Explaining the New Testament Church

stw1Having explained to our friends God’s plan of salvation, soon the subject of “the church” will, and should, come up. We need to be able to explain to our friends the uniqueness of Christ’s church; His plea and purpose.

The question will often be asked, “Where do you go to church?” (or some similar question about church membership), and then, very often, remarks will follow such as, “Well, it really doesn’t matter what church you go to…no church saves you…one church is as good as another…just join the church of your choice….” These sentiments, and others like them, are popular and commonly repeated, but they reveal a lack of understanding regarding what the Bible teaches about the church. Many, though very sincere, simply do not know what the New Testament teaches about the Lord’s body, which is the Lord’s church.

What is “the church”?

Let us first begin with defining what the church is. Many think of “building” when they think of “church.” But that is not what the New Testament means. Help your friends see that the “church” in the Bible (from the original word ekklesia) means the “called out body”; the word means “saved people.” The church is not a physical building, but the saved people of God – those who spiritually belong to God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ.

Who built the church?

Let us stress that the builder of the New Testament church is Jesus Christ Himself! He is the one who promised to build the church (Matthew 16:18). He is the head of the church, and the church is His body (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18).

Throughout history many men have built “their own” churches; but the church of the Bible was built in the first century by the Son of God. It began on the day of Pentecost in the city of Jerusalem in Acts 2. As believers, we mean the church which Jesus built – nothing more, nothing less, and nothing besides.

Is the church important?

stw2Contrary to popular opinion that “the church” is unimportant, the Bible not only teaches that the church Jesus built is important, but that it is essential!

The Bible teaches that Jesus is “the savior of the body” (the church, Ephesians 5:23). What Jesus is going to save is His church – for the church is the saved, and those who are saved are the church! It is completely contrary to Scripture to speak of “saved” and “church” as separate things, for in the Bible they are the same thing!

It is the Lord’s church that will be saved, and it is through the Lord’s church that God is glorified (Ephesians 3:20-21).

What about the church?

Having explained to our friends what the New Testament church is and why it is important, we need to set forth the uniqueness of what Christ wants for His church.

We live in a religiously confused and divided world. There are numerous religious denominations, and they continue to multiply; but no modern denomination existed in the first century – none! Christ is pleading for undenominational, New Testament Christianity. He is calling for men and women to abandon all man-made denominations, and be simply Christians, members of the church He built.


Let us carefully explain that we are not pleading for “his church” or “her church” or “your church” or “my church,” but rather we are pleading for Jesus’ church: the New Testament church that Jesus promised and purchased, built and bought.

When men and women heard the simple message of the gospel – the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ – and when they believed and obeyed it, the Lord added them to the one church that Jesus built (Acts 2:47). The same word received in the same way today yields the same result: forgiveness of sin and addition to the Lord’s body.

Ours is a Scriptural, winning, successful plea when properly understood. May God help us adequately explain the beauty of the New Testament church!

By John Brown

Sharing Him Article #4: Authority in Religion

stw1As you engage people in a discussion of religious matters and their personal need for God, it is very important to discuss, very early in the conversation, the significance of the Bible being our only authority – our only guide, our only standard – in religion.

Perhaps we assume that everyone automatically thinks of the Bible, and whatever it says, as the final word in all religious matters; but such an assumption is wrong!  There are those who do not know the Bible is our only guide; there are others who emphatically reject the very notion of such.  Because people are guided by different “standards” (such as church authorities, majority rule, what is popular, their own personal preference or opinion, or any such like), different doctrines and practices are advocated.  Our goal is to get people to look to the Bible, and the Bible alone, as the only and complete guide for all religious questions.

Introduction passages

There are several passages we need to introduce to people so that they will know the Bible is to be our only guide.  The following are some significant points, with scriptural references establishing them:

1. The Bible is the Word of God. Carefully study 2 Timothy 3:16–17, and note some truths set forth in this text.  First, all Scripture is given by inspiration of God; the Bible is not the product of man, but a revelation of the mind and will of God (for some comparison passages, see also 1 Corinthians 2:9–13; 2 Peter 1:20–21; Matthew 24:35).  Second, Scripture is profitable (useful; beneficial) for doctrine (teaching), reproof and correction (to reveal our sin, and to convict us of our sin), and for instruction in righteousness (teaching about the right ways of God).  Third, Scripture is complete (the meaning of the word “perfect” in the King James Version); Scripture completely furnishes us unto every good work of God.

Emphasize that the Bible is God’s Word and provides all we need in religion!

2.  God the Father has given all authority to His Son, Jesus. Jesus has all authority (Matthew 28:18–20) and God speaks to us through His Son (Matthew 17:5; Hebrews 1:1–2).  Jesus’ words are to be taught (Matthew 28:19), to be continued in (John 8:31–32), and will judge all mankind at the last day (John 12:48).  Jesus is the “final word” because He is the only head of the church (Ephesians 1:1–2; Colossians 1:18).

