The Bible – God’s Inspired Word
The Bible is God’s Word. It is divine in authorship. Within its pages God is revealed to mankind.
Psalm 19: 119
2 Timothy 3:16
All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine for reproof, for correction for instruction in righteousness.
2 Timothy 3:13-17
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse deceiving, and being deceived.
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
2 Peter 1:19-21
19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy: whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
20 Knowing this first that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holly Ghost.
I. GOD’S WORD-GOD’S VOICE
a. God’s Voice in Creation
b. God’s Voice through Prophets
c. God’s Voice at Sinai-the Law
d. God’s Voice through His Son-Grace
II. GOD’S WORD-THE BIBLE
a. Holy Ghost Inspired
b. One Book, Many Writers
c. Validates True Science
d. A More Sure Word
III. GOD’S WORD-GOD’S PLAN
a. Reveals Man’s Sin
b. Reveals God’s Judgements
c. Repeals God’s Love
d. Reveals God’s Salvation
The Bible is God’s inspired Word. It speaks to us and reveals great truth through its pages. The Word of God reveals man’s sin and declares God’s judgment in response to sin. Moreover, the Bible reveals what mankind can do to be restored to a relationship with God.
By understanding that the Bible is God’s inspired Word, we can better understand that the plan revealed through this hook is the plan of God and the only plan for mankind. The only revelation of salvation is recorded in the Bible.
Many writers contributed to the writing of Scripture yet the Bible never strays from its unified and consistent theme throughout. This alone is conclusive proof that there is but one author who inspired the many writers who wrote-God Himself. The Bible is a chronicle of man’s creation fall into sin. God’s love, God’s grace and the way for man to be restored to God. Consistent and without contradiction we can trust the Bible to lead us to eternal salvation.
I. GOD’S WORD-GOD’S VOICE
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word Bible as “1. the sacred scriptures of Christians comprising the Old and New Testaments; 2. the sacred scriptures of Judaism or of some other religion.” Many religious groups have a bible, or what they consider to be a collection of holy writings that gives them guidance and direction for their lives. They consider the sacred writings of their religion to be a voice of authority. But the Bible is not just a book of sacred writings, authoritative sayings, and end-time studies; it is the Word of God to mankind.
According to Guinness Book of World Records the Bible is the most distributed hook in the world. It has been translated into about 1,700 languages. It is the number one bestselling hook and has retained that distinction for many years. The Bible is a hook, but it is more than a hook. This hook includes a total of sixty-six hooks with 1.189 chapters that contain 41,173 verses. Truly the Bible is the Book of hooks.
The Bible is the greatest wonder in the entire world. It is a wonder both in how it was brought together and how it grew in popularity to become the most popular Book of all times. Its unification also is an incredible wonder. Though it is a library of sixty-six hooks, yet it is one Book that weaves one theme throughout. The Bible is one of the most ancient of all writings, hut it holds an attraction and interest for people of all ages and from every strata and class of people-economically, socially, and educationally. The Bible also is a wonder in its language, for it was written largely by uneducated men, but it is the finest piece of literature known to man. Perhaps most amazing is the wonder of the Bible’s preservation; it is the most hated of all books, and yet neither time nor the enemies of Scripture can destroy it or its influence in the earth. The Bible is a greater wonder than the Great Wall of China, the leaning tower of Pisa the towering falls of Niagara or the Great Salt Lake. It is the greatest wonder of all wonders in the world. Because the Bible is God’s Word it is also God’s voice.
God’s Voice in Creation
“And the earth was without form and void: and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2).
In the beginning the earth had no form, and there was only a great void of darkness (Genesis 1:2). But then the voice of God brought order to chaos. “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light” (Genesis 1:3).
The lesson of creation should continue to speak to the people who populate the earth today. To a world that is dark with the corruption of sin it is still the voice of God, through His Word, that brings light to the world and to individuals.
Through the events of creation. God’s voice, in each case brought order and meaning.
1. By His voice, God created light and divided it from darkness.
2. By His voice. God separated the waters above from the waters beneath, that is the water of the atmosphere from the water of the oceans and seas.
3. By His voice. God collected the water together and separated it from dry ground defining the oceans, seas, and continents.
