Do you struggle with the fact that the book we call the Bible was penned by men, and yet we call it “God’s Holy Word,” and “inerrant”? Do you wonder how they knew just what to write, and how to say it? What if they made a mistake? Can we depend on it to lead us in the right way?
I had a discussion recently with someone who verbalized those questions. It so happened that shortly after I read a scripture (for the 20 millionth time!) that provided the answer in black and white. In John 14:26, Jesus Himself said, “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (italics mine). Just as the Holy Spirit is the one who in so timely a manner reminded me of this scripture, I also believe He whispered in the ears of the authors He chose to record God’s words, and they wrote it down.
Christianity begins and ends with faith. The very same Holy Spirit that inspired the words of the Bible “came upon and overshadowed” the virgin Mary, and Jesus was conceived – fully God and fully man (Luke 1:35). Jesus’ gift of salvation is by faith in Him (Ephesians 2:8). The first Christians received the gift of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). We apply this same faith when we receive and believe the words of 2 Timothy 3: 16-17, which tell us that “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do”. We believe by faith, and “without faith, it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6).
I recently read yet another story of a scroll that was two thousand years old that was examined and the words deciphered and translated. It should come as no surprise that it was virtually word for word what we have to read today.
God is Truth, and Jesus promised the Spirit would “guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). One of the things that means to me is we can trust what He has allowed us to have as His word. There have been many through the ages who have tried to destroy it. Christians are still murdered because they continue to testify to its truth. But it can’t be stamped out. Jesus said the gates of hell would not prevail against His church, and His word endures forever. By faith, we believe and live by this.