The Baptist Pillar ©      Brandon Bible Baptist Church     1992-Present

"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15

The Bible - Is It Divinely Inspired?

Rev. J. T. Sharman, 1910

The importance of this subject is seen in the great amount of criticism which it has received. The age in which we now live, is indeed an evil age, not so much because of the overwhelming increase of sin which is true, but because the fundamental, the foundation truths of our Faith are attacked. The very Scriptures are attacked by some and denied to be the Word of God.

Today we have a class of people called the Higher Critics,' who after examining certain portions of the Bible by methods of their own, declare the Bible to be without Supernaturalism, and without Divine Authority. They say they do not believe the Old Testament, and only a portion of the New. They do not believe in the Incarnation of Christ, they do not believe His miracles, they say there is no Resurrection in the Bible, no Ascension, no Atonement, and so on, and even say that Jesus was not infallible. Merely all the teaching of the Bible they seem willing to accept is a little bit of the Sermon on the Mount.

Of course these men wear long clerical coats and have highly polished manners and they pass off for very devout Christians and many people really believe them to be so, but I want to say to the man who cuts up God's Word and tries to rob me of the fundamentals of my faith as laid down in God's Word, that he is nothing more than an infidel, in fact he is worse than that.

There is no person but who expects a serpent to hiss when he is near, or a dog to bark, a lion to roar and even an infidel to advertise himself when he comes to town, but here is a man, who is a wolf in sheep's clothing. He has come as an angel of Light, under the pretence of a devout Christian, but his one object is to try and destroy God's Word. Now then if the criticisms of the higher critic be true, if the narratives referred to are only myths, even though all the rest be accepted, then it is impossible to say that the Bible is the Word of God. Either the criticisms are false, or else the Bible is not the Word of God.

Objections to the Bible

There are those who today claim, that the Bible is nothing more than the inventions of good men. But to this claim we reply, that it could not possibly be the work of good men as some claim, for good men do not usually tell lies; and it certainly would be falsehood for anyone to write in the Bible: "Thus saith the Lord" when it is merely their own words.

And then others say, that the Bible is the work of bad men, or the work of fallen angels, but this likewise would be ridiculous and very unlikely for men, or angels of bad character, to write a book which commanded duty of all men, which forbids all sin and even condemns their own souls to hell through all eternity.

Now, after carefully studying these objections to the Bible, we must conclude that they are without ground and void of all reason and so far as the Divine authority of the Bible is concerned, it still remains unharmed.

The Meaning of Inspiration

Before we consider the Evidence of Inspiration let us get at the meaning of the term Inspiration. The word Inspiration means "God-breathed." It is composed of two Greek words, —Theos, meaning God, and Pneuein, meaning to breathe, and to say that the Scriptures are inspired of God, is to say that the Scriptures are God- breathed.

Of course God must have some agency into which to breathe and through which to record and to convey His message, so, if we compare II Peter 1:21, "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of men, but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" with the words of our text "All scripture is given by inspiration of God" we find the agency which God used in recording His revelation of truth and in conveying His messages to His people.

Again, by comparing these two passages of scripture we see that Inspiration is the strong conscious inbreathing of God into men, qualifying them to give utterance to truth, in other words, to say the Bible is the inspired word of God, is to say, that the Bible is truth revealed by God to the minds of men and then that truth recorded under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. (Book of Books.)

Now, what are we to infer from the word "All" recorded in our text? "All scripture is given by inspiration of God."

There are those who tell us that the word, all, here, does not imply all the Bible, but only the Old Testament, or that which was written up to the time of Paul writing the words of the text. Let that be as it may, all who wrote after Paul, also claim to be divinely inspired for the task of writing as did the apostle Paul and the last writer, John, the aged apostle, closes the record of truth, with this solemn warning "If any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life and out of the holy city and from the things which are written in this book." Rev. 22:19.

Now while there are many things which rest upon faith alone and must be accepted alone by faith, yet it is not necessary that we accept the Bible alone by faith, since God has given to us both Internal and External evidence of the Divine origin of His Word.

Evidences of Divine Inspiration

Internal Evidence: The Testimony of Christ.

In the beautiful sermon which Jesus delivered to His disciples upon the Mount, we find Jesus defending the Scriptures and saying, "Think not that I am come to destroy the Law and the Prophets, I came not to destroy but to fulfill, for verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass till all be fulfilled." Matt 5:17-18.

And speaking concerning the stability and endurance of the Scriptures, Jesus said: "The Scriptures cannot be broken. John 10:35. And yet again, in giving to the disciples His parting benediction, He prayed "Sanctify them through thy truth, thy Word is Truth" John 17:17. And how very noticeable it is, that no less than four hundred times does the Lord Jesus quote or refer to the Old Testament scriptures. Surely in these passages we cannot fail to see Christ believing the scriptures as Divine revelation and defending them as such. Now if Christ were the Truth, as He claims to be, and as we believe Him to be, how can any man be a believer in Christ and reject the scriptures which Christ Himself accepted and believed to have their origin with God.