4. By His voice. God created the grass and plant life.
5. By His voice. God created the light of stars, the sun, and the moon.
6. By His voice. God created life in the seas and fowl life in the atmosphere.
7. By His voice. God created animals upon the dry land that would reproduce and populate the earth with their kind.
Indeed, the voice of God was a powerful expression of His will as He accomplished all creation. He chose to create all these things by the power of His own voice.
It is interesting, however, that God took a more personal approach with the grand finale of creation. It appears that lie did not create man by the power of His voice, but by forming man from the dust of the earth Himself.
“And God said. Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:26-27).
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life: and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7).
B. God’s Voice through Prophets
God has chosen to speak many times in the past through prophets. (See Hebrews 1:1.) There are many occasions in the Scriptures where prophets announced great revelations concerning the coming Messiah. Often they did not even understand the extent of their prophecies. but they obediently prophesied the words of the Lord. Some examples would include the following:
Prophecy Its Essence Prophecy
Genesis 3:15 “Seed of a woman” Galatians 4:4
Micah 5:2 Place of His birth Matthew 2:1
Isaiah 7:14 Born of a virgin Matthew- 1:18
Zechariah 9:9 His triumphal entry John 12:13-14
Zechariah 11:2 Thirty pieces of silver Matthew 26:15
Psalm 22:18 Soldiers cast lots Mark 15:24
Psalm 34:20 Not a bone to be broken John 19:33
Not only did God choose to speak through prophets concerning the coming Messiah, hut Ile also chose to let them know of other coming events.
C. God’s Voice at Sinai-the Law
When Moses went to Mount Sinai to hear from God, he heard the voice of God and returned with the law inscribed on tables of stone (Exodus 31:18). Several things are revealed to us through this expression of the voice of God.
First, we plainly can see that man cannot alter God’s voice. Moses could not change the words of God. God chose to write them in stone, and they could not he changed.
Second, we can see that the written Word that Moses returned with was in fact a representative of the voice and direction of God to the people. Many times people are looking for direction in their lives and the greatest direction they will ever find is revealed to them through the Bible-God’s voice to mankind.
D. God’s Voice through His Son-Grace
The Son of God brought to the earth a beautiful picture of God’s grace. How beautiful the depiction of grace when a person understands that God did not send someone else to express His love for mankind, but that Ile came Himself to pay the price of man’s redemption!
At the baptism of Jesus, God gave a rare display through His approving voice from heaven. lie said. “Thou art my beloved Son: in thee I am well pleased” (Luke 3:22). What an expression by the voice of God of the great gift of grace! Jesus Christ had come to take away the sins of the world. This was a marvelous act of grace.
“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him and saith, Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
II. GOD’S WORD-THE BIBLE
A. Holy Ghost Inspired
The writings of Scripture are inspired by the Holy Ghost. (See 2 Timothy 3:16.) The
Spirit of God breathed upon men with inspiration and caused them to record His Word. “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spike as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (II Peter 1:21).
In II Timothy 3:16 the word “inspiration” translates from the Greek word theopneustos, which Strong’s Concordance defines as “divinely breathed in: KJV-given by inspiration of God.”
The Scriptures reveal that Jesus is “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). The Bible has only one author and He is the One who both started and finished the hook of our faith. Moreover, has not given us a confusing book, as Paul stated, “God is not the author confusion” 1 Corinthians God is the author of wonderful truths that will lead a person to salvation in I Him.
“And being made perfect he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Hebrews 5:9).
B. One Book, Many Writers
It is amazing and wonderful that the works of so many different men, living in such widely scattered places under such primitive conditions and separated by hundreds of years of time, should be gathered together and become the greatest, best known and hest loved Book in the world, One of the strongest evidences that our Bible was written with divine direction is its unity of purpose and theme. Though very different, all of its sixty-six books have one dominant purpose.
The hooks of the Bible were penned in different ages, different countries, and by different men. Many of those who wrote never saw the others who wrote or even knew that others had written on the same subjects. Yet when their writing became one hook, not one contradiction could he found among the writings. Oh the amazing grace of God!
“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, hut as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in volt that believe” (I Thessalonians 2:13).
