An Infallible Word
The Infallibility and Sufficiency of Scripture
Psalm 19:7-11 – 7 The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether. NASB
We are all very familiar with the first question of the Westminster Catechism, we quote it here at HCF regularly. It asks, “What is the chief end of man?” ….to which we all reply… “the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever!” For what purpose was mankind created? …to glorify and enjoy God! This is a wonderful teaching and we will do good to keep it always before our eyes, ….but can anyone recall the second question?…… Here is what it asks, “What rule has God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him?” …..answer, “the word of God which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him”…….
These two questions are fundamental to life as a human being. The fact of the matter is, we were created by God, it is He who sustains our very lives by His Providence, and we are obligated to Him, ….to love Him, to walk in all His ways, to fear Him and to worship Him, and to obey the Gospel of His Son Jesus the Christ, whom He sent to die for the sins of all who trust in Him. If we glorify God and enjoy Him for who He is, we will be most blessed and happy and fulfilled creatures who will see the Light of Life and live forever in Heaven with God. This blessing, God promises again and again in the Bible. Contrary to this, if we fail at this basic life obligation, we will be miserable creatures worthy of pity and shame, and the end of our life’s journey will be death and destruction. And of the misery, God warns again and again in the Bible.
Therefore if the truth is in fact that “the word of God which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy Him”……. then we ought to be sure we have a very high view of this Bible, which is the Word of God. Further we had better be quick to do what is written therein, lest we be found to be rebels against the God who sustains our very lives.
So this morning I would like for us to consider the answer to this second question and to ask and answer the question, is the Bible sufficient to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy God? This we will do by breaking the answer into two parts….
PART 1 – “the word of God which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments,
Notice here it is “the Word of God” ……now consider what these words mean….. “the Word of God”, and that is exactly what the Bible is, “the Word of God”
The Bible is the Word of God.
· The Bible certainly claims to be the Word of God.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 -13 And for this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received from us the word of God
· Frequently the Bible records the very words of God Himself.
Exodus 5:1 – 5:1 And afterward Moses and Aaron came and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the LORD, the God of
1 Samuel 15:2-3 – 2 Thus says the LORD of hosts,
2 Samuel 7:4-6 – 4 But it came about in the same night that the word of the LORD came to Nathan, saying, 5 “Go and say to My servant David,
· Both the Old and New Testaments make claims to be the very Word of God. Writers in scripture frequently refer to Scripture as God’s very words.
Matthew 1:22-23 – 22 Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which translated means, “God with us.”NASB
Matthew 4:4 – 4 But He answered and said, “It is written,
Acts 1:16,20 – 16 “Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 20 “For it is written in the book of Psalms, ‘Let his homestead be made desolate, And let no man dwell in it’; and, ‘His office let another man take.’ NASB
Hebrews 4:12 – 12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. NASB
· The Bible has a majestic and profound wisdom in it that could never be invented by men. God is continually brought into Scripture speaking with such high and holy expressions of His exalted state and majesty that is not found in any other human writings.
Isaiah 57:15 -15 For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite. NASB
Isaiah 40:21-26 – 21 Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? 22 It is He who sits above the vault of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. 23 He it is who reduces rulers to nothing, Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless. 24 Scarcely have they been planted, Scarcely have they been sown, Scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth, But He merely blows on them, and they wither, And the storm carries them away like stubble. 25 “To whom then will you liken Me That I should be his equal?” says the Holy One. 26 Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power Not one of them is missing. NASB
Where in all the writings of men have been found such expressions of heavenly majesty?
· The Bible has power to transform peoples lives and speak to their deepest needs, desires, emotional distresses, and guilty consciences with conviction and healing. It pronounces promises and blessings from God which have authority to assure us of divine favor like no other writings in all the world.
Psalm 103:11-14 – 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. 14 For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. NASB
· Consider, the way in which the Bible speaks with such majesty as that which none but God can speak. It requires of us duties which none but God can require, it condemns us of sins which none but God can prohibit, threatenings of punishments are therein proclaimed which none but God can inflict, and promises are therein made which none but God can fulfill, and all of this is said in such a powerful way that makes it painfully obvious to us that its author is none other than God Himself! Who but God can utter such things?
Matthew 16:24-27 – 24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 “For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it. 26 “For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and will then recompense every man according to his deeds. NASB
· Every truly born-again Christian has an inner witness of the Holy Spirit to understand the Bible to be the very Word of God. Grudem – “Our ultimate conviction that the words of the Bible are God’s words comes only when the Holy Spirit speaks in and through the words of the Bible to our hearts and gives us the inner assurance that these are the words of our creator speaking to us.” End-quote
Of course this is because the Bible is God’s very words. This inner assurance can only come about for a truly born again Christian who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 2:14) The natural man cannot and does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God.
