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All Scripture is God-breathed . . .


08/21/2008 12:20 PM - Permalink

I want to answer some questions concerning the Bible and the Scriptures that have been raised by some people in my life recently.
What are the scriptures? Where did they come from? Who wrote them? Why are they here? How can we know they are the written Word of God? What are we supposed to do with them? What will they do for us?

Allow me to begin simply by saying that this article requires faith in some things. I am not here to offer scientific evidence of God or the way by which He rules. I am simply here to offer God's truth. If you cannot believe in a supernatural God who chooses to rule His creation with His word, then this article isn't for you, and neither would be any religion. But if you are searching for an absolute truth that has been tested and proven by men and women of faith from the beginning of time, then you may find some guidance here.

For the purpose of this article, I have elected to highlight certain sections of the texts I will be using to help interpret the answers to the questions above.
  • Text indicating where scripture came from will be highlighted in light-yellow
  • Text indicating what we are to do with scripture will be highlighted in light-blue
  • Text indicating what the scriptures will do for us will be highlighted in light-green
  • Text with red letters indicates the speaker was Jesus


Who wrote the Scriptures?

The Holy Bible, also known as the Holy Scriptures (sacred writings) or Bible canon, is a set of books considered by Christianity to be authoritative in all matters. The Bible is comprised of the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is a compilation of writings by the prophets, a record of Moses' encounter with God, and psalms that describe God's relationship with His people. Jesus and his disciples based their teachings on them, referring to them as "the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms ... the scriptures". (Luke 24:44–45) (Wikipedia) The New Testament contains the record of Jesus Christ, His life on earth, His mission, His teachings, His delegation to His 12 disciples -- the apostles -- to build His church by the power of His Spirit, and the prophecies of His return to set up an eternal kingdom, judging sin and rewarding righteousness.

The Old Testament was written by jewish prophets (such as Moses, Isaiah, etc.), kings of Israel, and other men and women of faith as a means of recording God's commands, principles God set up to be true on the Earth, and also to record the history of the relationship God chose with His people and His creation.

The New Testament was written by Jesus' disciples, minus Judas plus Paul, describing their encounters with Jesus, recording the teachings of Jesus, and encouraging others in faith in Christ as the Messiah. The New Testament affirms the Old Testament, consistantly quoting the Old Testament scriptures as well as offering evidence of the fulfillment of Old Testament scriptures in both literal and symbolic ways.

The writings were compiled in the Biblical canon through many Councils, mainly the Councils of Carthage, where the leaders of the various churches came together to debate matters of doctrine and common belief, as well as deal with major issues facing the church that possibly had never risen before. The earliest Council, in Jerusalem, was wisley recorded in the book of Acts in the New Testament as the "Council of Jerusalem."


Where did Scripture come from?

God, the Creator of all things, chooses to rule His creation with His word. The Bible says that "God is not a man that He should lie," (Numbers 23:19) meaning that since God is not a man, He cannot lie. The Bible also declares that "God calls things which are not as though they were" (Romans 4:17). When God issued the command, "light, Be!," to the void of all things -- it was the power of His word protruding from His mouth that caused the light to come forth, and that which had never existed before saw its first moment of being because of a command issued by God's word.
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
      It shall not return to Me void,
      But it shall accomplish what I please,
      And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:11 (NKJV)

The Bible is often refered to as the Word of God as it was "breathed" out of God's mouth.
All Scripture is God-breathed . . . - 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)

Words protrude from the mouth of God -- filled with the life-giving breath of God which created all that we can (and even cannot) see. Scripture was also breathed out of the mouth of God. Therefore, it contains the same power -- to make and unmake worlds if one can believe.
Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." - Mark 9:23 (NKJV)

Some people have an issue with the idea that Scripture was "written by God" or that it is the "Word of God." The Bible offers the following explantion:
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. - 2 Peter 1:20-21 (NIV)


