Remember the Bible Series, #1
Inspired by God
All Scripture is inspired by God . . . .
~ 2 Timothy 3:16
Editor’s Note: Today’s Daily Inspiration is mostly a repeat of last Monday’s. We are trying to emphasize our new “Remember the Bible” series and to encourage and help people to really drill it into their minds; and not just the words or the citation, but the meaning and importance, so that they will remember it if the issue should come up in discussion.
At least for the time being, on an experimental basis, every Monday’s Daily Inspiration will relate to the Memory verse. Since we are giving each verse two weeks, this means that every other Monday might be a repeat of, or at least have substantial overlap with, the previous Monday.
There is not much to memorizing this passage. We have chopped it down to the first five words. Even the citation is easy to remember, because the verse of the Bible that people are most likely to know is John 3:16, and this is the same chapter and verse number — just remember it's in 2 Timothy and you’re home free.
We have put this first in our new integrated “Remember the Bible” series because it is the most important verse about the Bible in the Bible. Who says the Bible is the Word of God? Well, the Bible does, and this is the verse that says it most clearly.
The significance of this verse to the Christian is enormous. The word “inspired” has a very distinct and different meaning in the Bible from the primary usage of “inspired” in everyday English. In fact, there is no English word that translates the original Bible term. “Inspired” in this context does not mean “arising from an unusual or powerful creative impulse” or “brilliant” or even “motivated by divine force.” It means, literally, “breathed out” (and some translations actually read, “All Scripture is breathed out . . .”). The Bible was exhaled by God. The Bible is not the words of men who were motivated by God; it is the Word of God Himself. It was made by God using men as His agents to write it down; it was not written by men who were inspired by God, in the everyday sense of the term.
Your skeptic will say, of course, that the verse is self-referential and self-authenticating; and he is correct to some degree. But the verse is not for skeptics — it is for believers (or for those struggling to find God). And here is what it means: If a person thinks that the Bible is true and authoritative, that person must accept that it is divine. The Bible will not allow itself to be read in part. It is either entirely divine, and therefore unassailable and not capable of modification (except by God), or else it is just a book of moral maxims. To pick and choose which parts of the Bible you want to believe or follow is to effectively deny its divine origin.
We try to understand. There is no harm in it. But the Bible does not call us to understanding; it calls us to acceptance and, ultimately, to obedience.
Perhaps the best statement of the effect this passage has on Biblical scholarship come from the 19th century preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, who put it this way: “The mind of God is greater than all the minds of men, so let all men leave the gospel just as God has delivered it unto us.” Human reason and logic cannot explain away parts of the Bible. To reject a part of the Bible is, by the terms of the Bible itself, to reject God’s Word.
Lord, let me always remember that your Bible is sacred and infallible. Amen.
~ Mason Barge
Editor, Daily Prayer