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Basic Bible Truths Lesson Two, Part One-Scripture is Given by Inspiration of God
I hope you enjoyed both parts of Lesson 1. If you haven’t checked these out yet you can check out part 1 and part 2 today! Don’t miss out on Q and A for part 1 and part 2 as well. This lesson discusses the inspiration behind the Scriptures. God has provided these words for us as a guidebook and His words that draw us closer to Him. Lesson 2 is about inspiration and what importance that has when we study the Bible.
What is Inspiration?
In the context of the writing of the Bible inspiration is the action of God by which He watched over and guided the actual writing of the Bible.
Today’s definition of inspiration:
Inspiration: 1. A divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation. 2. The act of drawing in, specifically: the drawing of air into the lungs.
To me both of these definitions apply to the writing of the Bible. The inspiration of the Bible is different than the revealing of the Bible we previously discussed. Revelation of the Bible is that God spoke and gave messages to men. The truths have been revealed in a way only God Himself could have accomplished. The men that wrote the Bible did not come up with the truths in the Bible.
Inspiration, however is the declaration that men who received the messages from God wrote and passed them on exactly as they were given by God. Inspiration in the sense of being mentally stimulated by God to write the words of the Bible is very applicable and an amazing image. Definitely these men were qualified to receive and communicate revelations since God Himself chose them to do so.
Drawing in of breath as inspiration also gives an image of how these words impacted these authors and how they wrote these books that we still study today. It’s the image of being filled with the inspiration of God that is so striking to me. A breath of fresh air in the midst of the various times they lived in throughout history.
Inspiration does not tell how the truths were first learned from God, but how they were later taught to others. It does not tell how the message came, but how it was passed on.
Inspiration is Necessary
Inspiration and revelation go hand-in-hand for the Bible to be trustworthy and reliable. What would be the point in God-given truths if they were not passed on correctly? It would end up being a poor game of telephone with everyone confused and no inner consistency, or truthfulness at all. God, being a perfect God, only would speak perfect things. Therefore, we have to wonder how imperfect men wrote a perfect Bible?
Inspiration itself is the guarantee that no truth was left out or misinterpreted. The inspiration coming directly from God and not man ensures its perfection. We can rely on the Bible’s truthfulness because we can rely on God. Revisiting II Timothy 3:16 we are reminded that all Scripture is viewed as equal in its purposes.
“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 complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. II Timothy 3:16-17
Knowing that all Scripture is inspired by God gives us the peace that all of it is good and to be used for doctrine, and correction, etc. I also love how this verse tells us that Scripture is what equips us and makes us complete for good works. If we are followers of God than Scripture is key to our walk and to our purpose here in the world. Without Scripture we are as lost as non-believers. I don’t know about you, but I like the fact that I can turn to the Bible when I am struggling as a guidebook. I can turn to it when I want to feel closer to God, I can turn to it in times of praise. It is an amazing resource that we should spend time in.
Inspiration Guarantees a Perfect Bible
God inspired the writings of the Bible in such a way that the words of the Bible are His words. The Greek word that we derive inspiration from means God-breathed. Hence, the words are literally from God. This goes along with that picture of inhalation from the definition of inspiration. These men that were inspired were breathing in God-breathed words and writing them.
Paul defines the difference between words of man and God’s word when he wrote:
“These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual” I Corinthians 2:13
God gave the Bible’s human authors a message, something that they should give to others. This is Revelation. He then acted upon these writers in such a manner that they perfectly and faultlessly, in the very words of God, passed that information on to others. This is Inspiration.
Ordinary inspiration can be thought of as what we sometimes experience. A beautiful scenery, or a thrilling experience inspires a person so that they must tell others about it. That person expresses it in ways that is not always normal for them.
The Bible is God-inspired. The Bible was not just inspired by nature or an unusual, particularly powerful experience; it was from God.
“For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” II Peter 1:21
This verse tells us two important things. Man is not the author or creator of the Bible. “Never came by the will of man” It also explains that men spoke (wrote) as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. This returns us to the idea of God-breathed words. Men spoke as God inspired, not from their own hearts or mind.
