Grateful for the Word of God

By Ben Lovvorn

Over the last few years, we have heard much about fake news. So much misinformation is promulgated in the media and online that it can be difficult to discern the truth.

But even worse than not being able to discern the truth is not believing in objective truth at all. This deadly, truth-denying philosophy is called “post-modernism.” And it’s widespread. According to a recent Barna study, “Truth is increasingly regarded as something felt, or relative, rather than something known, or absolute.”

Consequently, more Americans than ever are turning to the self as the ultimate source of spiritual fulfillment and demanding that others follow suit. After all, misery loves company.

This postmodern philosophy is regarded as enlightened, while those who hold fast to absolute truth are increasingly marginalized and criticized.  It is a perilous plague that destroys lives. It is the grand deception as old as time—it has been Satan’s scheme from the beginning to ask, “Did God really say?” You see, if there is no absolute truth, there is no meaning for today or hope for tomorrow. And you become easy prey for Satan’s schemes.

But as Christians, the truth of Scripture gives us purpose, protection, and the promise of a hope and a future.

There is much biblical evidence that all the words of Scripture are God’s words. Let us now consider three biblical evidences that the words of Scripture are the words of God:

1. Jesus Viewed the Old Testament as God’s Word.

Christ’s teachings centered on the Old Testament, and He fully submitted himself to it.

For example, after His baptism, Jesus was led into the desert by the Holy Spirit to be tempted by the devil (Matt. 4:1).  When Jesus, having fasted for forty days, was tempted by Satan to turn stones into bread, He replied, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” (Matt. 4:4, quoting Deut. 8:3). By quoting from the Old Testament, Jesus demonstrated his reliance on the authority of Scripture. In this case, Jesus also rebuffed Satan by proclaiming every word of Scripture proceeds from the very mouth of God. The Lord Himself did not attempt to distinguish certain parts of Scripture as trustworthy, and He did not hesitate to rely on all of it as coming from God.

Jesus proved the truth of the Bible by relying on Scripture many other times as well. He often demonstrated His trust in the words, details, and even the specific letters of Scripture as being entirely accurate (e.g., Matt. 5:18Matt. 22:23-3341-46).

2. Peter and Paul Viewed the Old Testament as God’s Word.

Peter taught that the Old Testament writings were God’s very words. In 2 Peter 1:20-21, referring to the Old Testament prophecies, he said, “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation of things. For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (NIV).

Likewise, Paul viewed the Old Testament (and all Scripture) as God’s Word. In writing to Timothy, his young protégé, Paul referred to the Old Testament as the sacred writings of Scripture. In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, he went on to write, “All Scripture is inspired by God [or God-breathed] and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man or woman of God may be fully capable, equipped for every good work” (NASB).

3. The New Testament Writers Viewed Each Other’s Writings as God’s Word.

In the New Testament, the apostles also began confirming the early writings of the church as Scripture, on the same level as the Old Testament. For example, Paul quoted Jesus’ words as Scripture right next to a quotation from the Old Testament, as did Peter, who referred to Paul’s writings as Scripture (1 Tim 5:182 Pet. 3:15-16).

Additionally, the Bible tells us that Paul and the other apostles would be empowered by the Holy Spirit to record the inspired words of God as Scripture. For example, in 1 Corinthians 2:13, Paul writes, “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words” (NIV).

In opposition, one might contend that this argument is circular. “Scripture itself is stating that Scripture is the Word of God,” you might say. But as theologian Wayne Grudem explains, that does not make the statement less valid. For any claim of absolute authority must ultimately appeal to that authority for proof. It is not the argument that is irrational, but man’s faulty perception of God’s Word. He notes that sin is irrational, and sin makes us think incorrectly about God: “Thus, in a world free from sin, the Bible would commend itself convincingly to all people as God’s Word. But because sin distorts people’s perception of reality, they do not recognize Scripture for what it really is.” Grudem continues, “It is then the Holy Spirit at work in the hearts, minds, and lives of Christians that overcomes the effects of sin, confirms the authority of Scripture, and enables believers to fully trust that the claims it makes about itself are true.”

Paul confirmed this in 1 Corinthians 2:14. He wrote, “But a natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned” (NASB).

We need the Holy Spirit to enable us to understand, accept, and trust the Bible as God’s authoritative, inerrant, and enduring Word. We need to accept its diagnosis that we are sinners who deserve hell. We need to embrace its message that redemption is found only in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:1–4).