Emphasize that we must listen to Jesus, and His Words are found in the Bible!

stw23. Jesus promised the apostles inspiration. Read and study John 14:25–26 and John 16:12–13.  Jesus promised His apostles inspiration:  the Holy Spirit would teach them all things, bring to their remembrance what Jesus said, guide them into all truth, and show them things to come.  To hear and heed the words of the apostles is to hear and heed the Word of God.  They acknowledge this inspiration, and said their words could be read and understood (Ephesians 3:3–5).

Emphasize that the words of the apostles and prophets in Scripture are the very words of God!

4.We must not depart from God’s Word. The Bible warns against teaching for our doctrines the commandments of men (Matthew 15:7–9), adding to or taking from God’s Word (Proverbs 30:5–6; Revelation 22:18–19), or turning aside to any other gospel (Galatians 1:6–9).

Emphasize that God has given us all things pertaining to life and godliness in Scripture (2 Peter 1:3).

In conclusion

These points are all for the purpose of getting people to look to the Bible as their standard, their authority, for all religious matters.  When it comes to any doctrine or practice, the thing that matters is what the Word of God teaches.

It is important that people not think in terms of “what my church teaches” or “what your church does,” or “what you think about it,” or “what I was told,” but rather what the Bible says. That is the importance and essentiality of knowing the Bible is our authority.

By John Brown

Sharing Him Article #3

stw1So far this year we’ve discussed what it means to share the Gospel with others and where to begin.  This month we’re going to talk about explaining His Plan of Salvation.

God’s Plan of Salvation:  How can I explain it?

In this article, we will consider a simple, scriptural, and concise way to explain to another God’s plan of salvation. Salvation is a gift, but it’s a gift we must choose to accept in order to become part of God’s kingdom (Acts 2:38).

Consider the following three points:

1. The Problem: Sin

The greatest problem confronting mankind is not economic, educational, cultural, racial, social, or physical.  The greatest problem confronting humanity is the problem of sin.

Sin causes man to be separated from God (lost!):  Isaiah 59:1–2

Sin causes one to be spiritually dead:  Ephesians 2:1–2; Romans 6:23

Sin is a universal malady because all have sinned:  Romans 3:9-10; Ecclesiastes 7:20; Romans 6:23

Sin causes man to be lost in this life and lost eternally.  It is a terrible malady, a deadly disease, an awful affliction!

2. The Remedy: The Blood of Christ

Sin is the problem:  that’s the bad news.  But there is a remedy for the problem of sin; there is a cure for the disease:  that’s the good news.

The remedy for sin is the blood of Christ!

Jesus said in Matthew 26:28, “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”

stw2It is the blood of Christ that provides us forgiveness:  Romans 5:8; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; 1 Peter 1:18–19; Revelation 1:5.

The word “gospel,” which means “good news,” is that Christ died for our sins (1 Corinthians 15:1–4).

3. The Response: Obeying Christ

Having identified the problem (sin) and the remedy (Christ’s blood), the question remains, “How does one get the remedy?”

The answer is simple:  we must obey Jesus Christ.  The Bible tells us that Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him (Hebrews 5:8–9).

Jesus commands we believe in Who He is (John 8:24), repent (Luke 13:3), confess our faith in Him (Matthew 10:32), accepting His invitation of salvation, and be baptized (Mark 16:16).  He further tells us to remain faithful (Revelation 2:10).

An Illustration:

Suppose a man went to a doctor for a check-up.  The doctor found a deadly disease that could take the man’s life.  That’s bad news.  But the doctor tells the man there’s a medicine that can cure his disease.  That’s good news!  Then the doctor instructs the man to take the prescription.  Would the man hesitate taking the remedy if he was thoroughly convinced it would alleviate his affliction?

Likewise man must learn of and acknowledge his problem; he must come to know that sin is the deadly disease confronting us all.  But he needs also to learn that through Christ there is a remedy, and he needs to learn what that remedy is.


Think of these three points (problem, remedy, response), learn the Scriptures that relate to each of these points and demonstrate their truthfulness, and then be about the business of telling people the good news of the gospel and God’s desire for them to be forgiven and have eternal life.

Emphasize to people how much God loves them and what a great gift He has given them (John 3:16).  Share with them God’s great desire for them to receive this great gift.  Everything necessary for our salvation on God’s part had been done; now it is up to us to accept by faith the gift of God.

Scriptures for further study:  Luke 19:10; 1 Timothy 2:5; Romans 10:17; Hebrews 11:6; Acts 3:19; Galatians 3:26–27; 1 Peter 3:21.

By John Brown

Sharing Him: Part 2

stw1In our last article, we introduced the subject of personal evangelism.  I asked each Christian reading the article to make a resolution to try to teach one person about Jesus this year. We have much more to say on the subject, and in future articles we’re going to talk specifically about what we need to be telling people.

But for now, how do we begin?

Let’s start simply and take it from there.  If you are going to be involved in sharing Christ with others (and I hope you will!) then consider the following:

1.  Have an assurance of your relationship with God. It’s going to be impossible for you to positively and confidently speak to others about their relationship with God unless you have assurance of your own.  If you are not fully committed to God, determine that you will be.  Determine that now, and pray for God to help you.  Being a faithful, committed Christian doesn’t demand perfection or flawlessness; it does demand having our priorities in order (Matthew 6:33) and acknowledging God as our first love (Revelation 2:4) and personal Savior.