Allow me to explain it with an analogy. Just like a human cannot write directly on paper without the use of a pen or pencil -- something designed to change the paper... God has chosen to restrict Himself to changing the world with man. Why is that, you might ask? Because God gave dominion authority to man on the earth. Man was created -- and empowered -- to rule on earth just like God rules in heaven.
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Genesis 1:26-28 (NKVJ)

Jesus Himself, God in the flesh, never even wrote a book. Instead He left it up to the disciples to build His church.
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. - Matthew 16:18 (NKJV)
14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Mark 16:14-18 (NKJV)

Jesus gave them power to be able to make the decisions, see the will and hand of God, and to be successful witnesses of God in the earth:
4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." 6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, "Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 And He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

Acts 1:4-8 (NKJV)


What is the scripture for?

God longs for you to prosper. But he has pre-established rules and principles of righteousness that carry His blessing. Walking in righteousness allows the power of God to be at work in your life. Scripture can be used to perfect this aspect of our lives, and help you to accomplish "every good work."
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. - 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)

Scripture helps you to stand up to the devil, the enemy of God. It helps you to overcome the plans he has devised to destroy you and steal the things that you have acquired that God has given you. It brings you peace, and it enables you to have protection and victory in every battle life throws your way.
The Armor of God

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.

Ephesians 6:10-18

Scripture builds your faith, which enables you to be an effective warrior in God's kingdom... but more importantly... it enables you to be classified with the elites of God's camp: His friends.
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. - Romans 10:17 (NKJ)
No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. - John 15:15

Knowledge of the Word of God is a good thing! It keeps us from being destroyed -- and keeps our children in God's grace.
"my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.
      "Because you have rejected knowledge,
      I also reject you as my priests;
      because you have ignored the law of your God,
      I also will ignore your children.

Hosea 4:6 (NIV)

NOT knowing God's word is actually considered by Jesus to be "an error" for man.
Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God." - Matthew 22:29

When we meditate on the word of the Lord "day and night" -- we are greatly blessed. For God rewards those that seek Him and trade their life for His.
1 Blessed is the man
      who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
      or stand in the way of sinners
      or sit in the seat of mockers.

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
      and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
      which yields its fruit in season
      and whose leaf does not wither.
      Whatever he does prospers.

      ...

6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
      but the way of the wicked will perish.

Psalms 1:1-3,6 (NIV)

We are to trust in God, trusting Him completely at His word alone, even if we don't understand it, and He promises that He will make our paths straight. This means He'll take the kinks out of the road, unwind them, remove obstacles, and make them clear to be known unto us.
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
      and lean not on your own understanding;

6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
      and he will make your paths straight.

When we constantly make God and the things of God and the Word of God a part of every moment of our every day lives, God promises that our it will "make [our] way prosperous" and that we shall "deal wisely and have good success."
"This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success" (Joshua 1:8).
Did you know that when you speak the Word of God, it activates power in your life? In fact, this verse says do not let it depart from your mouth. In other words, keep speaking and confessing the Word of God—no matter what your circumstances seem like. When you keep God’s Word in your mind, heart and mouth, it empowers you to obey all the Lord commands. Do you need strength today to overcome temptation? Do you need to be empowered to walk in love? Get the Word of God in your heart and declare what the Word of God says about your situation. Declare that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Declare that you have God’s grace for all things. And notice what this verse says will happen when you are walking in obedience to God’s Word: The key to having abundance and success in every area of your life is found in the Word of God. As you continue to speak the Word of God, you will be empowered in every area of your life, and you will live the life of victory the Lord has in store!
(source)


Summary

To sum it all up, God placed the scriptures in the hand of man so that we would be able to come to an intimate knowledge of Him, learn about His character, learn how to get His attention, and learn how to gain His favor. The Bible and the Spirit of God can lead us into a personal relationship with our Creator, so that we no longer believe what we are taught, but we believe what we live. When you cross that line, from following the teachings of our past and faithfully pursuing the God of all things -- the only eternal future man possesses.

Read the Bible. Study it. Meditate on it day and night. But most importantly, believe. And I promise... God will show up for you... every... single... time.

He's never disappointed me. He's never let me down. Not even once. And this is why. :)
 
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