The Bible is a Word we can live by, trusting it completely. Words and how we use words are important. Part of the proper usage of words is understanding the meaning of the words we use, especially when it comes to defining the meaning of words. Why is this important? Words are the basis of proper communication, and the best communication comes from properly understanding the meaning of the words we use contextually. The proper use of words and their definition is especially important when we talk about God and theology, as the improper use of words and their definition can lead to disastrous misunderstandings and distorted views of God, which I think no one wants to deliberately perpetrate improper understanding of what we believe about God.

So, why talk about words and their definitions now? As always, the enemy is craftily trying to distort our view of God. If he can get us to believe something untrue about God, and we fall for his baited hook, we lose essential elements of what it means to be a believer. Believers believe. And the best belief for a believer to believe is truth.

We should also understand there are differing camps that exist within the boundaries of Christianity, like conservative theologians and liberal theologians and their views of Scripture. I think most people who know me know that I side with conservative interpretations of Scripture and theological positions. Most of my friends know that I reject liberalism when it comes to theologizing. Why, you may ask. My answer would be that liberal theology diminishes the faith, attempting to reduce Jesus to mere humanity, a prophet at best, and Scripture to mere human writings that may have elements of inerrancy and inspiration, but who knows what is or isn’t inerrant or inspired? The teachings of the church? You don’t need them. You have the Holy Spirit to teach you everything, so when you read the Bible, it’s between you and the Spirit to determine what you accept as believable.

One of the latest approaches to word usage among liberal Christianity is to redefine the meaning of words and change the outcome of how words impact us as believers. I have observed that a new tactic is to mash up ideas and theological ideas, changing context and meaning in the process. One way this is happening in liberal circles is to take the definition that John gives to Jesus when John identifies Jesus as the Logos in John 1:1. This is where we read “In the beginning was the Word (logos). The Word (logos) was with God. The Word (logos) was God.” John uses the first chapter of his Gospel to define his intent and meaning which is powerful.

The word Logos speaks to the deity of Christ, demonstrating His eternal nature. But logos is not a word that defines inerrancy or infallibility. By mixing up the two concepts, liberals redefine the meaning of the Word of God, aka the Bible. Liberal theology would say men were inspired to write the revelation of the word, but because men are fallible, the words they wrote are subject to error and are therefore fallible.

Why is this important, after all, isn’t Jesus inerrant? Jesus is without sin. Jesus is perfect. Jesus is God. But Jesus is not inerrant, at least not in the way we use the word inerrancy when we apply it to Scripture. When we redefine Jesus by applying inerrancy to Jesus, but remove it from Scripture, we dilute the faith. How so? It is the inerrant Word that tells us that Jesus is the Logos. It is the inerrant Word that tells us that God has sent us His Son to redeem us.

It is God’s inerrant Word that explains to us that sin has fouled up the portion of God’s creation where we live, and that God is in the process of correcting the damage that sin has produced. But if you remove the inerrancy of the Word, you undermine the ENTIRE revelation of Scripture, including the possibility of everything Jesus said to us as being true. After all, if the Word is not inerrant, how do we know that what Jesus said is true or authentic? The revelation of scriptural inerrancy tells us that everything that is recorded is true and reliable insofar as God determines to reveal Himself to us.

INSPIRATION OF SCRIPTURE This is why we say that Scripture is inspired. The lynchpin of all that we know about God hinges on the inspiration of Scripture. Inspiration assures us that everything we read in Scripture, ALL the words are God’s words and the words found in the Scriptures are not the words of fallible men. 2 Timothy 3:16 attests to this truth when Paul writes, All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. We trust in the reliability of Scripture, for without Scripture we have no reliable revelation of God to people. You see, God has taken the words of men, our language(s), and made them His own words so that we can have the Word of God. Inspiration is the divine act of God as He creates a bond, an identity, between a divine word and human understanding. It is a cool truth.

AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE I know this is going to sound simplistic, and it is a simple truth, but because Scripture is God’s Word, God’s Word is authoritative. The Word of God carries within its revelation the weightiness of God’s command over all His creation. God has given us His inspired Word, our Scriptures, to be the rule over our faith and our life. In Luke 16:29, and 31 we read that, Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them,’ Jesus retorted, But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’”

Jesus understood the authority of the Bible, even as He understood that not everyone would want to submit to the authority of the Bible. The Pauline statement found in Ephesians 2:20, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, undergirds this truth, as it addresses Jesus superintending the Word of God as presented through the apostles and prophets throughout the entire formation of the Scriptures. That is why Jesus is the cornerstone of the Bible. Everything in it was picked by Him, as the superintendent or overseer.

INERRANCY OF SCRIPTURE Inerrancy is the counterpart of the authority of Scripture. And yes, inerrancy is a hotly debated subject. Inerrancy is critical to a correct understanding of Scripture. Without a belief in the inerrancy of the Bible, there is no foundation for claiming that anything in it is true.

The Bible is not false, nor is it filled with fraudulent notions, nor does it contain deceitful ideas. In other words, Scripture is 100% completely true and complete in its ability to reveal God. Scripture does not reveal everything to us, but everything Scripture does reveal to us is sufficient for our faith. This is precisely the point of inerrancy. The words contained in the Word are sufficient for any and every aspect of human life. Not to beat a dead horse, but Paul’s admonition fits our understanding to a tee when he writes, that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

You see, the whole counsel of God is contained in Scripture. The Bible contains everything needed for His glory, our salvation, our faith, and our life. Everything is set in the Bible, or it can be reasonably deduced from the Scriptures if it is necessary for our faith, or consequential in our understanding of God, His will, and His ways. As Scripture is sufficient, we are to refrain from adding to the revelation or subtracting away from the revelation contained in the Word. This means God will not give us new revelations that supersede His word, nor will new traditions of men be able to subvert God’s Word. That doesn’t mean that the Spirit will not or cannot illuminate the truth within us as we hide His Word in our hearts. We do say that what the Spirit illuminates must be found in the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God, or it will not rise to the occasion of being illuminated.

John 6:45 says it all when it says, It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore, everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. What is written is taught ‘as by God,’ because what is written is from God. When we read and hear, we learn from the Father, as He inspired the Bible where we learn. The Bible is therefore necessary for instruction, as we learn truth from the Bible. The Gospel, the maintenance of our spiritual life, and knowing God’s will, all are tethered to the Word of God. Understanding this makes me tremble when I think about the sheer weight of teaching the Word of God. That’s why Paul said let not many of you become teachers, for in it is greater judgment. It is why we must study to show ourselves approved, rightly dividing the Word of God, a workman who does this won’t be ashamed.

Good teaching gives us clarity in our beliefs. The Bible is meant to be clear, and understandable, even when we don’t like what it says. So set your hearts and minds toward God’s Word. Embrace its truths. Abide by its instructions. And trust its inspiration and infallibility, as God has given us an inerrant Word that we can base our lives upon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.