2 Kings 23:2-3
“He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the Lord. The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord – to follow the Lord and keep his commands, regulations and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, thus confirming the words of the covenant written in this book. Then all the people pledged themselves to the covenant.” (2 Kings 23:2-3)
The Bible claims to be inspired by God, and that makes us curious. Exactly what did the Holy Spirit do to the Bible authors? How did he make sure they wrote what He wanted to say? Since he doesn’t tell us, we try to figure it out. Some conclude the Spirit must have dictated the Bible to the authors like executives dictate to their assistants. He obviously did dictate parts of the Bible. For example, when He gave the Ten Commandments to Moses. However, much of Scripture was not dictated in that way.
Some of the Bible comes from historical research, as in the case of the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts, as Doctor Luke himself tells us. On the human side, the experiences and writing style of each author are evident throughout Scripture. But in some mysterious way those authors were inspired by the Holy Spirit, so that what they wrote was consistently called, “the Word of God.”
Though we may not know how the Spirit carried out this activity, we know from Scripture itself that He so guided the writing process that the human authors, using their own experiences and vocabulary, wrote what the divine Author wanted communicated. This cannot be said of any other book, no matter how helpful it is. Other books may be called “inspired” in the sense that they inspire the reader, but none can be said to be God-breathed as is Scripture. The Bible alone carries that guarantee. That’s why we can trust it.
Since the Bible does not define inspiration, we might be tempted to take the option of calling it a mystery and letting it go at that! My son Kent, well-versed in the creation story of Genesis, first encountered an alternative view of human origins in the third grade. His righteous indignation ran so hot that he conducted his own inquisition at the lunch hour. Going down the line of little people waiting to be fed, he asked each one, “Do you believe the monkey business?” When he reached his best friend Darwin, his friend replied, “ Of course I do .” (He seemed to live up to the name his parents gave him!) Kent then leveled his accusation: “Then you don’t believe the Bible .” Darwin replied, “ Oh yes I do, I just don’t believe the part about creation .” With the wisdom of his advanced years, untutored by any elder, Kent responded, “Well, how do you choose which part to believe? If you are uncertain about the reliability of the Bible, how would you answer Kent’s question, “How do you choose which part to believe?”
I remember hearing W. A. Criswell, pastor of First Baptist Church of Dallas for more than half a century, thunder, “They tell me the Book is inspired in parts and I’m inspired to pick the parts!” Eight-year-old Kent and the 80-year-old pastor each identified the key issue. If I do what Jesus Christ never did and affirm error in Scripture, then I put myself over Scripture. By deciding what to accept and what not to accept as trustworthy, I must sit in judgment on the Book; I consider my inspiration superior to the inspiration of Scripture. In that way I would reduce the inspiration of Scripture to the size of my intellect, and that’s not a very impressive “revelation!” Paul assures us that “All Scripture is inspired by God” (1 Timothy 3:16).
The Bible helps us in the following ways :
- It describes God’s character so we may know Him.
- It tells us how to become a child of God.
- It gives us moral direction for our lives.
- It assures us of our final destination.
The Holy Spirit gave us a fully reliable revelation of God’s will for us. What a magnificent gift! He unveiled the character and purposes of God. We can know God! Knowing Him we will surely love Him. Love leads us to obedience as we seek to conform our wills to that of the Father.
This is my prayer response as I think about the inspiration of the Word . Pray along with me or voice your own prayer concerning the Bible.
Father, thank You for the good gift of Your Spirit who has revealed all the truth I need to know You, to love You, to please You. Thank You that the Bible is reliable. Help me to understand it more clearly and obey its teachings more.