Why the Bible is the Word of God

Lesson 1, Part 6


Relying on God in an Uncertain World!

It is abundantly evident that we live in an uncertain world. Three thousand years ago Solomon confirmed that “man is greatly troubled by ignorance of the future; who can tell him what it will bring?” (Ecclesiastes 8:6-7, Revised English Bible). He said “the living know that they will die” and “time and chance happen to them all” (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 11).

This ancient king’s words are as true today as when he wrote them. As mortal human beings, our one certainty is death.



Mankind has long dreamed of utopia— an earthly paradise of peace and plenty.


The apostle James also reminds us that we “do not know what will happen tomorrow” (James 4:14). Though the context clearly shows that he refers to man’s mundane, day-to-day activities, his sobering declaration underlines the natural state of our material world.

How is God willing to relate to us in this uncertain world of suffering and death?

“Lord, You have been our dwelling place for all generations ... Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Psalms 90:1-2).

God is always there! As Peter wrote, “do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2Peter 3:8). God “inhabits eternity”—and is not bound by physical laws of time and space (compare Isaiah 57:15; Psalms 90:4).

Yet is God fully aware of our life expectancy, our temporary existence in this world?

“We finish our years like a sigh. The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow” (Psalms 90:9-10).

Though the Bible freely acknowledges the insecurity and uncertainty of man’s earthly existence, how do the Scriptures contrast the character of God?

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James1:17).

God is the most stable Being in this whole universe! His overall plan and purpose remain constant and unchanging. God is our refuge, our one place of security, our hope in the face of the uncertainties that plague us (compare Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8). He is our Rock! (Psalms 18:2).

On whom, then, should we rely?

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary ... He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength” (Isaiah40:28-29).

What does God promise to do when we are troubled by doubt and uncertainty?

“For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you’ ” (Isaiah 41:13).

Even death cannot defeat those who trust in God. It was Jesus who said that “whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:26). He obviously meant eternal death, because we will all face the end of this life (Hebrews9:27).


Yet Christ promised there would be a resurrection to eternal life for those who truly trust in God and His Word. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” (John 5:24).

Those who are truly converted—through repentance and the receiving of the Holy Spirit—and remain faithful to the end have the sure promise of a resurrection to eternal life in God’s kingdom.

Our free booklet What Happens After Death? explains in much greater detail.

Points to Ponder

“Points to Ponder” is a regular feature of this course. We introduce it to help you reflect on the major points you have just studied and to think beyond the content of the lesson and apply it on a personal level. This feature is meant as a study aid and a spur to further thought on the important concepts in this lesson.

We suggest that you take the time to write your answers to these questions as well as to other questions that may come to mind. Please feel free to write directly to us any feedback about this lesson or the course itself.

The questions on lesson one:

  • What scriptures help us understand that the Bible is God’s method for communicating with mankind? • Look around you. What invisible attributes of God do you see in the creation that surrounds us? (Romans 1:20).
  • In what ways do you see the love of God expressed in the eternal values and standards established in the Bible?
  • What type of relationship is God seeking with humankind? What can you do to develop a meaningful relationship with God? What is the ultimate potential of this relationship?
  • Given the uncertainty of our world today, how can an individual or family find direction and peace of mind in life?

Congratulations! You have now completed Lesson 1.

Now scroll down to the button below to take the Lesson 1 Review Quiz to ensure you have remembered the important points in this lesson.

Reader Helps

If you have any questions or comments about the material presented in this Bible study lesson, please feel free to contact the United Church of God.

In our offices we receive all types of letters and telephone calls—some simply to express appreciation for Beyond Today magazine or our booklets, but others containing questions about the Bible, its teachings and how they impact our personal lives.

If you have any questions or comments about the material presented in this study course, please feel free to contact our office in your country or in the country nearest you. One of our personal correspondents will be happy to help you (see sample letter below).

Also, if you would like to counsel with a United Church of God minister, we would be glad to arrange a private appointment—without any obligation.

A sample letter we received...

“How do we know the Bible is from God?”
— P. H., Birmingham, England

What evidence would a confirmed skeptic or atheist accept as proof that the Holy Bible is the Word of God? At the end of the day, it is really a matter of faith as to whom you are willing to believe. A person must first have an open mind and be willing to accept the words of Jesus Christ and the other writers of Scripture.

Even those who were actually there during the ministry of Jesus Christ had difficulty believing He was the Messiah, the Son of God. It took real faith to accept that fact. Some did, but many did not (John 8:30-46). Christ said: “He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God” (John 8:47). But those who belong to God will believe the words of His Son and follow Him.

The Jews of Jesus’ day asked the question: “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” But Jesus replied: “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep ... My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:24-27).

Are we willing to listen to the voice of Jesus Christ? If you accept Christ who spoke as the Son of God with divine authority, we can then proceed to answer the question: “How do we know the Bible is from God?” Because it is Jesus Himself who gives the answer.

He spoke with authority and often appealed to the Old Testament Scriptures as a source of inspired truth. He quoted at least 36 passages from the Hebrew Bible and on many other occasions referred to the Old Testament without directly quoting it. He accepted its accuracy and authority without question, telling others to believe what Moses and the prophets said.

The apostle Peter wrote: “No prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:21, Revised Standard Version). Peter showed that the prophetic word came from God Himself who guided human instruments through the power of the Holy Spirit. What the prophets wrote was considered by the apostle Paul to be “Holy Scriptures” (Romans 1:2). They are holy because God Himself was involved in their production.

On one occasion after His resurrection Christ appeared to His disciples and said: “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you [as a human being], that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me” (Luke 24:44). How many times Jesus said or did something to fulfill the prophecies relating to His life and ministry!

Clearly He accepted the Old Testament as the inspired Word of God. In Matthew 19:4 Christ said to the Pharisees, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female’ ...” Then what follows is a quotation from Genesis 2:24, written by Moses. Yet Jesus said the Creator God was the One who spoke these words.

After Jesus Christ fasted for 40 days Satan tempted Him to turn stones into bread. Christ defended Himself by appealing to the Hebrew Scriptures, which said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4, quoted from Deuteronomy 8:3).

Christ knew the Old Testament scriptures by heart and accepted all that was revealed to the patriarchs and prophets. He acknowledged the past reality of the events recorded in the Hebrew Bible, such as the creation of the heavens and the earth, the historicity of Adam and Eve, Noah’s flood, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Before ascending to heaven, Jesus Christ delegated His authority to the apostles to make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe everything He had commanded them (Matthew 28:19-20). Wherever they went, they preached the Word of God. As a result many were converted and “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship” (Acts 2:42).

Testimonies of Christ’s life and teaching were written and circulated. These accounts eventually became the Gospels, a part of the New Testament scriptures.

Paul said that he received the gospel through the revelation of Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:12). Peter affirmed that some of the epistles of Paul were considered part of the Scriptures (2 Peter 3:15-16).

So the Bible is the inspired Word of God. The books it contains were written by human authors, but it was God’s Holy Spirit that inspired their words. Their authority came from God!


Related Study Guide:

Free to read online, download or order a print copy

Read our free booklet, What Happens After Death?

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