Series: Essentials of Christian Faith
God’s Inspired Scripture
Dr. Johnson C. Philip
Every family needs someone to unite it, and every group of people also need something to unite it. In the same way, every faith group also needs a factor to unite it. For the Christian faith, it is the Bible that is the uniting factor.
However, there is something unique with the Bible that is not there with any other factor that unites people. Inspiration of the Bible is that unique factor. Of course, the word inspiration can confuse many people. For example, we often say that a picture, a place, or a person has given us much inspiration. However, when we use that word in relation to the Bible, it is used in a totally different way.
In 2 Timothy 2:16 we read, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”. Here the word is used in the sense that God gave His word to the writers the way they breathe — as a totally integrated part of their being, and that they then wrote it exactly the way God gave it to them. This was not some kind of a mechanical dictation, nor did God use these writers the way one uses a typewriter to type what one has in mind. Rather, in a perfectly natural way the Spirit of God allowed them to write exactly what He wanted them to pen down.
Since the Holy Bible has come to down to us in a unique way, the book is unique in many ways and we need to understand these things clearly. Some of these are:
God has given Scripture in Old Testament times only through the Jewish Nation. In Psalms 147 verses 19 and 20 we read “He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD”
In the New Testament period, as is obvious, He has give us the Scripture only through Christians. There is no revelation outside the Bible. They have never understood it, and their scriptures do not contain Holy Spirit inspired revelation.
This means that the inspiration of the Holy Spirit has added several other qualities to this book that is not found in any other book. Some of these qualities are:
Bible is totally inerrant or free of errors. There are no scientific or historical errors in the Scripture.The Bible is totally infallible. If it makes a pronouncement on any subject, that pronouncement is infallible. It is always right and nobody has the authority to change it. The Bible is the final court of authority for faith and conduct for believers. If it makes a statement, we accept it whether we understand it or not. An attempt to understand should be made, but our ability to understand should never become the criterion of its authority.
Human sin nature is in rebellion against God. It dislikes anything that claims to be from God. More so if that Scripture claims to be infallible and inerrant. Thus worldwide there is a movement to challenge and attack the Scripture. The problem is not with the Scripture but rather with the rebellion in human heart.
However, the inspiration, authority, infallibility and inerrancy are not negotiable doctrines. If someone does not want to believe them, then he cannot claim to be a committed Christian. He might be a born-again person but his commitment and obedience is to be questioned. He is in immediate need to subdue his rebellious mind to the discipline and discipling of the Scripture.
Summary: Have you ever seen a person who questions the reliability of the Bible? Be sure that this person is in rebellion somewhere in his/her life. The doctrine of inspiration of the Scripture is an essential foundation for, and of, the Christian faith.
[Dr. Johnson C. Philip is a Christian Apologist. You can see more about him at http://www.JohnsonCPhilip.com]