When I was in high school I asked my Bible teacher how we knew Scripture was inspired. His answer was less than inspired. He said, “Because it says so.” Then he showed me 2 Timothy 3:16. “All Scripture is God breathed (inspired) and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, . . .” His answer left me wanting to argue with him but I knew better. He was a narrow man. Self-testimony doesn’t prove anything. I could tell you I was Batman but that wouldn’t make me Batman. Paul, who wrote 2 Timothy, was not talking about his letters. He did not think he was writing Scripture anymore than David thought that when writing the Psalms. Paul would especially argue with us about Philemon being Scripture.
Scripture becomes Scripture through the years because of its value and internal worth. It is useful for teaching, rebuking and correcting. It draws us closer to God and prepares us to be better people. Jesus said, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” An interesting question arises. What about people who use the Bible for vindictive, selfish purposes? For them it ceases to be the Word of God. They have perverted it into something evil.
Reading is a unique process. When we read we bring all our life experiences to the page. We filter the words through our wants, needs and education. Each of us reads something different even though we use the same pages. This is why we very much need to pray for the Holy Spirit’s assistance when we read. Without the Spirit’s guidance we read what we want to read. With the Spirit’s tutelage we read what God wants us to know. Without the Spirit it is ink on paper. With the Spirit it becomes Scripture.
Written by Roger Bothwell on October 28, 2013
Spring of Life Ministry, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 9457