A PURE WORD
A Flawless Communication
"Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him" (Prov 30:5, NIV). Notice how God's Word is identified with His Person. His Word is "flawless," and He Himself is a Shield. The implication is that the Word of God is a precise reflection of His Person--exact in every way. It does not present a distorted picture of God's Person or purpose--it is exact in its representation. A failure to perceive the truth of Scripture is not owing to any lack of clarity in the Word itself. As the Spirit declares, "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (2 Cor 4:3-4).
Those that complain the Scriptures are too deep are not honest with us. They have opened their hearts to the evil one, but not to the Holy One! A flawless communication would not be flawless if it could not be received by humble and contrite hearts! A perfect communication puts the truth within the reach of those that seek it! I want to underscore this truth because it reveals the beneficent nature of our God. His Word is a reflection of Himself, precise in every way. For God to give us a Word that could not be apprehended--that was beyond our reach--would be a travesty of the worst sort. Such a God could neither be loved nor worshiped. Settle it in your heart that God's Word is central. It is central because it has come from God. It has come from God because He has a heart for His offspring. He has a heart for His offspring because that is His nature. You can, and must, trust the Word of the Living God!
Given by Inspiration
God Himself is the Source of all Scripture--inspired writing. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God . . . " (2 Tim 3:16, KJV) -- "God-breathed" (NIV), "inspired by God" (NASB, NRSV). The phrasing of this text is important. It makes no difference which version you use, the beginning words are the same, "ALL Scripture . . . " The Holy Spirit does not choose the words "all ORIGINAL Scripture." To have employed such language would have created doubt, something intolerable in the heavenly Kingdom. Those that employ such a phrase (i.e., all original scripture) do a great disservice to the people of God. They open the door for doubt, and leave it ajar!
There is no question about the text itself--that is not even the point. Higher critics may think it laudable to determine the validity of a text of Scripture--Paul did not. The sophist may argue that the validity of the text had already been established by appropriate critics. If that was the case, Paul would have mentioned it--or made some point of it. He did not! He spoke of "all Scripture" -- texts that spanned a significant period of years. It was written by many men, translated into multiple languages, and is remarkable for its sheer volume and diversity. Yet, the Apostle, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, had full confidence in the integrity of the text.
Although the sacred text had been copied multiple times, and existed in more than one language, the thought did not occur to Paul that the text might be faulty. Without any reservation he writes, "ALL Scripture is given by inspiration of God . . . " At the time of writing, over 1,550 years had passed since the writings of Moses were completed. Ezekiel's prophecies were given over 660 years before. Isaiah wrote his prophecies over 780 years before Paul's writings to Timothy. Jeremiah wrote nearly 700 years before that time, and Malachi over 480 years prior. Yet, the thought apparently never occurred to Paul that what Timothy had was not completely Scripture. The Apostle gave no hint that more accurate translations were available to Timothy, or that "earlier and more reliable manuscripts" had been used to produce better common texts. Honest scholarship must be willing to ask why Paul did not take such an approach.