The Truth Crisis
Like Luther five hundred years ago, we live in a time of crisis over the truth. We are witnessing an aggressive assault on the Scripture on every side as liberal denominations and apostate seminaries are attacking the inerrancy of the Bible. Modernism and pragmatism are attacking the sufficiency of Scripture by insisting that human wisdom must supplement divine wisdom. The emerging church assails the perspicuity of Scripture, claiming that the Bible cannot be understood with certainty. Charismatics and noncessationists assault the finality of the Bible by adding supposed mystical revelations to the closed canon of the Scripture. The cults attack the very message of the Word of God, distorting the person and work of Jesus Christ. Rome still attacks the singular authority of the Bible, adding its tradition, ecclesiastical councils, and papal decrees. On and on, the attacks continue to pound like the endless waves of the ocean against the shore, rising up and foaming in their opposition against the singular authority of the Word of God.
Yet despite these aggressive assaults upon the Bible, this book remains an immovable rock of truth. The Scripture is an unassailable refuge for all who believe its claim to be the very Word of God. It is an impenetrable fortress that does not budge under the relentless attacks mounted against it. The Word of God stands as strong today as when it was first written. The man or woman who stands upon it can withstand every deception of the world. The Word of God is so strong that when we build our lives upon it by faith, we, too, cannot be swayed. As we are confronted with the many attacks upon the Bible, we must remain strong in the faith and say as Luther did, “Here I stand, I can do no other. God help me.”
In this moment of truth, we must embrace and proclaim the reality of truth as recorded in the Word of God. In order to succeed in this endeavor, we must understand two truths: first, where we must stand, and second, why we must stand.
Where We Must Stand
There are six nonnegotiable truths upon which we must stand in regard to the Scripture. These truths are the inspiration, inerrancy, authority, perspicuity, sufficiency, and invincibility of the written Word of God. Herein is found the truth of God. It is in the Bible that we have the record of the special revelation of God, enabling us to be a force for Him in this world. The written Word of God is, the Apostle Paul said, “the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15) that contains “the message of truth” (Eph. 1:13, NASB). James affirmed it as “the word of truth” (James 1:18). Jesus stated, “Your word is truth” (John 17:17).
The Inspiration of Scripture
First, we must have confidence in the truth of the divine inspiration of Scripture. Every believer must be firmly convinced that the Bible is the inspired Word of the living God. The Apostle Paul writes, “All Scripture is inspired by God” (2 Tim. 3:16, NASB). The words “inspired by God” are one word in the original Greek (theopneustos), which means “God-breathed.” From Genesis to Revelation, all Scripture is inspired by God, meaning it is breathed out of the mouth of God. Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). In the truest sense, the doctrine of the inspiration of Scripture is the doctrine of expiration. That is to say, Scripture is breathed out by God. With the Bible, there is one primary Author (God) who used many secondary authors (men) to record its message. The human authors were simply the instruments in the hand of God to record the Scriptures. But there is only one primary Author, God Himself, who speaks to us through His Word.
The inspiration of Scripture extends down to its minutest detail. Jesus said, “For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished” (Matt. 5:18). The smallest letter in the Hebrew language is a yod, similar to an apostrophe in the English language. It is like a thin eyelash, almost imperceptible to the naked eye. The smallest stroke in Hebrew is simply a little extension from a letter to distinguish one letter from another. It would be like differentiating a lowercase l from a lowercase t—just one line separates the two letters. Jesus said the Word of God will be accomplished down to the smallest stroke that would distinguish one Hebrew letter from another and to the smallest Hebrew letter in the entire alphabet.