Written by Teresa Goodnight
UGH! I jumped right into salvation by grace, faith generating actions, and was ready to dive in further for March. Then it hit me. If I wanted to start at the CORE…the true basis for everything we know and believe as Christians, then the obvious place to start is with the Bible. What do we believe about it and why? It’s a topic I can’t dive into super deeply in a magazine article. However, even when you scratch the surface—it’s a useful write-up to help give you a place to start.
At Community Spirit, we hold true to the Bible being the inspired and inerrant word of God. So, what does that mean? Simply put: God gave it to us, and it has no errors in it. It is THE word of God. It is THE authority for every aspect of our Christianity. If the Bible isn’t as God said in passages like 2 Timothy 3:16 “breathed out by God” then the validity of all the Scriptures comes into question. The Bible is too clear that it is God’s word to pick and choose what parts we want to believe. Either we believe it or we do not. When someone starts referencing their “thoughts,” as a Christian, but cannot back those thoughts with God’s word—throw a RED FLAG. I cannot count the number of conversations I have been in or overheard where people were spouting off their personal opinions about Christianity but presenting them as if they were what we believe as Christians. Opinions are everywhere, but when it comes to Christianity, they need to be fact-based, Biblically certified statements. When opinions are shared as if they are factual Christian statements, simply put, it leads people astray.
Truth is, God did not leave room for us to go through the Bible to pick and choose what we want to believe inside His word. Either we believe it is HIS word or we believe it is not. When we decide to selectively follow what works for us, it becomes our own brand of spirituality and likely not anything anyone should label as Christianity. (That’s a whole other topic for another article, another day).
Wikipedia defines the inerrancy of the scripture fairly well–“Divine authority. For a believer in biblical inerrancy, Holy Scripture is the Word of God, and carries the full authority of God. Every single statement of the Bible calls for instant and unqualified acceptance. Every doctrine of the Bible is the teaching of God and therefore requires full agreement.”
Why is this doctrine important? It’s simple. Christianity itself is based on the inspired, inerrant word of God. It is our authority. It is what God has to say about the matter. It is useful to guide, teach, and correct us if we lose our way. It is not something we can pick and choose a few philosophical items we think are universally applicable and call it Christianity. If we base our faith on anything else…anything…then we’re not actually following Christ. We’re simply following our version of what becomes our own religion.
Nature itself, in all its complexities, tells us so much about God if we look around. We can learn quite a bit. However, it is really an incredible gift to have God’s word to reference and hear His voice in what He speaks to us. If we aren’t basing our beliefs on the word of God, then we have navigated away from Christianity. God gave us many privileges and the ability to choose what we believe or say. However, nowhere did He offer us the freedom to change His word. In fact, He specifically warns against it. Altering His word has direct consequences on our faith and even potential consequences spelled out in different areas in scripture (Revelation 22:19).
We live in a time where more and more people speaking on behalf of the Church, Christianity and God without using any reference to scripture to back it up – or ‘adapting’ scripture to suit their argument. These same people are confusing the message of Christ and causing a problem with the CORE of who we are as Christians. When you study the teachings of Christ, He constantly sent people back to scripture–usually quoting the Old Testament, as he was a master student of the Bible.
The Moody Bible Institute summarizes it well on their web:
“The Bible is verbally inspired. This means that the words of the Bible, not just the ideas, were inspired. What is more, this is true of not just some, but all the words of the Bible. As a result, the Bible is free from error in what it says. Moody Bible Institute believes strongly in the factual, verbal, historical inerrancy of the Bible. That is, the Bible, in its original documents, is free from error in what it says about geography, history and science as well as in what it says about God. Its authority extends to all matters about which the Bible speaks. 7 It is the supreme source of our knowledge of God and of the salvation provided through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. 8 It is our indispensable resource for daily living. 9 Even though the Bible is God’s revelation, it must still be interpreted. Interpretation has to do with our reception and understanding of that which God revealed and recorded. 10 Revelation is a divine act. Interpretation is a human responsibility. Divine inspiration guarantees the truthfulness of God’s word but not the accuracy of our interpretation. The Bible is infallible in all it affirms to be true and therefore absolutely reliable. We, however, may be fallible in our interpretation of the Bible.”
1 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21
2 1 Corinthians 2:11–16
3 Psalm 19:1
4 Romans 1:19, 20
5 2 Timothy 3:16,17
6 2 Peter 1:21, 1 Corinthians 2:12–13
7 Matthew 5:18; John 10:35
8 John 5:39–47
9 2 Timothy 3:16,17; 1 Peter 2:2
10 John 16:13
So, what does this mean for us today? We should take everything we believe/hear about God/Christianity through the filter of His word. Double-check scripture references when given. Request them when they are not given. For us to develop a healthy relationship with God and walk with him, we want our relationship built on His inerrant truths in the Bible–not our human wisdom or the wisdom offered by the world. He left us everything we need to know Him in truth. That truth is the truth that will set us free.
Scripture is inspired, breathed out by God:
2 Timothy 3:16 ESV “All Scripture is God-breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…”
Scripture is living, piercing:
Hebrews 4:12 ESV “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
Scripture needs nothing added:
Proverbs 30:6 ESV “Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.”
Scripture should have nothing taken away:
Deuteronomy 4:2 ESV “You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you.”
Examine what others say WITH scripture:
Acts 17:11 ESV “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”