Bible Basics (5th edition): A study manual revealing the joy and peace of true Christianity

Free copy of Bible Basics


All quotations are from the New King James Version unless otherwise stated.

The Bible
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God”
2 TIMOTHY 3:16


The Bible
The Bible we hold in our hands today has an amazing history and is nothing short of a miracle.  It claims to be the Word of God and presents us with a challenge to search out the Truth of its message and to confirm for ourselves that this is indeed the only revelation available from our Creator.

God’s Spirit
God’s spirit was seen at work in the creation:

The spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters to bring about the present creation (Genesis 1:2).  Yet we also read that “by the word of the Lord” the world was made (Psalm 33:6), as Genesis records, “God said” things were created, and it happened.
God’s spirit, therefore, is very much reflected in His Word.  Likewise our words express our inner thoughts and desires – the real’us’ – very accurately.  David spoke of how God’s Word and “own heart” are parallel:

God’s mind / spirit is expressed in His Word.  God achieved the miracle of expressing His spirit in written words by the process of inspiration.  This term is based around the word “spirit”.

“Spirit” means “breath” or breathing.  “Inspiration” means “in-breathing”.  This means that the words which men wrote while under “inspiration” from God were the words of God’s spirit.
Paul encouraged Timothy not to let his familiarity with the Bible lead him to forget the wonder of the fact that it is the words of God’s spirit, and therefore provides all that we need in order a true knowledge of God.

The Bible Fully Inspired
This unwillingness to accept the huge spiritual power which is in God’s Word has led many Christians to question whether all the Scriptures are fully inspired by God.  They have suggested that much of what we read in the Bible was just the personal opinions of the writers.  But Peter effectively disposes of such erroneous reasoning.

We must “above all” believe that the Bible is inspired.  The doctrine of inspiration is so often emphasised in the Bible text:

If these men were only partly inspired, we do not have access to the true Word or spirit of God.  If what they wrote really was the Word of God, then it follows that they had to be completely taken over by God’s spirit, during the period of inspiration – otherwise the product would not have been God’s Word in purity.
Inspired  Words Can Motivate
An acceptance that God’s Word is completely His, provides us with more motivation to read and obey it.

A comparison of 2 Timothy 3:16 with 4:2,3 shows how an appreciation of an inspired Bible can motivate action from us:

for doctrine therefore
preach the word; be ready in season and out of season (i.e; whether you naturally fell in the preaching mood or not).
            for reproof therefore
                         convince (reprove)
            for correction therefore
            for instruction in righteousness therefore
                        exhort with all long-suffering and teaching.
What it can Mean to Us
If we believe that the Bible is inspired, we will feel the passion and power of it the more, and thereby its impact upon us will be the greater.  Take for example the quote from the Old Testament:

Because of the wonder of having heard God’s voice, therefore idolatry of any form will be meaningless for us.  The God of Heaven, great and powerful beyond all imagination, cannot be contained in any temple or enshrined in any man-made figurine.  Neither can anything be put before Him in a true believer’s life, “Love the Lord the God with all they heart, and with all they soul, and with all thy mind” (Matthew 22:37).
The Apostle Paul felt the passion of God’s word.  It wasn’t just black print on white paper to him.  Thus he speaks of how “Isaiah is very bold and says … Isaiah also cried out concerning Israel …” (Romans 9:27; 10:20).  Paul had meditated deeply upon Isaiah’s words, even to the point of considering the tone of voice in which he first spoke them.
It was because the rulers of Israel “did not know … the voices of the prophets which are read every Sabbath” (Acts 13:27) that they crucified the Lord.  Paul speaks of the prophets’ “voices” rather than merely their words.  They had heard the words, but not felt and perceived that these were the actual voices of men who, although they are dead, yet they speak through the pages of Scripture.  The men who crucified Jesus didn’t feel the wonder of inspiration in their attitude to Bible study – even though they would have devoutly upheld the position that the Bible texts were inspired.  Here we have a lesson for ourselves.
Although we might agree that the Bible is the inspired word of God, it is quite possible that we might fail to feel this as we should when we read it.  Moses trembled and Sinai shook the people fled when they heard God’s word.  God’s voice was heard at Sinai: the same voice spoke in the Psalmist’s words.
The appeal stands written in Scripture and therefore Paul can say that “Today” is a time with limits, but it was yet “today” when the Hebrews was written and Paul repeats the word of the Psalmist as God’s voice to the Hebrews of his day.

It is significant that Paul immediately adds that “the world of God is living and powerful” (Hebrews 4:12).  The words he quoted were no dead message but God’s living voice.
The exhortation “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord” (Hebrews 12:5) was God speaking “to you”, says the writer to the Hebrews.  Is it less so to sons of any generation?