C. Validates True Science
Many proofs within the Bible’s pages indicate that it is a divine Book. However, many Christians may ask, “I low about people who do not believe in the Bible’? I low can we prove that the Bible is the inspired Word of God’?” To convince some people we must find proofs outside of the Bible itself, but this we can do! Many discoveries over the years prove the Bible to be the inspired Word of God.
The Bible is the only hook that is accurate in all of its scientific data. The textbooks that arc used in schools often are obsolete before printing because of new scientific discoveries. However, the Bible has never been proven incorrect in even one scientific aspect. Botanists claim that every biblical comment concerning plant life has been found to be completely accurate. There are over 250 different such references in the Old Testament alone. Scientists have verified that many facts stated about animals, birds, insects, music, law, art, architecture, and other subjects referred to in the Bible were correctly recorded.
Many of the mysteries that mankind is just now learning about, such as the human body and the soul, and also many things in the natural world, such as rain, water, currents, winds, evaporation, clouds, thunder, lightning, and other natural phenomena, have been recorded in the Bible for thousands of years. Mankind is just now learning the facts about many of these great truths. Where did the writers of the Bible get their information? How did they know these things centuries before man discovered them? The only explanation is that they received divine inspiration.
1. Creation. There are two great facts about our world and its creation that prove the divinity of the Word or God. First, consider the earth and its shape. God created the earth, and for many years man thought the earth was flat. In the days of: Christopher Columbus, navigators and men of great learning believed this to be true. People believed that it was not safe for a ship to venture far beyond the coast, for they could fall over the side of the earth. It was not until brave explorers began to seek new trade routes to the Far East that man really knew for sure that the earth was round. However, all the time the truth concerning the earth was recorded in the Word of God. “He . . . sitteth upon the circle of the earth” (Isaiah 40:22). This verse recognized that the earth is a round, spherical globe.
This does not surprise us because we now know that the earth is round, hut where did Isaiah get his information’? The only logical answer is that he was inspired to write as the voice of the Creator spoke to him. The words of Isaiah reveal that these facts of creation, discovered by man at a later time are indeed the living Words of the Creator.
Second, consider the question of how many stars arc in our universe. Around 200 b.c. Hipparchus, the father of Greek astronomy, counted a total of 1,080 stars. This account still was believed to be accurate 300 years later. Not until Galileo’s invention of the telescope in 1608 did anyone suspect how tar short his count really was. Now man has witnessed countless millions of stars scattered throughout space.
Many science textbooks are cautious about stating the number of stars. Astronomers say there are over 100 billion in our galaxy alone! Man cannot possibly get an accurate count because the number is so far beyond comprehension. Some have even stated that the number of stars could he compared to grains of sand on all the beaches of the entire world.
It was not until the twentieth century that man reached his conclusion regarding the number of stars in the universe. However, the Word of God stated many centuries ago what we now know to be true. “As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured” (Jeremiah 33:22). It was impossible for Jeremiah to have known the: findings of this scientific age, but the author of the Bible, God, knows all things.
Creation itself’ proves that the Word of God is true, accurate, and inspired of God.
2. Flood. One of the greatest arguments used by Bible critics until recent years was the account of the great flood recorded in the Scriptures. They referred to the biblical account of a global flood as a myth or legend and refused to accept such a possibility as fact. However, critics now are faced with evidence of this global event from sources outside of the Bible. The account of the flood in Genesis is not the only written record of this catastrophe.
Historians have uncovered the records or flood traditions similar to the biblical account in the history of every known civilization of the world. They have found that records or this story and its effect upon the known world have been handed down from generation to generation. Whether we go to ancient Babylon, China, Greenland, Mexico, Egypt, or America, everywhere some trace of a flood is found and the memory of a terrible event that destroyed mankind and left few survivors.
These historical records have been modified and influenced by the customs of the people among whom they have been found. Yet, when we remove the modifications, each essential fact of the great flood is evident. All flood traditions describe a universal destruction of the human race by water. In all the traditions, a boat is described as the means provided for escape. In almost all of the records, man’s evil was given as the cause of the flood.
If the great flood is a myth, how can we account for a similar story coming from civilizations and countries from all around the world? All accounts must stem from a common source: that source is the Bible and its record in the Book of Genesis.
