The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture

THE INSPIRATION AND AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE

“it remains true that Scripture and its authority, in the most profound and central sense of the word, is not obscure but clear, namely, in the manner in which it teaches persons to understand themselves, the world, history, and the future in the light of the God and Father of Jesus Christ. It is on account of this clarity of the Scripture that it is an ever-flowing well of knowledge and life and that it teaches wisdom to the simple. And it is on account of this clarity and this purpose of the Scripture that it can be identified with the Word of God, that it has unconditional authority, and that it is the infallible foundation for faith.” (Herman Ridderbos)

For more on this subject, please visit the Systematic Theology page.

 

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The Attestation of Scripture

THE ATTESTATION OF SCRIPTURE

“The internal testimony of the Spirit is the necessary complement to the witness Scripture inherently bears to its plenary inspiration. The two pillars of true faith in Scripture as God’s Word are the objective witness and the internal testimony. The objective witness furnishes us with a conception of Scripture that provides the proper basis for the ever-active sealing operation of the Spirit of truth. The internal testimony insures that this objective witness elicits the proper response in the human consciousness. The sealing function of the Spirit finds its complete explanation and validation in the pervasive witness that Scripture bears to its own divine origin and authority. And the witness to plenary inspiration receives its constant confirmation in the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in the hearts of believers.” (John Murray)

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What Does Sola Scriptura Mean?

WHAT DOES SOLA SCRIPTURA MEAN?

“The Reformation principle of sola Scriptura has to do with the sufficiency of Scripture as our supreme authority in all spiritual matters. Sola Scriptura simply means that all truth necessary for our salvation and spiritual life is taught either explicitly or implicitly in Scripture. It is not a claim that all truth of every kind is found in Scripture… [it is] the perfect and only standard of spiritual truth, revealing infallibly all that we must believe in order to be saved and all that we must do in order to glorify God. That–no more, no less–is what sola Scriptura means.” (John MacArthur)

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The Erosion of God-Centered Worship

THE EROSION OF GOD-CENTERED WORSHIP

“Wherever in the church biblical authority has been lost, Christ has been displaced, the gospel has been distorted, or faith has been perverted, it has always been for one reason: our interests have displaced God’s and we are doing his work in our way. The loss of God’s centrality in the life of today’s church is common and lamentable. It is this loss that allows us to transform worship into entertainment, gospel preaching into marketing, believing into technique, being good into feeling good about ourselves, and faithfulness into being successful. As a result, God, Christ and the Bible have come to mean too little to us and rest too inconsequentially upon us.

God does not exist to satisfy human ambitions, cravings, the appetite for consumption, or our own private spiritual interests. We must focus on God in our worship, rather than the satisfaction of our personal needs. God is sovereign in worship; we are not. Our concern must be for God’s kingdom, not our own empires, popularity or success.” (The Cambridge Declaration)

For more on this subject, please visit The Northwest Ohio Reformation Society.

 

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Westminster Wednesday

THE WESTMINSTER LARGER CATECHISM

What Man Ought to Believe Concerning God…

Question 6:

Q. What do the Scriptures make known of God?

A. The Scriptures make known what God is (Heb. 11:6), the persons in the Godhead (1 John 5:17), His decrees (Acts 15:14–15, 18), and the execution of His decrees (Acts 4:27–28).

 

Question 5

 

THE WESTMINSTER CONFESSION OF FAITH

Chapter I: Of the Holy Scripture

VI. The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men. Nevertheless, we acknowledge the inward illumination of the Spirit of God to be necessary for the saving understanding of such things as are revealed in the Word: and that there are some circumstances concerning the worship of God, and government of the Church, common to human actions and societies, which are to be ordered by the light of nature, and Christian prudence, according to the general rules of the Word, which are always to be observed.

 

ARTICLE 5

 

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Sola Scriptura?

WHAT DO WE MEAN BY SOLA SCRIPTURA?

“We must see that the canon of Scripture is, in a real sense, established by the Scripture itself, because the canonical books are self-authenticating. As God’s revelation, they are recognized by the people of God as God’s own Word… In the deepest sense we cannot judge the Word, but the Word judges us… The self-authenticating character of the canon is demonstrated by the remarkable unanimity reached by the people of God on the canon.” (W. Robert Godfrey)

For more on this subject, please visit the Exegetical Theology page.

 

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Westminster Wednesday

THE WESTMINSTER LARGER CATECHISM

Question 5:

Q. What do the Scriptures principally teach?

A. The Scriptures principally teach, what man is to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of man (2 Tim. 1:13)

 

question 4

 

THE WESTMINSTER CONFESSION OF FAITH

Chapter I: Of the Holy Scripture

V. We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture. And the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is, to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man’s salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it does abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God: yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.

 

article 4

 

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Westminster Wednesday

THE WESTMINSTER LARGER CATECHISM

Question 4:

Q. How does it appear that the Scriptures are the Word of God?

A. The Scriptures manifest themselves to be the Word of God, by their majesty (Hos. 8:12; 1 Cor. 2:6–7, 13; Ps. 119:18, 129) and purity (Ps. 12:6; 119:140); by the consent of all the parts (Acts 10:43; 26:22); and the scope of the whole, which is to give all glory to God (Rom. 3:19, 27); by their light and power to convince and convert sinners, to comfort and build up believers unto salvation (Acts 18:28; Heb. 4:12; Jam. 1:18; Ps. 19:7–9; Rom. 15:4; Acts 20:32): but the Spirit of God bearing witness by and with the Scriptures in the heart of man, is alone able fully to persuade it that they are the very word of God (John 16:13–14; 1 John 2:20, 27; John 20:31).

QUESTION 3

 

THE WESTMINSTER CONFESSION OF FAITH

Chapter I: Of Holy Scripture

IV. The authority of the Holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed, and obeyed, depends not upon the testimony of any man, or Church; but wholly upon God (who is truth itself) the author thereof: and therefore it is to be received, because it is the Word of God.

ARTICLE 3

 

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Is the Bible Inerrant?

IS THE BIBLE INERRANT?

“The church has historically confessed that Scripture is the Word of God. It is God speaking to us. There are also human authors of Scripture, and the content of Scripture reflects their personalities, styles, and experiences. But the humanity of Scripture does not mean that Scripture has less authority than, say, the divine voice at Mount Sinai. The authority of Scripture is nothing less than the authority of God himself… ‘Inerrant’ simply means ‘without error,’ or ‘true’ in the sense that we normally speak of true sentences, true doctrines, true accounts, true principles. Were God to speak to us in person, ‘directly,’ none of us would dare to charge him with error. Errors arise from ignorance or deceit; and our God is neither ignorant, nor is he a deceiver. Similarly, we dare not charge his written Word with error.” (John Frame)

For more on the subject, please visit Frame-Poythress.org.

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Sola Scriptura and the Early Church

SOLA SCRIPTURA AND THE EARLY CHURCH

“Sola Scriptura is the teaching and belief that there is only one special revelation from God that man possesses today, the written Scriptures or the Bible, and that consequently the Scriptures are materially sufficient and are by their very nature as being inspired by God the ultimate authority for the Church. This means that there is no portion of that revelation which has been preserved in the form of oral tradition independent of Scripture.” (William Webster)

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