Doctrine 3. The Scriptures


Scripture is God’s Word. We have two written forms of God’s word to us. Firstly, we have the inspired word, namely, the writings of people who were inspired by God (e.g. the Pauline epistles). Secondly we have the record of the words that God himself spoke (e.g. the Ten Commandments). These are both parts of and make up the whole of Scripture, the holy books we know as the Bible.

As Christians we believe that the Scriptures are the inspired, inerrant word of God. As such, they have authority and are absolutely necessary to our spiritual lives.

There are many verses that claim that Scripture is God’s word. Examples include 2 Timothy 3.16 (All Scripture is breathed out by God...), Hebrews 1.1-2 (In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers the prophets...) and 1 Corinthians 14.37 (...the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord.)
Scripture not only proclaims itself to be God’s word, we also see this in the fulfilment of prophecies, most notably to do with Jesus. The list is vast and varied: Genesis 3.15, Isaiah 7.14, Micah 5.2, Psalm 22, Isaiah 53 and more.

Being God’s word, the Scriptures have no errors. John Frame puts it like this, ‘"Inerrant" simply means "without error," or "true" in the sense that we normally speak of true sentences, true doctrines, true accounts, true principles. Were God to speak to us in person, "directly," none of us would dare to charge him with error. Errors arise from ignorance or deceit; and our God is neither ignorant, nor is he a deceiver. Similarly, we dare not charge his written Word with error.’ [1]

Also as God’s word, the Scriptures have total authority. Again to quote John Frame: ‘The authority of Scripture is nothing less than the authority of God himself...’ [2]. Therefore if we doubt or disobey Scripture we are doubting and disobeying God himself. Scripture is not to be taken lightly.

Scripture is also vital for our lives. Jesus quoted Scripture by saying, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ We need to have a good diet of Scripture if we’re to grow and flourish in our spiritual lives.

How wonderful that God has given us his word so that we can not only know his will but also know him. And if those are the benefits of reading and applying Scripture to our lives, why would we ignore it or fail to be excited at the thought of spending time getting to know it better?

Questions for thought:

- What’s your attitude to God’s word? Are you excited about it or do you see it as a chore?

- Do you have favourite passages of Scripture? If so, why are they favourites?

- How do you go about reading the Bible? Daily? With a bible reading plan? On your own?

Learn more:

- Theory: Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology, chapters 4-8

- Practical: How To Read The Bible For All Its Worth, Gordon D Fee and Douglas Stuart

[1] John Frame – Is the Bible Inerrant? (http://reformedperspectives.org/files/reformedperspectives/theology/TH.Frame.inerrancy.html)
[2] Ibid

Post by: Ruth van den Broek

2 comments:

  1. Hi there, Thanks Ruth for this good article. You asked some questions, I'll give my personal answers:

    I think that my favourite passage would be found in Psalm 19. The last few verses are amazing. It talks about how are "words" our "meditations" are to be acceptable in God's sight. And the best bit God is our "Redeemer" and "Strength" Praise be to God!

    For my private "devos"(as I call them!) I am going through a commentary actually written by my Grandfather. He writes on the letters to the thessolonians. It's a great book, especially because it's light but powerful at the same time. I normally take about 10 Min on one verse. This means I can get a full understanding of the passage. When I read through a whole chapter, I found it hard to understand the meaning. But when you have someone teaching you it really helps. That is what I do. I feel that I have studied the word and can come away knowing what God's word says in practical detail.

    Thanks again

    Jonah

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the article, Ruth! How we need to appreciate Scripture. It is always somewhat embarrassing (and saddening) to read stories of those who are newly converted in a place where Christianity is supressed and Bibles scarce, and to see how GREAT is their love and thirst for the Words of God. Do we value our Bibles that much?

    My personal favourite Scripture passages are John 14 (an old favourite), Psalm 91, and my newest favourite; Job 29. It was only recently that I began to take real notice of that passage; it is an amazing description of a radical Christian life. It's well worth re-visiting!

    ReplyDelete

Please feel free to leave a comment. We love to hear our reader's responses. :)