; -- Gen. 2:18-25.
2) The Flood -- Matt. 24:37-39 -- Gen. 6,7,8.
3) Jonah and the Whale -- Matt. 12:39,40 --- The Book of Jonah.
6. Thus, through many infallible proofs, we have the truth of the resurrection of Christ as it puts the seal of approval on the divine authority of the Bible.
7. Do you believe that the Bible is from God?
8. Are you proving it by your obedience to it?
9. If not, now is the best time that I know for you to begin to put your actions where you say your belief is.
10. Why not obey the word of God now?
by Jim Sasser
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