The Inerrant Word
I like to say: "My words might challenge you, only God's Word can change you" and "The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God in the lives of the people of God for the glory of God". I believe it with all my heart. Without the Word we have nothing. It reveals Jesus to us and it reveals us to our true selves. We see God's holiness and our sinfulness. As Steve Lawson says, it is a sword that pierces (Heb. 4:12-13), a mirror that reveals (James 1:23), a seed that reproduces (1 Peter 1:23), milk that nourishes (1 Peter 2:2-3), a lamp that shines (Ps. 119:105), a fire that consumes (Jer. 23:29), and a hammer that shatters (Jer. 23:29). As Psalm 19 says, it is perfect, sure, right, pure, and very valuable.
This week, I have had the great privilege to benefit greatly from the teaching and preaching of the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God at two historic events. On Monday, I went with Ed Trenner and Mark Holbrook to The Masters Academy International Global Symposium on Biblical Inerrancy. Tuesday-Friday I attended the annual Shepherds' Conference at Grace Community Church and The Masters Seminary in Sun Valley with our pastoral staff. This year's conference was a (delete: greatly expanded. I am not sure everyone has in mind what it was to know how it expanded) Summit on Biblical Inerrancy with over 4,500 attendees from around the world. For your encouragement and edification, Here are some notes, quotes, thoughts, and observations:
"Four compelling reasons for an Inerrancy Summit"
1. The Scripture is Attacked. We are called to defend it.
Acts 20:28 savage wolves not sparing the flock and men from among your own selves men speaking perverse things. John 8:43 those of the devil cannot understand the Word. Antipathy in the heart of man towards the Word of God. 1 Cor. 2:14 natural man cannot understand.
2. The Bible is Authoritative. We must declare it.
2 Tim. 3:16. Rom. 9:17.Gal. 3:8. John 10:35 Scripture cannot be broken.
3. Scripture is Accurate. We must demonstrate it.
Is. 40:26; Eccles. 1:10; Rom. 8; Is. 53.
4. Scripture is Active. We must deploy it.
Powerful. Rom. 1:16. Saving. Sanctifying. John 17:17. When we preach the Word we deploy the instrument that the Holy Spirit uses to do His supernatural work. The sword of the Spirit. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.
The Bible: Every word inspired, every word preached.
You can believe the Word of God with full confidence. Deny it to your great peril. The love of God in Christ drives us, impels us, to hold to the Word as inerrant, inspired, and infallible. I serve the real God, the One True God, who has revealed Himself to me through His Word.
Inerrancy is not an optional belief. It is the essential position of Jesus-loving, Bible-believing, Gospel-changed people. We believe every word of God's Word is from God. Full confidence, total sufficiency.
The contemporary American Church is very haphazard and flippant with the Word of God. We'd rather play around and sequester ourselves from the world and engage in emotionalism and drummed up experiences. We are superstitious and syncretistic, afraid to offend and intent on weaving elaborate stories to try and convince ourselves that we are alright and that God is doing something amongst us. But all the while the Wordless Church is an empty shell, bankrupt, out of energy, headed for a rude awakening. Believers who neglect the Word of God do so to their own peril (Prov. 13:13). We think God doesn't mind if we do not mind His Word. We think that it's just make-believe. But in the final analysis God does not dwell with just anybody, but the one who is seeking Him. God draws near to the one who is under the authority of His inspired, inerrant, infallible Word. But it seems like many would rather feel good and be entertained. The Church that has no hunger or capacity or patience or time for the written Word of God might be a involved with a great many busy activities but it is an empty shell and an utter waste of time. They are not in love with the Living Word. Don't tell me you love Jesus but you do not love His Word. The two cannot be separated. If we really live for Jesus and the Gospel, both will be constant on our minds. You cannot say you love Jesus and not love the Word of God. If you have no time for the written Word, how can you love the Living Word it clearly reveals? The only way back is to give ourselves more fully to God, His Word, and prayer. If we believe the Word, we must dwell in it and know what it says (2 Timothy 2:15), and do what it says (James 1:22).
"Martin Luther said the gospel is like a lion. Set it loose. It will protect itself. A great many learned men are defending the gospel. No doubt it is a very right and proper thing to do. But the best apology for the gospel is to let the gospel out. Let the lion out and see who would dare approach him." - Allistair Begg
"Human sinfulness is in play. There is an inherent allergy against the Bible that is present in fallen humanity. We will resist any claims for the Bible's authority that we can. But in Christians there is the internal testimony of the Holy Spirit. We surrender to the objective evidence, which we would resist due to our innate hostility to the things of God. The Holy Spirit softens the inclinations of our hearts so that we will bow before the Scriptures." -R.C. Sproul
"The Bible is more up to date than tomorrow's news." -Steve Lawson
The Church must bow to the inerrant Word, not the error-filled culture.
How can you be assured your efforts will amount to nothing? By acting contrary to the infallible, inerrant, all-sufficient Word of God.
"You can't be an expositor if you don't have confidence in every word of Scripture. You must be an expositor if you do." -John MacArthur
The Church must stop trying to be liked and point a culture that openly embraces sin to what is most relevant: The eternal, inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God. Instead of trying to be spiritual advisers (aka compromised hucksters agreeing with lies) to a hell-bent world we should be compassionately engaging, redemptively interacting, humble-bold servants of Jesus and preachers of righteousness. The Gospel is the only answer.
"You can grow a church without the Word and prayer but you're not growing Christ's Church." - Kevin DeYoung
M, B, P...Membership, books, preaching. Make sure members hold to the inerrancy of Scripture. Make sure the books you suggest uphold it. Make sure your preaching makes it clear. (Paraphrase of Mark Dever's comments)
"A true commitment to Biblical inerrancy will reveal itself in a Christlike lifestyle." -Iain Hamilton