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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)

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Westminster Wednesday

THE WESTMINSTER LARGER CATECHISM

What man ought to believe concerning God…

Question 8:

Q. Are there more Gods than one?

A. There is but one only, the living and true God (1 John 5:7; Matt. 3:16–17; 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; John 10:30).

QUESTION 7

THE WESTMINSTER CONFESSION OF FAITH

Chapter I: Of the Holy Scripture

VIII. The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which, at the time of the writing of it, was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and, by His singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; so as, in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them. But, because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have right unto, and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded, in the fear of God, to read and search them, therefore they are to be translated in to the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come, that, the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship Him in an acceptable manner; and, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, may have hope.

ARTICLE 7

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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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Westminster Wednesday

THE WESTMINSTER LARGER CATECHISM

What Man Ought to Believe Concerning God…

Question 7:

Q. What is God?

A. God is a Spirit (John 4:24), in and of himself infinite in being (Ex. 3:14; Job 11:7–9), glory (Acts 7:2), blessedness (1 Tim. 6:15), and perfection (Matt. 5:48); all-sufficient (Gen. 17:1), eternal (Ps. 90:2), unchangeable (Mal. 3:6), incomprehensible (1 Kings 8:27), every where present (Ps. 139:1–13), almighty (Rev. 4:8), knowing all things (Heb. 4:13; Ps. 147:5), most wise (Rom. 16:27), most holy (Isa. 6:3; Rev. 15:4), most just (Deut. 34:2), most merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth (Ex. 34:6).

 

QUESTION 6

 

THE WESTMINSTER CONFESSION OF FAITH

Chapter I: Of the Holy Scripture

VII. All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them.

 

ARTICLE 6

 

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According to the Word of God

ACCORDING TO THE WORD OF GOD

“If we take heed to our way in the light of God’s Word, we will consider seriously where our way will end… The fact is that a holy God must punish sin and, for Christ’s sake, reward the godly. Again it is the Word of God which gives the necessary perspective, not only on this life, but also on the eternity which lies beyond it. And the Word shows us the one, narrow, way to heaven–through Jesus Christ, the crucified Redeemer–although it is so much despised by those who want to believe that they are thoroughly up to date in their thinking. They may be up to date, but that is of no advantage when their thinking is wrong.” (Kenneth Macleod)

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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)

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Scripture Alone

SCRIPTURE ALONE

“In order to lead the church back to sola Scriptura, we must realize that we cannot do so only by teaching about the doctrine itself (although we must do this). Instead, the primary way we lead the church back is by actually preaching the Scriptures. Only the Word of God has the power to transform and reform our churches. So, we should not only talk about sola Scriptura, but we should demonstrate it. And when we do, we must preach all of God’s Word—not picking and choosing the parts we prefer or think our congregations want to hear. We must preach only the Word (sola Scriptura), and we must preach all the Word (tota Scriptura). The two go hand in hand. When they are joined together in the power of the Holy Spirit, we can have hope for a new reformation.” (Michael Kruger)

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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.

 

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