Another astounding fact is the recent discovery of enormous mounds of skeletal animal remains. I he surprising fact is that most of the finds include many different types of animal species jammed together in an isolated area, as though some great catastrophic event had taken place.
Such discoveries have been made in every continent of the world-England, France, Spain, Germany, Russia, and many areas of North America. It is also interesting to note that most of these finds are located on isolated hills of considerable height. These are places one would expect animals to gather seeking safety from an encroaching flood.
In Burgundy, France, there is a hill in the valley of Saar. The hill rises about 1.030 feet above the surrounding plain with steep embankments on all sides. The top of the hill is crowded with animal skeletons. The hones are fractured, thrown together in a disorderly fashion, and are not gnawed. Clumped together are skeletal remains of bears, wolves, horses, elephants, mammoths, and other animals.
A similar discovery was made at Agate Springs in Sioux County in northwestern Nebraska. The area covers about ten acres. This hone bed accidentally discovered in 1876 contains the hones of many kinds of animals. It is estimated that the hones of nine thousand complete animals arc buried on this one hill, (See The Flood, by Alfred M. Rehwinkel.)
3. Ancient Civilizations. In addition to traditions about a global flood among ancient civilizations, there are many other events that clearly demonstrate the truthfulness and accuracy of the Word of God. One of these events is the archaeological discovery of what appeared to be a firing kiln in which pottery or bricks might be baked or fired at high temperatures.
This structure was round like a beehive and resembled a modern firing kiln. However, when the inscription was deciphered denoting its purpose, the startling words were read: “Here is the place of burning where men who blasphemed the gods of the Chaldea died by fire.” Even though this particular site probably was not the actual place where the three Hebrew boys were delivered, it is significant that there was such a fiery furnace and that Daniel’s words were accurate. (See Dead Men Tell Tales, by Harry Rimmer, pages 325-327.)
Archaeologist Dieulafoy fell into a well or what appeared to be an ancient well. The well turned out to be a pit used as an open cage for wild animals. Upon the curb was inscribed the amazing inscription: “The place of execution where men who angered the king died, torn by wild animals.” This is most likely not the place where Daniel was cast in the lions’ den: however, it offers significant proof that such places did exist,
In the excavation of the palace of Shushan, an ancient record was uncovered giving a roster 01.484 men of high standing who died in a den of lions. The name of Daniel was not found among them.
Ancient civilizations reveal the accuracy of the Word of God and the truth that is revealed in its pages.
4. Dead Sea Scrolls. In 1947, two Bedouin shepherd boys made a significant discovery. This has proven to be one of the most valuable archaeological discoveries of all time. While searching for a stray goat in the hills west of the Dead Sea, they found a cave opening. Upon entering the cave they found eight clay jars. From one of these they took out three leather scrolls. They took them to an antiquities dealer in Bethlehem. The scrolls were declared to be worthless. Eventually, however, they came into the hands of church authorities skilled in the study of ancient writings and manuscripts. The findings were certainly thrilling and valuable to Christians since every hook of the Hebrew Bible is represented in what is now known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The discovery of these manuscripts add to the mounting evidence that the Bible is the infallible Word of God. We can trust its direction and accuracy in preparing souls for eternity.
D. A More Sure Word
“We have also a more sure word of prophecy: whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: hut holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (II Peter 1:19-21).
The Word of God is a sure and certain Word upon which we may fully rely and trust: the Word of God is true. One song writer wrote, “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.” When we build our lives on the Word of God we are assured of success.
“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” (Psalm 138:2),
The name of Jesus is so important to our salvation. We gladly wear the name of’ Jesus through water baptism. However, God has elevated His Word even above His name! How important the Word of God must be, for it gives us God’s plan for our lives!
III. GOD’S WORD-GOD’S PLAN
A. Reveals Man’s Sin
In Genesis chapter three we find the story of the fall of mankind into sin. The first sin of mankind was a sin of disobedience, and in reality all sin involves disobedience. God’s Word reveals God’s plan for every individual, and it is that person’s responsibility to learn what God requires and to obey,
When a person does not obey the Word of God, he commits sin.
The Greek word most often translated “sin” is the word hamartia, which Strong’s Concordance defines as “a sin (properly abstract): KJV-offence, sin (-ful).”