2.  Have a concern for the lost. Read carefully Romans 10:1-3 and note Paul’s heart-felt concern for his fleshly kinsmen who did not know Jesus.  Let us make sure we have a genuine concern for the lost.  Our motivation is not to win an argument, but to share Christ with others.  There are people all around us who are lost in sin – there is no shortage of people who need to hear the gospel.  Jesus said, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few” (Matthew 9:37).  See people as lost, and be concerned enough to want to do something about it.

3.  Have a working knowledge of scripture. We are to be ready always to answer others concerning our Christian hope (1 Peter 3:15).  We don’t have to know everything, but we should have a general knowledge of the Bible.  If you don’t, then now is the time to get started learning.  There is nothing wrong with saying “I don’t know” – there is something wrong if we continue to “not know” (2 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 5:12-14).  If you don’t know, pray about it and determine you’ll find out.  And remember – if you are a Christian, you know what God did for our salvation; telling others what Jesus has done for our sin and what the Bible requires is what sharing Him is all about.

dailybiblereading14.  Make a determined effort to speak to someone today. We all talk about many things during the course of our day – sports, politics, business, job, home, family, hobbies, interests, and so forth.  Decide you are going to discuss the Bible or you own personal walk with God with someone.  Where to start?  Consider some of the following as “opening questions” that can begin a conversation about spiritual matters:

  • “Do you go to church?”  If the answer is “yes,” you can ask the individual where they go, and something about his / her church.  This can lead to an opportunity to tell the friend about Jesus Christ, the Head of the church.  If one answers “no,” then you have the perfect opportunity to invite that person to attend with you.  There are many people who think about “starting to go to church,” they just need to begin.  And a simple invitation from someone they know may help them get started.  There are people waiting to be asked.
  • “Are you a Christian?”  This is a more straightforward question, but one that cuts right to the heart of the matter.  If one answers “yes,” you can ask them about their Christian walk, and what they did to become a Christian.  If one answers “no,” take a few minutes to explain what being a Christian means to you, why you consider it important, and why you like to talk about what God has done for you and in your life.
  • “Have you ever studied the Bible?”  You’ll be surprised how many will say “no, not really.”  Bible study has not generally been a very high priority with most people.  Yet there are many who would really like to know more about what the Bible actually says; they just don’t know how to begin.  So at this point, you might suggest, “How about we get together for some Bible study?”  If this is offered as something to do together, not in a threatening or belittling way, you can find some who are interested.  Set a definite date and time to get together, and keep it to no more than an hour.  You can begin in a very simple way (such as reading and discussing the gospel of John together).  Pray for wisdom in teaching them and that their heart will be open. Remember, God and His Word will do the work.

girlpray5. Make God a natural part of your everyday conversations. When we truly love God and are continually praying and studying His word, our conversations should naturally include God (Luke 6:45). If you find it difficult to talk about God in a natural way, make sure you are focusing on Him enough, and keep talking! Once your lips and heart become used to speaking good things, especially about God, you will find that what becomes unnatural is not including Him in conversation. When we talk about God like He’s our best friend, we often have a larger impact on other people’s thoughts than we realize.


As you ask these (or similar) questions, remember the goal is to share God with others, in hope that it will allow God to use you to teach them. Decide to tell them about God to open that door. There are many who are looking to find the answers that will satisfy the soul.

As a Christian, you have a message they need to hear.  In all your conversations, always try to leave a door open for another discussion.  We do people no good if we “run them off” and they don’t want to talk with us anymore.

If you are a Christian, more than likely, someone cared enough about you to make sure you knew the Gospel.  Let us all have the same concern for others.  We have some “good news” that’s much too good to keep to ourselves!

More to come…

By John M. Brown

Sharing Him Article # 1

stw1After Jesus rose from the dead, He commanded His followers: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:  and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:19-20).

We rightly call this “the Great Commission.”  Jesus doesn’t give His disciples permission to tell the good news of His gospel to others; He gives them a commission – a charge – to do so! The Bible says, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30).

Over the next few articles, we’re going to talk about this great commission.  Maybe you call it “personal evangelism” or “personal work” or “putting the Great Commission into action,” but regardless of what you call it, personal evangelism is something in which every Christian should be – and can be! – involved.

Sometimes because of fear and timidity, or simply not knowing where to begin, we fail to tell others the message of Christ.  But always remember:  God’s word is taught, not caught!  Jesus said it is necessary that people be taught about God (John 6:45).  And we know that faith comes by hearing God’s word (Romans 10:17).  Remember, the message we have to share is “good news” people need to hear.  Our motivation is not to try to “talk someone into” something that is contrary to their best interest; rather, we are telling people a message they desperately need, a message that has power to save the soul (Romans 1:16).

We’re going to talk about some principles involved in sharing the gospel, and some practical applications.  We’re going to discuss how to share the good news of the gospel with others, and how to explain God’s plan of salvation in a very simple, understandable, and compelling way.

