Good afternoon. I’m posting these notes for TRC and Friends who listen online or via the podcast to use in your small group setting.
Have a great rest of your Sunday!
The Bible: God Speaks
NOTE: The quotations are taken directly from “Systematic Theology” by Wayne Grudem.
Scripture is Authoritative
- “All the words of Scripture are God’s words in such a way that to disbelieve or disobey any part of Scripture is to disbelieve or disobey God.”
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV) All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
- 2 Peter 1:19-21 19 And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
- 2 Peter 3:15-16 (ESV) And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.
- 1 Timothy 5:18, Paul Quotes Jesus from Luke 10:7 and calls this “Scripture’. “For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.”
- John 17:17 (ESV) Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. (Truth is the noun…adjective is one step removed from essence …noun is essence.)
Scripture is Inerrant
- “The inerrancy of Scripture means that Scripture in the original manuscripts does not affirm anything that is contrary to fact.” (common language is not a failure of scientific accuracy. Example: rising or setting sun)
- Inerrancy does not claim that there are no textual variations from copying and translation.
- Inerrancy does claim that the story of the gospel (whole bible) is the true story of the whole universe, and that all other narratives or explanations are false.
- Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Note: Inerrancy is a post-enlightenment doctrine from western civilization in which Christians had to adapt its apologetic to a scientific attack on the validity of the Bible. Inerrancy was articulated to provide an empirical defense against “reason” that had been divorced from Christ.
Thus, we have been taught to read the Bible with scientific and empirical eyes and not with narrative eyes (thus we see the bible as merely a collection of true sayings disconnected from contextual meaning and cohesive narrative), and we’ve failed to understand the whole narrative as a whole story and provides the framework for knowing what is not empirically true but what is ultimately true.
Scripture is Clear
- “The clarity of Scripture means that the Bible is written in such a way that its teachings are able to be understood by all who will read it seeking God’s help and being willing to follow it.”
- Deuteronomy 6:6-7 (ESV) And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
- Psalms 19:7 (ESV) The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
- Psalms 119:130 (ESV) The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.
- Difficulty with life and challenges coming from not understanding something is not due to a lack of clarity in Scripture. In fact, Jesus often spoke to that issue when people brought him hard things.
- “Have you not read…” (Matt. 12:3, 5; 22:31)
- “Have you never read in the Scriptures…” (Matt. 21:42)
- “You are wrong because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God” (Matt. 22:29; cf. Matt. 9:13; 12:7; 15:3; 21:13; John 3:10; et al.).
- 2 Peter 3:15-16 Peter admits that there are some hard things in Paul’s writings, but difficult to understand is not the same thing as unclear.
Scripture is Necessary
- “The necessity of Scripture means that the Bible is necessary for knowing the gospel, for maintaining spiritual life, and for knowing God’s will, but is not necessary for knowing that God exists or for knowing something about God’s character and moral laws.”
- Knowledge of the gospel – Romans 10:13-17
Romans 10:13-17 (ESV) For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
- Maintaining spiritual life – Matthew 4:4 quoting Deuteronomy 8:3
Matthew 4:3-4 (ESV) And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written,
“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
- Knowing God’s will – Deuteronomy 29:29
Deuteronomy 29:29 (ESV) The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
Scripture shows us the primacy of worshipping Jesus