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Word of God
The Inspiration of the Bible
Victor M. Eskew
A. There are many individuals who view the Bible as a human product.
B. We say: “The Bible is the Word of God.”
C. How did God reveal His message to humanity? The process is referred to as inspiration. Let’s look at inspiration in this lesson.
I. TWO WORDS
A. Inspiration (II Tim. 3:16)
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
1. This is the only time this Greek word is found in the New Testament.
a. Greek word: theopneustos
b. Strong (2315): divinely breathed in
c. Thayer: inspired of God
d. Vine: theos – God and pneo – to breathe
1. Galatians 1:12; Ephesians 3;3; Revelation 1:1
How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery, (as I wrote afore in few words.
a. Greek word; apokalupsis (from which we get the word “apocalypse”)
b. Strong: disclosure
c. Thayer: laying bear…a disclosure to truth, instruction
d. Vine: an uncovering
3. This word is closely aligned with the word “mystery.”
a. Romans 16;25
To him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began.
1) Greek word: musterion
2) Strong (3466): a secret, a mystery (through the idea of silence…)
3) Thayer: hidden thing, secret, mystery, hidden purpose or counsel, not obvious to the understanding
c. Those who lived under the Old Covenant know that God was working some type of plan, but they could not comprehend it.
1) “Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently…” (I Pet. 1:10).
2) “…which things the angels desire to look into” (I Pet. 1:12).
d. The New Testament was the “revelation”, the uncovering, the disclosure, and the laying bear of those things which in time past were hidden (Eph. 3:3-5).
How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, where by when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.
1) He made known the mystery – revelation
2) Which in other ages was not make known – mystery
3) Revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit – inspiration
II. GOD HAD TO SPEAK
A. The need for God to speak (I Cor. 2:9-11)
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love him (the mystery). But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God (revelation and inspiration). For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God (the need for God to speak)
B. God has spoken.
1. In the Bible, we read the phrase, “Thus saith the Lord,” over 400 times.
2. Numerous passages refer to God’s having spoken.
a. Exodus 20:1
And God spake all these words, saying…
b. Hebrews 1:1, 2
God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake…hath in these last days spoken unto us.
III. MEN SPOKE THE WORD OF GOD
A. Moses (Exo. 4:12)
Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.
B. Jeremiah (Jer. 1:7, 9)
But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak…Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.
C. Ezekiel (Ezek. 2:7)
And thou shalt speak my words unto them…
1. The prophecy (Deut. 18:18)
I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.
2. John 12:49
For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
E. Other verses (Ezek. 38:17; Matt. 2:15; Acts 3:21)
F. NOTE: these men did not speak their own words.
1. David (II Sam. 23:2)
The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.
2. They did not have to think and premeditate what they would say (Mark 13:11).
But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.
3. Galatians 1:11-12
But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me if not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
4. II Peter 1:20
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation.
a. This is not talking about the hearer of the word interpreting the Word of God.
b. It is talking about the man of God who was to receive the message. It was not from his will that the word were forthcoming.
c. Notice the next verse: “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man…”
IV. THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE PROCESS
A. The Holy Spirit had to be involved (I Cor. 2:11).
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
B. He revealed God’s message in the Old Testament.
1. II Samuel 23:2
2. I Peter 1:10-11
C. He was promised to the apostles.
1. John 14:26
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
2. John 15:26
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.
3. John 16:12-13
I have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
a. There were things that still had not be revealed to the apostles by Jesus that would be eventually revealed by the Spirit.
b. It is interesting that the Holy Spirit did not speak of himself. What He heard is what He spoke. He was communicating the message that was given to Him by the heavenly Father.
D. The men received the message from the Spirit of God and spoke it to others.
1. Matthew 10:27
What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.
2. I Corinthians 2:12-13
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God, which things also we speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
3. II Peter 1:20-21
Know this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in the old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
E. Two important points:
1. The inspired man knew when the Holy Spirit was speaking in them.
a. David (II Sam. 23:2)
The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.
1) I Corinthians 7:40
…and I think also that I have the Spirit of God.
2) I Timothy 4;1
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly…
c. John (Rev. 1:10:
I was in the spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.
2. Because the words came from God, they can be said to be His even though men spoke them or wrote them. Psalm 45:6 contains the words of David, but Hebrews 1:8 says that they are God’s words.
Because the Holy Spirit revealed the words to the inspired penmen, they can be referred to as the words of the Holy Spirit. David penned Psalm 95:7. When the writer of Hebrews quotes it, he said that the Holy Spirit said it (Heb. 3:7).
Because men were involved in the process, the words can be said to be theirs. In Mark 7:10, we read that “Moses said” and in Acts 4;25, we read that “David said.”