1. HOW WAS THE BIBLE GIVEN?
a. In what manner were the Scriptures given? (Provide specifics.) 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21; Numbers 12:6.
“It is not the words of the Bible that are inspired, but the men that were inspired. Inspiration acts not on the man’s words or his expressions but on the man himself, who, under the influence of the Holy Ghost, is imbued with thoughts. But the words and thoughts receive the impress of the individual mind. The divine mind is diffused. The divine mind and will is combined with the human mind and will; thus the utterances of the man are the word of God.”—Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 21.
b. When seeking guidance from God, what must we realize about dreams and visions? Deuteronomy 13:1–5; Jeremiah 29:8.
c. What are some other causes for dreams? Ecclesiastes 5:3, 7.
d. How are we to test the prophets? 1 Corinthians 14:32; Isaiah 8:19, 20.
2. ARE THE SCRIPTURES INFALLIBLE?
a. To what extent can we trust the purity of God’s Word? Psalm 12:6, 7.
“We have a Bible full of the most precious truth. It contains the alpha and the omega of knowledge.”—Gospel Workers, p. 309.
“In the Bible we have the unerring counsel of God. Its teachings, practically carried out, will fit men for any position of duty. It is the voice of God speaking every day to the soul. How carefully should the young study the word of God and treasure up its sentiments in the heart, that its precepts may be made to govern the whole conduct.”—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, p. 441.
“In His Word, God has committed to men the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are to be accepted as an authoritative, infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the revealer of doctrines, and the test of experience.”—The Faith I Live By, p. 13.
“[The youth] need an unerring counselor, an infallible guide. This they will find in the Word of God. Unless they are diligent students of that Word, they will make grave mistakes, which will mar their happiness and that of others, both for the present and the future life.”—Messages to Young People, p. 443.
b. How lasting are the principles found in Scripture? Matthew 24:35; Psalm 119:160; Isaiah 40:8.
“[Christ] taught that the word of God was to be understood by all. He pointed to the Scriptures as of unquestionable authority, and we should do the same. The Bible is to be presented as the word of the infinite God, as the end of all controversy and the foundation of all faith.”—Christ’s Object Lessons, pp. 39, 40.
“The Bible, fully received and studied as the voice of God, tells the human family how to reach the abodes of eternal happiness, and secure the treasures of heaven.”—Fundamentals of Christian Education, p. 444.
“Shall not the education given in our schools be of that character which will give a more decided knowledge of God’s word, and which will bring the soul into a vital connection with God, keeping God before the mind’s eye, and arousing every better feeling of the soul? This is the kind of education which is as enduring as eternity.”—General Conference Daily Bulletin, March 6, 1899.
3. RECEIVING THE WRITINGS OF DIVINE INSPIRATION
a. What must we realize when God speaks through His prophets? Jeremiah 1:4–9; 1 Thessalonians 2:13.
“Christ taught His disciples that they were to open their minds to instruction, and be ready to believe. He pronounced a blessing upon them because they saw and heard with eyes and ears that believed. . . .
“Only he who receives the Scriptures as the voice of God speaking to himself is a true learner. He trembles at the word; for to him it is a living reality.”—Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 59.
“The Bible points to God as its author; yet it was written by human hands; and in the varied style of its different books it presents the characteristics of the several writers. The truths revealed are all ‘given by inspiration of God’ (2 Timothy 3:16); yet they are expressed in the words of men. The Infinite One by His Holy Spirit has shed light into the minds and hearts of His servants. He has given dreams and visions, symbols and figures; and those to whom the truth was thus revealed, have themselves embodied the thought in human language.”—Selected Messages, bk. 1, p. 25.
b. What does God often reveal through His prophets in order to help us understand the all-knowing and eternal nature of Deity? Amos 3:7; Isaiah 46:9, 10.
