Thursday, May 4, 2017

IF WE HAVE THE SPIRIT TO GUIDE US, DO WE NEED TO CLING TO THE DOCTRINE OF THE “INERRANCY OF SCRIPTURES?”





This doctrine reflects the teachings of Scripture that the Bible, in its original writing, is without error and is therefore entirely trustworthy. Paul put it like this:

  • All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)

  • For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)

If all Scripture is God-given, then it is “useful” and able to “thoroughly equip [us] for every good work.” If it is not God-given in its entirety, then its errors will mislead.

However, some theologians and preachers claim that this understanding is not essential. Instead, they claim:

·       We don’t need “inerrancy,” but Spirit-led group discernment to direct our understanding of Scripture.

Truly, the Spirit does give discernment, but this discernment is based upon, and not apart from, the inerrant Scriptures, which He has authored:

  • Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:20-21)

Even though Scripture bears the markings of its human writers – vocabulary, style, and affiliations – it is, above all else, the product of the Spirit, as its authors have claimed:

·       For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe. (1 Thess. 2:13)

This was also the testimony of Jesus, who regarded every Word of Scripture as God-given and necessary for life:

·       Jesus answered [Satan], "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" (Matthew 4:4)

In contrast, the late theologian, Clark Pinnock, disparaged Scripture:

·       “God uses fallible spokesmen all the time to deliver His Word, and it does not follow that the Bible must be otherwise” [other than fallible].

However, although they understood their own fallibility, the writers of Scripture did not regard Scripture as fallible. Why not? Because they knew that they were guided by the Spirit:

·       Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things. (1 Peter 1:10-12)

Knowing that they didn’t entirely understand what they were writing, they sought the Spirit for illumination. However, they were informed that it wasn’t for them to entirely understand it. Instead, it was intended for us.

How can we trust the Spirit to guide us into His truths after we have rejected His fountain of truth – the Scriptures? We cannot. We have already proved that we have closed our minds to His revelation.

Instead, we require the light of the inerrant Scriptures. Israel had thought that they were correct as they pursued other gods. However, in the 18 year of the reign of the godly King Josiah, the priest Hilkiah approached the King with a Book that had just been found in the Temple:

·       When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes. He gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king's attendant: "Go and inquire of the LORD for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the LORD's anger that burns against us because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us." (2 Kings 22:11-13)

This discovery led to a great revival. Without the “Book of the Law,” the people would have continued with what they had discerned to be godl, but wasn’t.

Even if we haven’t closed ourselves off to Scripture’s influence, group discernment of the guidance of the Spirit, without His Scriptures, has historically proved untrustworthy.

It seems that all of the Apostles had abandoned the teachings of Scripture at the time of the Crucifixion and directly afterwards. According to their intuitions, Jesus was dead, and it was all over. However, after Jesus appeared to them, as they hid behind locked doors, He brought them back to the truths of the Scriptures:

·       He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms." Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:44-47)

Mere discernment of the events had failed them. Consequently, Jesus brought them back to the Scriptures.

After rejecting the means (Scripture) to discern between what is fleshly and what is spiritual, we are left without any absolute measure to decide whose “spiritual” discernment is correct.

Pinnock was right about our fallibility. This is why we need an inerrant Bible. We need it to judge us rather than we judging Scripture, taking from it only what seems right to us.

We do not have the freedom to neglect or discard what doesn’t seem right to us. History shows that the Church will discard many teachings about hell, miracles, and sexual sin and anything that doesn’t feel right. Instead, we are required to live by the entire Word of God, as Jesus had proclaimed:

·       "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" (Matthew 4:4)

2 comments:

  1. Praise The Lord for His unfathomable goodness and mercies. He gives us His Word, and He accepts a contrite heart. We are all sinners with limitations, but he still makes and molds us to be useful. np

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