THIS I BELIEVE…ABOUT THE SCRIPTURES
INTRO – Anybody remember this from Bible School when you were a kid?
Yes, that’s the book for me
I stand alone on the Word of God
I didn’t know there were other verses:
That Jesus shed for me;
Christ paid the price, our sacrifice
I’m saved by grace, the Scripture says
J.C. Ryle, Anglican bishop in 1800’s – “The Bible – It is still the 1st book which fits the child’s mind when begins to learn religion, & the last to which the old man clings as he leaves the world.”
Isa. 34:16a – “Seek & read from the book of the Lord…”
Baptist Faith & Message statement on The Scriptures:
“The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God’s revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy. It reveals the principles by which God judges us, and therefore is, and will remain to the end of the world, the true center of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried. All Scripture is a testimony to Christ, who is Himself the focus of divine revelation.”
Let’s look at some Biblical support from the Old Testament for our doctrine of the Bible:
- Deut. 4:1-2
- Deut. 17:18-20
- Ps 19:7-10
- Ps. 119:11, 89, 105, 140
- Isa. 40:8
- Jer. 15:16
WHAT SCRIPTURE IS:
“The Bible is God’s Word of revelation to His human creatures. All Christian teachings are based on the Bible. All doctrinal beliefs & statements must be judged by the Bible.” (Disciples’ Study Bible, p. 1677)
The 3rd question in the Westminster Shorter Catechism: “What do the Scriptures principally teach?” “The Scriptures principally teach, what man is to believe about God, & what duty God requires of man.”
Charles Stanley: “The Bible is no ordinary book; it is the unfolding revelation of almighty God. In it He demonstrates His love and concern for us by bestowing amazing promises and fulfilling them. The Bible is where we can find help for every circumstance of life.”
The Bible itself shows us that it is God’s Word to humanity. Some of the verses we read earlier indicated that, as well as these:
- Ex. 31:18
- Ex. 32:16
- Deut. 9:10
God is the Author of the Bible. The phrase, “Thus saith the Lord,” is used 2600 times in the Bible. He said it, & human authors wrote it down. Let’s look at a critical passage that speaks to this – 2 Tim. 3:16-17.
Paul clearly saying here that all Scripture – the entire Bible – is inspired & is profitable. This is the extent of inspiration. Charles Ryrie wrote about this in his theology book (p. 77-78):
The NT uses the word “Scripture” 51 times & always in reference to some part of the Bible.
- Sometimes it means the entire OT –
- Jesus on Road to Emmaus – Luke 24:45 – “Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures…”
- Jesus arguing w/ some Jews – John 10:35 – “If He called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken…”
- Sometimes is refers to a specific OT passage
- Luke 4:21 – “And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
- Sometimes it refers to a specific NT passage
- 1 Tim. 5:18 – “For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” [OT] and, “The laborer deserves his wages.” [NT]
- Sometimes refers to a larger NT portion
- 2 Pet. 3:15-16 – “And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.”
- Interesting that Peter includes Paul’s writings when he uses the word “Scriptures.” He labeled Paul’s writings as Scripture, showing their early acceptance & their recognized authority.
Even though not all of the NT was finished being written when Paul wrote 2 Timothy 3:16 (2 Peter, Hebrews, Jude, & all of John’s writings were not written at this time), b/c those books were eventually acknowledged as belonging to the finished canon of Scripture, we can conclude that 2 Tim. 3:16 includes all 66 books of the Bible as we know them today. Not any book is excluded, nor is any part excluded – ALL Scripture is inspired by God. As BF&M says, “It [Scripture] has God for its author, salvation for its end, & truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter.”
Ryrie speaks to this, too:
“The entire Bible is God-breathed. This expresses the means of inspiration…meaning the Bible is the result of the breath of God…Our English word ‘inspire’ carries the idea of breathing into something. But this word tells us that God breathed out something, namely, the Scripture. To be sure, human authors wrote the text, but the Bible originated as an action of God who breathed it out.” (p. 78)
The Greek word is theopneustos – theos (God) pneo (breathed out) – literally means inspired of God, God-breathed, by the inspiration of God
- “expresses the sacred nature of the Scriptures (their divine origin) and their power to sanctify believers” (C. Spicq, 2, 193).
- 2 Tim 3:16: “Each-and-every (3956/pás, singular) Scripture (Gk, singular) is God-breathed (2315 /theópneustos) and profitable for teaching, for convincing, for correction, for training in righteousness.”
- Thesingular (anarthrous) use of 3956 /pás (“all”) underlines that each part of speech (every inflected word-form, “reflex”) used in the Bible is God-breathed, i.e. inscripturated (written) under divine inspiration.
- [G. Archer, “2315(theópneustos) is better rendered ‘breathed out by God’ as the emphasis is upon the divine origin of the inscripturated revelation itself” (A Survey of OT Introduction, fn. 7, 29).]
John MacArthur: God’s Word is inspired.
Second Timothy 3:16 speaks of the inspiration of Scripture. “Inspired” is the translation of a Greek word that literally means “God-breathed.” Every word of Scripture is from the mouth of God!
Theologians speak of inspiration as the mysterious process by which God worked through the authors of Scripture to produce inerrant and divinely authoritative writings. Inspiration is a mystery because Scripture doesn’t explain specifically how it occurred. The only glimpse we have is from 2 Peter: “Know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (1:20-21).
“Interpretation” speaks of origin. Scripture didn’t originate on the human level but with the Holy Spirit, who “moved” upon the authors to write it (v. 21). “Moved” is the translation of a nautical term that describes the effects of wind upon a ship as it blows against its sails and moves it through the water. Similarly, the Spirit moved on the Biblical writers to produce the Word of God in the language of men.
The human authors of Scripture knew they were writing God’s Word, and they did so with confidence and authority. Often they cited or alluded to one another as authoritative agents of divine revelation (e.g., 2 Peter 3:15-16).
On a personal level, inspiration guarantees that what Scripture says, God says. It’s His counsel to you; so you can study and obey it with full assurance that it is true and will never lead you astray. (https://www.gty.org/library/questions/QA171/is-all-scripture-inspired-by-god)
Adrian Rogers – The power of the Word of God:
- It is saving for the sinner – It will stir the conscience, convict the mind, & convert the soul.
- It is sweet for the saint – So many times I have found treasure & peace in the W of God. Oh, how precious are the words of God.
- It is sufficient for the sufferer – How many times people have pillowed their head on the precious promises of the Word of God. I feel sorry for poepel who do not have a Bible to lean on.
- It is satisfying to the scholar – I have studies the Book, & I would never even dream of saying I’ve come to the bottom of the Word of God. Someone said the Word of God is so deep that the scholars can swim & never touch bottom & yet so precious that a little child can come & get a drink without fear of drowning. Thank God for the Bible, the Word of God!
(What Every Christian Ought to Know, p. 23)