The Holy Spirit in Inspiration

All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2Ti 3:16).[1]

Inspiration in the biblical sense literally means “breathed into by God.” That is, God supernaturally impressed His words into the minds and hearts of the men He used to record the Scriptures. Paul stresses this in 1 Corinthians 2:13 in the context of apostolic inspiration: “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth.” Thus, we understand that every word in the original document was God-breathed. The remarkable thing is that even though God is the Author of His every word, the personality and style of the various writers are not obliterated or squashed. On the contrary, the wonderful variety of literary style in the Scriptures adds color and beauty to our wonderful Bible.

Peter states that “holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (2Pe 1:21). He is referring to the Old Testament writers, who were not the originating authors of the content which they wrote but rather were penmen under the direction of the Holy Spirit. They simply recorded God’s mind on things as they were “moved” or carried along by the Holy Spirit. It was not their own “private interpretation” of things, but it was God’s mind that was given and permanently written down. Moses was commanded to write what he had received from God in a book, and “Moses wrote all the words of the LORD” (Exo 24:4).

The Eternal God, by His Spirit, has authored the Scriptures of truth, and as enduring and eternal as God is, so too is His Word. The synoptic Gospels all record these words of the Lord Jesus: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Mat 24:35; Mar 13:31; Luk 21:33).

Since the Holy Spirit is the divine Author, the Scriptures He has given us are holy and perfectly in keeping with the holiness of God. Further, the effect on the reader of holy Scripture will be a progression toward holiness. How sad it is at the present time that the reading of the Bible is often neglected; its sanctifying effect is lost and spiritual poverty is the result.

The Scriptures are really a self-disclosure of God to men, and the Lord Jesus is the ultimate expression of this (Heb 1:1-2). He personified inspiration, for the Father “giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him” (Joh 3:34). In John 6:63, He said, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” Carried further, all the words of the original text are living words coming from the life-giving Spirit. The Scriptures have the power to engender spiritual life in the soul. “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1Pe 1:23).

Let us always treasure “the gift of God without measure” and make the inspired Word of God “the man of our council” in all things.

[1] All Scripture quotations in this article are from the KJV.