Did God Really Say?

The impact of Christianity on individual lives and society bear credible witness to the divine inspiration and power in the truth, goodness, and authority of the Word of God.

For me perhaps, the most convincing internal evidence that the Bible is the Word of God is the witness of Jesus Himself.

Jesus repeatedly expressed confidence in the reliability of the Jewish Scriptures, the 39 books of the Old Testament. "Time and again, Jesus appeals to Old Testament passages and always receives it as truth, never correcting it, criticizing it, or pointing out inconsistencies" (Dr. Michael J. Kruger, Tabletalk Magazine, March 2015).

When Jesus was in the wilderness, He resisted Satan's temptations by quoting Scripture. When carrying out His ministry, He pointed to the authority of Scripture by saying: "It is written ... it is written ... it is written." When praying to His Father, he affirmed the truth of Scripture by praying, "Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy Word is Truth" (John 17:17).

And Jesus used the Scriptures to reveal His identity and ministry as the Messiah:

Luke 24:27,44, "27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself…44 Then he said to them, 'These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled."

Not only did He validate the power, authority, and trustworthiness of the Old Testament, He further promised His disciples Holy Spirit inspiration to write the New Testament.

On the eve of His crucifixion, Jesus told them in John 14:26,

"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you."

And the Gospels were written.

A short time later that same evening, Jesus told His disciples in John 16:13,

"When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come."

And the Epistles and Revelation were written.

The witness of Jesus to the divine inspiration, authority, and infallibility of Scripture might be summed up in His own words:

Matthew 5:17-18, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished."

This brings us finally to the Experimental Evidence. What happened when the Bible was put to the light?

In the fourth century, the church fathers declared these 39 books in the Old Testament, plus the 27 books of the New Testament to be divinely inspired, authoritative, and complete.

No other book in the world has had the kind of far-reaching, culture-crossing, multi-generational transforming effect on human lives and societies for good, as the Bible has.

It is reasonable faith to believe this. The unity of the message of these books, written over a period of about 1,600 years is astounding.

Its accuracy of historical detail, its completeness of storyline, its amazing fulfilled prophecies, its beneficial impact on society, and its transforming power in the lives of those who read it believingly are such powerful testimonies that it is actually unreasonable not to believe in the inspired Scriptures!!

It gives its light to every age—
It gives, but borrows not!

JESUS BELIEVED IT, and it is reasonable and right that we believe it as well.

When it comes to the importance of belief in the Scriptures as the Word of God, it is hard to overstate the case. Dr. Steve Nichols, president of Reformation Bible College and Lancaster Bible College Distinguished Professor wrote, "When it comes to the Bible, everything it teaches is believed or nothing it teaches is believed" (Tabletalk Magazine, March 2015, p. 11).

If the Bible is the Word of God, it must be true and without error because God is truth and cannot lie. If the Bible is the Word of God, it is authoritative for there is no higher authority in heaven or earth beside God. If it is the Word of God, when we hear Scripture, we hear the very voice of almighty God.

If we are to proclaim Christ with confidence in our world today, if we are to love others, if we are to confront societal issues that fly in the face of Christianity, and if we are to endure the scorn and ridicule of an unbelieving world, we ourselves must be convinced that this message is, in fact, true and authoritative in every part.

Dr. Peter W. Teague has served as President of Lancaster Bible College since July 1, 1999. His presidency continues a ministry career that has spanned four decades of Christian education and leadership development.

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