The Word of God 1 Thessalonians 2:13

Posted: October 13, 2010 in 1 Thessalonians

1 Thessalonians 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

Wow, how the Holy Spirit must have been working in that place! The Thessalonians, they didn’t just receive what Paul was preaching, they received it as the truth,the word of God, They believed not just some of what Paul was preaching to be the word of God, but ALL of what Paul was preaching.

I think we really need to pay attention to what’s being said here. Some say that the bible is a really good book. Some say the bible is in part inspired by God, and others believe that it is entirely inspired by God. So where do you think Paul comes down on this, here’s a hint ( you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth the word of God) We need to understand that the WHOLE bible is the inspired word of God. If only part is, then who decides what’s inspired by God and what’s not? Are you the one that’s going to decide that?

I would be ripping you off if I didn’t add a study on this verse by John Courson. I know it’s long but if you have any doubt that the bible is the word of God you need to read this and then weigh the facts.

John Courson

Truly the Word of God
A Topical Study of
1Th_2:13

There are those who say, “I believe that the Bible is inspired and that it contains God’s Word,” but with them I disagree. The Bible doesn’t contain God’s Word; the Bible is God’s Word. Whenever liberal theologians say the Bible contains God’s Word, the implication is that it might also contain man’s word. If I say, “Part of Scripture is God’s Word, but part is man’s ideas or myths,” I become the ultimate judge, deciding what is God’s Word and what are man’s thoughts.

If I attribute to God “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,” (Rom_8:1 ) and “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all,” (Php_4:23 ), but I attribute to Paul “Present your bodies a living sacrifice,” (Rom_12:1 ) and “Those who live godly will suffer persecution” (2Ti_3:12 ), I judge the Bible rather than allowing the Bible to judge me.

Following, are four reasons I am theologically and academically convinced that every word of Scripture—even the “begats” and the genealogies—is inspired.

Internal Unity

The Bible is comprised of sixty-six books written by an extremely diverse group of forty human authors. We see a king in Solomon, a herdsman in Amos, a tax collector in Matthew, a scholar in Paul, a general in Joshua, a doctor in Luke, a poet in David, a prime minister in Daniel, and a building contractor in Jeremiah.

Not only did these men come from widely diverse backgrounds, but their writings span fifteen hundred years and are comprised of three different languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek).

Yet there is not a single contradiction from book to book, from author to author. I challenge you to find three men writing textbooks today on any subject who will completely agree. There is incredible unity in the Bible—unlike anything man could produce.

Archaeological Validity

“If My disciples are quiet, even the stones will cry out,” Jesus declared (Luk_19:40). Guess what. The stones are crying out. What stones? The stones uncovered by the archaeologists’ spades.

Julius Wellhousen made a huge impact on theology in the late 1800s when he said that, due to the fact that there were no kings near the Dead Sea at the time, the Bible could not be taken literally. He maintained that the battle between four kings from Mesopotamia and five kings from the Dead Sea region could not have taken place (Genesis 14). Poor Julius. Archaeologists in Egypt unearthed a library filled with tablets that contain a perfect description of the battle in which four Mesopotamian kings did indeed wage war against five kings near the Dead Sea.

Dr. John Gerstang, one of the primary excavators of Jericho, noted that, when an ancient city is excavated, the walls fall inward. The walls of Jericho actually fell outward and covered an unbelievable distance. “It was as though someone from the inside was shoving the walls out,” said Gerstang, calling the force an “invisible hand.”

According to Nelson Gluick, a brilliant Jewish archaeologist, “It may be categorically stated that no archaeological discovery has ever contradicted a single Bible reference.”

Archaeology confirms the biblical account. I “dig” that!

Fulfilled Prophecy

In addition to the Bible, there is another book that contains prophecy. In the Koran, Mohammed says, “Before I die, I will go to Jerusalem.” That’s like me saying, “Before I die, I will return to Jacksonville.” There is a great probability that will happen. Besides that single reference, the Koran does not address prophecy. Neither does any so-called “holy book.” In the Old Testament alone, more than two thousand prophecies have come to pass. That’s amazing!

Turn with me to Ezekiel. I never tire of this prophecy because it’s fulfilled so beautifully and convincingly. It deals with the city of Tyre. Maybe that’s why I never “tire” of it.

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up. And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers: I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD: and it shall become a spoil to the nations. And her daughters which are in the field shall be slain by the sword; and they shall know that I am the LORD.—Eze_26:3-6

In other words, “I’m going to flatten Tyre,” said God.

Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Tyre in 586 B.C. However, he didn’t “scrape her dust from her,” as Ezekiel had prophesied. Two hundred and twenty-five years later, Alexander the Great besieged the city that had been rebuilt. For thirteen years, the people of Tyre didn’t give up. When they could hold out no longer, they left out the back door and rebuilt the city on a little island a half mile off the coast. When Alexander finally broke in and found everyone gone, he ordered his men to throw every remaining stone, column, and bit of timber into the sea so that a bridge could be constructed to the island. Although the original city of Tyre was now “scraped clean,” the prophecy was still not fulfilled because now there was a new city of Tyre.

Fast forward to A.D. 1290. When the Crusaders came to free the Holy Land from “Muslim infidels,” they moved into the city of Tyre, which was now connected to the mainland. Eight years later, when the Crusaders were driven back to England, the Muslims said, “This city is so defiled that every stone must be thrown into the sea.”

If you go to Tyre today, guess what you see. Nothing. It’s flat like a rock and has become a place where fishermen park their boats—”like the top of a rock, a place to spread nets.”

Because there is a spring in Tyre that produces one hundred thousand gallons of water every six hours, this area should be home to a huge city. It’s not, however, because the people in the region think the area is cursed.

