Summary: God has given His Holy Word to us inscribed on tablets of stone, then written inside on our hearts and finally inspired as the Bible for us to know Him and His will for our lives.
God’s Word: Inscribed, Inside, and Inspired
We know from reading the book of Exodus that God had given His people His law originally in the Ten Commandments which were inscribed in stone.
But because of sin, man continually failed to live according to God’s rules. Along with this failure came guilt and shame. God could rightly judge us all as guilty and we were powerless to change the outcome under His vengeful hand.
Jeremiah prophesies the good news that God is making a new covenant with His people that will save them from their natural inclination to sin and disobey.
(Jer 31:33-34) “But this is the covenant I will make with them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they will be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother saying, ’Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
Right here in the Old Testament is the prophecy that the human side of the covenant will be fulfilled by Jesus.
It is better than the other covenant, the covenant of works, which was made with Adam and the nation of Israel. That was based upon the principle of merit: "Serve God and you will be rewarded for it.” But because of sin it was impossible for man to keep his part of that bargain.
So, Jesus Christ goes to the cross and dies. He breaks His own body and sheds His own blood, and the penalty which should have been ours He pays.
Once we accept Christ by faith and have His Spirit inside us as the Living Word, we obey and serve Him out of a love relationship which is what God had in mind for us from the beginning.
Now when we see what our sin costs God, we don’t want any part of it any more. We come to hate that sin which once was so attractive. And for us there is no longer any interest in seeing whether we can get away with something.
To know Him is to love Him and to desire to obey Him. We have a new inward motivation and power to live by God’s laws.
God, working on us from the inside, is what changes our heart from being cold and calculating to being compassionate and compliant in our response to both God and others.
But God didn’t leave us here with just an inward knowing of what is right and wrong in His sight. He knew we would need,”the witness of two.”
Besides what our hearts tell us, how do we know what God wants us to do and how he wants us to live today?
Without absolute moral truth, there can be no right and wrong. Without right and wrong, there is no such thing as sin. Without sin, there can be no such thing as judgment and no such thing as condemnation. If there is no condemnation, there is no need for a Savior.
The Bible is God’s gift to us to show absolute truth and it is all that we need for faith and practice.
Our scripture from II Timothy is quite clear. God’s written word to us, the Bible, was actually “God breathed,” or inspired.
What Paul is saying here is that the fundamental characteristic of scripture (what makes these sacred writings) is the fact that God breathed them out, that they have their ultimate origin with God himself.
Now at this point many people are skeptical, and they protest, "But everyone has their own interpretation of the Bible."
This is where 2 Peter 1:20-21 comes in: "Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit" (NIV).
The word "carried along" in v. 21 is a sailing term that was used in Greek to describe the wind blowing into a sail, which "carries along" the sailboat. The human authors were consciously involved in the writing process, they weren’t robots, we can even detect their own unique writing style, but behind the process God "carried them along" to ensure that the end result would be what God wanted to say.
The New Testament is in perfect agreement with the Old Testament. In other words, God hasn’t changed His mind about right or wrong, sin or righteousness. But because of Jesus, we live under grace rather than under fear of punishment by God’s law.
The scriptures are the way we learn to live God’s way in the world so that what we know to be right inside in our heart is in agreement with what He inspired in His Holy Word.