The truth of Scripture gives us purpose now and the promise of a hope and a future. I saw this hope rise in a young boy during our Vacation Bible School this summer. When our Pastor presented the gospel, he was one of many who responded by trusting in Christ. After the service, I had the opportunity to speak with him regarding his decision. He didn’t have a Bible, so I gave him one. As I handed it to him, I explained that the Bible is God’s Word and everything in it is absolutely true. His eyes widened as he exclaimed, “Wait! Are you saying that everything in this book is true?!” I assured him that was right. He threw open its pages, pointed to a passage, and said, “Tell me what this part’s about!”
In our post-truth society, where we are bombarded daily with misinformation, this boy reminded me to be grateful for God’s Word—grateful that it transforms us in this life and gives us hope of eternal life in heaven.
As Christians, we understand that the words of the Bible are God’s words. Thus, we must ask the question: What is the nature of God’s Word?
1. Scripture Is Authoritative
To have authority means to have commanding and determinative power. As the sovereign Lord over heaven and earth and all creation, God has the ultimate authority on all matters.
Theologian Wayne Grudem said, “The essence of the authority of Scripture is its ability to compel us to believe and to obey it and to make such belief and obedience equivalent to believing and obeying God himself.”
Like Dr. Jeffress, I grew up in First Dallas. As young boys, my brother and I would sometimes cause a bit of ruckus in a service. Out of the corner of my eye, I would see my father snatch an offering envelope from the pew, jot down a stern warning to correct my behavior, and pass it down the row to me. Now, when I received that written word, I knew very well that those were the words of my father. To obey them was to obey my father. To disobey them was to disobey my father. And that is what the Bible is to us today, the written words of our heavenly Father that have been passed down to us such that it has authority over every aspect of our lives.
2. Scripture Is Inerrant
Scripture is wholly and absolutely without error. In other words, the Bible always tells the truth concerning everything it talks about.
God’s words, even when spoken through sinful men, are never remotely false or erroneous. Titus 1:2 states that God does not and cannot lie. Since all Scripture is inspired—breathed out and spoken—by God, there can be no untruthfulness in Scripture.
Beware of those who compromise on the inerrancy of Scripture. There are some who make intellectually sophisticated-sounding arguments in an attempt to diminish the inerrancy of Scripture. But God has issued stern warnings to those who would take away from His Word. It is one of Satan’s oldest schemes. For if inerrancy falls, then all Christian beliefs and convictions are bound to follow.
But according to our Savior, God’s Word is truth and is wholly trustworthy. As Martin Luther proclaimed, “This is the Word of God which cannot lie nor err, of this I am certain.”
3. Scripture Is Enduring
Amid the shifting sands of culture, the Word of God is enduring, everlasting, and unchanging. In his sermon on the enduring Word of God, Dr. Criswell observed that Scripture stands before time, in time, and after time.
In Psalm 119:89, David wrote, “Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven.” Dr. Criswell explained, “Before the foundation of the world, all of this was settled [and] fixed in heaven.”
Dr. Criswell’s favorite verse was Isaiah 40:8: “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” Our world is dissolving and devolving. All things here will come to an end, but the Word of God is everlasting.
In 2 Peter 3, Peter wrote that everything will be destroyed in judgment before it is renewed. But the Word of God remains—enduring and unchanging. The Word of God will stand beyond time. In Matthew 24:35, Jesus declared, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.”
Charles Spurgeon observed, “There is not one single mistake either in the Word of God or in the providential dealings of God… The Lord has nothing to regret or to retract, nothing to amend or to reverse. All God’s judgments, decrees, commands, and purposes are righteous, and every one of them will outlive the stars.”
4. Scripture Is Proof Of The Authority Of Christ
The Bible is God’s Word. It is authoritative, inerrant, and enduring. What does that mean for us today? Everything!
In John 10:22–39, the Lord Jesus Christ confirmed the authority of Scripture and thereby confirmed His authority to save believers from the clutches of sin and deliver them safely into heaven for eternity. If Scripture is authoritative and inerrant, then so are the words of Christ. Scriptures cannot lose their authority, and Christ’s sheep cannot be snatched from His hand (vv. 27–30).
The security of the sheep is found in the ability of the Shepherd to save and preserve His flock. The believer’s eternal hope depends on whether Jesus Christ has the authority to keep His children secure. If sin, death, hell, or Satan can snatch them away, then Jesus cannot claim to be the Christ.
But the authoritative, inerrant Word of God says that Jesus is God! Therefore, Jesus has the final say. And Jesus says if you will listen to Him, believe Him, and follow Him, then He will give you eternal life, and nothing can snatch you out of His hand.