“I will make Tyre flat like a rock. The city will never be built again, and it will only be a place for fishing nets to be dried out upon,” declared God. That’s exactly what happened.

There are 221 prophecies concerning Jesus Christ. Chapter 7 of Isaiah tells us the manner of His birth. Daniel 9 declares the time of His birth. Micah 5 names the town of His birth. In Zechariah 11, we read how He would be sold for thirty pieces of silver, which would be thrown on the floor of the temple, and used to purchase a piece of property that would be used as a potter’s field.

What is the statistical probability of these six prophecies being fulfilled? One in 1017. Think of it this way:

Cover the entire state of California three feet deep in nuts and mark one nut with an X. Then go up in a plane with a flying squirrel named Rocky. Fly over the entire state and throw Rocky out at a random spot. Rocky comes down, sees the whole state covered in nuts and chooses one. The chances of him choosing the marked nut is one in 1017.

That’s only six prophecies. There are 221 Old Testament prophecies perfectly fulfilled in Jesus.

Jesus’ Credibility

“Surely many of the Old Testament stories are nothing more than myths,” scoffs the skeptic. Yet Jesus came on the scene and validated even the most controversial accounts when He talked about Lot’s wife turning to salt (Luk_17:32), Jonah in the belly of the great fish (Mat_12:40), and the prophecies of Daniel (Mat_24:15). As the Son of God, Jesus’ treatment of the above renders them true.

“Well, I don’t know if He is the Son of God,” some say.

“One sign I’ll give to you,” Jesus said. “Destroy this body and in three days I’ll rise again” (Joh_2:18-19). Thus, the inspiration question actually is answered by His Resurrection. If Jesus rose from the dead, then He is the Son of God. If He is the Son of God, what He says about even the most controversial Old Testament stories is true.

“Well, how do you know Jesus really rose from the dead?” some ask.

I’ve been to Jerusalem. I’ve seen His tomb. It’s empty.

“Yeah, but the disciples could have stolen the body to perpetuate the hoax.”

Really? They watched their sons and daughters killed, their wives raped, were crucified upside down, stoned with rocks, and sawn in half to perpetuate the hoax? Surely, one of them would have cracked. One of them would have said, “Wait a minute. This has gone far enough. We stashed His body behind the tree in the garden. You’ll find it there.” But no one did because the disciples knew they had seen the Resurrected Jesus.

“Okay, it wasn’t the disciples. The Pharisees took Jesus’ body.”

If the Pharisees had stolen the body, they would only have had to produce it to halt the new religious “sect” of Christianity that threatened to undermine their authority.

“Then it was the Romans who took the body.”

Really? The Romans were desperate to put Christianity down. They fed Christians to the lions. They dipped them in hot wax and ignited them as human candles. To destroy Christianity, they would only have had to produce the body.

So, who stole the body? It couldn’t have been the disciples. It couldn’t have been the Jews. It couldn’t have been the Romans.

“Well, maybe the disciples just went to the wrong tomb.”

Would no one have double-checked?

“Maybe Jesus wasn’t really dead. Maybe He just swooned on the Cross. Maybe the sponge given to Him contained narcotics and He went into a coma.”

This school of thought requires that a man beaten beyond recognition, nailed to a tree, and placed in a tomb would have come out of his coma, rolled away a two-ton stone, and taken on one hundred fifty Roman soldiers before walking throughout the city, saying, “I’m risen.”

I’m sorry. I don’t have enough faith to believe that. Jesus didn’t swoon in the tomb. The women didn’t go to the wrong gravesite. The disciples, Romans, or Jewish leaders didn’t steal the body. No, the only intelligent position one can take is that Jesus rose from the grave just as He said He would.

“I’ll rise from the dead. That’s one sign I’ll give to you that I am who I claim to be,” Jesus declared (Mat_12:39-40).

Therefore, Jesus is the Son of God—rendering everything He said about Lot, Daniel, and Jonah equally true.

Spiritual Intimacy

For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us…—1Th_2:13

The word translated “received” is the Greek word paralambano, which means “to embrace intellectually.”

…ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.—1Th_2:13

The Greek word dechomai is also translated “received,” and it means “to embrace emotionally.”

“Lo, I come to you in the volume of the book,” says Jesus (Heb_10:7). Consequently, when you take in the Word, you’re seeing the nature and person of Jesus. It’s more than theology. You’re embracing Him personally and emotionally.

The Word is bread (Matthew 4).
“I am the Bread of life,” declared Jesus (John 6).

The Word of God is truth (John 17).
“I am the Truth,” declared Jesus (John 14).

When you read the Scriptures, you embrace the Lord because the Word and the Lord are intimately bound.

But the Word just seems to go through me like a sieve, you might be thinking. I can’t even remember what we studied last Wednesday night.

That’s okay. It does the job. It doesn’t return void (Isa_55:11). I don’t remember the last time I had a Quarter Pounder® with cheese, but I know the proteins, vitamins, and other “nutritious” ingredients for which it is famous did the job and kept me going.

I’ve studied Genesis before. Why study it again? you might be wondering.

When my wife, Tammy, fixes Chicken Kiev, I don’t say, “I ate that two months ago, so I think I’ll pass on that tonight.” No, I take in the same food again and again because it delights me every time. The same is true of the Word.

“I’m going to keep reminding you of the same truths over and over again,” Peter said. “I don’t care if you think I’m a creative teacher or not. You need to be established in truth” (2Pe_1:12).

The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.—Jer_23:28

Men’s visions, ideas, and esoteric experiences are like chaff. They blow away. Not so the Word. It’s wheat. It nourishes. It endures. Study the Word, dear people of God. It will produce faith in your life, joy in your heart, and sustenance for your soul.

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