How is the Bible inspired?

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Inspiration means different things to different people. I may for example feel that it’s a process of being stimulated to do something or feel something and would say “I was inspired by … to create …” something in daily life.

This week we are going to look at inspiration from a biblical point of view and how the Bible, though written by human authors over multiple generations, was written by inspiration from God.

When people speak of the Bible as inspired, they are referring to the fact that God divinely influenced the human authors of the scriptures in such a way that what they wrote was the very Word of God. In the context of the scriptures, the word “inspiration” simply means “God-breathed.” Inspiration means the Bible truly is the Word of God and makes the Bible unique among all other books.

Paul, writing in the Greek language, used a word that literally means “God-breathed.” By that, Paul meant that God by means of his holy spirit guided the Bible writers to write only what He wanted them to write. The holy spirit, by the way, meaning the power of God. We can read what Paul said in the 2 Timothy 3:16 where it says: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness”.

Another verse that deals with the inspiration of the scriptures is 2 Peter 1:21. This verse helps us to understand that even though God used men with their distinctive personalities and writing styles, God divinely inspired the very words they wrote. “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.”

Because the scriptures are the inspired Word of God, we can conclude that they are authoritative. A correct view of God will lead us to a correct view of His Word. Because God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and completely perfect, His Word will by its very nature have the same characteristics.

The Bible does not teach that we exist by chance, or that morals and values are up to each individual. God’s Word is consistent and does not teach compromise, or that we go through life doing things that just make us feel good.

The Word of God has power. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active…” It has power to reveal a sovereign God. The Bible exposes our need for a Savior, as we contemplate its words and look at our own hearts.

Is there a Personal Message in the Bible for Us?

Yes, there is. God offers men and women the hope of sharing this new world order with the Lord Jesus Christ when he returns. This message of hope is called the gospel, which means the good news or glad tidings of the coming Kingdom of God, and salvation from sin and death through the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the message that Christ and his disciples preached. “He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.'” (Mark 16:15-16)

The accurate fulfillment of the prophecies of the Bible confirms that God exists and that the Bible is His inspired Word. Isaiah 46:9-10 – “Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand and I will do all that I please.'”

Prophecies yet unfulfilled foretell that Jesus Christ will soon return to this earth to set up God’s Kingdom on earth. Daniel 2:44 – “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands-a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. ‘The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.'”

Matthew 6:9-10 – “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Acts 1:9-11 – “After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. ‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.’”

How can we prove that God exists and the Bible really is His Word? This is a very sensible question yet the answer is not complicated nor difficult to understand, for it is God Himself who anticipated it and has given the answer in many places in the Bible. One of these places is in the prophecy of Isaiah 46:9-10 – “For I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, my counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure”. In these verses we see the claims that God makes here:

  • He alone is God and there is no other. If this is true then the God of Israel alone is the God of the universe, and therefore all other religions that claim to worship another god are false.
  • He can tell the future. We know by experience that no man can reliably tell the future. In the Bible God foretells events that humanly speaking would be impossible to predict, and yet they have come to pass with unerring accuracy.
  • He has the power to accomplish His predictions. Thus, He claims not only to be able to foretell the future but also to bring it to pass.

From this we see that God has given a very simple method whereby the genuine seeker for truth can find an answer to the question, “Is there a God and is the Bible His Word?” Finding the answer does not depend upon a high intellectual capacity, but rather upon the honesty to logically deal with the facts that are presented in the Bible. The prophecies of the Bible substantiate its claim to be inspired by God.

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