Bible Basics: Contents

Part 1: "The things concerning the Kingdom of God" Study 1: God 1.1  The Existence Of God || 1.2  The Personality Of God || Belief In Practice 1: Knowing God || 1.3  God's Name And Character || Belief In Practice 2: Grace (John Parkes) || Belief In Practice 3: The All Seeing God || Belief In Practice 4: God Is Omnipotent || Belief In Practice 5: Responding To The One God || 1.4     The Angels || Belief In Practice 6: God As Creator || Digression 1: God Manifestation || Digression 2:  Why The Trinity Was Accepted || Study 1: Questions Study 2: The Spirit Of God 2.1  Definition || 2.2  Inspiration || 2.3  Gifts Of The Holy Spirit || 2.4  The Withdrawal Of The Gifts || 2.5  The Bible The Only Authority || Digression 3: Is The Holy Spirit A Person? || Digression 4: The Principle Of Personification || Belief In Practice 7: The Implications Of Inspiration || Study 2: Questions Study 3: The Promises Of God 3.1  Introduction || 3.2  The Promise In Eden || 3.3  The Promise To Noah || 3.4  The Promise To Abraham || 3.5  The Promise To David || Belief In Practice 8: Covenant Relationship With God || Study 3: Questions Study 4: God And Death 4.1  The Nature Of Man || 4.2  The Soul || 4.3  The Spirit || 4.4  Death Is Unconsciousness || 4.5  The Resurrection || 4.6  The Judgment || Belief In Practice 9: Judgment Now || 4.7  The Place Of Reward: Heaven Or Earth?|| 4.8  Responsibility To God || 4.9  Hell || Digression 5: Purgatory || Digression 6: Ghosts And Reincarnation || Digression 7: The 'Rapture' || Belief In Practice 10: The Motivational Power Of Understanding Death || Study 4: Questions Study 5: The Kingdom Of God 5.1  Defining The Kingdom || 5.2  The Kingdom Is Not Now Established || 5.3  The Kingdom Of God In The Past || 5.4  The Kingdom Of God In The Future || 5.5  The Millennium || Digression 8: The Kingdom Of God Now (Graham Bacon) || Belief In Practice 11: What The Kingdom Of God Means Today || Study 5: QuestionsStudy 6: God And Evil 6.1  God And Evil || 6.2  The Devil And Satan || 6.3  Demons || Digression 9: The Implications And Origin Of The Belief In A Personal Satan || Digression 10: Witchcraft || Digression 11: What Happened In Eden? || Digression 12: Lucifer || Belief In Practice 12: Battle For The Mind || Study 6: Questions

Part 2: "The things concerning...the name of Jesus Christ" (Acts 8:12) Study 7: The Origin Of Jesus. 7.1  Old Testament Prophecies Of Jesus || 7.2  The Virgin Birth || 7.3  Christ's Place In God's Plan || 7.4  "In the beginning was the word" || Digression 13: Jesus The Son Of God (Michael Gates) || Digression 14: Did Jesus Create The Earth? || Belief In Practice 13: Jesus Didn’t Pre-exist: And So What? || Study 7: Questions Study 8: The Nature Of Jesus 8.1  Introduction || 8.2  Differences Between God And Jesus || 8.3  The Nature Of Jesus || 8.4  The Humanity Of Jesus || 8.5  The Relationship Of God With Jesus || Belief In Practice 14: The Real Christ || Digression 15: How The Real Christ Was Lost || Digression 16: The Divine Side Of Jesus || Study 8: Questions Study 9: The Work Of Jesus 9.1  The Victory Of Jesus || 9.2  The Blood Of Jesus || 9.3  Jesus As Our Representative || 9.4  Jesus And The Law Of Moses || 9.5  The Sabbath || Digression 17 The Crucifix || Digression 18: Was Jesus Born On Dec. 25th? || Belief In Practice 15: The Meaning Of Christ’s Resurrection For Us || Belief In Practice 16: Christ Died For Me- So What Should I Do? || Belief In Practice 17: The Real Cross || Belief In Practice 18: The Inspiration Of The Cross || Study 9: Questions || Study 10: Baptism Into Jesus 10.1  The Vital Importance Of Baptism || 10.2  How Should We Be Baptized? || 10.3  The Meaning Of Baptism || 10.4  Baptism And Salvation || Digression 19: Re-baptism || Digression 20 The Thief On The Cross || Belief In Practice 19: The Certainty Of Salvation || Study 10: Questions Study 11: Life In Christ 11.1  Introduction || 11.2  Holiness || 11.2.1  The Use Of Force || 11.2.2  Politics || 11.2.3  Worldly Pleasures || 11.3  Practical Christian Life || 11.3.1  Bible Study || 11.3.2  Prayer || 11.3.3  Preaching || 11.3.4  Ecclesial Life || 11.3.5  The Breaking Of Bread || 11.4  Marriage || 11.5  Fellowship || Study 11: Questions ||