The Wonderful Works of God: Inspiration

The Sufficiency of Divine Inspiration

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2Ti 3:16-17).[1]

As we further consider the wonder of divine inspiration, it’s abundantly clear that the complete revelation of God’s Word compiled for us in the Holy Bible is not only inerrant and authoritative but totally sufficient and adequate for the entire life of the Christian. When deity communicates, He does so perfectly as the Triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit; co-equal, co-eternal and uncreated. God is complete in Himself, and therefore everything He puts His hand to is accomplished in perfection.

The opening verse of Scripture sets forth this truth in the use of the divine title “Elohim,” carrying both a plural noun and singular verb, allowing us to understand that in the creation of the universe there was a plurality of divine persons, utterly singular in their action. In Genesis 1:26, God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (italics mine). Because God is a Trinity, attributes such as love, wisdom, unity, harmony, etc. existed eternally within the Godhead. Take the false gods of any human religion and you will note that what they have in common is that they remain alone. Such a god is therefore utterly insufficient to know anything about the eternal existence of love or, less, be able to provide a complete salvation for mankind. I’m thankful that in relation to our salvation God did not take an innocent third party to be judged for our sin, as a false god would have had to do. No! Speaking reverently, God stepped forth, rolled up His own sleeve and, with omnipotent arm and at infinite cost, took the responsibility for our sin Himself. Only of the triune God could it be recorded, “Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God” (Heb 9:14). Such infinite perfection is conveyed sufficiently to us throughout the Bible.

The Singularity of Divine Inspiration

People of every age have desired something more than the simplicity and sufficiency of God’s Word. With the Bible in hand, we turn back to the Garden of Eden and note the serpent tempting Eve to doubt the Word of God. In Luke 16, the rich man in hell felt that if there could be some external “proof” it would cause his brothers to believe. The answer came clear and plain: “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them” (v29). Yes, in every time period the enemy has sown doubt regarding simple and uncomplicated reliance upon what God has revealed.

We shouldn’t be surprised that our Lord faced Pharisees attempting the same thing, placing the word of mere men as being equal to Scripture. I too came from a system where religious manmade traditions were set up to be unhesitatingly obeyed and were preached with such authority that one would think they had been commanded by God Himself. Beloved saints, we must be warned not to fall into the same trap. Let us be exceedingly careful never to be found guilty of elevating man’s traditions and placing them alongside Scripture. Do we believe that God’s Word is sufficient in itself to govern every area of our personal and assembly life, or do we attempt to introduce extra mandates, insisting the Christians “need” to practice them in order to really please the Lord? Listen to the stinging rebuke for the Pharisees (which, incidentally, Christ quoted from Scripture): “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Mat 15:7-9). The answer for us? “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom” (Col 3:16).

The Silence of Divine Inspiration

Once the final book of the Bible was written (Revelation), the pen of the prophet was laid down and God became silent as to further revelation. All that was left was for the books of divine inspiration to be ordered into one volume, bound and complete as the Holy Bible. Towards the end of the fourth century AD this had been accomplished. Yes, the same God who named and organised the trillions of stars in space was able to set 66 books into one perfect work. With the completed canon in our hands, we need not any external evidence for verification when it comes to accepting God’s Word. While science or archaeological excavations that highlight what’s written in the Bible may be thrilling, we must be clear: they are not needed to corroborate God’s Word; otherwise, simple faith becomes insufficient. Whether it be Paul’s unknown letters, the epistle of Barnabas, any books from the Apocrypha, or a DVD containing video evidence of chariot wheels found in the Red Sea, we reject any supplement as necessary for us to be able to trust what has already been revealed. When the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, they included fragments from every book of the Old Testament except for the book of Esther. When they were compared to the Christian Bible, what immediately became apparent was that these ancient copies of Scripture simply confirmed what we already knew: the Bible is the infallible, inerrant and inspired Word of the living God.

“Sola Scriptura!” stated the reformers when challenged as to the sufficiency of the Christian Bible. The Bible is the answer to atheism, polytheism, pantheism, agnosticism, heathenism, humanism, evolution and religion, and God has it preserved as a testimony to His divine perfection. History is littered with people that have attempted to discredit and destroy the Word of the Lord; they have gone, but the Bible remains. The Lord Himself declared that it will remain even when heaven and earth shall pass away.

The Word of God uses various similes to describe itself. It is like a hammer with its ability to break the rock in pieces and a fire that burns truth into our souls (Jer 23:29; Luk 24:32). It is a lamp for my footsteps and a light for my future (Psa 119:105), a mirror that reveals (Jas 1:22-25) and a seed that multiplies (1Pe 1:23). It is food that sustains (Mat 4:4; 1Pe 2:2) and water that washes (Eph 5:26). The Word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, able to penetrate to the very depths of our being, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb 4:12). In relation to divine inspiration, one has well said that through the spoken Word there came creation, the living Word incarnation, and the written Word revelation. Let us praise God for His wonderful works!

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