But first, consider: What is “sharing the gospel” anyway?

– It is discussing Christianity or studying the Bible with a friend;
– it is telling, and showing, a neighbor the joy of serving God;
– it is asking a friend at work to attend services with you;
– it is gathering neighborhood children to attend Vacation Bible School;
– it is slipping a gospel tract into a letter or bill, or leaving tracts in a public place;
stw2– it is writing a letter to a loved one, expressing interest in that person’s spiritual welfare;
– it is having a non-Christian in your home, sharing hospitality and love;
– it is encouraging a new Christian, or strengthening someone who is burdened;
– it is bringing a friend to Bible class and worship;
– it is setting up a home Bible study with a friend and your preacher, or other mature and godly person;
– it is talking about the gospel with friends, family, associates, and acquaintances;
– it is showing a video presentation of the gospel;
– it is sharing the gospel over a cup of coffee or soft drink;

Christian friend, why not resolve that this year you are going to share God’s word with at least one unbeliever.  You can begin by praying that God will help to open someone’s heart to His message. Your faith will be strengthened, your Christian walk will be enhanced, your joy will be increased, and Heaven will rejoice in the presence of God’s angels if you’ll do that!

More to come…

By John M. Brown

Scientific Accuracy

Evidences for the Inspiration of the Bible: Scientific Accuracy

One of the amazing things about the Bible is its scientific accuracy and foreknowledge. The Bible is not a science textbook (that is not its purpose), but what it says concerning scientific matters is accurate – not only accurate, but far ahead of its time.

The Bible speaks of things that were unknown and undiscovered by man at the time the Bible was written.  When we consider some of the things written in the Bible that man did not know through his own discovery until hundreds or even thousands of years had passed, we draw the conclusion that mere man did not – could not! – write the Bible of his own knowledge.  This kind of foreknowledge demands an intelligence and wisdom that is higher and greater than man.

The Bible has never been proven wrong regarding scientific, archeological, or historical matters.  In fact, some “experts” in these fields have over the years questioned the accuracy of the Bible, only to discover, ultimately, that the Bible was true and correct after all.  Of course, that is no surprise to the Bible believer, and merely confirms the truthfulness of the Bible.  We don’t need science, archeology, or history to verify our faith in the Bible; but it is nice to know none of these fields can undermine that faith!

Consider some examples of the scientific foreknowledge of Scripture:

  1. JOB 26:7: This verse speaks of “the north over the empty place,” an obvious reference to the intergalactic space stretching over and above the north pole (not seen by anyone’s naked eye when Job, the oldest book in the Bible, was written), and God having done this: “hangeth the earth on nothing.” Of course we know today that the earth is not sitting on some giant platform, nor suspended by gigantic cables or wires, as some ancients supposed; we know the earth floats freely upon nothing. But nobody living when the book of Job was written knew that.
  2. JOB 38:16: This verse speaks of “springs of the sea” and the “search [recesses; trenches] of the depth.” But not until the 19th and into the 20th centuries did man, through natural means, learn about these great springs of fresh water flowing into the seas, and the great trenches, some many miles long, on the ocean floor. For centuries man supposed the ocean to be shallow and flat. Not so.
  3. PSALM 8:8 speaks of the “paths of the sea.” Matthew Maury, seaman and scientist, in the mid-19th century discovered these sea paths, and in fact cited this passage in the book of Psalms as his motivation for even searching for such! His work earned him the title “pathfinder of the seas.” He was an extraordinary scientist, and firm Bible believer.
  4. ISAIAH 40:22 speaks of God as the One “that sitteth upon the circle of the earth.” Of course we know today that the earth is spherical. But in the days of Isaiah, a book written some six hundred years before Christ, nobody knew that; man did not “discover” that the earth was round until relatively modern times; man, through his own supposition, imagined the earth to be flat with a literal “falling off” place. Such notions today seem ridiculous; but the earth being a circle must have sounded ridiculous when Isaiah was written!
  5. ECCLESIASTES 1:6 tells us about cycles of the wind, which modern meteorology confirms, and today we hear daily about “jet streams.”
  6. NUMBERS 19:7–22: God gave some very specific instructions to the ancient Israelites concerning purifying, cleanness, and uncleanness that, from a human perspective, made no sense at all in their day. But in our day, we understand the reasons for these instructions, having learned through scientific investigation and discovery: God was protecting His people from the spread of infectious disease by defilement. We admonish our children to wash their hands; yet a little more than a hundred years ago, doctors would perform surgeries without gloves, without sterilized instruments, and without hand washing, literally moving from one patient to another with bloodied hands and tools, and often more patients died from infection than from wounds. Yet, here is the Bible giving some simple instructions that protected ancient Israelites without their even being aware of it. Today, we know of bacteria and germs and disease, and things to do to prevent their spread, like washing and antiseptics. Yet no scientist or physician in Moses’ day, when these instructions were given, knew these things. Why the explicit warnings, then? Because the instructions were given by a wisdom and intelligence higher and greater than man.
  7. LEVITICUS 13:45–46: Here the Bible gives instruction that would prevent the spread of leprosy, an incredibly contagious, dangerous, and ultimately fatal disease in Biblical times that could become epidemic when Biblical instructions were not followed. But as in the above point, no one in the time the Bible was written knew the reasons for disease spreading or why epidemic plagues came. Yet the Bible warns about it. Just a good guess, or a superior intelligence giving the instruction? There have been many ages in the history of mankind, often centuries after the Bible was written, when disastrous plagues claiming thousands of lives could have been avoided had people but followed Biblical injunctions.
  8. LEVITICUS 17:11 tells us “the life of the flesh is in the blood.” We know that today. But in earlier days, the practice of “blood letting” for those who were sick was a common practice, and often, unfortunately, resulted in the death of the patient. One ill was thought to have “bad humours,” and “bleeding” a patient was thought to be of help; we know now that it often hastened death, instead. Modern physicians speculate that our first president, George Washington, probably died as a result of “bleeding” by his physicians, and most likely would have recovered if not for the “medical treatment” he received.
  9. ACTS 17:26 speaks of God having “made of one blood all nations of men for the dwell on all the face of the earth.” We know today that race and skin color have nothing to do with blood type, and, in fact, compatible blood types are interchangeable among and between different races of man. Nobody knew that when Acts was written, except the Author of the book who had access to knowledge greater than what mere man had discovered.

