Vol. 2 - No. 5
The God Breathed Scripture
by James R. Trigg
Many in the religious world deny the inspiration of the scriptures. Some who claim to be members of the Lord's church have been swayed by rank modernism and are filled with erroneous ideas about inspiration. We all, like Timothy, need to maintain the proper respect for the scriptures. He had known the sacred writings from his youth. This had established his unfeigned faith in God. The faith of his grandmother, Lois, and his mother Eunice, had set the proper example before him (2 Timothy 1:5). How we need every parent and grandparent who is a Christian today to exert such an influence upon their offspring.
Abide In The Teachings Of God
In our text the Spirit guided apostle admonishes Timothy to abide in the things he had learned in the face of evil men and imposters who were waxing worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. It is the inspired scriptures, and that alone, which has the power to make us wise unto salvation, and to enrich our faith in Jesus Christ. We must abide always in the teachings of God today.
Scriptures Are Useful
Paul affirms that every scripture inspired of God is profitable. The term inspired of God, simply means, "God breathed." The scriptures, that which is written down in the Book of books we call "the Bible," are from God. He breathed into the writers His mind, His will. Peter informs us in 2 Peter 1:21 that prophecy (that which comes forth by inspiration of God) is not of man's own unloosing or origin, but these men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit. The word profitable in our text is from a word in the original which means "useful." The scriptures are useful in that herein we are made wise unto salvation. They are the revealed power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16-17). Our going to Heaven and our walking worthy of our calling in this life are both dependent upon the proper attitude toward and the proper application of the scriptures.
Not Naturally Inspired
The Bible is not a naturally inspired book like other great epics of literature that have originated from the experiences and the vivid imaginations of men. Yet, some religious men declare that the Bible is but a naturally inspired book. 2 Peter 1:20-21 proves this notion to be false. The writers of the Bible did not merely express their own experiences, but spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit.
Not Just Nomatically Inspired
Neither is the Bible just a nomatically or thought inspired book. Many assume that God just gave the writers of the Bible the main thought, and that they in turn selected the words to express these thoughts and penned them down. It would be physically impossible for any man to select the proper word and compose them into sentences expressing properly that which the writer himself did not understand to start with. This would indeed have to be the case if the Bible was only thought inspired. Many of the writers wrote of things which they did not understand. Peter on the day of Pentecost, when speaking by inspiration, said that God's promise of salvation which was being fulfilled on that day was to the Jews, their children, and to "all that are afar off" (Acts 2:39). Peter did not know that he was speaking of the Gentiles. Peter wrote that the prophets of old searched diligently to understand the salvation of which they wrote, but the meaning was not revealed unto them, but to first century folk, the New Testament apostles and prophets. The writers did not understand the beautiful things concerning the promise of salvation which the Holy Spirit guided them to write down (1 Peter 1:10-12). This shows that there was much more than just "thought" inspiration involved in their writings.
Not Mechanically Inspired
The scriptures were not delivered by God by mere mechanical inspiration. God used the writers of the Bible according to their own stations in life. This accounts for the different styles and vocabulary usages of the different writers. They did not write strictly as mechanical robots, if so, they would have all written in the same style and used the same vocabulary.
The Bible Was Verbally Inspired
There is no doubt that the Bible was a verbally inspired book. God gave the men the words, not just the thoughts, to write. This is plainly set forth in 1 Corinthians 2:4-13. Paul here affirms that he did not speak in persuasive words of men's wisdom, but in the demonstration of the Spirit with power from above. God made known His mind unto men through these first century apostles and prophets. They spake God's wisdom, not their own. The Holy Spirit guided them into all the truth of God which He wanted revealed to man (John 16:13). They spoke and wrote words which the Spirit taught them, thus combining "spiritual things" (the revelation of God's mind) with "spiritual words" (the inspiration of God) (1 Corinthians 2:13). This abundantly establishes verbal (word by word) inspiration. By the revelation of God plus the inspiration of God, man received the scriptures which are profitable to guide us completely unto every good work in the sight of God.
How The Scriptures Are Useful
The scriptures are useful to teach us all that God wants us to know and that is necessary to guide us from earth to Heaven. They are useful for reproof or refutation of all error. They are useful for all necessary correction in the lives of men, in that they reveal how sinful man may be restored to fellowship with God and have salvation, by convicting us of sin and informing us how we can have forgiveness of sin. They are useful unto all instruction in righteousness, or they inform us how we may discipline ourselves and keep ourselves righteous in God's eyes, by means of His mercy and pardon.
Furnish Us Completely Unto Every Good Work
Through the verbally inspired scriptures we may be mature or complete in Christ. The scriptures guide us unto everything that God has decreed a good work. If something seems good to us in religion, but is not authorized of God, and that authority revealed in the scriptures, it cannot be a good work ordained of God. We must abstain from any practice or belief that God has not willed in the scriptures.
Maintain Respect For The Word of God
Let us like Timothy respect the profitableness of the inspired scriptures. The scriptures and the scriptures only unfold the mind of God to us. Any departure on our part from God's breathed word will break our fellowship with God and doom our souls to eternal torment. We must maintain constant respect for the inspired scriptures and be guided thereby, if we truly want to make Heaven our eternal dwelling place.