Doubtless there are many today who do not believe in the Divine origin of Christ, infidels of every type and yet even these men speak in the most respectful terms of Jesus Christ and look upon Him as the best man that ever lived. And so if He was and He certainly was. why then should not the testimony of Christ regarding the Scriptures be accepted as good; or how can any man bow before Christ as greater than the greatest and then turn from Him when He speaks of the scriptures as the Word of God.

The Testimony of Miracles

The success of the Gospel during the time of our Lord and His apostles, was greatly due to the miraculous power which they manifested. There are many who today ask, why do we not see the working of miracles today among Christian workers as was done by Christ and His apostles? The answer is this, God is today working miracles, although another kind of miracle to those done in the days of Christ and the apostles.

Every time a soul is born again, God by the Holy Spirit performs a miracle just as great as any performed by Him while upon earth. Again, miracles were associated with the teachings of Christ and the apostles as an evidence that the gospel they were introducing came from God.

This is why Nicodemus said to Jesus, as recorded in the third chapter of John and verse two, "Rabbi, we know that thou are a teacher come from God; for no man can do these miracles which thou doest, except God be with him." So we see from the fact that miracles were associated with the teachings of Christ, and the same thing is true of the Apostles, that they were performed as an evidence that the religion they were establishing came from none other than from God and the whole purpose of Christ in working miracles was to give the people a revelation of the Father.

The Testimony of the Morality of The Bible

The high standard of holiness which is taught throughout the entire Bible, is an evidence of its divine origin.

As we study more and more the various systems of religion which have their origin in the mind of man, we are convinced that their moral force is nothing more than ritualism and the burden of the ritual demanding strict observance, the worshippers claim as an excuse for neglecting moral duties. For instance, there are many today whose religion extends no further than the observance of the church ritual. Mohammedanism gives the highest reward to those who fight and fall in conflict; Hinduism rewards most those who observe best the worship of the ritual, and Jewish tradition taught that all Jews were certainly saved.

But the Scripture, the blessed Word of God, brings all men alike into the presence of a Being of infinite holiness before whom the loftiest characters fall condemned; the heart of every man is naked to the eyes of God and all men in His sight, are condemned alike as sinners with their salvation and their holiness in Jesus Christ.

The Testimony of Prophecy

With one consent the Prophets of scripture regarded themselves the spokesmen of God. In approaching the people with a message, there was attached to their message a formula which the people accepted as coming from God Himself, "Thus saith the Lord"—"Hear ye the word of the Lord" and "the Word of the Lord came unto me?”

The prophet claimed that his message came from God, and the people accepted it as such: and the very fact that their message was fulfilled as it had been pro-claimed to the people was a sure evidence that it had its origin with God. And to the prophet of old we must give the verdict of scripture, that holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. How noticeable it is that there is not a single prophetic utterance in the Old Testament, but what has already been fulfilled or will be. We cannot dwell at length on this subject of prophecy, but I do want to make reference to one or two particular lines.

The first is in relation to Jesus Christ. There is not a single prophetic utterance in the Old Testament regarding the first coming of Christ, the manner of His coming, the manner of His life, the purpose of His coming, the nature of His work, the nature of His sufferings upon the Cross of Calvary, even the very words which He uttered while upon the cross, but were predicted in some instances, thousands of years before He came into the world at all, and they have all been fulfilled to the very letter.

Now then from the evidence that we have seen, from the claims of the Bible itself, from the testimony of Christ from the testimony of miracles, from the testimony of moral standard of the Bible, from prophecy, putting all this evidence together, though critics may lash it and cut it with the knife, there is but this one conclusion "the Bible could be of none other origin than to come from God" and when I hear anyone ridicule or deny the teachings of God's Word, I am reminded of a story told by a gentleman about his little dog:

"The first time our young dog heard thunder it startled him. He leaped out, gazed around and then began to bark at the disturber of his peace. When the next crash came he grew fierce and flew around the room, seeking to tear to pieces the intruder who dared thus defy him. It was an odd scene. The yelping dog pitted against the artillery of heaven.

The poor foolish creature, to think that his bark could silence the thunder clap, or intimidate the tempest of heaven. What was he like? His imitators are not far to seek. Among us are people of exceeding doggish breed, who go about howling at their maker. They endeavor to bark the Almighty, out of existence; and try to silence the voice of His warnings. They both deny and defy Him today, but they may be crushed beneath His righteous indignation tomorrow."

Let us stand by the old Book which gives to us God's universal and eternal plan of salvation, which is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path and let me conclude this with the message of the Apostle Paul, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other Gospel unto you than that ye have received let him be accursed." Galatians 1:8.