These and other examples we could cite demonstrate that from a naturalistic standpoint, there is no way the Bible could have been written by a mere man, for the Bible foretells things about which man did not know for thousands of years after they were recorded. The Bible demands an intelligence and wisdom that is far superior to man’s naturalistic learning. Though the Bible doesn’t profess to be a textbook on biology, anatomy, physical chemistry, or other natural or medical sciences, what the Bible says concerning these matters is overwhelmingly advanced.

Never worry about the Bible being outdated, outmoded, or antiquated; man has demonstrated that he has had a difficult time keeping up with this Book which far surpasses and exceeds human wisdom and knowledge!

Remember: the Bible is always right!

By John M. Brown

Christian Evidences: Is Jesus the Son of God?


Are the “founders” of all world religions basically the same–– Jesus, Mohammed, Confucius, Buddha, and others? The answer is, No.

Actually, New Testament Christianity makes claims for and about Jesus Christ that are completely different from any other world religion: Christianity affirms that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Son of God, God in the flesh when He walked among men! No other religion asserts that about its founder.

In Matthew 22:42 Jesus asked, “What think ye of Christ? Whose son is He?” Well, what do you say?

Christianity says Jesus is God’s Son.

What is the evidence?

Consider the New Testament, which is, among other things, a historical record.

1. THE CLAIMS OF JESUS. Jesus plainly claimed to be the Son of God (Matthew 16:15–17; Mark 14:61–62; John 3:16; 9:35–37). In making such a claim, Jesus would have to be liar, lunatic, or truly Lord indeed!

The Bible records God the Father affirming the same thing (Matthew 3:17; 17:5; Hebrews 1:5). Jesus claimed equality with God (John 5:17–18, 23–24; 8:19, 23–24, 58; 10:30–33; 14:1, 7–11). If Jesus is not the Son of God, then who is He? If He was only a man, what motivated Him to assert otherwise? His claims brought Him hatred, misunderstanding, persecution, torture, and death. With no political aspirations and neither fame nor fortune, He forsook all, denying Himself in order to do God’s will, and it cost Him His life. Jesus’ suffering is inexplicable apart from His claims.

2. THE FOLLOWERS OF JESUS. Jesus’ followers claimed He was the Son of God (see John 1:49; Matthew 14:33; John 20:28; Acts 8:37; Acts 3:13, 26; 9:20; Romans 1:3–4; 8:3, 29, 32; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 15:28; 2 Corinthians 1:19; Galatians 1:16; 2:20; 4:4–7; Ephesians 4:13; Hebrews 4:14; 1 John 1:3, 7; 2:22–24; Revelation 2:18). The term “Son of God” applied to Jesus appears all throughout the New Testament.

What motivated His followers? For several centuries, Jesus’ followers met hatred, oppression, and martyrdom for their profession. Why would His followers concoct a lie, suffer for the lie, go to prison for the lie, and die for the lie, if they knew their claims were untrue?

3. THE MIRACLES OF JESUS. No one in Jesus’ day denied He did miracles (John 3:2; 9:16, 31–33; Matthew 9:32–34; 12:24), as He demonstrated power of defilement, disease, demons, the deep, death, and nature itself.

Eyewitnesses saw His miracles, and history has recorded their testimony. And Jesus’ miracles verify His identity (John 20:30–31; Acts 2:22–24, 36; Acts 10:38).

4. THE PROPHECIES OF JESUS. Jesus fulfilled prophecies concerning the Messiah, the Son of God, in exact detail in His birth, life, teaching, miracles, death, and resurrection (see John 5:39; Luke 24:25–27, 44; Isaiah 53:7–8, with Acts 8:30–35).

No other religious leader can lay claim to the fulfillment of prophecy: false Christs, messiahs, and charlatans have arisen making many claims––but none can substantiate their claims as can Jesus!

