With the two articles which follow, we continue to consider the person and work of the Spirit of God. Here we shall look at His role in the inspiration of Scripture.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1). These opening words of our Bible should make every reader ask, “How did the writer know this truth, since no man observed the creation of the heavens and the earth?” These events preceded any man’s existence, yet the words are factual, without fanciful exaggeration, and convey certainty that this was how creation occurred. Moses penned the words, but he never observed the events. Who told him?
In the same manner, we have prophetic books that tell of future events that have or will take place far beyond the experience of the men who wrote them. How did they know what would happen in the future? Who gave this knowledge to men so they might write it in this holy Book?
It is clear that God has stamped Divine authorship upon His Word. Perhaps this partially explains why a majority of men reject and question Divine Creation, since if creation occurred as God has recorded it, then it also indicates Divine Authorship of the entire volume. It also anticipates the fulfillment of every portion of this book which is the Word of God.
Divine inspiration is emphasized by
1. Recorded Events Man Never Saw Naturally
We read of events that took place within the confines of Heaven it self, at the throne of God Himself and preceding or exceeding Time. We refer to Divine deliberations in I Kings 22:19-22 regarding the destruction of Ahab, to recorded expressions of the majestic presence of God and heavenly events in Psalms (Psalm 2:1-4, 6-7), to Hebrews 10:5 regarding the incarnation of Christ and to the visions that were seen by Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and John concerning the presence of God. We read these recorded scenes and realize that unless they were due to the imaginations of men (which we do not believe they were), then they have been disclosed by God Himself to the hearts of men. God inspired them to write these records.
2. The Unity of the Entire Bible
Consideration of the number of human writers and the years over which they wrote should cause anyone to ponder how a book could be written that displays such unity as does the Bible. There is no other corresponding book that can display such unity, though many men have tried to find and point to alleged discrepancies in it. A. T. Pierson pointed out that the unity of the Scriptures is a unity that is a 1. Structural Unity: displays one great plan with one basic scheme. For example, both Testaments follow three parts in order: historical, experimental and devotional, and prophetical; 2. Historical Unity: clear unfolding of events having to do with the kingdom of God in its various aspects; 3. Dispensational Unity: Uniformity of dispensational features that distinguish every period of God’s dealings; 4. Prophetical Unity: all prophecy centering on the two great advents of Christ and truth relating to the kingdom and the King; 5.Personal Unity: centers on Christ Himself; 6. Symbolical Unity: uniform and corresponding use of symbols throughout Scripture; 7. Doctrinal Unity: teaches a unity of truth throughout; 8. Scientific Unity: no direct teaching of scientific truth found, yet no scientific fact is ever misstated, and the terms used contain the essence of all scientific truth to be unfolded; 9. Organic Unity: all parts are essential to the whole, all necessary to complement one another, and all are pervaded by one life-principle.
The unity of the Bible attests to Divine Inspiration, setting it apart from every book ever written.
3. Prophetic Passages of Scripture
The Bible is a book of prophecy Space does not allow consideration of prophecy in detail, but fulfilled prophecy is a very strong evidence for inspiration. Many of these prophecies can be verified to have been fulfilled so exactly that they defy any possibility of “chance fulfillment.” This is true, even though they were written many hundreds of years prior to the event predicted. Many of these have to do with the Coming and Suffering of Christ as well as His future glory and reign. We learn the history of Israel and events concerning other nations, including the most interesting prophecy in Ezekiel 26 concerning the wealthy city of Tyrus. Many others could be mentioned, but these establish our confidence to Divine Authorship of Scripture.
Space does not allow consideration of other evidences of Inspiration such as the oft repeated “thus saith the Lord,” an expression that can mean nothing less than what it says, the internal declarations of Scripture by a Divine Author, and the Perfection in Scripture as well as its Powerful and Practical effect when it is received. These proofs establish that the Bible is “God breathed” (2 Timothy 3:16).
Who is the Producer of the Scriptures?
Having established Divine Inspiration, how do we know Who wrote the Scriptures? Trusting the Bible to speak for itself, we come to the conclusion that it is the Holy Spirit Who has given us God’s Word. Notice that “inspiration of God” in 2 Tim. 3:16 is literally “God breathed.” This word is not found elsewhere in Scripture, and while the composition of the word cannot conclusively prove the Holy Spirit’s work in Scripture, the word used for “spirit” is close to the word used for “breathed” in this expression. We might reverently say that when “God breathes in the Scriptures,” it is the Spirit of God expressing the mind of God to men.
In addition, 2 Peter 1:20-21 tells us that the holy men of God who wrote the Scriptures were “moved by the Holy Spirit.” That is, they were being borne along, carried, driven even as the ship in Acts 27:15,17. They were the instruments used and their own personality may be seen. In back of the work and words, however, is the Holy Spirit who inspired and produced the Scriptures.
1 Cor 2:10-13 teaches that the Holy Spirit is the Person who searches diligently into the deep things of God, things unknown to the mind of man by any natural means, so that He might reveal them unto the apostles to make them known to man, then to be taught to us by spiritual means. He must do this work, otherwise the precious truths that God wants to reveal to His own would
be hidden from their eyes. These to whom He has revealed them are the ones who gave us the New Testament Scriptures that we appreciate as the Word of God.
Other passages also teach that the Holy Spirit is the revealer of Divine truth (Heb 3:7, 9:8, 1 Tim 4:1).
Implication of Spirit-given Scriptures
Since the Spirit has given us the Scriptures, what He has given is consistent with any other utterance claimed to come from God. He would not give any “Spirit-originated” word that contradicts His Word. This is important when we hear some who claim to speak by the Spirit today, but what they say is not according to the Word of God. Even more, they even state that they are not concerned with God’s Word. It does not trouble them that they are saying and teaching things (claimed to be by Spirit-given utterance, even prophecy) that are not consistent with the teaching of God’s Word. This is impossible and it is inconsistent with the character of the Spirit who has given us the Word of God. We must reject these utterances as spurious.
In addition, if we appreciate the fact that the Spirit has given us the Word of God, we must give this blessed Book a place above all others. It is no mere word of men. It must be received as it truly is, the Word of God (1 Thess 2:13). We must yield to and put its truths into practice and direct our lives by its principles. No word of man or principle of living can be received when it contradicts the truth of the Word that has been given by the Holy Spirit. We cannot truly believe in Divine Inspiration by the Spirit of God if we do not live consistent with the reality of its truths.
The Spirit-inspired Book has Power in it, and this power is one of the clearest indications that the Spirit of God has given us the Bible. No other book has shown such power to affect lives, transforming sinners into saints, making derelicts into righteous citizens of heaven as well as earth. The evidence of that spiritual power reinforces our confidence in the reality and effectiveness of this blessed tome that we have received from the Spirit’s hands through instruments whom He chose.
May God give help to each one of us to appreciate and treasure this blessed Book more and more!