THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY (14)
The Holy Spirit
The Spirit of Inspiration
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
One of the key roles of the Holy Spirit in the economy of God’s redemptive purpose, is His provision of God’s Word for man by way of the miracle of inspiration. In John 14:26 Christ certainly emphasises to His disciples that their writings would be promoted by the work of the Spirit bringing the details of Christ’s life and ministry back to their remembrance. The same is true of the Old Testament Prophets in their writings as the Apostle Peter emphasised:
2nd Peter 1:21
“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”
Our faith in the credibility and authority of the Scriptures is one of the vital aspects of Christianity. Therefore we need confidence that the Book we believe to be the Word of God is indeed inspired by the Holy Ghost and as such, is a divine product.
Inspiration and Infallibility
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God…” (2nd Timothy 3:16)
“…thy word is truth.” (John 17:17)
Infallibility doesn’t merely mean to be without error; more crucially it is defined by the impossibility of error. As God in His impeccability cannot sin, so His Word is without error.
Therefore the Scriptures are accurate in every detail. The facts, upon which the Biblical Truth are erected are precise and cannot be refuted. From the creation of the world to the great deluge; from the life of Abraham to the settlement of his children in the Promised Land; from the days of the Judges to the times of the Kings; from the Babylonian exile to the last of the Old Testament prophets; from the ministry of John the Baptist to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ; from Pentecost to Revelation – the Bible is authentic. If the liberal scholars could have undermined the credibility of Scripture and if atheistic philosophy could have discredited the veracity of the Bible – they would have succeeded long ago. The fact that we have the Bible and it endures as the most important volume in the History of the World is testament to it’s credibility as the Word of God. Man continues to have fascination with the Bible, with it’s history and it’s enduring power.
Infallibility implies preservation. An infallible book will never be lost but will be preserved by the same divine power which has produced it. The diligence of the Hebrew Scribes, the careful copying of the New Testament Scriptures and the faithful translations of the original text has preserved the Word of God for every generation. This preservation is all the more miraculous, when one considers the background of persecution that has dominated Christianity and the manner in which the Scriptures were banned by the State. Despite the attempts made by Communist Regimes, Islamic Governments, the Roman Empire and the Church during the dark ages the Bible was never lost. In relation to preservation we must not forget that the New Testament manuscripts, that were preserved for the benefit of the Church, are known as the Traditional Text. This consists of the overwhelming majority of the Greek manuscripts in existence. It is this text which is the source of the King James Version. Most modern versions use the Alexandrian Text, which departs from the Traditional Text in many way. The King James Version is based on the Bible that God preserved for the benefit of the Church. Modern versions are based on manuscripts which were not uncovered until the 19th Century indicating that they were rejected by the Church.
Inspiration and Instrumentality
The Holy Ghost employed human instruments in producing the Scriptures. The true miracle of Inspiration is the fusing together of the divine mind with the abilities and personalities of the various authors. The Old Testament prophets were “moved by the Holy Ghost” while the the Spirit prompted the memories of the Apostles. It is evident that the Holy Ghost used the gifts, education and experiences of the penmen. Therefore David’s lyrical skills, Solomon’s profound wisdom, Hosea’s rural background and Paul’s logical reasoning are all integral aspects of the entire Book. This generates a sublime diversity in Scripture, which inspiration brings together to produce a complete theme, of Man’s Ruin and Redemption. When God gave His Word he spoke through man and in so doing communicated His inerrant truth for the benefit of mankind.
Inspiration and Infinity
“For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” (Psalm 119:89)
“Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:29)
The Bible carries all of the attributes of God because it is His Word, the product of His nature. Of all of God’s attributes, infinity is the most all encompassing. All of God’s attributes are defined in terms of infinity because He is without all limits; therefore we speak of His Omnipotence, His Omniscience and His Omnipresence. The Scriptures are, therefore, infinite; being without natural boundaries. This certainly explains their miraculous preservation and the manner in which people in every age have been drawn to their sacred contents. Indeed even the enemies of God and the Church, by the lengths they go to discredit the Bible, highlight it’s unique drawing power. The Scriptures are also infinite in that they have come from the eternal God and shall never, therefore pass away. All natural works will perish but God’s Word will remain after the passing of the heaven and the earth. The prophecies of the Bible have been continually fulfilled and will continue to do until the end of time when the eternal state is ushered in.
Inspiration and Inspection
“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39)
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11)
God inspired His word that we might read and study in order that faith might be developed in our lives. The Protestant Reformation was a revival of Bible learning as people began studying the Scriptures, searching for truth. We are required to devote our time to the Word of God in order that we might make progress for God in this world.