We have been talking about our core believes. What do we, at Christian Holiness Daily, believe? In part one, we gave an overview of our beliefs. In part two, we talked about our belief in one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Today we look at the inspiration of Scripture. Today on Christian Holiness Daily.
We believe in the divine inspiration of Scripture in its original form, as found in the Old and New Testaments, and that they contain all truth necessary to faith and Christian living.
So, yes we do believe that all Scripture is God-breathed. Though some of the writers of the 66 various books that comprise our Bible lived as much as hundreds of years apart, they had one thing in common. They were all inspired by the Holy Spirit. I believe that the transcripts, in their original languages, every jot and tittle of every letter of every word of the Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit.
That is not to say that the Holy Spirit dictated to the writers, nor does it mean that the writers did nothing more than transcribe. It means that the writers drew inspiration from the still small voice of God. Yet, each book is distinct and told in the unique voice of its author, its human author, the writer, prophet, or apostle who wrote it at the urging of God. Because it was penned by humans, each with their own perspective and each with their own human flaws, we receive 66 very different books. We have histories, biographies, poetry, prose, letters, each one written for a different purpose, and each one serving its own purpose today. As example, we have four very different views of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Different because each were written by a different person, and each from different perspectives, and each with a different audience in mind, and each with a different purpose. Each book was written by mere humans, but because the Scriptures were inspired by God, we find no contradictions in the Bible when taken in context.
Now, by in context, I mean a few different things. First, it doesn’t due to take a passage that is not meant to stand on its own two feet, pull it from the Bible and teach on it. As example, one shouldn’t teach parts of the book of Job, for not all of Job is representative of God’s word, for parts of it express the doubts, fear and frustration of Job’s friends, and their words may not necessarily reflect God’s heart. But, that is not all I mean when I say that the Bible should be read in context. It means that we should do our best to figure out the times in which the writer lived. What was his social context? Was he a slave or a servant of the King? Was he a prophet or a doctor? Was he a national leader or an outcast? The answers may lend insight to his words. We should also bear in mind the audience to which he wrote. Let’s take another look at the Gospels: one of the writers wrote for a primarily Jewish audience while another wrote for a primarily Greek audience. Still another wrote for posterity. With what purpose did the writer pen his book. Was it to make a point or to teach a lesson? If so, then don’t expect events told in the book to necessarily be in chronological order. That book, though, that wondrous book, is full of the power of God to the one who studies it carefully and prayerfully.
We believe that God has preserved his Holy Word So that modern translations. Some translations attempt to be more literal than others, like the NASB, and so are more difficult to read. Some strive only to be easy-to-read and are not so concerned with accurate translations, like the New Living Translation. Others strive to find the middle ground, fairly reliable translations that read smoothly when read aloud, like the NIV or the NKJV. Others attempt to bear in mind the contexts that we discussed and come up with an accurate translation and one that takes into account the original recipient of the texts. Such is the ESV and Lexham English Bible. So which ones reflect the Holy Word of God as written thousands of years ago? That would be the NASB, the ESV, and the Lexham. The latter two use the most recently discovered, older textual fragments, including parts of the Dead Sea Scrolls, along with the texts that Bible publishers have relied on for years and they consider the times and cultures of the writers and recipient to translate the original language into appropriate English words and phrases.
The remarkable thing is that after thousands of years, we have – by the power of God – the unblemished Word of God through which we may find salvation and live like Christ.
Holiness is, perhaps, the most misunderstood concept in Christianity. Anyone who has striven to follow the life of Christ can likely tell you that it is impossible to do. No one can match His love, His grace, or His compassion. For no one but Jesus is perfect. Once the believer is filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit, though, he or she is filled to the brim with the love of Christ, and desires nothing more than to please God and follow in Christ’s steps. The love of sin is gone. In its place is a love and passion for others. That is Christian Holiness. This is Christian Holiness Daily.