5. THE LIFE OF JESUS. Jesus’ life was characterized by unusual compassion, wisdom, benevolence, purity, and devotion. Unlike any other, of His life no fault could be found (see John 18:38; 19:4, 6; Luke 23:13–16). His friends knew this (2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 1:19; 2:22), as did His adversaries (Mark 14:55–56). His life was characterized by complete devotion to the will of God (John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38; Matthew 26:39).

Of Jesus only is the claim made of complete sinlessness (Hebrews 2:18; 4:15).

6. THE TEACHING OF JESUS. Jesus taught with a wisdom, insight, and understanding unsurpassed in His day, and ours too (Matthew 7:28–29; Luke 4:15, 32; John 7:45–46). His teachings, though old, are just as relevant today as when they were spoken.

How do we explain His amazing wisdom if He was “only a man”?

7. THE DEATH OF JESUS. Jesus’ death can be understood and explained only by His mission: to take away sins! Jesus predicted His death (Matthew 16:21; John 6:70–71; 13:21–22, 26) and amazing miracles that accompanied it: darkness, the veil of the temple splitting, the dead arising.

The death of Jesus is a historical event, but its accomplishment and meaning can only be understood in view of His identity.

8. THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS. Jesus died, but some time after His death His tomb became empty, and remains empty to this day. Why? How? The answer of the New Testament is that Jesus rose actually, literally, bodily from the dead!

Jesus had predicted His resurrection (Matthew 12:38–40; 16:21; and many other places) and the Bible records the testimony of numerous eye witnesses, more than five hundred of them, who saw Jesus alive after His death.

If Jesus really, actually, bodily, literally rose from the dead, then He is the Son of God!

9. THE INFLUENCE OF JESUS. Has anyone influenced our world like Jesus of Nazareth? He never wrote a book, composed a song, built a sanctuary or a hospital, or raised an army, yet entire continents for centuries have been influenced by His life and work. No politician, teacher, or religious leader has affected as many lives as Jesus. His name stands above every name, and His teachings have transformed individuals, towns, cities, and nations! His amazing influence is testimony of an amazing identity.

10. THE CONSEQUENCE. If Jesus is not the Son of God, then the entire Old Testament is impugned, the New Testament is false, the whole system of Christianity is a mere human philosophy built upon fabrication, founded by an impostor, and perpetuated by fraudulent liars––there is no Savior, no salvation, and no hope of resurrection or life beyond.

But if Jesus is the Son of God, then He is Lord of all and must be obeyed. He only can make atonement for sin, save our souls, and provide life, hope, peace, joy, and fulfillment.

Now, what do you think of Christ––Who is He? Weigh your answer carefully.

By John Brown

Evidence the Bible is the Word of God, Part 2

Indirect Evidence for the Bible’s Inspiration

We have considered some “direct” evidence of the Bible being God’s Word; let us now consider some “indirect” evidence––evidence that, though secondary, still indicates that the Bible was written by inspiration of God.

1. THE EVIDENCE OF FULFILLED PROPHECY. Prophecy is the writing of history before it happens, and the Bible, unique among all “religious books” in our world, is filled with prophecy. With daring boldness, the Bible tells what would happen to individuals, cities, and nations, hundreds––even thousands––of years before those events happened. A study of Bible prophecy leads to the unavoidable question, “Who could have written such a book?”

The prophecies concerning Jesus alone––dozens and dozens of them, and fulfilled in exact, specific detail in Jesus’ life and actions––should prove to any reasonable, honest person that the writing of the Bible requires a foresight higher and greater than mortal man.

2. THE EVIDENCE OF SCIENTIFIC ACCURACY. While the Bible is not a science textbook (that is not its scope or purpose), what it says concerning scientific matters is accurate; in fact, in instance after instance, the Bible proves itself ahead of its time. It records many scientific truths hundreds of years before man, in his intellectual quest, discovered or proved them. Consider some examples:

a. The Bible says the earth is suspended in space (Job 26:7);
b. The Bible declares the earth to be round (Isaiah 40:2; Luke 17:26);
c. The Bible teaches all nations of men are of “one blood” (Acts 17:26);
d. The Bible asserts that “life” is “in the blood” (Leviticus 17:10–16);
e. The Bible announces the process of rain, evaporation and condensation (Ecclesiastes 1:2-7).

These and many other examples are, again, evidences of the Bible as a product of wisdom and intelligence higher and greater than man.

3. THE EVIDENCE OF MORAL TEACHING AND INFLUENCE. The Bible has lifted the moral standing of man among all peoples and nations where its influence has gone. And its influence on this world has been phenomenal!

The Bible has made better husbands, wives, children, neighbors, citizens––these have been produced where the Bible has been taught and practiced. Has any book influenced this world like the Bible? No one has been made worse by truly following its teachings; but millions have been lifted from misery, despair, hopelessness, greed, and hatred.

What other book has turned a hovel into a home, alcohol into shoes, drugs into groceries, or thieves into laborers, and liars into honest men? This is the amazing power of the Bible. What other book can wrest a human soul from the brink destruction and transport it into the bliss of hope? The Bible humbles the proud, enriches the poor, turns the hater into a lover of men.

