All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. —2 Timothy 3:16-17
Let’s think today about Paul’s familiar words: All Scripture is breathed out by God. That is such a fantastic statement! All sixty-six books; thirty-nine in the Old Testament, twenty-seven in the New Testament. Every one of 1,189 chapters. All 41,173 verses and 3,566,480 letters—all Scripture is God-breathed.
Then notice the word is. Not was. Not will be. The placement in the sentence matters, too. Some have taken this text and changed the location of the word is: “All Scripture inspired by God is profitable,” but it’s not the same. “All Scripture inspired by God . . . but maybe some of the Scripture isn’t inspired by God.” No! Move the word is back where it goes. All Scripture is inspired by God.
Here are some crucial words about inspiration. First, we believe in verbal inspiration. We believe that God chose the very words of Scripture. Without violating the personality of the author, God chose the words. When you read the Scriptures, it becomes very apparent that God workedthrough the people that were writing the Scriptures.
Take Peter, for example. Now Peter’s language in the gospels was loose and free, impetuous and impulsive. The language of 1 and 2 Peter is just like that and all over the place. Compare that to the apostle Paul who was a Pharisee. In Romans, you’ll find Paul’s tight, logical arguments. Or take John, who was so loving and relational. When you read the Gospel of John or the epistles of John, they are filled with love and statements like “God is love.”
God was the source behind what they said. That concept means God-breathed. Or as Peter put it,“. . . but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21b).
Our second word is plenary inspiration, meaning God breathed the words into the men who recorded His word. The words were inspired and the writers were inspired.
We also hold to inerrant (without mistakes) inspiration—as originally given by God; 100% accurate in all that it asserts. The author is Truth. The author is the Creator of the Universe Who has written a message for you in this book.
The next time you decide how much time you want to spend in God’s Word, consider the Author. All Scripture is God-breathed. —James MacDonald
· In my own Bible reading, when have I sensed the breath of God as I listened to or read the words God had His men write?
· How have those words affected me?
Prayer: Let me borrow some of the words You breathed into David, Lord, to speak back to You: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your word. With my whole heart I seek You; let me not wander from Your commandments! I have stored up Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Psalm 119:9-11). May these words always be true of me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.