2 Timothy 3:16
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and isprofitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
We all have our own style and form for swinging a golf club, swinging a baseball bat, running a race, and even laughing. There is a personal uniqueness in how we do things. It would take much time and effort to change the way we talk or even write a letter. It only takes but a few words when I visit the West Coast for a native to realize I’m a “foreigner” because of a southern twang. My stock answer for “you’re not from LA” is “no, I grew up in Fresno.”
Other distinctiveness is revealed by a preacher’s way of declaring the truths from the Bible. Some are loud, while other are more soft spoken. Some use the style of a teacher like Charles Stanley. Others have a greater intensity like John Hagee. Each preach from the same Bible with equal effectiveness, but with a different style.
Our styles, however, do not change the substance. No matter what kind of golf swing we employ, it is still about pure and consistent contact of the ball. The Bible is the inspired Word of God. If we want to hear what He has to say, we merely need to open up the 66 books. He speaks to us through His word, the Holy Spirit, and our circumstances. The believer has the ability to discern His voice. A lost person considers such supernatural conversation as laughable and regards the writings contained in the Bible as mere glorified fiction. This opinion is fostered despite the thread of consistency from Genesis to Revelation. It is our authority for no other reason other than it is the Word of God. We can testify of its truth, but our opinion or the view of the denomination does nothing to further legitimize the authority of the Bible. It is self-authenticating. When we study the Bible, the truth is revealed to us and within us.
The books of the Bible were written by human authors inspired by God. It doesn’t take the reader long to see the uniqueness of each of their writing styles and the usage of certain words and phrases. RC Sproul in his book “Truths We Confess” wrote that, “The doctrine of inspiration, as mysterious as it is, declares that while humans were writing, God the Holy Spirit ensured that what they wrote was without error and was actually verbum Dei, the Word of God itself.” In 2 Timothy 3:16, it is written that, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Other translations refer to the inspiration as being “breathed.” Sproul explained, “The term breathing in refers to the secret operation of the Holy Spirit by which He produces the Word of God from the word of men, yet without human invention.” The authors of the books of the Bible wrote while God was holding the pen.
One of the best writings concerning the greatness of the Bible was written in the 1600’s. Thomas Watson in his “Body of Divinity” summarized the uniqueness of the Bible when he wrote:
The Scripture appears to be the Word of God, by the matter contained in it. The mystery of Scripture is so abstruse and profound that no man or angel could have known it, had it not been divinely revealed. That eternity should be born; that He who thunders in the heavens should cry in the cradle; that He who rules the stars should suck the breasts; that the Prince of Life should die; that the Lord of Glory should be put to shame; that sin should be punished to the full, yet pardoned to the full; who could ever have conceived of such a mystery, had not the Scripture revealed it to us? So, for the doctrine of the resurrection; that the same body which is crumbled into a thousand pieces, should rise idem numero, the same individual body, else it were a creation, not a resurrection. How could such a sacred riddle, above all human disquisition, be known, had not the Scripture made a discovery of it? As the matter of Scripture is so full of goodness, justice and sanctity, that it could be breathed from none but God; so the holiness of it shows it to be of God.
We can testify that the Word of God is self-authenticating when we read its pages. It provides the base for our testimony. As has been said many times, “we don’t read the Bible, it reads us.” We can declare God’s faithfulness and the comfort provided by His Son. We may have our own style and employ different means to convey our belief, but the Bible is our foundation and our inspiration. It is never changing and always consistent irrespective of societal norms or legislative mandates.