Thayer defines hamartia: “1) to be without a share in; to miss the mark; to err, he mistaken: to miss or wander from the path of uprightness and honor, to do or go wrong: to wander from the law of God, to violate God’s law, to sin: 2) that which is done wrong, sin, an offence, a violation of the divine law in thought or in act: 3) collectively the complex or aggregate of sins committed either by a single person or by many.”
B. Reveals God’s Judgments
Disobedience brings the judgment of God. As recorded in the Book of Genesis concerning Adam and Lye and their sin, God punished them by separating them from His presence. This is still the punishment for mankind. Sin always causes a person to he separated from the presence of God. Moreover, apart from salvation in Jesus Christ, the judgment for sin is eternal in its consequences.
The Scriptures reveal that every dispensation of mankind has ended with God’s judgment upon sin, and our day will be no different, This time of God’s grace also will end in judgment upon those who reject and disobey the Word of God, and they will be separated from His presence h. r eternity.
C. Reveals God’s
The greatest example of the love of God is discovered in exploring salvation in the Bible. In the first epistle of John are penned the words, “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us” (I John 3:16), When we fully understand the price of redemption and God’s great expression of love in the plan of redemption, how can we doubt His love?
God loved mankind so greatly that Ile established the church and purchased it with His own blood. What great love is revealed in the pages of the Word of God!
D. Reveals God’s Salvation
The greatest plan ever shared is the plan of salvation that is revealed to mankind in the
Word of God. It is so great an opportunity that it demands our response!
“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation: which at the first began to by the Lord and was confirmed unto us by them that beard him” Hebrews 2:3).
This man’s responsibility to know what the Word of God says with regard to salvation. A person cannot rely exclusively on the philosophies of man or the doctrines of churches: he must be sure about his salvation. In this day of great disillusion and distraction, only the true message of salvation, based on the Word of God, will stand the test of time. Every person should evaluate what he is trusting in for salvation. He should consider wherein lies his hope of heaven and eternal life. Is it based on the Word of God? II’ not, it is certainly destined to failure.
Throughout Scripture the plan of salvation has been revealed. In Moses’ day God revealed some of the earliest shadows of salvation through the Tabernacle and its accompanying sacrifices. Every sacrifice and every ritual looked forward to the coming of the Savior-Jesus Christ. Jesus came and made the supreme sacrifice for sin. Only by accepting and relying upon His sacrifice can a person know salvation from sin.
The message of salvation today is clear: repentance from sin, water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and receiving the wonderful gill of the Holy Ghost, the abiding presence of Jesus Christ within. There is no other plan.
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and he baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38).
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men whereby we must he saved” (Acts 4:12).
In the story of Samson at the temple of the Philistines there is an interesting conclusion to his life. Samson asked a lad that held him by the hand to lead him to the pillars that supported the structure (Judges 16:26). Then Samson located the “two middle pillars” that bore the weight of the place (Judges 16:27-29). It was these two primary pillars that Samson caused to fall, bringing the entire house down with all the people therein.
There are many pillars of the church that make the church a better place. Good music improves the operation of the church. Holiness standards glorify God with a wholesome example that all can follow. Offerings, strong leadership, emotional and demonstrative worship and praise, and a caring atmosphere of love and compassion all complement the church. All of these are ingredients that make up a good church; however, none of these are the most important pillars of the church.
We could discuss at length what would he the two primary pillars of the church. One of the main pillars is the Word of God. Only when a person builds his life on the Word of God can he succeed. The other pillar would surely he the presence or Spirit of God. The balance and continuity of the Word of God and the Spirit of God in the church determine the rise and fall of the church.
All of the other pillars of the church are good and necessary, but they are products of the two main pillars. The preaching and teaching of the Bible in an atmosphere of the presence of God produce good worship, giving, caring involvement, leadership, and productivity in the church.
* Can God’s Word change? Why not? Discuss.
* How can God’s Word he a compilation of many writers hut have only one author? Discuss.
* Discuss how science validates the Word of God.
* How does God’s Word reveal man’s sin? Discuss the way that man’s relationship with God can be restored.
* How important is the Word of God to the church today? Discuss.
The above article, “The Bible — God’s Inspired Word” was written by Tim Rimmer. The article was excerpted from www.godshandywork.org.
The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.