Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Inerrant, Complete, and Eternal Word of God

The foundation of everything I post here is the Word of God.  What I hope by posting all these things, is to get you into your Bible.   I want you to challenge and test me.  If what I say is not consistent with the Word, it must be challenged. 
Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men. Acts 17:19-12 NKJV
The Bereans are a wonderful example for us to follow.  There are many false prophets around the world this very day looking to twist Scripture to their own advantage and if you are not grounded in God's Word, you will be easily deceived.  This deception can cost you valuable time, friends, relationship with God, your life savings, and taken to the extreme your own life or even your soul.  Remember Jonestown, their leader twisted and used the Bible until, in the end, he convinced them all to kill themselves.  We need to be like Bereans and not just accept a silver tongue and a doctrine we want to hear, we need to test everything with Scripture.  You all need to even test what I say.  Check my verses, check their context, and get into the Word. 

So why is the Bible so important? Why is it so imperative that we get into the word?  Why is it important that the Bible be the inerrant and complete Word of God? I hope to answer these questions.

Why is the Bible important?  The Bible is the Word of God.  It is God's message to us.  What can be more important than that? Every Word, every account, every book, every parable, every historical account, every everything was spoken by God through specially chosen men to us.
But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:14-17 NKJV
Paul is clear that the Word of God is literally the Word of God and that in and of itself makes it important.  There is no other more important book in all the earth than the Bible.  What can possibly be more important than God's message to us.  Remember that the next day you neglect the Word but still find time to read about sports or celebrity gossip. 

In those verses, Paul also explains why it is important we are in the Word.  They are able to make you wise for salvation as they are God's written contract regarding our promise of Salvation.  They are our source for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction.  And it is that doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction that will make us complete and equipped for every good work.  Conversely, if you are not in the Word, you will not be compete and you will certainly not be equipped for any good work.

The Bible is also important because it has an effect in our lives and in the lives of others.  God's Word holds real power.  It will inspire, convict, instruct, and chasten.  Here are a few examples regarding the power of His word:
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.  Isaiah 55:11 NKJV
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12 NKJV
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.  James 1:23-25 NKJV

The Bible is also our spiritual nourishment.  It is important to our souls as water and food our to our bodies. 
BLESSED is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.  Psalm 1:1-3 NKJV
A man grounded in the Word of God is likened to a tree planted by a river where it is constantly nourished and firmly rooted, a tree that will be green and lush and a tree that will withstand storms and tribulations. That is a picture of a spiritually healthy person grounded in God's Word. 

It is absolutely essential for our spiritual lives to read our Bibles.  And that is why it is essential that that the Bible is inerrant and complete. 

If the Bible is not inerrant, what hope do we have?  The Word of God is the foundation of what we believe.  It is God's written contract with us.  It is God's instruction for our lives.  It is the final test and authority.  If it is not the Word of God, if it is not perfect, or if we can call any of it into question, then we have no hope at all.  We have no solid foundation.  We have no assurance of salvation.  We have no anchor in a world of competing false doctrine.  God is perfect and so must His Word be.  If it is 99.9999999% true, it is not the Word of God.  So if we believe that the Bible is God's Word, we must believe that it is perfect.  One demands the other.

We must also believe the Bible is complete.  We live in a time of many false prophets who want to deceive and lead people away from Jesus. 
And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 2 Peter 1:19-2:2 NKJV
The Word of God is complete.  If it is incomplete, we again have no foundation.  How can we build our faith upon an incomplete foundation?  How can we be sure of our faith if there is the chance that it can change at any time?  I do believe the gift of prophesy exists today, but it's not new revelation.  All prophesy must be tested and reconciled with Scripture not added to it. Prophesy today points to Scripture or explains Scripture and certainly does not change Scripture.  An extreme example of this is Mormonism.  They added the whole Book of Mormon to the Bible and changed the whole foundation of salvation.  The Word of God is also complete in that nothing can be taken from it.  We can not take away from the Word of God anytime we do not understand or disagree with something.  If something can be deleted from the Bible, again we have no foundation.  How secure is a house if pieces of the foundation can be removed at will?  An example of this is a troubling trend to make the Bible more "culturally relevant" in that sin is not taught, women are pastors, and active homosexuality is accepted among many other troubling and things not scriptural.  May we never take away from God's Word.  May we never add to God's Word.
"You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.  Deuteronomy 4:2 NKJV
and again:
For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.  Revelations 22:18-19 NKJV
These 2 examples show just how zealous God is for the integrity of His complete and inerrant Word.  We are not to tamper with perfection. 

The Word of God is a most amazing treasure given to us freely by the Lord our God.   God, who owes us nothing, gave us a written declaration of His eternal love for us, a written contract offering the free gift of salvation to all who put their faith and trust in Jesus, and a written promise to always be there with us even on this earth.  God tells us that His Word is eternal and by that so is our guarantee for salvation because if God's Word is eternal, so are His promises. 
Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, because "All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, But the word of the LORD endures forever." Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you. 1 Peter 1:22-25 NKJV

1 comment:

  1. A good word Ben on the Word. it is more necesary than our everyday food. I hope many will take your challenge to be in the Word regularly and to allign their thoughts with God's thoughts. You are a blessing!