…”All Scripture is inspired by God…”
(2 Timothy 3:16)”
Globally, the spiritual influence of “ivory tower” Christians who place their personal speculations above the first-hand knowledge of the Apostles must be carefully avoided for an obvious reason. For example, thoughtfully consider that disregarding anything which Peter said after he was personally discipled by Jesus, miraculously healed the sick, guided the early Hebrew church and willingly died for Christ makes such thinking both – proud, unreliable, and unwise.
Related to inspiration, it was Peter who explained that Paul’s scholarly writings were to be treated as Scripture. He wrote, “…our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures.” (2 Peter 3:15-16) With the Apostle Peter’s words on your mind, and in appreciation of the Holy Spirit’s ministry (see John 14:26), do you now see why all Christians can safely rely on God’s inspiration of “all Scripture…” (2 Timothy 3:16) The reason is because God’s Word declares it, the Apostles believed it, and the early Church community unitedly maintained that same timeless position.
Paul, who suffered painful beatings, shipwrecks, hunger, imprisonment, and many other hardships (see 2 Corinthians 11) was miraculously recruited by the Lord Jesus on the road to Damascus (see Acts 9:1-9). Later he was discipled by Barnabas and given the Holy Spirit’s power to – preach, teach, heal, cast out unclean spirits, and evangelize both Jews and Gentiles. During his decades of highly dedicated service as God’s Apostle to the Gentiles (see Acts 9:15-16; Romans 11:13), he, like Peter, Luke, James, Jude, and John was led to write letters of encouragement, correction, and spiritual instruction to the members of the Lord’s fledgling churches. Over time, Paul’s 13 letters became a major part of the New Testament.
For someone to assume that today’s less experienced believers who – are not Apostles and possess few of Paul’s spiritual gifts can wisely trust in their own spiritual maturity above His – is at very best illogical! Stop for a minute to quietly consider how today’s insight relates to your own understanding of the Holy Spirit’s inspiration. When Paul said, “All Scripture is inspired by God…” remember how often he quoted from the Old Testament. “All Scripture” refers to all 66 books written by 40 authors.
Thoughtfully contemplate what the Lord personally said about inspiration, “…the things that I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.” (John 12:50) He was specifically being guided by His Father to explain inspiration – so we could all understand it. He therefore prophesied, “When the Father sends the Advocate as My representative-that is, the Holy Spirit-He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” (John 14:26)
Our Master revealed the – spiritual origin, purpose, and process by which God’s self-disclosure would be remembered and recorded. Stop to thoughtfully re-read these two highly important verses. Would you agree that the Lord’s inspired explanation of inspiration is – exceedingly clear and understandable?
The Bible teaches that, “Pride comes before a fall…” (Proverbs 16:18) It also explains that heaven’s rewards are reserved for those who faithfully please God – by trusting Him (see Hebrews 11:6). We must therefore beware of counterfeit religions which the enemy uses to draw people away from personally knowing God (see Philippians 3:10).
The world’s many non-Christian religions, cults, and philosophies are all man-made. They are therefore graceless and powerless. To believe their uninspired messages that contradict God’s inspired Word – either reflects on one’s limited knowledge of Scripture or their failure to understand the long-proven credibility of God’s holy Bible.
The world’s reasoning, including its moral and ethical standards have always been greatly flawed. This is due to the strong negative influence of our enemy. He encourages doubt, fear, and endless spiritual speculations. These universally destructive factors have forever been adversarial to God’s purpose! His inspired Word therefore explains,
“We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Lucifer wants the world’s seekers to unwisely feel that they, rather than God, can best determine what is – unchanging Truth! In stark contrast, authentic Christianity requires that we personally act upon what God has – already said and revealed. James 1:22 says, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
As we know, God has been teaching us for many centuries. What He has spoken through the Bible’s 40 inspired authors will remain forever contemporary. This is true even when His holy commands – confound or convict us!
To all who have believed God’s inspired Word and therefore obeyed Him – the Lord will say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant!” (Luke 19:17). However, to the world’s many unbelievers and hypocrites He will sadly say, “…I never knew you; depart from Me…” (Matthew 7:23)
For the lost, God’s promise of future judgment and the anguish of endless regret – will be equally real. Passages about eternal separation from God are just as inspired as the verses describing His tender love and mercy! Why do you think the Lord Jesus was guided to tell us, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”? (Matthew 10:28)
The Lord explained that everything He said would be remembered by His disciples. Thoughtfully read and reflect on the profound meaning of Jesus’ words seen below,
“When the Father sends the Advocate as My representative-that is, the Holy Spirit-He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” (John 14:26)
Have you ever wondered why Jesus never wrote – anything on paper? Our Savior said His life and teachings would all be remembered. He always knew they would be recorded. This is precisely why the Apostle Paul wrote young Timothy saying, “All Scripture is inspired by God…” Peter also explained that, “…prophesy never had its origin in the will of men, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:21). In closing, let’s pause to give thanks for the Holy Spirit’s promised inspiration and the personal spiritual growth which we have received while studying this subject.
By Billie Hanks Jr.