Wednesday, September 21, 2022

The Doctrine of Scripture Series: How Christ's Incarnation Is The Focus Of Divine Inspiration


    In our last post we began to discuss the doctrine of Divine inspiration here We noted how Divine inspiration is rooted in Divine revelation. Revelation, if you will recall, is when God makes known what was previously unknown. When we speak of "Divine inspiration", we refer to how revelation, when put into writing, equals inspiration. 

    We continue on looking at the second main thought associated with our exploration of the Divine inspiration of Scripture - namely that Christ's incarnation is its focus. Let us begin with some words from the Apostle Peter.

2 Peter 1:16-18 "For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”— 18 and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.”

    Peter undeniably centers on the Person of Christ in his discussion of the inspiration of the Scripture. By "incarnation", we mean that act, whereby the Divine person of the Son became united to true humanity, to become the God-man, Jesus Christ (See Matthew 1:21-23; John 1:14).

    As Peter harkens back to Matthew 17 and Mark 9, he still is gripped by that glorious revelation of Christ’s deity through the veil of His humanity. As I noted earlier, God the Father made known Himself in theophany to speak about the Son. But notice how the voice of the Father works in concert with this pinnacle revelation of God the Son in the flesh. Hebrews 1:1-2 attests, “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.”

    Remember, revelation, put into writing, equals inspiration. Jesus Himself stated in Luke 24:44-47 “Now He said to them, ‘These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”

    Let me say here that the Divine act of the inspiration of the Scriptures is due to what theologians call "the super-intendance of the Holy Spirit". His main job is to shine the spotlight on Jesus Christ. Jesus says of the Holy Spirit’s work in John 16:14 “He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you.”

    Think of how Christ-focused the Divinely inspired Scriptures are in the realm of predictive prophecy. J. Barton Payne’s reference work “The Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy” lists over 700 Biblical prophecies. To grasp how much material this covers, we are talking about between 20-25% of the Biblical text devoted to this unique literary type. Of those nearly 800 prophecies, over a third - some 330 prophecies - center upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Whatever the remainder of those prophecies talk about, they are indirectly related to supporting those prophecies which pertain to our Lord. Over 100 were fulfilled in His first coming.  Over 200 awaiting fulfillment at His soon return.

    Why these statistics? To prove just how “Son-centered” Scripture is. All Peter is doing is following the lead of the Holy Spirit in centering his writing of Scripture upon the Person of the Son. 

Closing thoughts for today

    Let's review what we have covered today and in our last post. First, we’ve seen that God’s act of revelation is the source of inspiration. Today, we discovered that Jesus Christ the Son is the focus of inspiration. In our next post we will focus on our third main point about Divine inspiration - that its by-product is Scripture itself.