2 Timothy 3:16, 17 says, “All scripture is breathed out by God, and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
What do we believe about holy scripture? First of all we believe in the canon. The word canon means rule. The most widely-used sense of the word refers to the canon of scripture, that is, the list of books regarded by the church as authoritative and divine. So we would say that the canon of scripture is comprised of the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments.
We also believe that scripture is inspired by God. What does this mean? James Boice said: “If the Bible is not the word of God, it has no divine authority. We realize that some disagree with inerrancy or claiming inspiration for parts of the Bible, the so-called salvation parts. Very well, but then they cannot title their position biblical authority but only partial biblical authority. To add insult to injury to God’s word, they cannot tell precisely what parts of the Bible are inspired. They say ‘salvation parts’, but they do not tell us where to find these or how to separate them from the uninspired, errant, non-salvation parts.”
When I was in high school, the church I attended did not believe in the total inspiration of scripture. I told you before that the preposition to or for before Holy Scripture is read makes all the difference in how you regard inspiration. If the pastor says listen to the word of God, you believe that it is all inspired. If he says listen for the word of God, he is telling you that it is not all inspired. It is up to you to decide what speaks to you from the scriptures on any given day.
Are we not doing the same thing today? We are being told that certain parts of the Bible are either irrelevant to the 21st century or need to be reinterpreted in a more politically-correct sense. This can apply to any moral issue that we face from abortion to homosexuality.
We also believe the Bible is inerrant. This means that it is without error in what it teaches. Quoting again from Dr. Boice: “Jesus of Nazareth clearly assumed the errorlessness of the Old Testament in all its statements and affirmations, even in the realms of history and science. In Matthew 19:4, 5 he affirmed that God Himself spoke the words of Genesis 2:24, with reference to the literal, historical Adam and Eve, and He established the ordinance of marriage. In Matthew 23:35 He put the historicity of Abel’s murder by Cain on the same plane of historical factuality as the murder of Zechariah the son of Barachiah. In Matthew 24:38, 39 Jesus clearly accepted the historicity of the universal flood and Noah’s Ark: ‘For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the Ark, and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away…’ This record, bearing upon both history and science, has been scornfully rejected by those who trust in the infallible accuracy of modern empiricism.
The same is true of the account of the prophet Jonah’s preservation from drowning through the agency of a great fish that three days later spewed him forth on the shore. Yet Jesus put His crucifixion and resurrection on the same historical plane, saying, ‘For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth’ (Matthew 12:40). In the same way, Christ goes on in the next verse to confirm that the heathen population of Ninevah really did repent at the preaching of Jonah, just as recorded in Jonah 3:7-9. Even though this account has been treated with skepticism by modern scholarship, the New Testament indicates that Jesus regarded it as sober fact.
In light of these passages, it seems clear that Jesus regarded the Hebrew Bible as completely trustworthy and reliable and all that it affirms in matters of theology, history and science.
Despite all the imperfections of the human writers of scripture, the Lord was able to carry them along into His infallible truth without distortion or mistake.
Both Christ and the apostles affirm, then, that what the Bible says, God says. All these passages add up to this: The accuracy inheres in every part of the Bible, so that it is to be received as infallible as to truth and final as to authority. When the scripture speaks, it speaks as the living, operative word of God (Hebrews 4:12), which penetrates to man’s innermost being and sits in judgment on all human philosophies and reasonings with an authority that is absolutely sovereign. This, then, is what the scriptures teach concerning their own infallibility. Not only are they free from all error, they are also filled with all authority and they sit in judgment on man and all his intentions and thoughts.”
I hope this helps us understand how crucial it is for us to believe in the inerrancy and infallibility of God’s word. This will equip us to face any moral battles now and in the future.