Chapter 1 – Of the Holy Scriptures – Outline

PARA 1 –    The Revelation of God

1._____ The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient, certain, and infallible rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience, although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable; yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and his will which is necessary unto salvation. Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry times and in divers manners to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church; and afterward for the better preserving and propagating of the truth, and for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church against the corruption of the flesh, and the malice of Satan, and of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing; which maketh the Holy Scriptures to be most necessary, those former ways of God’s revealing his will unto his people being now ceased.
2 Timothy 3:15-17Isaiah 8:20Luke 16:29, 31; Ephesians 2:20; Romans 1:19-21; Romans 2:14,15; Psalms 19:1-3; Hebrews 1:1; Proverbs 22:19-21; Romans 15:4; 2 Peter 1:19,20 )

OUTLINE

  1. Attributes of God’s word
    1. The Holy Scripture is the only sufficient,
    2. certain, and
    3. infallible
  2. Inevitable Implication of these attributes
    • The Holy Scriptures is the only rule of all saving knowledge, faith, and obedience,
  3. General Revelation:   God reveals himself through creation and providence
    • although the light of nature, and the works of creation and providence do so far manifest the goodness, wisdom, and power of God, as to leave men inexcusable;
  4. Limitations of Generation Revelation
    • yet are they not sufficient to give that knowledge of God and his will which is necessary unto salvation
  5. Hence the great need for a Special Revelation through works
    • Therefore it pleased the Lord at sundry times and in divers manners to reveal himself, and to declare that his will unto his church; and afterward
  6. Thereafter the need for a Special Revelation through written word
    1. for the better preserving and
    2. propagating of the truth, and
    3. for the more sure establishment and comfort of the church
    4. against the corruption of the flesh, and
    5. the malice of Satan, and
    6. of the world, to commit the same wholly unto writing;
  7. Absolute Necessity of Scripture for us today
    • which maketh the Holy Scriptures to be most necessary, those former ways of God’s revealing his will unto his people being now ceased.

PARA 2 –  The Canon of Scripture

2._____Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testaments, which are these:

OF THE OLD TESTAMENT: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, II Kings, I Chronicles, II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Song of Solomen, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations,Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi

OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, The Acts of the Apostles, Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, I Corinthians, II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I Thessalonians, II Thessalonians, I Timothy, II Timothy, To Titus, To Philemon, The Epistle to the Hebrews, Epistle of James, The first and second Epistles of Peter, The first, second, and third Epistles of John, The Epistle of Jude, The Revelation

All of which are given by the inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life.
2 Timothy 3:16)

OUTLINE

  1. The identity of the canonical books – Old Testament – 39 books
    • OF THE OLD TESTAMENT: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, I Samuel, II Samuel, I Kings, II Kings, I Chronicles, II Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Song of Solomen, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations,Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi
  2. New Testament – 27 books
    • OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, The Acts of the Apostles, Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, I Corinthians, II Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I Thessalonians, II Thessalonians, I Timothy, II Timothy, To Titus, To Philemon, The Epistle to the Hebrews, Epistle of James, The first and second Epistles of Peter, The first, second, and third Epistles of John, The Epistle of Jude, The Revelation
  3. The test of canonicity –   True Scripture is given by inspiration of God.
    • All of which are given by the inspiration of God
  4. The implications of canonicity – True Scripture is the rule of faith and life
    • All of which are given by the inspiration of God, to be the rule of faith and life.

PARA 3-  The rejection of the apocryphal books.

3._____ The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration, are no part of the canon or rule of the Scripture, and, therefore, are of no authority to the church of God, nor to be any otherwise approved or made use of than other human writings.
Luke 24:27, 44; Romans 3:2 )

OUTLINE

  1. Reason for rejection of Apocrypha
    • The books commonly called Apocrypha, not being of divine inspiration,
  2. Implications of Rejection
    1. Exclusion from the Scripture
      • are no part of the canon or rule of the Scripture, and,
    2. Exclusion from exercising any authority on church
      • therefore, are of no authority to the church of God,
    3. Exclusion from church use
      • nor to be any otherwise approved or made use of than other human writings.

PARA 4  – The authority of Holy Scripture

4._____ The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man or church, but wholly upon God (who is truth itself), the author thereof; therefore it is to be received because it is the Word of God.
2 Peter 1:19-21; 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 John 5:9 )

OUTLINE

  1. The authority of Holy Scripture does not depend on any man or church
    • The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, dependeth not upon the testimony of any man or church,
  2. The authority of Holy Scripture depends and rooted wholly on God.
    • but wholly upon God (who is truth itself), the author thereof; therefore it is to be received because it is the Word of God.

Notes: Just because men do not believe the Bible, or think it to be full of myths, legends, and the opinions of men, does not detract from its authority. It is still the word of God, though no one believes in it.

PARA 5 – The evidences that the Bible is the word of God.

5._____We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the church of God to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scriptures; and the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, and the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man’s salvation, and many other incomparable excellencies, and entire perfections thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God; yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth, and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.
John 16:13,14; 1 Corinthians 2:10-12; 1 John 2:20, 27)

OUTLINE

A. We may be encouraged to believe scripture is word of God by

  1. By testimony of the church:  We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the church of God to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scriptures
  2. the heavenliness of the matter
  3. the efficacy of the doctrine (power of scripture transform us)
  4. the majesty of the style,
  5. the consent of all the parts (consider the number of authors, the variety of personalities and callings of those authors, the time span, and the variety of literature in the Bible, it is the work of divine orchestration that the Bible has internal harmony throughout all of it’s books and with all of it’s authors. It is consistent, rational, progressive, and possesses integrity and consent in all it’s part).
  6. the scope of the whole (which is to give all glory to God),
  7. the full discovery it makes of the only way of man’s salvation, and
  8. many other incomparable excellencies, and
  9. entire perfections thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God;

B.  As great and persuasive as these evidences are, the full saving faith on scripture is only created by Holy Spirit witness.   (Notes:  Surely all do not believe and tremble before God’s word (Isa.66:2). Why do some people come to saving faith on scripture.   The Confession cites 2Thess. 2:13. Paul writes to the church “God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the spirit and faith in the truth.”  Paul states only those who are chosen by God in the eternity will come to this saving faith in scripture by working of the Holy Spirit. 

  • yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth, and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.

Para 6 –  The sufficiency of the Bible & The Illumination of the Spirit

  1.  Scripture contains the whole counsel of God.
  2. Scripture addresses all things necessary for man’s salvation, faith and life.
    • Expressly stated (commands, directives)
    • Necessarily contained in (principles, implications, applications)
  3.  Nothing need be added.
    • By new revelation of the Spirit.
    • By the addition of the tradition of men.
  4.  A commonality to human actions and societies which are ordered by:
    • The light of nature.
    • Christian prudence.
    • The General rules of the word of God.

PARA  7 – The Clarity of the Bible

  1. All Scripture is not equally plain and clear.
  2. Things necessary for salvation are very clear

PARA 8 – The Preservation & Translation of the Bible

  1. The Scriptures are the product of Divine Inspiration.
  2. The Scriptures have been providentially preserved by God through history.
  3. The Scriptures are therefore authentic.
  4. The Scriptures must therefore be translated into the languages of all nations

PARA  9 and 10 – The Finality of the Bible

 

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