As Christians we believe that the bible is the Word of God. We believe in the authority of the bible, which means to believe and to obey it is to believe and to obey God. To disbelieve and to disobey it is to disbelieve and disobey God. We believe in the inerrancy of the bible, which means it is without error, it does not lie. We believe in the sufficiency of the bible, it tells us everything that we need to know spiritually. The acceptance or rejection of these three statements will define what we believe and what we are.
Sin came upon mankind when Adam and Eve first questioned God’s word; secondly they listened to someone else’s word and finally they disobeyed God’s word. The result of this was that Adam and Eve fell into sin and as mankind’s representatives sin was passed onto us (Romans 5v12). The questioning of God’s Word in and of itself is not a bad thing; the Bereans in Acts 17 searched the scriptures to verify what Paul was teaching was correct. But Adam and Eve did not do this, instead they listened to someone else (in this case Satan) who implied that God could not be trusted and he quickly followed it by calling God a liar. God said in chapter two if they ate of the tree they would die, Satan said if the ate of the tree they would not. Satan called into question the integrity of God’s word. Can it be trusted?
Today the world denies that the bible is the Word of God, but unfortunately so does the church, with many saying that the more difficult passages are not from God. They do not agree with modern opinion so they must be from another source. So here is our problem, if we deny full authorship of the bible by God then we are left with only two options, the first of these is that it is written by man with no Devine impute or it is a joint venture written by both God and man. If the first is true then the bible is a book like any other and has no bearing on how we live and should be discarded. The second option of a dual authorship causes us an insurmountable problem and that is WHO decides what is from fallible man and what is from God. I can picture the scene now in churches up and down our land when the pastor asks his congregation to turn to some particular passage only for some to say I don’t believe that so I cut it out my bible, yes a ludicrous illustration but that’s what in theory should happen. We could apply the last verse of the Book of Judges to this scenario; everyman did that which was right in his own eyes.
The bible itself tells us that it is solely the Word of God. In 2nd Timothy 3v15-17 Paul writes, that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able (or have power) to make thee wise unto salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus. 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, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. These 2 verses come at the end of a chapter were Paul has given us a picture of what life will be like at the end of time prior to Christ’s return. He says that the last days will be perilous or dangerous. He then gives a list of what mankind will be like. It reads that people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, insulting, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, unkind, merciless, slanderous, without self control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with pride, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. Paul then tells us that in the face of all this wickedness which will get worse and worse that Christians must live godly lives in Christ Jesus. He then tells us how to live godly lives, through faith in Christ. Paul then adds that all scripture is God breathed. He does not say that some is God breathed; he does not say that most is God breathed; no he says all of it is God breathed and if we reject this then we too have called God a liar.
King David writing in Psalm 19 v 7-8 says the Law (or Torah) of the Lord is perfect, the term perfect is the word unblemished which is used to describe the sacrificial lamb of the O.T. and is carried over to the N.T. when referring to Christ as the lamb without blemish and without spot (1 Peter1v19). The word also means whole, complete or faultless. In the same verse in Psalm 19 David says that the testimony of the Lord is sure or it is to be trusted and believed.
Some of what is written within the bible is difficult to understand, even the Apostle Peter writing in his 2nd letter chapter 3 v 16-17 says that some things, which Paul wrote, are hard to understand, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore beloved, seeing you know these things before, beware lest ye also being led away with the error of the wicked fall from your own steadfastness. Peter admits difficulties but he does not tell us that they are impossible to overcome. We must study to show ourselves approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2 v 15). We must use the bible to interpret the bible just as Christ did when he repeatedly said it is written. We must not use the world and its wisdom to interpret the bible for that is foolishness (1Corinthians 1 v 18-31). Today God’s children face so many ideas, thoughts, suggestions and denials of God’s word that the temptation to disbelieve is constantly before us. Therefore we must read it prayerfully, asking God for His Devine help and understanding. We must read it carefully so as not to make rash decisions when supposed problems arise. We must read it with an open mind, letting the bible speak for itself and not trying to fit our own ideas and theories into its pages and we must read it as a whole, not sixty-six individual books but one book, not an Old and New Testament but one testament. One testament telling one story of God and His dealings with man. Failure to do this will result in what Peter says a wresting or a twisting of scripture which in turn leads to destruction.
Finally the Psalmist writes in Psalm 11v 3, if the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? Everything that we need to know about God, man, sin, life, death, redemption, heaven and hell is revealed in the bible, if we deny that some or all of it is breathed by God then we have destroyed the foundations of our faith and what will the righteous do then?