This is the sixth piece in a series in which I want to explain why some Christian people are abandoning the authority of the Bible and why you shouldn’t.
Has God really spoken into our world? The writers of the Old Testament and their New Testament counterparts would answer with a resounding yes! God has spoken and continues to speak through his written Word. Last week we saw how the Old Testament believers understood this; they were confident that as they read the Scriptures they were listening to the very voice of God! The New Testament writers not only echo this but see their own words in the same way. Theologians call this “inspiration”.
From Judaism, Christianity inherited the conception of the divine inspiration of the Holy Scripture. Whenever Jesus and His apostles quote the Old Testament, it is clear that they regarded it as the Word of God. They subsequently envisaged the whole Bible as God’s Word; as being breathed out by God or inspired. Not that the authors are human typewriters and not that the authors are inspiring people but that in the Bible we have God’s words through human authors being breathed out. When you read the Bible you are reading the breathed out Word of God.
Of course, this whole reality truly culminates and focuses on Jesus, who is the Word (John 1:1-2, Hebrews 1:1-2). He is the Word and his incarnate form gives a model for thinking about the bible (just as Jesus is God and man, so the Bible is the Word of God and words of man), and he himself gives authority for believing in the concept of inspiration because Jesus believes it. Jesus himself received and endorsed the authority of the OT, regarding it as the very Word of God with ongoing application (Luke 4:1-13).
As we keep reading the New Testament we find that the Apostles endorsed Jesus words and the Gospels as God’s Word (1 Tim 5:18) and they identified their own writings as inspired Scripture (2 Cor 2:17; 1 Thess 2:13; 2 Peter 3:16).
Friends, can you see that we can confidently say: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Now this is immensely important. For if the words in the Bible are God’s words, who are we to ignore, change, or repudiate such words. It is God’s Word. And he is the King. And he spoke it. And he breathed it. And he gave it. So you might know him and know life.
Of course, that does not make it easy to understand and there are bits in there that are just weird! But more on that next week as we draw our series to a close.