4. THE EVIDENCE OF INDESTRUCTIBILITY. The Bible has been in existence for thousands of years, yet has never become obsolete––it is still read, used, studied, taught, practiced, and loved. No book has stood the test of time like the Bible. Critics have poured over the Bible in microscopic detail in efforts to destroy it, but still it stands. No other book has survived the centuries unaltered as has the Bible, and the very fact of its existence is an evidence of its divinity. It has survived empires, kingdoms, wars, dark ages, renaissance, modernism, and skepticism.

The Bible cannot be destroyed (read Matthew 24:35; 1 Peter 1:24–25). Indeed, there is one thing upon which death and decay cannot lay its rotting finger: the living, penetrating, and incorruptible Word of God.

5. THE EVIDENCE OF THE WONDER OF THE BIBLE. Consider the wonder of its formation and unity (written by different people in different cultures and times, yet coming together to form one theme––a library of 66 books, yet one Book and one Author!). Consider the wonder of its age (it is the most ancient of books, yet always fresh and relevant) or the wonder of its interest (read and loved by all classes of man). Consider the wonder of its language (largely written by uneducated men, yet a literary masterpiece!).

The Bible is unique among all the literature of the world

6. THE EVIDENCE OF ITS EXISTENCE. That the Bible exists, no one, obviously, can deny. So we ask: how did it get here, and who wrote it? If God is not its author, then who is? Anyone denying the authorship of God must explain the existence of the Bible by some other means.

The evidences of Scripture point to an authorship superior to man, and the testimony of the Bible itself states that authorship is God.


We invite all to examine the Bible––to examine its claims, its evidences, and its inspiration––and we’re convinced you’ll be driven to the conclusion that it is indeed the living Word of the living God.

By John M. Brown


There are four gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, John – which give us four unique accounts of the life, teaching, deeds, and demands of Jesus.

Why four? Why not just one?

The Bible teaches a principle that any matter would be established by two or three witnesses (Numbers 35:30; Deuteronomy 17:6, 19:15; Matthew 18:16). In the case of Jesus and His identity, there are four testimonies.

Also, though each of the gospels set forth the same truth that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, it is obvious in reading that each was written to a different culture or people. Different audiences requiring different emphases require different approaches. Though the authors all set forth the same fundamental truth, they did so with respect toward those to whom they wrote. Thus, the four gospels complement each other perfectly. Matthew writes to a Jewish audience to show that Jesus is the Messiah of Israel; Mark writes to a Roman audience and shows Jesus as the suffering servant who is the powerful Son of God; John writes that all may believe Jesus is God’s Son (John 20:30-31).

Now consider THE GOSPEL OF LUKE.

The third gospel was written to Greeks by the physician Luke (Colossians 4:14), who also wrote the book of Acts (compare Luke 1:1-4 with Acts 1:1-2). Luke is an exceedingly historical book. He writes of things “most surely believed” among Christians, that which was confirmed by “eyewitnesses,” and with a purpose that we might know “the certainty of those things” concerning Jesus. Luke demonstrates that Christianity is based on reliable, accurate, certain, definitive facts. Luke shows how God entered into the course of human history to give His Son for the lost among men.

Luke shows us the Son of God who is also the Son of man. Jesus, the one who came to redeem all men, is the compassionate One – sympathetic toward and concerned about Jews and Gentiles, men and women, young and old, pagans and publicans, the respectable rich and the pitiful poor. Luke’s portrait is of a universal Savior!

Luke’s audience––the Greeks––emphasized wisdom and beauty, and so Luke shows us a picture of Jesus as the very ideal of wisdom and beauty. Luke shows Jesus as the perfect man, as the ideal man! Consider the following brief outline of the book:


Jesus came into the world as its Savior, and grew mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially (Luke 1:30-33; 2:10-14; 2:52).


Jesus demonstrated His power in miracles, exercising authority over demons, disease, defilement, and even the mighty forces of nature, and showed His compassion toward His disciples, the infirm, doubters, and the bereaved.


Jesus taught with perfect wisdom, in parables and instruction, and discoursed concerning such subjects as prayer, hypocrisy, covetousness, faithfulness, repentance, the kingdom, forgiveness, and gratitude.


Jesus made perfect provision – provision for the sins of all mankind. He provides salvation, and we see the preparation for that as He prays in the garden, is arrested and beaten, tried and crucified, and then ultimately risen and ascended!

Read and contemplate some examples of Jesus’ compassion and provision as He teaches about the Lost Sheep (15:1-10), the prodigal son (15:11-24), Zaccheus (19:1-10), and a repentant thief (23:39-43).

Luke shows us that this universal, compassionate offer of salvation is made possible only by and through Jesus, the Son of God who is also the perfect Son of man.

By John Brown

Inspired Evidence


There are many religious books in the world—all religions have a book or “sacred” writings which guide them, and upon which they rely.

Then there is the Bible.

