Inspiration of Scripture – What does it mean that the Bible is inspired by God?
The inspiration of Scripture is an essential doctrine to understand. Inspiration, in short, is the motivation of a person’s heart and desires and is usually the catalyst for or the fuel behind the accomplishment of a goal, task, or other endeavor. In the case of the Bible, though written by human authors over multiple generations, the inspiration came from God. God had a goal, and thus a motivation to speak to and through some of His devoted believers so that the rest of His creation throughout time could hear, read, and study His way, truth and life.
The Bible is God’s Word. It is His voice recorded on paper and manifested in our lives through our understanding of and obedience to it. The primary reason God inspired the writing of Scripture was to provide direction to the human race. Thus, the Bible is a passageway into the love and saving grace of God. This passageway shares the truth of the human story; walking us through our history, our fall from our Creator and His amazing way of redeeming us back to Himself through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ. In fact, Scripture describes Jesus as the Word of God. John 1:1-2 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.”
Some would like to argue that the Bible is simply a story; a fictitious idea conjured up centuries ago and then passed down through the ages while somehow picking up religious authority along the way. They would believe it to be only a book much like any other. However, this book is very much unlike any other. As Scripture teaches, the Word must be received with faith and then its saving and life changing power, through the Holy Spirit, is revealed in an individual’s life. A.W. Tozer teaches this:
Inspiration of Scripture – What is the Support?
Inspiration of Scripture – Why is this important today?
John 20:24-29 says, “Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.’ A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.’ Thomas said to him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’”
Present history is a time of doubts and skepticisms. It is a time of self-belief, a postmodern system that calls true anything but actual truth. Therefore, understanding the authority and inspiration of Scripture is of utmost importance for a people who must operate in faith as they pursue an invisible God.
Jesus said that, “blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe”. With the acceptation of maybe love (1 Corinthians 13:2), faith plays a role that is far and above the most important element within Christianity. Without faith, there is nothing, for God does not force Himself upon a people who will not trust Him at His Word. And since God operates in accordance with His timing, His people are left to wait upon Him to fulfill what he says He will fulfill.
God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9). The limits of the human mind cannot grasp the depth of God’s character and personality. Yet, He is good (Psalm 34:8). Therefore, those who hope in Him and place their faith in the power, authority, and inspiration of His Word will renew their strength (Isaiah 40:31). For God says in Isaiah 55:10-11, “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
The inspiration of Scripture is simply the motivation of a loving creator to converse with His creation and lead them to His heart for salvation. This salvation comes through a faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, who is called the Word of God and who died upon the cross as an act of forgiveness and as a way to bridge the gap between sinful man and a Holy God. The Word of God stands upon its own authority and reveals its truth to a doubtful and skeptical world through the faithful obedience of those who have surrendered their life to the God who gave it to them.