The Doctrine of Scripture
The authority, sufficiency, infallibility, and inerrancy of Scripture are doctrines that are absolutely foundational to the ongoing work of God and His church. We cannot engage a lost and hurting world with the gospel unless we are convinced of its divine origin. As J.C. Ryle wrote, without the Bible as a “divine book to turn to as the basis of their doctrine and practice,” Christians “have no solid ground for present peace or hope, and no right to claim the attention of mankind.”
Paul addressed this very issue when he reminded Timothy that “all Scripture is breathed out by God.” In other words, the Bible is not a human product infused with divinity; it’s a divine gift produced through human instrumentality. Its every book, chapter, sentence, and syllable was originally given by God’s inspiration.
The doctrine of Scripture, like many other Christian doctrines, can be challenging to grapple with. But the fact that something is difficult to understand does not undermine its truthfulness. Furthermore, when it comes to the doctrine of Scripture, there are matters that we can consider objectively. For example, it’s easy to see that the Bible is a completely harmonious work. While it was written by more than thirty authors over a period of about fifteen hundred years, all the writers tell the same story, giving the same account of this world, the character of its Creator, and the problem of the human heart, and pointing to the same wonderful way of salvation through the sacrifice of the Lamb of God—all the way from Genesis to Revelation!
The Bible also transcends time, culture, gender, and intellect. Some books may fit a certain person, a certain era, or a certain place, but there is no other book that perfectly stands up to the challenges of every day and every age and to the questions that confront life itself. The brightest minds cannot exhaust the riches of God’s word, and yet, at the same time, even young girls and boys can read their Bibles and discover its truth transforming their lives.
The authority, sufficiency, infallibility, and inerrancy of Scripture are the grounds on which we must stand; and we have divine help in order to do so. The same Spirit that inspired the word of God illumines the word of God and convinces us that it is the word of God, given to us so that we may believe in Him who is the Word made flesh. It is as the Spirit does this work in you that your belief in the divine authorship of Scripture is undergirded and moves from only being an intellectual assent to a doctrine to an active hunger for more of the word—and more of the one who is both its author and its subject.
The Faithful Have Vanished
To the choirmaster: according to The Sheminith.1 A Psalm of David.
1Save, O Lord, for the godly one is gone;
for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man.
2Everyone utters lies to his neighbor;
with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.
3May the Lord cut off all flattering lips,
the tongue that makes great boasts,
4those who say, “With our tongue we will prevail,
our lips are with us; who is master over us?”
5“Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the Lord;
“I will place him in the safety for which he longs.”
6The words of the Lord are pure words,
like silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
purified seven times.
7You, O Lord, will keep them;
you will guard us2 from this generation forever.
8On every side the wicked prowl,
as vileness is exalted among the children of man.
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