We speak often of the Bible as “God’s Word.” It originates in Him. He is the author and source of Scripture. It was written by men in their own languages and vocabulary, and out of their education and background. But it was not their message and idea. It has its source in God.
Perhaps no passage reflects that reality as much as 2 Timothy 3:16-17 — “All Scripture is inspired by God…” Every word of Scripture and the totality of Scripture is from God. And as we noted last Sunday, “inspired” does not mean “inspirational” in the sense of being motivating or encouraging. It more literally means, “breathed out.” It is something which is sourced in God and originates with God and is spoken by God. Every Word of Scripture has God as its authoritative source.
While 2 Timothy 3:16 is a definitive passage about that truth, many other passages assert the same truth. For instance, when Moses brought the tablets of the Law down from the mountain, he said, “Then God spoke all these words, saying…” (Ex. 20:1). Moses was carrying the tablets and he would later write them on a scroll, but they weren’t his words; they were God’s words.
God asserts the same thing through the prophet Malachi when He says, “Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel” (Mal. 4:4). Moses may have penned the Law, but it was God’s commandment and God’s Law. The Law did not originate with Moses. It came from God.
In John 10, Jesus quotes from Psalm 82:6 and then says about Asaph’s psalm that it was “the word of God” (Jn. 10:34-35). Similarly, in Acts 1:16, Peter says that “the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas…” (Acts 1:16). Again, David wrote the prophecy, but the prophecy originated with God the Holy Spirit, not the man David.
Paul says in Romans 1:2 that God made promises in “the Holy Scriptures” and He made those promises “through His prophets.” So the prophets spoke and wrote, but they were the promises of God and not the promises of men. Similarly, the Jews had been entrusted with the “oracles of God” when they received the Scriptures (Rom. 3:2). And when Paul and the prophets spoke and wrote, they were disseminating the wisdom of God (wisdom that came from and was sourced in God) and not their own wisdom (1 Cor. 2:4-10).
The gospel that was preached by Paul and others is not their message of good news; it was the message of God through the revelation of Jesus Christ (Gal. 1:11-12). When the Thessalonians responded to the preached Word, they “received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God…” (1 Thess. 2:13).
When the prophets spoke their message, it was not their message, but the word and message of God (Heb. 1:1-2). Whose voice is heard when we hear Scripture? It is the voice of the Holy Spirit (Heb. 3:7; 9:8). Peter emphatically asserts this when he says that “no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Pt. 1:21). When the Scriptures were written down it was God’s Word alone that was being penned.
Scripture is not an accumulation of clever ideas of thoughtful men. It is the living, active Word that comes from the mind and heart of God alone. It is a Word that is true and inerrant because it comes from a true and inerrant God. That makes it trustworthy. The Word also has only God as its author and source, and that makes it compellingly authoritative. That means it must be obeyed because God must be obeyed as Lord and Master.
This Word we hold in our hands as we worship on Sundays and read in the mornings as we fellowship with our Father, and as we instruct our children throughout each day is a hopeful Word for us, not because it has interesting stories and deep truths; it is our sufficient hope for every need of our lives because it is from God and God alone. It is His Word. It is His breathed-out and spoken Word.