The Holy Spirit’s Perfect Book
It contains historical writings,
selections of poetry, and words of prophecy.
It boasts a collection of twenty-one letters and four
Gospels telling about the life of a certain Jewish rabbi.
It was written in two languages by numerous authors
over a span of sixteen centuries.
“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 1:21, NIV84)
How is it then that no one has been able to honestly discover a single contradiction or inaccuracy on its pages? Every fact its writers have recorded related to history and geography is right on the money. Every future event they foretold happened in the manner predicted (as, for example, a virgin giving birth to a special Son and that birth taking place in a specific town of southern Palestine).
How can it be so?
For this to be true of a book written by such a wide variety of penman over a period of so many years, well…it would take a miracle!
And there we have our answer. All the things mentioned above regarding the Bible are true because it was given through the miraculous working of God the Holy Spirit. He empowered men of His choosing to write down the exact words He wanted them to include in their books.
Because the Holy Spirit is the Bible’s ultimate author (men like Moses, Matthew, and Paul were but instruments in His hand), we are assured that everything written in it is true down to the smallest detail.
Why is this important?
If the Bible weren’t the Holy Spirit’s perfect book but a book written entirely or in part by humans, what confidence could we have in its teachings? If we needed to sift through the Scriptures to discover which parts originated in God and which parts are the product of man’s ingenuity, what incentive would we have for reading them, much less staking our eternal salvation on the truths they present?
If the Bible were a merely human composition, it would be like any other book put up for sale at the online Amazon bookstore; it might well make for interesting reading but be of no more value to us than the literary compositions lining the shelves at the public library.
Thankfully, our God has not left us in the difficult position of having to decipher which parts of the Bible are from Him and which are not. He has informed us that…
“…All Scripture is God-breathed”
(2 Timothy 3:16).
“…Every word of God is pure”
“…Your Word is truth”
This is why we may look to the Bible with confidence for true answers to life’s great questions. We may turn to it to get good guidance for every aspect of our lives—to receive instruction, correction, training in righteousness, and to be equipped for every good work.
Above all, we may dig into its pages with eagerness because we know the Holy Spirit will use those holy words to strengthen our faith in the One who is its sum and center from Genesis to Revelation: Jesus, our crucified and risen Redeemer, the only name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
Praise to You, Holy Spirit, for blessing us with Your perfect book! Lead us to use it faithfully in the happy knowledge that You are speaking to us there and will use its words to guide our steps reliably through this dark world of sin all the way to our Father’s home of light. Amen.
This lamp through all the tedious night
Of life shall guide our way
Till we behold the clearer light
Of an eternal day.
(The Lutheran Hymnal, #285:6)