- Published: 05 January 2011
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1. THE DECLARATION
We believe the original Scriptures to be fully and verbally inspired by God, and that they come to us with all the authority of 'Thus saith the Lord'.
We believe them to be a revelation from God given through men chosen by Himself, and superintended by the Holy Spirit in such a way as to preclude all human error.
We believe the Scriptures to be the one and only authority for the Christian in matters of faith and practice.We accept them unreservedly as the Word of God.
2. SCRIPTURAL GROUNDS
'...All Scripture is given by inspiration of God' (2 Tim. 3:16).
'...No prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost'
(2 Peter 1:20,21).
'Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts'
'... This Scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake' (Acts 1:16).
'... All things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning Me' (Luke 24:44).
Moses 'received the lively (living) oracles to give (them) unto us' (Acts 7:38).
'Behold, I have put My words in thy mouth' (Jer. 1:9).
'... Son of man ... go ... speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord GOD ' (Ezek. 3:10,11).
'The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and His word was in my tongue' (2 Sam. 23:2).
3. AN EXAMINATION OF SOME OF THESE SCRIPTURES, AND A REASON FOR THE HOPE WITHIN US.
While it might be conceded that the doctrine of the Person and work of Christ, or the essentials of the gospel, are of greater importance to us as sinners needing salvation than the question of the inspiration of Scripture, nevertheless, it is true that we can only know Christ as He is revealed in the Scriptures, and the gospel as preached by Paul and the apostles from the same writings.
See 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 for Paul's attitude:
'The gospel ... Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures ... He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures'.
See 1 Peter 1:25 for Peter's attitude:
'The Word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the Word which by the gospel is preached unto you'.
These testimonies of the two great apostles - the apostle of the Gentiles and the apostle of the Circumcision - are of great weight, but there is a still higher authority - the testimony of Him Who is Lord of all.
THE TESTIMONY OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
It is both scriptural truth and common sense that the servant is not above his Lord. Every Christian who owns Christ as Saviour and Lord has no alternative but to believe what He says, and He has spoken explicitly as to the Old Testament Scriptures.
'For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me: for he wrote of Me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe My words?' (John 5:46,47).
How can we answer that question? Can we call Him Lord and Saviour, Prophet, Priest and King, Vanquisher of Death, Deliverer from Sin, and say, too, that He was mistaken about the law of Moses? The Lord met His first great temptation with three quotations from the book of Deuteronomy (Matt. 4:4,7,10). Throughout His ministry He quoted as authoritative, Law, Prophet and Psalm. Even in His dying hour He placed the fulfilment of prophetic Scripture in the very foremost place (John 19:28). And as the Risen One, when all possible limitation was for ever gone, He accepted the complete canon of the Old Testament, saying:
'Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself (Luke 24:26,27).
'These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning Me' (Luke 24:44).
We pass from this most emphatic testimony to that of other witnesses to the same truth.
HOW SCRIPTURE WAS GIVEN
'All Scripture is given by inspiration of God' (2 Tim. 3:16).
'Scripture' is graphe, something 'written'; 'given by inspiration of God' is theopneustos, 'God-breathed'. In
other words the written Word is the Word that God spoke, no interval being allowed for the imaginings of men.
HOW SCRIPTURE CAME
'... No prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost'
(2 Peter 1:20,21).
'Private interpretation' is the rendering of idias epiluseos, 'of its own unfolding'. Prophecy did not originate in the mind or the will of man. The writers were 'moved' by the Holy Ghost, 'moved' as irresistibly as was the ship in Acts 27:15, where the same word is used - 'We let her drive'.
In both of these basic passages, the thought of the Spirit is emphasized. So we read elsewhere:
'... This Scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas' (Acts 1:16).
'... That it might be fulfilled which was spoken of (by hupo) the Lord by (through dia) the prophet' (Matt. 1:22).
'But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all His prophets, that Christ should suffer, He hath so fulfilled' (Acts 3:18).
It is not our present purpose to do more than supplement our declaration with a brief 'reason for the hope within us', and what has been brought forward must suffice. 'Thy Word is truth'.