All scripture is inspired by God

Tuesday Reflection

9 June 2020

2 Timothy 3:16

There is not much to memorise in this passage.
It has been chopped down to the first six words.
Even the Bible reference is easy to remember, if we think back to yesterday's quote, John 3:16
It is the same chapter and verse, all we have to do is remember 2 Timothy, and we've got it.
This is the most important verse about the Bible, in the Bible.

Who says the Bible is the Word of God?
The bible does -this verse says it all.
The importance of this verse is immense.
If you look up the word 'inspired' in the dictionary you will find 'to give rise to';
'fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something,
especially something creative';
'motivated by divine force'.
But there is no English word that translates the original Bible term.
It means literally 'breathed out'.
The Bible is not the words of men motivated by God,
the Bible was exhaled by God, it is the Word of God himself;
made by God using men as his instruments to write it down.

This verse is not for sceptics who will say it is self-validating
therefore cannot be verified which makes it invalid;
it is for believers or those struggling to find God.

If a person thinks that the Bible is true and trustworthy
then it must be accepted as being divine and not capable of being changed
(except by God) otherwise it is just a book of moral sayings.

Human logic and reason cannot explain away parts of the Bible
but to reject a part of the Bible is,
by the terms of the Bible, to reject God's Word itself.
The great theologian and preacher Charles H Spurgeon 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 it is, as God delivered it to us.'

But the Bible is central to our faith,
and the wonder of the Bible is its diversity and complexity.
Like the faith it represents, like God who it tries to describe,
there is always more to discover.
The Bible is not a book with simple answers to all questions.
It is a book that keeps inspiring new questions, fresh insights, deeper faith.

We can hear The Word of God in scripture - on every single page.
Whether we read the Bible carefully each day at home,
or have it read to us each week in worship,
if we tune our ears to expect words of wisdom, wonder, inspiration, guidance,
the scriptures will come alive for us.

We can hear 'The Word of God among us' - because Jesus is alive

"The Lord is here; his spirit is with us"

we say these words each week in church (when that was allowed)
and if we tune in to God we can believe them anywhere.

"The Lord is here; his spirit is with us"

at the bus stop, at our workplace, in places of fear and wonder:
we can know that Jesus is with us there.

We can hear The Word of God within us -
because alive inside us, we have both the scriptures and the Spirit of God.
There are scriptures we know so well that they're part of who we are -
those Bible verses which have been with us from childhood and still support us,
complete statements like the Lord's Prayer or the Lord's My Shepherd (Psalm 23),
and sound bites like

"Do not be afraid", or
"You are made in God's image" or "I am the bread of life".

We also have the Spirit who lives in us,
connecting us to God and making these words come alive in us,
over and over again, if that is our desire.

'Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly', Paul writes.

Not oppressively, not tyrannically - but richly:
to bring out the best in us and bring us closer to the God of our salvation