Guests: and

Assurance and the Bible:

One of the major issues in this lesson has to do with the trustworthiness of the Bible as a source of assurance. How might one get at this concern? What kinds of claims can we make about the Bible as God’s Word and on what grounds? Can we shore up our beliefs like we would a scientific experiment? Does faith in the Bible work this way? Are there “proofs”? What role does faith play and how is it confirmed?

How should we understand the following words in relation to discussions about the value of the Bible as a source of assurance:

The Bible as inspired –
The Bible as God’s Word –
The accessibility (clarity) of the Bible –
The trustworthiness of the Bible –

Background Considerations:

Basic definitions of “assurance” from the dictionary ­certainty, confidence, assertiveness, boldness, security, poise, resolve, conviction, composure

Basic definitions of “assurance” in the Old Testament – firmness, established confidence, strength, faith, trust

Basic definitions of “assurance” in the New Testament – faith, confidence, boldness, grace

Stories, symbols, signs of “assurance” in the Bible – Ruth, Daniel, Esther, Paul, Petercovenant, marriage, cross

Relevant Biblical Passages:

The Bible’s trustworthiness Ps 19:7-14
John 17:17
2 Tim 3:10-17 (purposes of the Bible)
God’s faithfulness Exodus
Isa 30:15
Hos 2:16-20

Contributions to Study of Assurance:

Why is it important to think about the sources of assurance for the Christian? What sources in addition to the Bible would be significant here? How do life experiences, relationships with others, logic, personality types, etc., play a role? In the final analysis, where do most people turn for assurance and hope? Why?

Lessons for Life:

What difference does it make that we have sources of confidence and assurance? How does attention to these foundational homes of hope affect real life? If nothing else mattered, which kind of life would be better ­ one of assurance, even if based on incomplete information, or one of distrust, even if based on observable facts about life around us?

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