Welcome to The Reasons to Believe podcast, episode #210. My name is Daniel Whyte III, president of Gospel Light Society International.
Our Reasons to Believe Scripture Passage for today is II Timothy 3:15-16. It reads, “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
Our Reasons to Believe quote for today is from R.C.H. Lenski. He said, “Without previous thinking, planning, imagining…the apostles will receive directly from God just what to utter. It will come into their minds just as it is needed, and thus they will utter it aloud. The apostles, indeed, make utterance, and yet they do not, for their act is due to the Holy Spirit, so that most properly He is the one who does this uttering. Everything that is mechanical, magical, unpsychological is shut out. The apostles will not be like the demoniacs – their organs of speech and their very wills being violated by a demon. Absolutely the contrary: mind, heart, will operate freely, consciously, in joyful, trustful dependence on the Spirit’s giving, who enables them to find just what to say and how to say it down to the last word, with no mistake or even a wrong word due to faulty memory or disturbed emotions occurring. This, of course, is Inspiration, Verbal Inspiration.”
Today we are continuing the topic of scripture, its inerrancy, infallibility and inspiration using “Our God-breathed Book: The Bible – The Verbally Inspired, Eternal, Inerrant Word of God” by John R. Rice. Our Reasons to Believe powerpoint today comes from Chapter 3: “The Bible Claims To Be The Inspired Word of God” Part 3.
1. The Scriptures Are Breathed Out by God (Contd.)
Benjamin B. Warfield, tremendous scholar that he was, has a long chapter of fifty-two big pages about “God-Inspired Scripture,” dealing entirely with the Greek term used in II Timothy 3:16, Theopneustos, quoting many scholars, repelling critics. He says, “For surely there was no conception more deeply rooted in the Hebrew mind, at least, than that of the creative ‘breath of God’…” and he infers that when God breathed out the Scripture, it was the same kind of perfect creative act as when He created the world or when He created man — breathed into his nostrils and he became a living soul.
And he sums up his conclusion thus:
What is Theopneustos is “God-breathed,” produced by the creative breath of the Almighty. And Scripture is called Theopneustos in order to designate it as “God-breathed,” the product of Divine spiration, the creation of that Spirit who is in all spheres of the Divine activity the executive of the Godhead.
W. H. Griffith Thomas misunderstands the statement, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God…,” in II Timothy 3:16. He says, “‘…Every writing is God-breathed.’ God somehow or other breathed into these writings, and therefore we are concerned with the words.” But here the good man, in a great book, is mistaken.
No, the writings did not originate with men and then “God breathed on them.” Rather, God breathed out the very words and had men write them down!
In his article on inspiration, Warfield says:
The scriptural conception of the relation of the Divine Spirit to the human authors in the production of Scripture is better expressed by the figure of “bearing” than by the figure of “inbreathing”; and when our Bib. writers speak of the action of the Spirit of God in this relation as a breathing, they represent it as a “breathing out” of the Scriptures by the Spirit, and not a breathing into” the Scriptures by Him.
Let us make sure that we do not water down this express statement of Scripture about inspiration. It is not that God breathed on certain men or that they wrote and God breathed on the writings. Rather, the very words of Scriptures themselves are breathed out from God.
The great theologian, Charles Hodge of Princeton, says:
Inspiration, therefore, is not to be confounded with spiritual illumination. They differ, first, as to their subjects. The subjects of inspiration are a few selected persons; the subjects of spiritual illumination are all true believers. And, secondly, they differ as to their design. The design of the former is to render certain men infallible as teachers, the design of the latter is to render men holy; and of course they differ as to their effects. Inspiration in itself has no sanctifying influence. Balaam was inspired. Saul was among the prophets. Caiaphas uttered a prediction which “he spake not of himself.” (John xi. [11.] 51.)
Note carefully, “Inspiration in itself has no sanctifying influence.” Whatever degree of illumination God gave the writers of the Scripture, it had nothing to do with inspiration itself. They simply had some of the common heritage of Christians, illumination, but inspiration is a miraculous intervention of God which does not necessarily involve any spiritual sanctification, any heightening of natural abilities and faculties, any genius. It involves the writing down what God gives in God’s words, miraculously given.
Lord willing, we will continue this topic in our next episode.
Now, if you are listening today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, allow me to show you how.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Until next time, my friend, please keep in mind these reasons to believe. God bless!