The Bible is the Word of God: The Doctrine of Inspiration - 2 Tim 3:16 The plan of the 4 weeks: 1. The Doctrine of Inspiration 2. Dealing with Criticism 3. Christ s view of the Bible 4. The World s present need of the Bible Answer the question- Why does this doctrine need preached? The Bible is the last place the nation looks to solve its problems. The Bible is undermined in the Church all over this world and completely rejected through the modern anti-God movements. The first question to be asked of ourselves is how important is this book, is it essential to our relationship with God? The real issue for others is the immediate question that they put over the Bible. We have come from an age when the bible was rarely questioned to an age when it is generally questioned and refused as the authority of God. We could put our study in these words The Bible: Fact of Fiction? Therefore over these four weeks, we will not cover all the areas under this statement The Bible is the Word of God. But we will cover the bases and hopefully get a firm grip upon this great statement. 1. Definition of Inspiration Let s just deal firstly with the wrong idea of inspiration. Worship is often an issue where people see inspiration as a factor. The fellowship in worship and the content of worship is all according to how one feels about the worship. This is the problem with most churches today, because they centralize their faith upon their so called inspired worship. This worship is then t he basis for everything else (sadly, not the Word.) But, we should understand that this is not inspiration. Men are not inspired to do things. Men are not inspired to perform special acts or say special things, but the only way we can express inspiration is by the actual Word of God. This is the basis of all divine inspiration for the NT church. The words given by inspiration of God are one word in the original: .. This translates literally as God-breathed or Breathed of God. An important point to underline is that the sense is passive and not active. The Greek (through the ending tos ) shows that it is not God breathed out but something breathed out by God. The Bible was not prodded by God to be written but all of it spoken by his own breath or mouth. This thing or this Word; God has breathed out this Bible. Gregory of Nyssa- Whatsoever the Divine Scripture says is the voice of the Holy Spirit. Note: 2 Peter 1:19-21 Also, we must consider not only from whence this word has come but what t his word is. V15 gives us the full truth of our inquiry, that the substance of the revelation is Jesus Christ. When God opened his mouth therefore, he spoke of his
Son. If the Holy Spirit is the voice of God in revealing His Word, then take notice of the role of the Spirit in John 16: 13 -14. The Definition: Inspiration is the work of God breathing out or speaking directly the revelation of Jesus Christ His Son by operation of the Holy Spirit. 2. Object of Inspiration This is a major point of concern in our churches inc. the conservative, evangelical churches. For, when people think of inspiration, they immediately think of KJV/AV. I m not referring simply to KJonlyism, but an idea that somehow the KJV is God s inspired Word or even that this bible is dir ectly God s Word and all other versions are not. We maintain that the AV is the best, but cannot maintain it the only. This view of things become clear when you dig deeper into where God; s Word has come from. I do not believe that we can go back to the MSS (Manuscripts- on which copies of the Greek and Hebrew where written) and start pointing at one MSS and say this is the Word of God . We believe, not only in God s inspiration of His Word but also the preservation of His Word. This is not done through finding a full set of Hebrew and Greek MSS in some cave and nailing them together and calling it the Word of God, but the re is a lot of investigation, study and even tradition in determining the right text to be the basis of our translation. This we believe is the Received Text, which is the basis of AV. But I m trying to drag you to think upon the doctrine of God s preservation of His Word, which is far more glorious than dogmatically clutching at the AV as our only hope and plea for inspiration. It is not our only hope and plea, lest we abandon the great doctrine of preservation! It is quite amazing therefore that God has left us, after 1000s of years, with a reliable copy of the autographs originally written by the human authors of the Bible. But it is absolutely true. Our position is that each word, sentence and all grammar were perfect and every tenant of those autographs was without error. Although some difficulties with words and phrases have arisen over the many copies made from the original autographs (and yes this is currently the case), God has preserved his Word so that it remains the Word of God to us today. In our hands is a testament to God s Word as a preserved and ancient and inspired text. Translation is an area of great controversy, and one we are not going to touch on in this sermon. But what can be said is that God has undoubtedly ordained translation- this can be seen from his use of the Septuagint and as far as it is consistent with his will for all nations to know the gospel. Thus, through the ages and by way of translation we can know the Word of God in the reading of our bibles. All scripture .. This statement determines every part of scripture to be inspired by God. This is backed up by the previous generalisation of Holy Scripture. (V15) All of the Old Testament is being taken into account as having been spoken by God. Each element is included in the perfection of God s voice. But we see extension beyond this because of the quality and claims of New
Testament that both Old and New are the Word of God by testimony and simply by divine right. Clement of Alexander: There is no discord between the Law and the Gospel, but harmony, for they both proceed from the same Author. Thus, the bible is in this sense inerrant and infallible. It is without error and totally reliable in every point. The MSS we have left to us give a full account of the originals and allow us to see the preserving hand of God at work! 3. Consequence of Inspiration The natural step from our first two points is to look at the consequence of it all. What does it mean to us, that this book is all of God? Its importance immediately rockets in our estimation, but there is an immediate demand placed upon man. This takes in v16-17. Because the bible is authoritative, then what it says about you is true and what it requires of you is expected. This book is God s revelation for our salvation- that s what it s telling us here. It is profitable for man that man may be pleasing unto God. And in that we must first understand the need for salvation. Because of the disinterest in God s Word in the Church and the World, men have lost the understanding of the need to be saved from sin. I want us to note some of the central things that the bible tells us: 1. Man is a sinner Romans 3:23- This statement from God s mouth is rejected by this world. Many anti-theists will say there is no need to consider this because God doesn t exist and he certainly doesn t exist in the Holy character found in the bible. Others, because of their half believe in the bible say that God s character does not suit a hatred for sin and an absolute demand for his creatures to be holy. But the scripture leaves no doubt or room for debate- man has come short of the perfection of God and therefore fallen short also of the fellowship and fulfilment he gives to his creatures. We are sinful, warped and alienated creatures, and we are in a position of need. We need a saviour, one who will come and save us from our plight. The thought of a Saviour is not ours, but that thought is planted in the world by the scripture, in other words by God. 2. Christ is man s saviour 2 Timothy 2:5-6- The Lord has supplied one saviour. He is a mediator between God and men, a bridge, or one to stand between. He is the reconciler of men to God in that he does the saving work for man. He substitutes himself in the place of man to take their sin and burn it out in his death and sufferings. This is a concept scripture has has placed in our minds. The idea of mediation and substitution is not a creation of Hollywood or tall tales of novelists, but of God s will, revelation and action. 3. The Lord offers Christ freely in the gospel Romans 10:13- And therefore, God has supplied a way of access to Him. That way is by calling on God through Jesus Christ. This is a free offer, and a divine and
genuine offer of Christ as saviour to all who will come . The inspiration of scripture demands that we receive this offer as genuine and full hearted. Conc.: Because of our condition in sin there is a remarkable union involved under our subject. Faith in Christ cannot occur until faith is expressed in God s Word; yet faith in God s Word cannot be complete until Faith in Christ is operated. Romans 10:17 give us this great thought- that salvation is only by the Word of God. It is our only source wherein Christ is found unto salvation. May we ever treasure it and hold it close to our hearts truly as the Word of God and be ruled by it in our worship and lives.