Monday, May 20, 2013
1 John 5:13 "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God."
Why is scripture so foundational to the Christian life? Why does it matter that the Apostle John "writes" the things he wrote? The reason being is because the writings of the Old and New Testament are none other than the words of God. (Exodus 24:4; 2 Timothy 3:15-17). In today's blog I want to spell out for you in short order seven reasons why you can have confidence in the Bible as God's Word.
1. The Bible is inerrant (without error)
Psalm 19:7 "The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul;The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple." The Bible's inerrancy is foundational to Biblical preaching, Christian living and Gospel witnessing. To be anything less would mean that the Bible could not be trusted nor relied upon.
2. The Bible is infallible (incapable of leading astray)
In John 10:35 Jesus says that the scripture cannot be broken. According to Psalm 119:130, whenever we read the scriptures, they bring light to our understanding. If we say the Bible is without error in terms of its contents, then it only follows that the Bible is without error in how it leads me into all truth.
3. The Bible is inspired (God's Word)
2 Timothy 3:16 starts out: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God". That word translated "inspiration" comes from a compound Greek word "theo-pnuestos" meaning "God-breathed". Quite literally God exhaled His words through the writing styles and lives of the prophets and apostles, producing a unified book composed of 66 individual books. No other book in the world is Divinely inspired - only the Bible. 2 Peter 1:21 tells us that no prophecy arose by the will of man, but rather came about through men who were born along by the Holy Spirit.
4. The Bible is clear
Is the Bible incapable of being rightly interpreted? Can we really make the Bible says what we want to say? If you take the words out of context you can make it say whatever you want. Furthermore if you ignore the context, then you won't be able to arrive at the right meaning. The key word in both those answers is the word "context". If you and I dear reader don't like people taking our words out of context, then why would we treat God's words any different? It is not only vital to consier the context of a given passage in the surrounding verses, chapters or books, but also to consider how the Old and New Testaments relate to one another. According to Jesus in Luke 24:44, all scripture points to Himself. Romans 15:4 states that all the scriptures were written "for our instruction". 1 Corinthians 2:12 tells us that the Spirit revealed scripture so as to enable understanding of all of God's things. So the Bible, with the Spirit's help, context and Jesus Christ can be rightly inteperpreted. Does this mean that the Bible is always going to be easy to understand? Not always. The Apostle Peter writes in 2 Peter 3:16 that there were somethings in Paul's writings that even he found difficult to understand. Studying the Bible is equated in 2 Timothy 2:15 as being the labor of a workman. Though the labor may be hard, the results far outweigh the effort. Furthermore, as one studies the scriptures, the labor quickly turns into delight.
5. The Bible is sufficient
I personally feel this is currently where the battleground for the Bible is being waged. Is the Bible sufficient to lead and guide? Is it sufficient to be used by the Spirit in bring about salvation in the heart of a believing sinner? 2 Timothy 3:17 tells us that the scripture "thoroughly equips you for every good work". 2 Peter 1:3-11 reveals that God has given us all things, through His great and precious promises, that pertain to life and godliness. Scripture is not only sufficient in bringing about salvation, but also in guiding you and I in our post-conversion life or sanctification. Truly then, the Bible is sufficient, and all other lesser authorities (like doctrinal statements and church polity documents) must yield to scripture in all matters.
6. The Bible is true
In John 17:17 Jesus states that the word of God is true.
7. The Bible changes the human heart
According to Psalm 19:7, the Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. According to James 1:18, by God's Divine will He begets the child of God by faith "through the living and enduring Word".