Excerpts from “The World’s Greatest Book,”
a sermon by Pastor Doug Pratt preached on December 27, 2020

Jesus Christ. “It describes in rich detail, and from the perspective of four different authors, the life of the Greatest Man who ever lived. He was remarkable, His character and His actions so ideal and exemplary. There is not another human being, either in nonfiction or fictional literature, at all like Him… Jesus of Nazareth is the perfect role model, the ideal, the gold standard. Name a virtue: courage, humility, love, boldness, brilliance, compassion, self-sacrifice, piety, eloquence. They are all perfected in Him.”

It is revolutionary. “It has had an impact on, and shaped and molded, the entire course of western culture and society more than any other. The teachings of Christianity were so opposite, so counter-cultural to that which had been taught and embraced by every kingdom and empire, tribe and people group throughout history prior to its emergence. It was revolutionary. It was the dramatic words of the Apostle Paul (‘there is neither slave nor free, for all are one in Christ’) that inspired the abolitionist movements in Britain and the American north in the 1800s.”

It is life-changing. Countless works of great art and music and literature have been inspired by this book. It has been translated into thousands of languages; more copies have been sold or circulated by far than any other book; it has prompted the writing of millions of other books. Repeated testimonials from people in each successive generation testify to its life-changing impact.”

It is God-breathed. “The New Testament itself gives us a definitive picture of its power in human life. Paul said, ‘All Scripture is inspired by God’ (2 Timothy 3:16, NLT). The word ‘inspired’ in his language literally means ‘God-breathed.’ It was God who directed the pens of the authors of the New Testament to write what He intended to be written. Scripture has an accuracy and authority and truthfulness built-in that exceeds that of any other book. In this sense, Christians believe, the Bible is uniquely inspired.”

It is illuminating. “And what happens inside us when we read God’s words cannot be described in the purest sense as ‘inspiration’ either. Rather, this process—whereby the words leap off the page and make sense to us and impact us personally—is called ‘illumination.’ The Holy Spirit shines a divine light on a part of Scripture, and we can suddenly see and understand it in a new way.”