The Bible is here, and it has been here for literally thousands of years. That it is an ancient and highly regarded book, no one can deny.  But is it written by intelligence higher and greater than man?  How did the Bible get here? How did it come to be?  That is the question at issue. Christians believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, that it is a revelation of the mind and will of the Creator Himself, that it was written by inspiration of God and is, therefore, without mistake or error (inerrant and infallible).

If we begin with the premise that there is a God (see the previous study on Evidence for the Existence of God), then consider the following concerning the feasibility that God could have revealed Himself to mankind:

1.    It is possible.  If there is a God, it is, of course, possible for Him to make Himself known to man, to communicate with His creation.
2.    It is probable.  Granted the goodness and wisdom of God, if it is possible for God to reveal Himself to man, it is probable to think He would do so.
3.    It is credible.  Granted that special Divine revelation is possible and probable, it is credible to believe that such has, in fact, been given.
4.    It is necessary.  The imperfections and limitations of man’s knowledge and wisdom call for the perfect light of infallible, Divine revelation.

Consider this study in outline form:  we shall consider evidence for the inspiration of the Bible under two parts—direct evidence and indirect evidence.


A.    THE CLAIMS OF THE BIBLE ITSELF.  The Bible directly, expressly, and clearly claims to be the Word of God in numerous places (see, for example, such passages as 2 Timothy 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21; 1 Corinthians 2:9-13).  More than 2,000 times in the Bible the claim is made that the words spoken are the words of revelation from God Himself.  Is this true, or not?  It cannot be both. If the Bible is not Scripture, then its claims are false; if the Bible is Scripture, then it demands our attention, reverence, and obedience.

B.  THE CLAIMS OF JESUS CHRIST.  Jesus believed the Scriptures to be the Word of God.
In Matthew 4, three times Jesus said, “It is written,” and quoted from the Old Testament Scripture (Deuteronomy 8:3; 6:16; 10:20).  In John 10:35, Jesus said “…and the scripture cannot be broken.”  Numerous other times, Jesus quoted from previously written Scripture and described what He quoted as the Word of God.  One cannot accept Jesus as Savior and Lord and reject what He said about the inspiration, infallibility, and authority of Scripture!  If Scripture is not the Word of God, then Jesus lied or was deceived, and one guilty of deliberate fabrication or capable of such deception cannot be Lord of all!

C.  THE CLAIMS OF CHRIST’S APOSTLES.  Christ’s apostles—those chosen men who faithfully and sacrificially followed Him, passing on His teaching to all mankind—claimed to be speaking by inspiration and revelation from God.

Consider some examples from Paul:
“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.  For I neither receive it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11-12). “If any man think himself a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 14:37). “How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Ephesians 3:3-5).

Consider some examples from Peter:
“As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16). Peter here is speaking about the writings of a fellow-apostle, Paul, and notice that Peter calls Paul’s writing “scripture.”

The apostles claimed to be speaking, preaching, teaching, and writing that which came by direct revelation from God, the commandments of the Lord, and that what they wrote was scripture!  This was, in fact, exactly what Jesus had promised them, that the Holy Spirit would guide them into remembrance of what Jesus said, and into all truth (John 14:25-26; 16:12-13).  Jesus and these followers either told the truth, or they did not!

Numerous times in the Bible the writers and speakers claimed to be speaking forth from God Himself.

Consider the following examples:  Moses (Exodus 20:22; 24:3-4); Joshua (Joshua 1:1); Samuel (1 Samuel 3:4-14); David (2 Samuel 23:1-2); Isaiah (Isaiah 51:16); Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:9); Ezekiel (Ezekiel 2:2; 3:27); Daniel (Daniel 9:20-22); Hosea (Hosea 1:1); Joel (Joel 1:1); Amos (Amos 1:1-3); Obadiah (Obadiah 1:1); Jonah (Jonah 1:1); Micah (Micah 1:1); Nahum (Nahum 1:1); Habakkuk (Habakkuk 1:1); Zephaniah (Zephaniah 1:1); Haggai (Haggai 1:3); Zechariah (Zechariah 1:1-3); Malachi (Malachi 1:1).

There was no ambiguity, confusion, or doubt from these men regarding the source of their message:  they plainly claimed that what they spoke and wrote came directly to them from God.  Were these men deceivers or deceived, or were they in fact telling the truth?


The evidence is clear and compelling:  the Bible directly and unequivocally claims to be a message given directly from God Himself.

If there is a God, this is no difficult matter.  If there is a God, He could easily and readily communicate His mind and will to His creation, and He could cause that message to be faithfully recorded and accurately preserved.  If there is a God, not only could He do this, we would expect Him to—we would not suppose that God would leave us uninformed concerning His will, and directionless concerning our actions.  Therefore, “Thus saith the Lord” is to be anticipated if there is a God!

One must deal with the fact that the writers of the Bible specifically stated their writings came by revelation from God.  For the believer, this is no difficulty at all.  On the other hand, if one does not believe in God, then he must explain how the Bible came to be.  If it is not from God, then who wrote it?  And if it is not from God, why did all the writers claim it was?  Were they all mistaken, or were they deliberate liars?

In our next article, we shall consider some other very powerful evidences that the Bible is from God.  Stay tuned.

By John Brown