In the first post in this series, I concluded on Matthew 4:4, where Jesus indicated to us the centrality of God’s word in our life: “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’
“It is written” or in our contemporary terms, “The Bible says”. These phrases are great statements that must settle every argument against the sufficiency of Scripture. However, the same is equally dangerous when the word is not rightly divided. The word can be abused if not correctly applied.
Note in Matthew 4:6, the devil also quoted Scripture to deceive. He misinterpreted the text. In fact, Scriptures describes Satan as “disguis[ing] himself as an angel of light.”(2 Corinthians 11:14).
Now, if the Bible can be misinterpreted, can we trust it, much more build our lives on an ancient document written many years away from our civilisation? Nathan Busenitz, a professor at Master’s Seminary, opens an online article titled “Why These 66 Books?” with the words
Have you ever looked at your Bible and wondered, “How do we know that these 66 books, and no others, comprise the inspired Word of God?” That is a critically important question, since there are many today who would deny that these 66 books truly make up the complete canon of Scripture.
Truly; “Critically important question”.More than any other book, the Bible has suffered a barrage of attacks all aimed at discrediting it as the very inspired words of God. Busenitz continues, “We believe in the 39 books of the Old Testament, because the Lord Jesus Christ affirmed the Old Testament. And we believe in the 27 books of the New Testament, because the Lord Jesus Christ authorized His apostles to write the New Testament”.
Church history presents us with numerous creeds and confessions testifying of the credibility of the Bible.
The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments,[a] is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.(WSC 2)
Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. In the name of the Holy Scripture we do understand those canonical Books of the Old and New Testament, of whose authority was never any doubt in the Church.(Anglican Articles of Religion VI)
The words aforementioned affirm/lend credence to the fact that, the sixty-six books of Scripture — Old and New Testaments contain the final rule by which God guides and governs our lives. The Bible also affirms about itself being the word of God.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good(2 Timothy 3:16-17).
In our present day, God is still speaking; loud and clear through His inspired word in the pages of Scripture. Some believers abhor this claim and want us to believe God audibly speaks just as He spoke to the biblical characters.
Amongst Pentecostals and Charismatics, there is still an obsession for the latest, fresh word from God: A revelation, a dream, vision and in extreme cases, people have reported to have been directly spoken to by God. It is sad to say that this obsession of man to hear from God apart from what is written in scripture has led many to places they should not have gone as Christians. The Bible itself clearly tells us how God speaks to us in “these last days”.
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds…(Hebrews 1:1-3).
To be Continued