“Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ” – Saint Jerome
The Scriptures are a divine commentary on the covenant journey that man and God embarked on together after man’s fall in the garden. This journey came finally to a place where God’s righteousness could be given to us in the only way it would ever really work: apart from our effort and input, received by faith alone. The Scriptures tell the story of man’s personal and failed pursuit of righteousness and God’s ultimate provision of righteousness, all for the sake of intimacy and relationship.
The inspiration and Authority of Scriptures are under attack in our modern culture. In fact, they have been attacked consistently throughout history. Too many Christians have believed a lie that the Scriptures are irrelevant, too difficult to understand, or not inspired by God. We had no access to the Scriptures for many centuries as common Christians, while many gave their lives to put it into the hands of the masses. Today, however, we face an opposite problem.
Our bookshelves (and mobile devices) are filled with a whole range of Bibles, but many have lost their belief in the integrity, authority, and inspiration of Scripture.
“Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” ~ John 17:17
A Bible Revival
We need a revival of value for the Scriptures in our generation and in the Charismatic Church. We can (and should) love the Holy Spirit’s presence and power in our communities. But He is also the member of the Godhead who Jesus promised would lead us into all truth and bring all things Jesus spoke to our remembrance! Holy Spirit wants to teach us our bibles.
The Bible is the divinely inspired message of God to humanity. It contains the absolute truth. Sure, it must be read in its right context, and this can take a little time to get comfortable with, but it can and must be done.
False prophets are a hot topic of conversation in the church today, but the Bible equally warns us about false teachers (2 Peter 2:1–3; 2 Timothy 4:1–22; 1 Timothy 4:1; Romans 16:17).
We must take responsibility as individuals for our understanding of Scripture. Doctrine matters. It determines how we understand God, how we live our lives, treat our spouses, raise our kids, share the gospel, make disciples, and understand the world. It determines everything, and it comes from Scripture. We can’t blame our leaders if they did not teach us correct things from the Bible when we all have access to the Word of God and are filled with Holy Spirit, who longs to teach and lead us into all truth (John 16:13).
The awakening to righteousness must bring with it a new love for the integrity and inspiration of Scripture.
This is a pursuit of understanding and is led by Scripture alone in our lives, filtering everything we hear from the pulpit through the Word. We must carry and transfer the ‘baton’ of the inspiration of Scripture, teaching the rising generation how to be mighty in the Scriptures. And when we rightly define ourselves by Christ alone, we can finally have discussions about theology that don’t end with disunity and new denominations.
What did Jesus Think?
When it comes to the inspiration of Scripture, in many ways the question boils down to “Who is Jesus?” This is because, if Jesus is in fact God become man, then you can ask yourself what He thought about the Scriptures and then go with that. If you do not believe He is lord, then you will ultimately not indulge the Scriptures as they are designed anyway.
The inspiration question hinges on the acknowledgement and Lordship of Christ
I would suggest starting with answering this question. Once answered, if, like me, you believe Jesus is Lord, then you can ask yourself what He thought about the Scriptures. Did you know that the entire Old Testament, as we have it today, was already compiled (although in a different order) by the time Jesus walked the earth? This means He had and read the exact 39 books we have in our Old Testament. This is HUGE.
Jesus quoted the Old Testament as though He knew the Scriptures thoroughly, even acknowledging it’s accuracy down to words and verb tenses (Matthew 5:8, Mark 12:27). He obviously had either memorised vast portions or knew it instinctively. He clearly believed in the inspiration of Scripture.
He believed every word of Scripture. All the prophecies concerning Himself were fulfilled, and He believed beforehand they would be as He quoted from many of these.
Jesus believed the Old Testament was historical fact, not symbolism, nor full of error. This is very clear, even though from the Creation onward, much of what He believed has long been under fire by critics, as being mere fiction. Some examples of historical facts Jesus affirmed:
- Luke 11:51—Abel was a real individual
- Matthew 24:37–39—Noah and the flood was real (Luke 17:26, 27)
- John 8:56–58—Abraham existed and his story is accurately recorded
- Matthew 10:15; 11:23, 24 (Luke 10:12)—Sodom and Gomorrah were real events
- Luke 17:28–32—Lot (and his wife!) were real
- Matthew 8:11—Isaac and Jacob (Luke 13:28)
- John 6:31, 49, 58—Manna in the wilderness
- John 3:14—Moses and the serpent in the desert
- Matthew 12:39–41—Jonah was real and his fish incident (vs. 42—Queen Sheba as well)
- Matthew 24:15—Daniel and Isaiah were real
If Jesus approached Scripture this way, surely we should start there too right?
He also attributed most of the Old Testament books as actually being written by the people who they suggest authored them. This is huge. The Scriptures are as reliable as the Lordship of Christ is!
At the end of the day, the inspiration of Scripture is a dynamic, but easy thing to yield too, but it requires the lordship of Christ to be established in our hearts. I find myself wondering if lordship and submission to Christ as Lord is the real issue sometimes for those who are challenging the Scriptures and finding themselves leaving the faith through disillusionment.
When it comes to the Scriptures, it is never a question of inspiration, it is a question of covenant and context.
The Emmaus Insight
Look at this profound passage, showing what Jesus said on the road to Emmaus to two disciples whom His appearance was hidden from, shortly after His resurrection. They were confused about why the one they thought was their Messiah ended up nailed to the cross instead of liberating them, through violence, from Roman oppression. Jesus referred to the Old Testament and said:
“O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” ~ Luke 24:25-27
Wow! Jesus took all the Old Testament Scriptures and showed these two (extremely lucky) disciples that in every Scripture, He was the ultimate topic. Jesus is the Word made flesh (John 1:14), the beginning and the end (Revelation 22:13). He is the reason for life. The Bible is all about Him.
Two Powerful verses for Biblical Inspiration:
- “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17
- “knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” – 2 Peter 1:20-21
We must lean into the inspiration and authority of Scripture. We must hold fast to the Scriptures as our final authority as Christians. If we follow a slow current moving away from this pillar truth, the next generation will find itself un-anchored to the beauty of the Christ of the Scriptures.
“What one generation tolerates, the next generation will embrace.” – John Wesley
A Teaching Video
Below is a teaching I did at church recently on this topic.
I pray you and I would be further immersed, alive and mighty in the scriptures!
(Teaching starts at 1:11)