Today’s great need for the world in general, and the church in particular, is a greater trust in the the Bible as the flawless Word of God. So many today have abandoned the Word of God as the highest authority for all of life and have sought alternative rules and guides to measure their lives. These alternate standards may be political agendas (both to the Left and the Right), they may be generic cultural perspectives, or a host of other options. Whole denominations and churches have abandoned their faithful foundations. How did this occur? They exchanged the Holy Spirit for the spirit of the age. As Christians, our aim is to honor the message once for all delivered by God through His Apostles and Prophets because this is how we honor our King and this is the standard by which we shall all be held accountable.
What then is a Christian perspective of the Bible? The first and most important note is to understand that the Bible is the book of books. Just as the Lord Jesus Christ is the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords, so the Bible is above every book because of its primary author: God Himself. Consider some Scripture with me.
We can examine all of the Bible to learn about this centrality of the Word of God. We find in Moses these words, “The LORD spoke with you face to face at the mountain, out of the midst of the fire.” (Duet. 5:4 ESV) God spoke clearly to His people; He is able to do so. Not only were His words sufficient and clear, but any tampering with them were understood to be spiritually untenable instead of courageous or bold. God warned, “Do not add to his words, lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.” (Prov. 30:6 ESV) Why is it that we don’t need to tamper with the Word? They are pure in and of themselves because of the holiness and character of God. “The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.” (Psalm 12:6 ESV)
The New Testament also echoes these sentiments. The Lord Jesus understands the Old Testament as the unadulterated Word of God Himself. His bout with Satan revealed this clearly. Jesus equated that which was written with the “mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4; Deut. 8:3) In His high priestly prayer He said to His Father, “your word is truth.” (John 17:17 ESV) The Lord even gave His promise, even in His prophecy which was fulfilled entirely in AD 70 with the destruction of Jerusalem: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” (Matt. 24:35 ESV)
The Apostles likewise echo the same ideas of the Old Testament, and the Lord Jesus. We read in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteous,” (ESV). We find similar language in 2 Peter 1:21, “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” They even recognize that their words are also uniquely the Word of God, “we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.” (1 Thess. 2:13)
What do we do with all this data? There are no lack of options or opinions as the history of the church has revealed. Some have discounted them entirely as the musings of pre-modern man doing the best he could with the tools available. This is ultimately a statement of arrogance and presumption that denies the supernaturalism of the Bible beforehand because of their own philosophical commitments. In other words, it begins with the idea “This could never happen this way” and thus “this didn’t happen in this way.” This is how countless Christians, pastors, churches, and whole denominations have walked away from the faith and will be held more accountable because they had the very Word of God, and chose to cast the bits they didn’t like behind them.
The authority of the Bible has been replaced with the authority of someone or something else whether it be a church council, a pope, reason itself, tradition, what grandma or grandpa used to say, what my political party says, what my friends think, or a host of other options. People come and stand over Scripture judge it according to their words. Scripture, however, is above us and we are judged by it. For its authority comes and is preserved by its infallible author, the LORD God.