The Bible is an incredible book. It is one unified book made of 66 individual books, written by more than 40 inspired authors, in three different languages, over a period of 1,500 years. It has been given to us “to make us wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim 3:15). The Scriptures, inerrant and infallible, are inspired by God and useful for “teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16).” As John Wesley stated, “If there be any mistakes in the Bible, there may well be a thousand. If there be one falsehood in that book, it did not come from the God of truth.” The teachings of Scripture are so crucial to humankind that God the Spirit clarifies the truths within the sacred text to the believer. We call this special work of the Spirit illumination. Both the inerrant Word of God and illumination by the Holy Spirit work together to allow the Christian to understand God’s Holy Word and apply its teachings.
Scripture teaches that illumination does not occur in the unbeliever (1 Cor 2:14). We also see in Scripture that illumination is promised to Christians (1 Cor 2:9-10). Illumination is taught in the Bible to occur in relation to the maturity of the believer (1 Cor 3:1-3). God’s Word then teaches that illumination is the Holy Spirit working in the believer to understand Scripture. Nowhere in the Bible are we taught that illumination is taking that with error and revealing truth. Illumination is taking that which is inspired by God and making its truths known to a believer that is rendered dysfunctional due to sin.
It is also important to note that the Bible is inerrant. At the center of the conviction in an inerrant, infallible Bible is the testimony of Scripture itself (2 Tim 3:16). Throughout the Bible is the teaching of its authority, and this requires inerrancy (Matt 5:17-20; John 10:34-35). Historically through the testimony of the Church, inerrancy of the Bible has been firmly held. Augustine of Hippo wrote, “I have learned to yield this respect and honor only to the canonical books of Scripture: of these alone do I most firmly believe that the authors were completely free from error.” This belief in the inerrancy of Scriptures has been seen from the biblical writers to Luther, Calvin, B.B. Warfield, and present-day Conservative Evangelicals. Epistemologically speaking, inerrancy guarantees the incorruptibility of every statement of Scripture. Therefore, the contents of Scripture can be objects of knowledge.
All of this is of great importance to the believer today. The Bible offers timeless truth in an ever-changing world. Amazingly the principles found in Scripture offer as much a light to follow on our path of life as when they were written (Psalm 119:105). This is due to it being the very Word of God. God is never-changing, all-knowing, perfect, and infinite. He knows the beginning from the end, although He has neither. This I write to explain that although societies change (not always for the better), God has given us timeless truths that can be applied to our lives today.
Society may want to believe it has somehow evolved beyond the Scriptures. But, it is foolish to think that we can live apart from God’s truth and experience the abundant joy-filled life offered to Christians. After all, a Christian, a disciple of Christ, is a person who is following Jesus, being changed by Jesus, and committed to the mission of Jesus. Following Jesus is the believer’s way, and we learn to follow Him through His Word, the Bible.
The Bible is an incredible book and a marvelous gift given to us by God. Its truth is needed in our ever-changing society. It applies to our current society as it always has been and always will be to the societies of humanity. The Bible as timeless truth is the underlying principle based upon God’s perfect and never-changing character, and the truths of Scripture can and should be applied just as readily today as in the many years past. Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone)!