Summary: God has revealed himself specifically through the Bible. The reveals God's power, his truth, his eternality, and many other characteristics. It is through the Scripture that we can know God and be saved.
Special Revelation: The Bible
What is the final form of special revelation?
God’s Word, the Bible, is the final form of special revelation. It must be remembered that it is through general revelation that one is without excuse for not believing in God, but it is only through specific revelation that man can be saved. It is only through hearing the message of the gospel, shared from the Word of God that one can come to saving faith. Romans 10:17 says: “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”
The Bible is God’s primary and final way of revealing himself to his people.
How We Received the Bible
How did we receive the Scripture? The Scripture has two authors: the first is God and the second is man.
In fact, God began writing the Bible himself. God wrote the Ten Commandments with his own hand. We see this in Exodus 31, “When the LORD finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the Testimony, the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God (emphasis mine)” (Exodus 31:18).
But not only did he write the Ten Commandments, the Bible teaches that every word of Scripture is “inspired by God”—the actual breath of God, even though it was written by human authors as well. Second Timothy 3:16 says: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (“God-breathed” can be translated “inspired by God”).
Both the Old Testament and the New Testament are God’s words. Wayne Grudem said this:
All the words in the Bible are God’s words. Therefore, to disbelieve or disobey them is to disbelieve or disobey God himself. Oftentimes, passages in the Old Testament are introduced with the phrase, “Thus says the LORD” (see Ex. 4:22; Josh. 24:2; 1 Sam. 10:18; Isa. 10:24; also Deut. 18:18 – 20; Jer. 1:9). This phrase, understood to be like the command of a king, indicated that what followed was to be obeyed without challenge or question. Even the words in the Old Testament not attributed as direct quotes from God are considered to be God’s words… The New Testament also affirms that its words are the very words of God. In 2 Peter 3:16, Peter refers to all of Paul’s letters as one part of the “Scriptures.” This means that Peter, and the early church, considered Paul’s writings to be in the same category as the Old Testament writings. Therefore, they considered Paul’s writings to be the very words of God. In addition, Paul, in 1 Timothy 5:18, writes that “the Scripture says” two things: “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain” and “The laborer deserves his wages.” The first quote regarding an ox comes from the Old Testament; it is found in Deuteronomy 25:4. The second comes from the New Testament; it is found in Luke 10:7. Paul, without any hesitation, quotes from both the Old and New Testaments, calling them both “Scripture.” Therefore, again, the words of the New Testament are considered to be the very words of God. That is why Paul could write, “the things I am writing to you are a command of the Lord” (1 Cor. 14:37).
How can it be possible that the Scripture has two authors—both God and man? What was the process? Peter gives us a hint in 2 Peter 1:20. Listen to what it says: “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” (emphasis mine).
Peter says the prophecies of Scripture did not come about by a prophet’s interpretation or volition, but they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
What does it mean to be carried along by the Holy Spirit?
In Acts 27, the writer Luke uses the same phrase to describe a ship being carried by a storm. Look at what he says: “The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind; so we gave way to it and were driven along (emphasis mine)” (Acts 27:15).
In the same way the ship was “driven” by the storm, so the authors of the Bible were “carried” by the Holy Spirit in the writing of Scripture. The Holy Spirit drove them along in the writing of the content and also keeping them from error. The writers were there, they were thinking and writing, but they were being moved by the Spirit.
Let’s look at specific instances where we see the Bible being written by humans.
After Moses finished writing in a book the words of this law from beginning to end, he gave this command to the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD: “Take this Book of the Law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God. There it will remain as a witness against you. For I know how rebellious and stiff-necked you are. If you have been rebellious against the LORD while I am still alive and with you, how much more will you rebel after I die!