By Not Known
The Christian Scriptures are central to our gathered worship, to all Christian ministries and to our private piety.
Why put such an emphasis on this diverse collection of ancient writings? They are often difficult to understand and are far removed from our digital world in which we are post-everything but unsure what we stand for. Why privilege the Scriptures over other religious writings?
We received the Bible as the word of God and hear the Scripture declare that: All Scripture is God-breathed (2 Tim 3:16a). This is a compelling image. Our breath comes from the inner recesses of our being and expresses our thoughts as it passes over the speech organs. Likewise, the Scriptures come from God’s heart and express him to us.
2 Peter gives us a clue as to how this happened: men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21)
Men spoke: the Bible was written by human hands in our languages using different literary styles and in widely varying settings. To understand the Bible we have to try and get into the minds of these people and their languages, style and settings. Then we can better grasp what they re tying to say to the people of their day before asking what the message is for us.
Men spoke from God: the Bible writers were not the final source of their message. They were used by God in such a way that prophets could say thus says the Lord, the apostles were the means through which the Lord’s commands were given (2 Peter 3:2) and the writings of a man like Paul could be called “Scripture” (2 Peter 3:16)
Men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit: the whole Trinity is involved as the Fathere bears witness to his Son through the Spirit who also enables us to understand the Scripture (1 Cor 2: 11- 14).
Thus the Scripture has divine and human aspects, just like Jesus who was both fully man and wholly divine. The humanity of the Bible impacts the way in which we understand it, as noted above. The divinity of the Bible makes it worth reading as we hear the word of our creator and redeemer in the words of his human writers.
It is because the Bible is inspired by God that it is inspiring. And that is why it remains central to gathered worship, Christian Education ministries and private piety.