The Bible (All Inspired and All Sufficient)
‘A Minute with the Minister’
By Jeremy Thornton
“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.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) It is my intention over the course of the next few weeks to examine the wonderful library of information we have known as the Holy Bible. I intend to write several articles dealing with the different sections of the Bible with the intended desire that we learn more about this wonderful book and also to encourage each of us to study from it daily. As we begin this examination of God’s Word, let’s first look at the book as a whole.
The Bible is here, but how did it get here?
The bible consists of 66 books (39 Old Testament and 27 New Testament) which were written over a period of about 1,600 years, by 40 different writers, many of whom were unknown to each other, and in three different languages (mostly Hebrew and about 268 verse in Aramaic in the Old Testament, and Greek in the New Testament). Although there are many differences in the writers and the languages used there is an overwhelming unity throughout the entire Bible. The patriarchs, Moses, and the prophets in the Old Testament speak of Christ and His coming to earth for the purpose of redeeming mankind, and the New Testament proclaims Christ is here and has offered Himself for our redemption (the Gospel accounts), and that He will judge mankind in the Last Day, therefore we should follow His example (the Epistles and Revelation). All of these reasons should magnify the fact that the Bible is not from the mind of mortal man but is a product of a Holy and Divine God.
The Bible is the actual Words of God.
God’s love for those that were made in His image (Gen. 1:26) can be seen in the giving of His Word. God did not create mankind in His likeness and then leave us on this creation to live aimlessly, wondering how we are to please Him, wondering what it is He wants us to do, but on the contrary, He has given us everything we need to know in order to please Him. God has gone to great lengths to make sure we have His Word in written form. He has given 39 books in the Old Testament (which are given to us for our learning; Rom. 15:4).
He has given us 27 books in the New Testament (which our given to us for instruction in righteousness; 2 Tim.
3:16-17). The Word of God has survived the test of time, surviving captivity of the Jewish people in the Old Testament, it survived the scattering of Christians during the first century, it is surviving today, and will last forever (John 12:48).
The Word of God is the exact Words of God (2 Sam. 23:2; 2 Peter 1:20-22; 2 Tim. 3:1617). The books of the prophets are filled with the phrase “the word of the Lord” or a similar phrase proclaiming that the words they spoke to the people were not from man’s mind but from God’s mouth. The Word of God is perfect (1 Cor. 13:10), it is powerful (Heb. 4:12), and it is able (2 Tim. 3:15; Matt. 13:!5; Acts 20:32; Psa. 119:11), but also the Word of God will never fail (Matt. 24:35; 1 Peter 1:23-25).
The Bible has been given to us so that we may know what we must do to be with God for eternity. God gave His Word so that it may be studied (2 Tim.
2:15). God commands that we be good stewards of the things He has given us (1 Peter 4:10; 1 Cor. 3:10) which includes being a good steward of His Word.
There is a growing number of people that fail to study the Word of God privately, but there is also a decreasing number of people that fail to come to the study of God’s Word in public assembly. God’s Word has been given for our benefit, but it must be studied in order for it to benefit us. God’s Word has been given so we may lay hold onto eternal life. His Word teaches us about the Savior that has died for our sins, how we can have our sins washed away in baptism, and be added to His body, and how this Savior will also be the Judge of all mankind in the end.
Because God has given His Word, and a Savior, He expects us to study to “show ourselves approved unto God” (2 Tim. 3:16). The Bible, and the Bible alone, is all man needs today in order to be saved. Man’s creeds, confessionals, or additions to the Word of God are not only not needed but are also condemned in Scripture (2 Tim. 4:2ff.) While in preaching school, I had an instructor that was in the Navy when he was younger. During the time of his training in the Navy, his wife would send him letters nearly every day. He told us that when he received these letters, he quickly tossed them to the side, and thought he might glance at them later if he had the time. He then, quickly, told us that was not the case, but he would rip open the letter and hang onto every word, and would read it and reread it many times.
He said the reason he did this was because he loved the one that sent the letters to him. Why do we fail to study the Word of God as often as we should? Maybe because we do not love the One that sent the letter to us.
Jeremy Thornton is minister of Highway 77 Church of Christ in Marion.