Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

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The Bible: Product of Providence

In the article Attacks on the Bible, you will recall our mention of the prevalent modern day attacks on the Word of God. Many individuals who claim to be followers of Christ have rejected the Bible as inspired Scripture. It is fashionable in our day to claim this great work as merely the words of men.

The article ended with Paul’s proclamation in Romans 3, “For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar…” It should not surprise us that many would serve as minions of Satan and attack the inspiration of God’s word. It also should not overly concern us! Their lack of faith does not change the fact that God revealed Himself to us!

The Bible claims inspiration for itself. Both Old Testament scripture and the New Testament writings are included in this claim. For example, Paul in referring to the Old Testament canon, said, “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 complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). In recognizing the inspiration of Old Testament writings, Paul claimed the same for his own writings. He told the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 14:37, “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.” A careful study of the New Testament reveals that the letters written by the Apostles were received by the first century Christians as inspired. “For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13).

This last scripture is, I believe, very significant. Paul very clearly ties our final salvation in with faith in God’s word. The fashionable rejection of Bible inspiration is not without consequence. It “effectively works” only in those who are willing to accept that it is, in truth, “the word of God.” It is easy to set aside the Bible’s condemnation of Homosexuality, adultery and drunkenness; to disregard the Book’s instructions regarding the place of the woman in the home, the raising of children, and the benevolence due one another; to reject as outdated it’s instructions regarding church work, worship and structure; when one looks at the writings of Paul, Peter, John and the others are merely the words of men.

When it is the Holy Spirit that says those who practice sin “will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (cf. Gal. 5:21); or that “…I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.” (cf. 1 Tim. 2:12); or that we are to “speak (-ing) to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart ot the Lord.” (cf. Eph. 5:19); it is much more difficult to disregard the instructions.

Another article will deal with outward evidences of inspiration. However, these modern day enemies of the Bible show their hypocrisy in claiming their adoration of men such as Peter, Paul and John and at the same time rejecting their claims of inspiration. As Neil Lightfoot put it in his fine volume, How We Got the Bible, “It is assumed, however, that the men who wrote the Bible were honest men and were of a sound mind. If they were sane and sound-minded, they would not be susceptible to fanciful visions and hallucinations; if they were honest, they would not intentionally deceive” (pg. 119).
To receive Christ necessitates a belief and acceptance of the Bible as “it is in truth, the word of God.”