It is necessary to speak again about a very critical issue.
We absolutely must understand how God gave us His words.
If we don’t clearly understand this, we will not be able to identify what is God’s word and what is not. Which leaves us at the whim of every popular “scholar” telling us that the words we have believed are not correct; or that they do not mean (in the original language) what we think they mean.
Nor will we be able defend the gospel as men continually challenge the accuracy and authority of God’s words — destroying the foundation of our faith.
There are a few basic doctrines that we must grasp clearly in order to correctly identify what is and what is not the word of God.
This might seem a bit trivial or obvious to some Christians; yet, our faith depends upon these truths.
The First of these doctrines is Inspiration.
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (II Timothy 3:16)
Inspiration literally means, God breathed. This is an action of God’s Holy Spirit upon men that moves them to record the precise words that God intended. This means that God controlled these men so that the words they wrote were exactly as He intended.
From that action of God, we derive the belief in Inerrancy. Some call this Verbal, Plenary Inspiration. In other words, the perfect, complete, word-for-word transmission of God’s thoughts into precise written words.
Inspiration only occurred with the original written words upon rock, papyrus, or parchment that holy men of God were moved to write. Those originals had the perfect words that God breathed out.
Those originals were not merely God’s general thoughts or the “essence of truth” but every single word that God meant to record.
From that point, we move to what the Bible calls Preservation.
This is how God has maintained His perfect words in written form from the originals to the present day.
The Lord used His own providential care to perfectly preserve His words. He did this by the process of copying. By His sovereign oversight of those men who produced copies of those words.
God then continued to protect the purity of those words as more copies were made throughout history.
From the above ideas, we can deduce at least three basic pillars of Preservation:
- It is a unique, supernatural process. It is carried out by the specific oversight of the Lord down through history. It is God’s oversight over the men who made the copies as well as over the purity of those copies.
- It is a protective process. God moved throughout history to insure that there were pure copies in every generation.
- His word is incorruptible. This means that, despite men trying to pervert His word, God has always kept pure copies of His word physically intact and available for his church.
- It is a continuous process. God, according to His promise, kept His word intact in every generation. It was never lost; nor was it was ever hidden from men.
To Be Continued . . .