TODAY'S THEME VERSES: " But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those
from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation
through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training
in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
II Timothy 3:14-17
HARD SAYING FOR THE WEEK:
There are obvious differences between
Genesis 1 and 2, the accounts of the creation of the earth. How do we explain them?
- Different accounts of the same
- Different emphasis of each story
(Gen 1, order & factual account; Gen 2, the story of man and woman, the pinnacle of creation)
INTRODUCTION TO STUDY
Inspiration. What is it?
(Do a simple act that will help
to define what inspiration is all about for today's lesson. Have everyone blow up a balloon. This is exactly what God did
with the writers of the different books of the Bible. He "breathed into them," which means that he guided their thinking and
writing of the books of the Bible so that what is said really comes from God, hence the phrase, "The Word of God.")
"Inspiration is a special act of
the Holy Spirit by which He guided the writers of the Scriptures so that their words would convey the thoughts He wished conveyed,
would bear a proper relationship to the thoughts of the other inspired books, and would be kept free from error of fact, doctrine,
and judgment." F&O, Article 1
Things to Note about this definition:
a. A special act - this doesn't
happen all the time - a one-shot deal
b. Holy Spirit is the one who does
this (II Peter 1:21)
c. Words are just like God wanted
them (could be thought-inspired or phrase inspired)
d. Relationships with other authors,
books written was important
e. Everything in this book (the
Bible) is true, whether it's history, doctrine, or anything else that was written.
What does the Bible have to say about itself when it comes to inspiration?
Psalm 119:142 It's been around a long time and it's true
Matthew 5:18 It will not go away but will come true
II Timothy 3:16 It comes from God, God-breathed
II Peter 1:20-21 The Spirit helped in the process
Questions that come up because of this belief
a. Would the men who chose the books to be added
to the Bible be inspired as well?
Explain choosing - the church met early on after
the apostles were gone and decided on which books would be included as "inspired"
and "not inspired." They called these meetings "councils" and among other topics of discussion, worked on which books
should be included. What was the criteria they used? Look at our statement above from the F&O. Were things internally
consistent with itself? Were the things this author said consistent with the other books? Did an apostle write it? Some were more certain as to have been written by whom they said they were. Others were not. If not, did
these books have information
that coincided with other more reliable books?
Catholic position - Errorless collection of errorless
Modern critical scholarship - Error-filled collection
of error-filled books
Historical Protestant view - Possible error in
collection, errorless books
Explanation - books were pulled together by the
church - the church is not errorless, only God's Word is (sola scriptura).
Special Protestant view - The Holy Spirit worked
in the collectors of the canon that we have to guide them to the right books to include, those that were inspired by God in
the first place.
b. How does this have anything to do with Joe or
Jane Blow and them going to school, living at home, or working at the local mall?
What do you think of the Bible? Is it God's Word
for your life? Should you follow it like you follow what your parents tell you to do? Is it God's final words to us on what
He's done through Jesus and what He's going to do at the end of time? Do the Mormons or the Jehovah's witnesses have special
revelation from God that is not found in this book? What about the apocrypha which the Catholic church adds to the canon (declared
to be part of the canon in 1546)?
Understanding what this idea of inspiration is
all about along with all the questions it raises I believe gives us a better view on what we
really think is truth or not. And, it's truth we want to live by when it comes to obeying God. I want to know God,
the God of the Bible, so that someday when I stand before the Lord (Matt. 7) He will not say to me, "I never knew you. Away
from me you evildoers."