“All Scripture is inspired (‘God breathed’ ESV) of God” 2 Timothy 3:16
“For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit” 2 Peter 1:21.
The Bible says it is an inspired book. It claims to be from God. His words revealed to humans and recorded in written form. It is the holy, sacred, word of God.
How do we know the Bible is inspired?
Passages like Hebrews 3:7 speak of the Bible as being the words of God. But what evidence do we have of these statements being true? Fulfilled prophecies in the Scriptures are wonderful testimonies of its Divine origin. The perfection of the Bible in geographic and historical materials demand a Heavenly explanation. Finally, the universal applicability of the Scriptures are unique to the Bible. All these things point to God as the ultimate Author of the Book.
Consequences of inspiration.
J. I. Packer rightly observed:
The Christian principle of Biblical authority means, on the one hand, that God purposes to direct the belief and behavior of his people through the revealed truth set forth in Holy Scripture; on the other hand it means that all our ideas about God should be measured, tested, and where necessary corrected and enlarged, by reference to Biblical teaching” (Concise Theology, 16).
Since the Bible truly is the Word of God, that demands we treat it as the utmost authority. Whatever we believe and practice must be controlled by God through his Word. “Scripture now functions precisely as the instrument of Christ’s Lordship over his followers” (Packer, 16).
True knowledge comes through faith. Faith comes by the Word–Romans 10:17. We are warned against “false knowledge” (1 Timothy 6:20-21). We are warned against false worship–Matthew 15:9. We are warned against establishing our own righteousness–Romans 10:3.
If our doctrine does not come from the Book, it is false doctrine. If our doctrine is not the result of accurate interpretation, it is false doctrine (2 Timothy 2:15). Therefore, we must “speak where the Bible speakers and be silent where the Bible is silent.” We must search the Scriptures to see if the things we have been taught are so” (Acts 17:11).
Doctrine is important because truth is important because God is the source of truth (John 14:6; John 1:17; John 17:17). Those who teach and/or practice false doctrines are to be lovingly corrected (Acts 18:24-26). If rebellion is the goal, then those individuals must be avoided (2 Thessalonians 3:14).
Since the Bible truly is the Word of God, we must be confident in its commands and patterns. We must not waver. We must not yield to anything less than obedience to the Book or else we are found denying its Author.
Because the Bible is God’s inspired book, we must be what he has told us to be to the best of our ability. We must believe in God (Hebrews 12:6). We must believe the truth about Jesus as the Messiah. He said, “unless you believe I am he, you shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). We must believe in the Holy Spirit as part of the Triune God (Matthew 28:19).
We must obey the Gospel in order to be saved. Those who believe have the right to become the children of God (John 1:12). Those who believe obey the Gospel and are saved (2 Thessalonians 1:8). So Paul wrote:
But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. Romans 6:17
We obey the the gospel when we are moved by faith to die to sin and be buried with Christ (Romans 6:1-4). Then we are raised by God with Christ (Romans 6:5; Colosians 2:12; and Galatians 3:26-27).
We must also worship as we are commanded. When I am asked abut the lack of musical instruments in our worship, I am reminded of God’s authority. He has commanded singing (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). To do otherwise would be to be acting without faith. It would be to act contrary to God’s authoritative word which is his law. So I will not use instrumental music because it was not allowed by God in the New Testament (Hebrews 8).
I will partake of the Lord’s supper every first day of the week. That is the only example I have in the New Testament. I will lead public prayers because God commands men to do that and forbids women from doing that 1 Corinthians 14:47; 2 Timothy 2).
Do these doctrinal things really matter?
Many will say these things don’t matter. But they do matter because God matters and he has spoken through his word. If God was silent on the matters, then we could and should be silent as well.
But God has spoken, and that makes all the difference.