Could you explain to an unbeliever why you believe the Bible is the Holy and inerrant Word of God? Many (perhaps most) professing Christians could not and are frightened of having this conversation. What would you say?
This morning in our Covenanter, I want to give you 6 quick talking points to help you get started. 6 talking points that once you hear them, you will never forget them for the rest of your life. Simply look at your hand and you'll have every point before you as clearly as if it were written down. That’s a bold claim, but its based on a fantastic mnemonic I first heard from the radio evangelist and author, Greg Koukl.
It begins with the fifth Finger. P is for Pinky and for Prophecy. The Bible is full of specific verbal prophecies that have been fulfilled with astounding accuracy. 700 years before the incarnation, men like Isaiah spoke of the coming of Jesus Christ. They tell us where he would be born, how he would minister, what He would say, how He would die (and why). And, that after He was buried, He would be raised again from the dead, that His Kingdom would extend to every nation, tribe, and tongue on earth, and that, one day, He would come to judge the world in righteousness.
Next, we have the ring finger. Wedding rings signify unity, and the Bible is an amazingly unified collection of 66 books, written over 1400 years, by over 40 authors, in 3 languages, and with one message: God saves sinners! That’s fairly impressive when you think about it.
The Middle finger is the longest finger, and the Bible answers all the big questions of life — Where did the world come from (the question of origin)? Who am I (the question of identity)? What is life all about (the question of purpose)? How should I live my life (the question of morality)? Why is life so messed up (the question of evil)? How can life be put right (the question of redemption)? Where is life headed (the question of destiny)? No other book answers these questions so cohesively and persuasively.
The index finger is the finger with which you point. The Bible points to realties human beings cannot deny? For example - Human beings have an inescapable sense that we ought to behave in a certain way, that we are guilty for not doing so, and that some atonement must be made for our wrong doing. Furthermore, throughout the ages of history, in every culture, we find human beings instinctively believing in God, life after death, and the reality of final judgment? Once again, the Bible has persuasive answers to all these questions -- answers that ring true.
The thumb: Thumbs up (or down) was a sign of life and death in the gladiatorial arena. The thumb changed a man’s life. So it is with the Bible — millions of people have had their lives completely changed through the message of the Scripture that a Savior has come to die in our place and for our sins, and that if we trust the Savior, God will forgive us our sins and receive us a righteous in His sight for Jesus sake. In marked contrast say to Islam, which began in a desert and brings a desert everywhere it goes, cultures that have embraced the teaching of Scripture have been, without fear of contradiction, the most fruitful, beautiful, learned, and kindly Kingdoms that have ever graced the face of our planet. To be sure, Christians have committed great atrocities, but these have always been because their actions contradicted the teachings of their Lord and Savior, never because they followed them.
Finally, the clenched fist in the air is the universal sign of victory. This reminds us that the Bible has faced over 200 years of ferocious attack from critical scholars, and not only as the Bible survived, it is perhaps stronger for the testing.
Take a moment to rehearse these points in your head. Associate them with your hand. With only a little review, you should be able to remember them forever! Take them for a test drive this week by praying for an opportunity to share your faith in Holy Scripture and the Christ it reveals.