“History and prophecy testify that the God of the whole earth revealeth secrets through His chosen light-bearers to the world. A skeptical world, talking and writing of higher education, is prating of things which it does not understand. It does not see that true, higher education comprehends a more perfect knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ, whom He has sent. There are few who understand that all true human science is from the God of science, and that God demonstrates to the world that He is King over all.”—Bible Training School, December 1, 1912.
“In the annals of human history, the growth of nations, the rise and fall of empires, appear as if dependent on the will and prowess of man; the shaping of events seems, to a great degree, to be determined by his power, ambition, or caprice. But in the word of God the curtain is drawn aside, and we behold, above, behind, and through all the play and counterplay of human interest and power and passions, the agencies of the All-merciful One, silently, patiently working out the counsels of His own will.”—Prophets and Kings, pp. 499, 500.
4. WHAT IS NECESSARY ON OUR PART?
a. What type of attitude are we to possess when studying the Bible? Isaiah 66:1, 2; John 7:17; Acts 17:10, 11.
“When the soul surrenders itself to Christ, a new power takes possession of the new heart. A change is wrought which man can never accomplish for himself. It is a supernatural work, bringing a supernatural element into human nature. The soul that is yielded to Christ becomes His own fortress, which He holds in a revolted world, and He intends that no authority shall be known in it but His own. A soul thus kept in possession by the heavenly agencies is impregnable to the assaults of Satan. But unless we do yield ourselves to the control of Christ, we shall be dominated by the wicked one.”—The Desire of Ages, p. 324.
“To controvert, to question, to criticize, to ridicule, is the education many have received and the fruit they bear. They refuse to admit evidence. The natural heart is in warfare against light, truth, and knowledge. Jesus Christ has been in every sleeping room where you have been entertained. How many prayers went up to heaven from these rooms?”—The Ellen G. White 1888 Materials, p. 140.
“There is no assurance that our doctrine is right and free from all chaff and error unless we are daily doing the will of God. If we do His will, we shall know of the doctrine. We shall see the truth in its sacred beauty. We shall accept it with reverence and godly fear, and then we can present that which we know is truth to others. There should be no feeling of superiority or self-exaltation in this solemn work.”—Ibid., p.46.
b. What part of the Bible is more important than the rest? Romans 15:4; Luke 24:27; Isaiah 28:10.
“Every part of the Bible is given by inspiration of God and is profitable. The Old Testament, no less than the New, should receive attention. As we study the Old Testament we shall find living springs bubbling up where the careless reader discerns only a desert.
“The Old Testament sheds light upon the New, and the New upon the Old. Each is a revelation of the glory of God in Christ.”—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 462.
5. NOT ENOUGH JUST TO READ AND STUDY
a. What are we to do with the things that we learn while studying Holy Writ? Proverbs 2:1–5; Psalm 119:11, 16.
“The Holy Spirit loves to address the youth, and to discover to them the treasures and beauties of God’s word. The promises spoken by the great Teacher will captivate the senses and animate the soul with spiritual power that is divine. There will grow in the fruitful mind a familiarity with divine things that will be as a barricade against temptation.
“The words of truth will grow in importance, and assume a breadth and fullness of meaning of which we have never dreamed. The beauty and riches of the word have a transforming influence on mind and character. The light of heavenly love will fall upon the heart as an inspiration.”—Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 132.
b. If we take these things to heart, to what are we compared? Luke 6:46–49.
“The heart that is stored with the precious truths of God’s Word is fortified against the temptation of Satan, against impure thoughts and unholy actions.”—My Life Today, p. 28.
c. What are we to ask the Lord to do for us—and why? Psalm 119:133.
“Divine wisdom will order the steps of those who put their trust in the Lord. Divine love will encircle them, and they will realize the presence of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit.”—Our High Calling, p. 324.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. How is divine inspiration given to humanity?
2. To what extent can we trust the Bible, and why?
3. What is the purpose of giving prophetic writings, and what authority do all inspired writings bring with them?
4. How does attitude affect Bible study?
5. How do we build our life on a sure foundation?