The Word of God – The Holy Scriptures of the Christian Faith
The Means of Faith for Dead Sinners
The Word of God is living, because it has proceeded directly from the mouth of God, and as such, is divinely powerful for dead sinners to be able to have faith in Jesus and be saved.
Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.” [John 5:24,25]
It is the Word of God, the Words of Christ, that is credited with dead sinners being able to have faith and to pass from death to life [Rom 10:17]. Notice that it is while men and women are dead that they hear and that after they have believed that they come to life. The Word of God is Light and it alone is what makes possible for those in darkness to be able to see and believe. First is seeing and hearing, by means of the power of the gospel, and then upon faith in it, does one then obtain salvation, the permanent gift of the Holy Spirit.
The One Thing That Can Satisfy and Feed our Souls
Jesus quoted from the Old Testament and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.'” [Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4] The people of Israel were flesh and blood just like us and they experienced the same temptations that Jesus overcame in the wilderness. The contrast between what the Jewish people sought in the wilderness and what Jesus sought in the wilderness, is the contrast between taking up the lie that we can live on the things of this world, as that which satisfies, and what alone does satisfy the soul.
Jesus exposed that lie for what it is and gives the Word of God that exclusive role as that one thing that we can live on and that which truly satisfies. While our hearts may be refreshed and gladdened by food and wine, we cannot live on these things alone. The Word of God must be acknowledged as that spiritual nourishment that alone can feed our souls.
The Exclusive Authority of the Holy Scriptures
The Holy Scripture of the Old and New Testaments is the sole authority for the church [1 Tim. 3:15], given by Jesus Christ by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to human authors for the express purpose of providing to all mankind God’s will and purpose for salvation. God has preserved the original content, from the smallest letter to the number of words, over the centuries by the same divine power that moment-by-moment preserves the creational order. Errors have occurred in translation from the original texts and from unsound variants, but God has preserved His Word in some form or another for every generation.
God’s Word is God-breathed, infallible, and divinely powerful to enable lost and spiritually dead sinners to believe in Jesus. The Sword of the Spirit pierces to the very depths of the soul of man, providing conviction and knowledge, as that exclusive means whereby mankind might know and do the will of God.
2 Timothy 3:15-17 …from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
The Scripture of the Old and New Testaments are the material revelation of the Word of Christ, and as such, are the sole authority for all humanity, conveying Christ’s rule and will over all creation. Regarding God’s will for churches, families, and individuals, there is no other source of authority than the Word of God. Hence, a pastor or a parent are only to be submitted to insofar as they rightly reflect the Word of God and do not possess any authority over other persons beyond the Word of God. The Bereans subjected Paul’s teaching first to the authority of the Word of God, though he was an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ [Acts 17:11]. Consequently, it is imperative that ministers of the gospel rightly divide the Word of God and endeavor, in the fear of God, to not adulterate the Word of God [2 Cor. 4:2; 1 Tim. 4:6; 1 Tim. 4:16; 2 Tim. 2:14,15].