October 16, 2022

Why we should trust God


The beauty of our Christian faith is trusting God to save us from our sins. 1 Peter 1:21 reads, "Through Christ you have come to trust in God." But trusting God for everything in our lives is easy to say, but hard to do, because God doesn't just do what we want Him to do or what we pray for Him to do. In my sermon on August 7, 2022, I said something like this: "If we say that we love God and that God loves us, but we don't really trust Him to know best when we worry about what might happen, then we are acting like Christian atheists." Trust takes time to build and is based on the character of the person that we are trusting.

I did an Internet search on reasons why we should trust God, and came up with lists of four or seven or twenty reasons. But all of them were supported by Bible verses. So, then I began to wonder about why we should trust the Bible. The Bible describes the character of God and how He reveals Himself. It makes startling claims about itself as being the inspired Word of God and a guidebook for life. Why should we believe it? The evidence is right in the Bible itself.

The Bible was written by 40 different authors in three different languages, on three continents, in 66 documents (or books), over a period of 1,600 years, covering 4,000 years of history, and yet it tells one coherent, unified story from beginning to end about one specific family tree. The gospels of Matthew and Luke contain genealogies of Jesus Christ, and most of the people listed there are major characters in the Old Testament, which had been completely written 400 years before Jesus was born. It would be really hard to come up with an adequate explanation for this, other than that it was inspired by God. Many of the books contain amazing predictions.

1 Peter 1:10-11 - This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward.

There are hundreds of these predictions that are amazingly and miraculously accurate in describing events that happened centuries later. Three hundred of them are about the life of Jesus. In John 5:39, Jesus told His disciples, "These are the Scriptures that testify about me." Children can't control how they are born, but Jesus had a whole book written about Him before He was born! The predictions tell us that Jesus was to be born of a virgin in Bethlehem as a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David, and that He would be betrayed by a friend for thirty pieces of silver, mocked, ridiculed, and pierced in His hands and feet. Lots would be cast for His clothing, and He would be buried in a rich man's tomb, but He would live again and not be left in the tomb.

The Bible describes the resurrection of Jesus, which is the cornerstone of the Christian faith.

1 Peter 1:21 - Through Christ, you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory.

The resurrection is one of the best-attested facts of history. Most of the men who wrote the New Testament were martyred for believing that Jesus rose from the dead. It is unlikely that so many people would suffer persecution for what they knew to be a lie.

The Bible's authority and reliability come in the end from Jesus Himself. He claimed to be God; He could control the wind and the waves, He performed multiple healings, and He predicted that He would be crucified and rise again on the third day. Jesus said, "I am the truth." The Bible is all about Jesus, therefore it is also the truth. In fact, Christians refer to both Jesus and the Bible as the Word of God.

The Bible possesses unique power and authority. Over thousands of years, millions of lives have been transformed – even murderers and tyrants. It has influenced the formation of governments and legal systems; it has sparked economic growth through its work ethic. The Bible's view of the natural world to be ruled over rather than worshipped has led to the scientific method, technological advances, education, and health care.

However, the Bible tells us that living good lives will not earn our salvation because we are sinful and need God's help. Jesus came to pay the penalty of death for our salvation. People do not like to be told that they are sinful and dependent on God, so the Bible is rejected, hated, and ignored, even abolished, yet it is still the top-selling book and its impact on those who heed it cannot be ignored. "The word of the Lord remains forever." (1 Peter 1:25a)

In his seminars back in the 1980s, Bill Gothard used to tell about a young fellow who was questioning apparent inaccuracies or contradictions in the Bible. Bill responded, "Those supposed errors simply mean that we do not yet have all the information that we need to understand it. The real issue that you are avoiding is this: How would your life have to change if the Bible really is trustworthy, reliable, and true?" The young man responded, "You got me!" He didn't want to live a holy life!

1 Peter 1:15-16 – But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.”

Seeing as the Bible is trustworthy, reliable, and true, how much do each of us know about it? Seeing as it is the guidebook for life, how much attention do we pay to it? I can't help but urge you to be reading your Bible as a priority every day. It is the Word of God, and He can really speak to us through it!

Since the Bible is trustworthy and tells us about the character of God, next Sunday, in part 2 of this sermon, we will see why the Bible tells us that we can trust God.