The Word of God

Lesson 1

 

The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God,

given by divine inspiration through holy men of God who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. In this Word, God has committed to man the knowledge necessary for salvation. The Holy Scriptures are the infallible revelation of His will. They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the authoritative revealer of doctrines, and the trustworthy record of God’s acts in history. – Fundamental Belief 1.

 

v No other book has ever been as loved, hated, respected and criticized as the Bible.

v People of every believe turned and searched it pages to justify their deeds

v The distinctive position of the Bible comes from its origin and content.

v It is God’s revelation of His unique Son, Jesus Christ, both man and God – saviour of the whole world.

 

v Godly Revelation

Ø General Revelation

§  Insights we find in history, human behaviour, conscience and in nature we call “general revelation”.

§  Ps. 19:1 – Sunshine, rain, mountains and rivers al tell of a loving and caring Creator.

§  Other demonstrates of a caring God is the happy relationships and rare love found among friends, family, husband and wife and parents and their children.

§  Isa. 66:13, Ps. 103:13

Ø Special Revelation

§  Sin restricts God to reveal Himself fully through His creation.

§  Throughout both Old and New Testament He presented and proved himself so to leave no uncertainty about His loving character.

§  First God revealed Himself through His prophets; then followed His most perfect revelation through the life of Jesus Christ (Heb. 1:1, 2)

§  Through the Scripture, God can break through our mental, emotional and spiritual barriers, showing us how excited He is to save us.

 

v The Focus of the Scriptures

Ø Jesus Christ is the focus of the Scriptures.

Ø The Old Testament calls Jesus the Messiah, the Saviour of the world.

Ø The New Testament reveals Jesus Chris as the Saviour.

Ø Jesus’ death on the cross became God’s greatest revelation on His nature.

Ø Finally the story of Christ who died on Golgotha will end in the destruction of unrighteousness.

Ø Man and God will be reunited.

 

v Authorship of the Scriptures

Ø Authors referred to the Holy Spirit as the One who spoke through the prophets to the people of God.

Ø David: “The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and His word was on my tongue...”

Ø Ezekiel: “The Spirit entered me...”

Ø Mica: “I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord”.

Ø The New Testament recognized the role the Holy Spirit played in the Old Testament, bringing it also to existence.

Ø Authors of the New Testament also recognized the Holy Spirit as being their inspiration.

Ø Paul: “Now the Spirit speaks expressly…” 1Tim. 4:1

Ø Johannes: “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day...” Rev. 1:10

Ø Through this way God revealed himself through the Person of the Holy Spirit in the Holy Scriptures.

Ø Over 1500 years God used approximate 40 pairs of hands to write the Bible.

 

v Inspiration of the Scriptures

Ø “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” 2Tim 3:16,17

Ø The Process of Inspiration

§   “holy men of God” who were “moved by the Holy Spirit” 2 Pet. 1:21

§  God inspired people – did not provide the words

§  In some instances – as with the Ten Commandments – God dictated to the writers

§  Each author used their own writing patterns and styles.

§  Paul: “the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets”. 1 Cor. 14:32

§  Genuine inspiration does not obliterate the prophet’s individuality, reason, integrity or personality.

§  It is because God communicates in this way that vocabulary of the different books of the Bible varied and reflects the education and culture of the writers.

§  The writers of the Bible were God’s penmen, not His pen.[1]

§  The Bible is divine truth expressed in human language.

Ø Inspiration and the Writers

§  Those who had a part in writing the Bible were not chosen because of natural talents.

§  Nor did divine revelation necessarily convert the person or assure him of eternal life.

§  Balaam were under divine inspiration. Num.23,24; Num. 31:8-16; Deut. 23:4

§  Sometimes biblical writers wrote without fully understanding the divine message they communicated. 1Pet. 1:10-12

Ø The Method and Content of Revelation

§  Frequently, the Holy Spirit communicated divine knowledge by means of visions and dreams. Num. 12:6

§  Sometimes He spoke audibly or to the inner senses. 1Sam. 9:15

§  Zachariah received symbolic representations with explanations Zech. 4

§  Johan and Paul received oral instructions. 2 Cor. 12:1-4; Rev. 4, 5

Ø Inspiration and History

§  Whether the information came from personal observation, oral or written sources, or direct revelation, it all came to the writer through the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

§  The bible reveals God’s plan in His dynamic interaction with the human race, not in a collection of abstract doctrines.

§  His self-revelation stands rooted in real events.

§  These historical incidents are “types” or “examples” “written for our admonition, on which the ends of the ages have come. 1Cor. 10:11” ; Rom. 15:4

§  The biographies of biblical personalities provide another evidence of divine inspiration.

§  They faithfully depict their sins, as well as successes.

§  Noah’s lack of self-control or Abraham’s deception etc.

Ø The Accuracy of the Scriptures

§  Evidence from biblical archaeology reveals that many alleged errors were really misunderstandings on the part of scholars.

§  Perceived discrepancies, then, should not erode confidence in the Scriptures; they often are products of our inaccurate perceptions rather than actual mistakes.

 

v The Authority of the Scriptures

Ø The Claims of the Scriptures

§  At times the human agent God is using recedes into the background.

§  Matthew alludes to the authority behind the Old Testament prophet he quotes with the words, “All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet” Matt. 1:22.

Ø Jesus and the Authority of Scripture

§  “It is written” Matt. 4:4, 7, 10; Luke 20:17

§  Without reservation Christ accepted the Holy Scriptures as the authoritative revelation of God’s will for the human race.

Ø The Holy Spirit and the Authority of Scripture

§  Without the Holy Spirit’s illumination of our minds we could never correctly understand the Bible or even acknowledge it as God’s authoritative will. 1Cor. 2:11

§  The Holy Scriptures and the Holy Spirit can NEVER be separated.

§  The Holy Spirit is both the author and the revealer of biblical truth.

§  All human wisdom must be subject to the authority of Scriptures.

§  The Bible truths are the norm by which all other ideas must be tested.

 

v The Unity of the Scriptures

Ø Superficial reading of the Scriptures will yield superficial understand.

Ø The two Testaments are one, as God is one.

Ø The Old Testament, through prophecies and symbols, reveals the gospel of the Saviour to come

Ø The New Testament , through the life of Jesus, reveals the Saviour who came – the Gospel in Reality

 

God graciously calls us to become acquainted with Him in searching His Word. In it we can find the rich blessings of the assurance of our salvation. We can discover ourselves that the Scriptures are “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Through them we “may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16, 17)

 

 NOTES:


 

[1] Ellen G. White, Selected Messages (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald, 1958), book 1, p. 21.