Description of the Holy Bible – Part 26
The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture cont.’
• Jesus Christ Himself taught that Scripture is God’s inspired Word to even the smallest detail (Mat 5:18). He also affirmed that all He said He received from the Father and is true (John 5:19, 30-31; 7:16; 8:26). He further spoke of revelation yet to come (i.e., the truth revealed in the NT) from the Holy Spirit through the apostles (John 16:13; cf. 14:16-17; 15:26-27).
• To deny the full inspiration of holy Scripture, therefore, is to set aside the fundamental witness of Jesus Christ (Mat 5:18; 24:25-27, 44-45; John 10:35), the Holy Spirit (John 15:26; 16:13; 1 Cor 2:12-13; 1 Tim 4:1) and the apostles (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:20-21). Furthermore, to limit or disregard its inerrancy is to impair its divine authority.
• In the Spirit’s work of Biblical revelation and inspiration, God, while not violating the personality of the writers, moved on them in such a way that they wrote without error (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:20-21; see 1 Cor 2:12-13).
• The inspired Word of God is the expression of God’s wisdom and character and is therefore able to give wisdom and spiritual life through faith in Christ (Mat 4:4; John 6:63; 2 Tim 3:15; 1 Pet 2:2).
• The Bible is God’s infallible, true witness to His saving activity for humanity in Christ Jesus. For this reason, the Scripture is incomparable, forever finished and uniquely binding. No human words or declarations of church institutions are equal to its authority.
• All doctrines, commentaries, interpretations, explanations and traditions must be judged and legitimised by the words and message in Scripture itself (see Deut 13:3).
• God’s Word must be received, believed and obeyed as the final authority in all things pertaining to life and godliness (Mat 5:17-19; John 14:21; 15:10; 2 Tim 3:15-16). It must be used in the church as the final authority in all matters for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteous living (2 Tim 3:16-17). One cannot submit to Christ’s lordship without submitting to God and His Word as the ultimate authority (John 8:31-32, 37).
• The Bible can only be understood when we are in a right relation to the Holy Spirit. It is He who opens our minds to understand its meaning and gives us the inward witness of its authority (see 1 Cor 2:12).
• We must use the inspired Word to conquer the power of sin, Satan and the world in our lives (Mat 4:4; Eph 6:12, 17; Jas 1:21).
• Scripture must be loved, treasured and guarded by all church members who see it as God’s final and ultimate truth for a lost and dying world. We must safeguard its doctrines by faithfully adhering to its teaching, proclaiming its saving message, entrusting it to reliable people, and defending it against all those who would distort or destroy its eternal truths (see Phil 1:16; 2 Tim 1:13-14; 2:2; Jude 3). No one may add anything to or take anything away from Scripture (see Deut 4:2; Rev 22:19).
• Finally, we should note that inerrant inspiration applies only to the original writing of the Biblical books. Thus, whenever one finds in Scripture something that appears to be in error, rather than assuming that the writer made a mistake, one should remember that three possibilities exist with regard to any apparent problem: (a) the existing copies of the original manuscript may not be totally accurate; (b) the present-day translation of the Hebrew or Greek Biblical text may be faulty; or (c) one’s understanding or interpretation of the Biblical text may be inadequate or incorrect.
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