The way we respond to a message depends on who it’s from. Let me give you an example. If a stranger walks up to me on the street and says, “Let me borrow the keys to your car real quick. I want to get some money out of your glove box,” I would probably look at him like he’s crazy and walk off. But if my wife were to come up to me and say the same thing, I’d give her the keys without a second thought. We listen and respond differently depending on who’s speaking.
How about one more scenario. If one of my good friends insisted that I must submit to his perfect authority over my entire life, I would probably look at him like he’s crazy and go get some new friends. And it would be fine for me to respond that way. But what if God Himself said the very same thing?
2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed.” That’s not the whole verse, but those five words say enough to meditate on for a lifetime. The fact that the words of Scripture are the words of God Himself is significant. And I think those five words, “All Scripture is God-breathed,” help us fight some of the lies that we sometimes believe about the Bible. I want to look at five.
1. Because Scripture is God-breathed it’s not: Tswvyim
Many of us treat the Bible like a book full of suggestions or a collection of wise sayings. It would be fine to treat the Bible this way if it was just a book of quotes that someone gathered together. We could flip through and highlight the parts we like. But it’s not.
God has authority over every living soul and when He gives commands, they’re not mere suggestions. They’re not opinions we can choose whether or not to subscribe to. God doesn’t have “opinions.” He’s God. Whatever He thinks is truth.
2. Because Scripture is God-breathed it’s not: Outdated
Many people today talk about the Bible as an old book with old perspectives that we need to get past. To them, it’s often offensive and in some cases downright immoral. Others say, “It’s old – get what you can from it, but don’t take it too seriously.”
God’s truth does not expire. God is not a man who’s influenced by some cultural setting. God is from everlasting to everlasting. The Bible is old and it was written in different cultures, but all of the truth is just as true today. So our job is not to ignore the stuff that doesn’t “fit us” or that doesn’t match what we think is moral. Our job is to read what God said, figure out what it means for us, and submit to it.
3. Because Scripture is God-breathed it’s not: Just Information
Some of us like theology for the wrong reasons. We go to Scripture so we can learn stuff and feel deep. When you read Scripture it’s not just a history book, or just a book of wisdom, or just a book of stories. It is those things, but never just those things. When you sit down with the Word, you are meeting with God. Never read God’s Word without that reality at the forefront of your mind. God is speaking. Listen.
4. Because Scripture is God-breathed it’s not: Boring
I think this is probably the sinful perspective that all of us have been guilty of at some point. We don’t want to read the Bible because it doesn’t really grab us. It doesn’t keep our attention. I’ll just say one thing: How could it be boring to see God!? It’s evidence of our sinful taste buds. It shows that we have tastes for all the wrong things.
Let’s repent of that, trust Christ, and take advantage of the privilege to meet with God.
5. Because Scripture is God-breathed it’s not: Weak
God’s Word is powerful. It was with His Word that He created the entire Universe. He said, “Let there be,” and there was. When Jesus, God the Son, came to Earth the power of His Word was on full display. When He spoke demons cowered, winds and waves retreated, diseases fled, and dead people came back to life. God’s Word is unimaginably powerful.
It’s by God’s Word that any of us can be saved. God uses His powerful Word to break into cold dead hearts and give them eyes to see Jesus, who was raised from the dead by God’s Word. And it’s by this same Word that God continues to reveal Himself to us.
The book that sits untouched on your shelf is the Word of almighty God. It is holy, sacred, true, and unimaginably powerful.
When God Himself speaks it should change the way we listen.