Men Wrote what God MOVED Them to Write
To study this idea further about the way God inspired these men, let’s take a closer look at II Peter 1:21 that is written above. The word moved comes from the Greek word “pheromenoi” and could also have been translated as “carried along” or “driven”.
In Acts 27:15 Luke is describing how the ship in which he and Paul were sailing to Rome was caught in a storm.
“So when the ship was caught, and could not head into the wind, we let her drive” Acts 27:15
“Let her drive” comes from the word “pheromenoi”. The ship was “driven”, or “carried along”.
Imagining what the wind was to the ship, is the same as imagining what God’s breath, the Holy Spirit, was to the authors of the Bible. They were driven. He spoke to men and moved them to record what he had revealed without error.
The Scriptures-Not the Men-Were Inspired
Scripture is inspired. Not the men who wrote it. He breathed into them these words but they did not possess skill beyond their previous capacities because of this. We are not sure how He “controlled” what was written, but we know the words were inspired and brought to life.
Inspiration Covers More Than Just Words
Inspiration is responsible for the words of the Bible, but also goes beyond the words.
“For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” Matthew 5:18
In Matthew 5:18 Christ states that neither “jot” nor “tittle” of the law (God’s Word) would ever pass away. A “jot” is the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet. “Tittle” is a small line used to mark off one letter from another such as our difference between l and t.
However, we can’t assume that every word in every translation has been inspired. The original writings were inspired. We can assume that God has watched over His Word and that the Bible today teaches what it has always taught. The believer today has the same God, same Savior, same salvation, same teachings, as did those whom the Bible was first given. He who gave the Word has preserved that Word and will preserve it until the day when all things will be made new and men need it no more.
The Bible Today
I don’t think we can have anything to worry about today in the age of translation software, and all of the amazing resources we have at hand to study the Word. The thing more worrisome is that there are people out there that have not been introduced to God’s Word and they are seriously missing out. Equipping ourselves with His Word and being open to sharing it is the best use of our Bible study time that we can have.
The Bible s from Both God and Man
Even though it is more about the words being inspired and not the men, this does not mean that their personalities and thinking do not color their writings. Each author left their mark on the pages they wrote.
Luke wrote his gospel because,
“It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilius,” Luke 1:3
When Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, he wrote because he was upset with them.
“What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?” I Corinthians 4:21
John referred to himself as “that disciple whom Jesus loved” in multiple passages (John 20:2; 21:7, 20). Only Matthew uses the phrase “kingdom of heaven”. David’s Psalms are poetry and Paul’s epistles logical.
Even though these differences in style and wording appear this does not discount that God governed the Scriptures.
“But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.” Acts 3:18
The prophets spoke (and the New Testament authors wrote), but their words were the words of God. The Bible was a production between God and man. But the revelation is trustworthy and the coloring of personality was what God had planned all along. The channel of the words may be imperfect but, by His inspiration, God made the message perfect. Doesn’t a book written by man but inspired by God seem more accessible to us? Doesn’t the fact that the different personalities and writing styles of these men exist in the Bible give relatability and a different pace to this book? The different styles and attitudes of these men that do show through just give us more insight into previous believers, and also give us different verses that give the same message but may impact us in different ways at different times.
That was quite a bit to think about in this lesson. The main concept to come away with is that our Bibles were directly inspired by God. It is not the ones who wrote but the words that were written that were truly inspired. The Bible can be thought of like an orchestra. God used different instruments, but they came together for the desired notes and sounds. The Book we study is the Word of God and that is a powerful thing to remember.
Father, we thank you for your Word. Thank you that we can believe that you spoke these words. We pray that we can read and study your Word and share them with others. Your words are what we need to know and study to grow in this world. We pray that these words will touch many people and draw them closer to You. I thank you for the people reading these lessons and I pray that they will help people know You Lord.
Thanks for joining me! I hope you have a look at some of the other lessons here on the blog and join my email list so you can have the Topic Guide and also get updates when I post a new lesson.
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