1 John 2:20,27 – 20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know…….. 27 And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. NASB
The Bible is inspired by God, (God breathed), not only in the general sense, but in every word.
It is not the invention of men, it is the very words of God which have been breathed out by His Spirit through the agency of human writers.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 – 16 All Scripture is inspired [God-breathed-theopnuestos] by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. NASB
2 Peter 1:20-21 – 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one
The Bible is inspired in two ways, both verbally, and plenary. Verbal and plenary are terms used to define what we mean by inspiration. Verbal means that every word in the original language is inspired by God. Plenary means that the totality of scripture is inspired including its concepts, numbers, names, and every part of the scripture.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 – 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. NASB
Here we see an example of the New Testament’s claim that all the words of the Old Testament scriptures are God’s words. When referring to “Scripture”, the writer refers to the “entire Old Testament.” The word for “scriptures” used here – “graphe” is used in 50 other places in the NT and always refer to the Old Testament scriptures. The greek for the word inspired is “theopneustos” – “breathed out by God.” We understand then the Old Testament to be considered by the apostles as God’s Word. Further, the NT makes reference to itself as the words of Scripture.
2 Peter 3:14-16 – 14 Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15 and regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. NASB
Here Peter refers to the writings of Paul as the “scriptures.” gk – “graphas” Another example would be where Paul refers to the words of Luke 10:7 and calls them “the Scripture”;
1 Timothy 5:18 – 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing,” and “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” NASB
The scripture then, is inspired by God, in every word. It follows then that all the concepts, numbers, names, and every part of the Scriptures are inspired by God.
The Bible is a Special Revelation from God and of God Himself.
This is to say that the Scripture in its entirety is the revelation of God to man about what is true.
There are mysteries about God in the Bible that the most intelligent men could never contrive, much less the unlearned fisherman by whom these things were revealed. Consider that in the Bible is revealed the Holy Trinity of Persons in the Godhead, the incarnation of the Son of God becoming a man, the mystical union of Christ with His church, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ which is the only way fallen mankind can be reconciled to God. These and many others are evidence that these were taught by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The Bible also includes true information about our existence and destinies which we could have never known by any other means, except by special revelation from God.
Deuteronomy 29:29 – 29 “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law. NASB
It obviously follows then that God has revealed specific information to us that He intends for us to hear, know and understand. This information called the Scripture then is therefore authoritative, coming from God and being the standard of truth, by which our lives must be measured and governed.
The Bible is without error and infallible as originally given.
Grudem – Inerrancy – Scripture in its original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact. The Bible always tells the truth and that it always tells the truth concerning everything it talks about.
It has been clearly pointed out thus far that the Bible is the Word of God. It should be noted at this point that, being the very words of God, this implies several things about the nature of Scripture.
God cannot lie or speak falsely – (2 Sam 7:28, Tit 1:2)
Numbers 23:19 – 19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? NASB
God’s words are the ultimate standard of truth, the very words are truth itself.
Psalms 12:6 – 6 The words of the LORD are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times. NASB
John 17:17 – 17 “Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth. NASB
The words of scripture are completely true and without error
Psalms 119:160 – 60 The sum of Thy word is truth, And every one of Thy righteous ordinances is everlasting. NASB
Therefore, when we speak of inerrancy and infallibility, we speak of the truthfulness of Scripture.
Grudem – “No new fact will ever be discovered that will contradict the Bible. This will never happen, it is in fact impossible. If any supposed fact is ever discovered that is said to contradict the Scripture, then that fact must be false, because God, the author of scripture knows all true facts (past, present, future). No fact will turn up that God did not know about ages ago and take into account when He caused scripture to be written.”
Therefore because the Scriptures are the very Words of God, and they are all-sufficient, infallible and without error, we seek to always have a high view of scripture. This would mean that we always try to exalt the Scriptures by speaking very highly of them and applying them to our daily lives with all reverence and submission. We are also very careful to represent what Scripture teaches accurately and not mishandle the Word of God by misinterpreting it or using it in a way as to undermine its true message or misconstrue its message in a way inconsistent with what it teaches. We are careful not to take the Scripture out of its context and use it as a pretext to say something that God has not intended it to say. More than this, God will hold us accountable for obedience to His clearly revealed Word and has warned us with the utmost severity of the consequences of disobedience. The Word of God itself is our Judge!
John 12:46-48 – 46 “I have come as light into the world, that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness. 47 “And if anyone hears My sayings, and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 “He who rejects Me, and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day. NASB
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