Summary: In recent years there has been considerable division among Christians of all denominations in regard to the Bible and its contents. Some claim that only parts are inspired. Some declare that only its thoughts are inspired, but not its language. I have
Title: What the Bible Says About Itself
Text: For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12; RSV)
Scripture reading: Hebrews 4:12
In recent years there has been considerable division among Christians of all denominations in regard to the Bible and its contents. Some claim that only parts are inspired. Some declare that only its thoughts are inspired, but not its language. I have heard men and women say that much of the Bible is only stories meant to teach moral principles, but they never really happened. The very educated use theological terminology to describe certain concepts regarding the Bible and its contents, such as verbal inspiration, plenary inspiration, inerrancy, and so forth. Perhaps the safest course to pursue is to let the Bible speak for itself.
We should always beware of those who try to persuade us to worship the Bible as though it was a good-luck charm. The important thing about the scriptures is that they reveal to humans what God is like and how we can be reconciled to God through His Son Jesus Christ.
Today, let’s ask the Bible to answer five questions about itself:
1. What are the various names given to the Scriptures?
2. How are the Scriptures described?
3. How can the inspiration of the Scriptures be proved?
4. How can the Scriptures be understood?
5. How should the Scriptures be received?
Our text is Hebrews 4:12: For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
The Bible has a lot of other things to say about itself, but let’s ask the first question.
What are the Scriptures called?
First, they are called The Word of God (Heb 4:12). That phrase was in our text, which we read. As the Word of God, the scriptures are an extension of God’s being. They are more than just what God said. They are the essence of His nature.
Next, the Scriptures are called The Word of Truth (James 1:18). James wrote, “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.” Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” God’s word does not merely contain truth; it is absolute truth. Jesus said, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)
Third, the Scriptures are called the oracles of God (Rom 3:2). In Romans Paul wrote, “To begin with, the Jews are entrusted with the oracles of God.” Pagans referred to messengers from their gods as oracles. So when Paul was writing to Roman Christians (many of whom had only recently been saved out of paganism), he explained to them that the messages of the true God (which he calls oracles) were first given to the Jews.
The Scriptures are also called The Word (James 1:21-23). James wrote this about it, “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and accumulation of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass.” The phrase “engrafted word” implies the personification of Jesus Christ, who is “in you” in the person of the Holy Spirit.