11. The preservation of the Scriptures proves their divine origin. Despite the mad assaults of those who have hated the Lord and his Word through the centuries, the Lord has wonderfully preserved it down to this very day! Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away" (Matt. 24:35). And it is written in 1 Pet. 1:25, that "the word of the Lord endureth for ever." In a number of places, the Lord has promised to preserve his Word. In the Old Testament, Antiochus Epiphanes "cast down the truth to the ground", when he took the books of the law, and burnt them (Dan. 8:12); and in this, the New Testament age, his antitype, the Antichrist – the Roman Papacy – did precisely the same thing, burning copies of the Bible, and burning those who translated or distributed it. The Papacy has produced corrupt versions of the Bible, as have other groups. And yet despite all this – it survives! Like the very existence of the Church of Jesus Christ itself, the preservation of the Bible is a miracle of God.
12. Finally, one of the greatest of all evidences that this Book is the Book of books, the very Word of God, is that it has transformed the lives of countless numbers of people through the centuries. Men who were once idolaters, murderers, adulterers, liars, thieves, drunkards, sodomites – to list just a few – have been transformed into holy, godly men, and all because of the teachings of this Book. Men who, like Paul, could describe themselves as the chief of sinners (1 Tim. 1:15), became saints of God. The effects of the Bible, then, prove its divine origin. What other book that has ever been written has had such an effect? Wherever it has gone, it has transformed lives, even whole societies. Its teachings have changed vile, wretched sinners into the very salt of the earth (Matt. 5:13). It has transformed men from being weak, timid individuals into mighty men of valour, prepared to suffer unspeakable agonies, and even to die, for the Lord who is revealed in its pages. What a Book this is!
And this, after all, is its purpose: to make souls "wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. 3:15). It was written "that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name" (Jn. 20:31). As Peter said, when many of Christ's disciples left him, and he asked the twelve if they, too, would leave, "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life" (Jn. 6:66-68). He does indeed – and they have been recorded in this Book.
All that has been said above, abundantly testifies to the fact that the Bible is the divinely-inspired Word of God. Proof upon proof has been given. The evidence is overwhelming and incontestable. And yet, something more is needed, if the corrupt, depraved heart of man is ever to believe it.
Oh, these infallible proofs must be given. They must be made known! But, just as miracles were performed in the apostolic age in order to confirm, to authenticate, the Word (Mk. 16:20; Heb. 2:3,4), and yet many rejected it; so something more is needed, today, to persuade corrupt and sinful men of its divine origin and truth. And that is the inward work of the Holy Spirit, bearing witness in the hearts of men! Since "the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God" (1 Cor. 2:11); and since "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God" (vs.14); God must reveal them unto us by his Spirit (vs.10), or we will never know them.