In Ephesians 6, Paul paints a picture of a Christian in the complete armor needed to engage in battle against Satan and his cohorts. Most of the pieces that Paul describes are defensive in nature. One, however, is to be used to advance against the foe – the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. This weapon is so powerful that it can divide the soul and spirit, pierce the joints and marrow, and discern the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). Why, then, would a Christian think to defend the Word rather than allowing it to defend him and enable him to fight against those who would oppose the Gospel? After all, the Spirit of God uses the Word of God to change hearts and transform minds.
We must be prepared to defend the Bible because we need to meet people where they are. The arguments of those who reject Christ may not be logical, nor may they sound convincing to us, but they are convincing to those who make them. They must therefore be addressed, both with sound reasoning and with kindness and gentleness. Too many unbelievers reject Christianity because they think believers are ignorant fools who refuse to think. Our task, therefore, is not only to demonstrate the weakness of the arguments for unbelief, but also to give a reason for the hope within us (I Peter 3:15).
The course is divided into three major sections. The first deals with fundamental underlying issues apart from which no discussion of the validity of the Scriptures can take place. The central section of the course then addresses specific questions often raised by unbelieving critics of the Scriptures, incorporating in the process historical and empirical evidence to support the answers to those questions. Matters such as the manuscript evidence for the Bible, questions of authorship and the formation of the canon, and arguments relating to the accuracy, consistency, and ultimately the inspiration of God’s Word are addressed here, along with the essential role of faith in any person’s system of belief. The final section addresses the heart issues underlying unbelief. Unbelief is not basically a logical problem, but a moral one. Arguments against Scripture thus become justifications after the fact: “I don’t want to submit to God, so I must have some reasonable basis for rejecting Him.”
By the grace of God, I trust that defending your sword will open the door for many opportunities to use that sword to advance the Kingdom of God.
Join us for this Sunday School course taught by Pastor Bob Walton, meeting in the Main Sanctuary every Sunday from September 10 through December 31st, starting at 9:45am.