All Scripture is God-breathed…

Road to Emmaus  by James J. Tissot

Road to Emmaus
by James J. Tissot

I had hoped to have written today’s post a bit sooner; nevertheless, I am grateful that God has granted me the grace and mercy to share another post on this fine Monday morning. As I have been spending a great deal of time in prayer regarding His plans for my life and my involvement within the local church (each year, twice a year, our local church engages in 21 days of prayer and fasting seeking God’s Will for our fellowship, our families, and our individual walks), this blog has come to mind repeatedly. I am reminded that I am not to take this blog lightly, that I cannot simply post what I like and rely on the first amendment to shield me from these writings. Rather, that as I commit myself to the study of God’s Word, and share here what I learn in the Scriptures, by the Grace of God by His Holy Spirit, that I do so prayerfully and humbly.

In the last post, we started to look at the subject of Biblical submission, that is, submitting to God and His Word in righteousness. Before continuing, I do think it important that we spend time again looking at the authority of the Scriptures. So, consider this a companion to the last post, because one cannot effectively discuss submission, without clearly and completely discussing authority.

Let us begin with the Apostle Paul’s instruction to Timothy, in which he declares:

2 Timothy 3:16 (NASB, emphasis mine) 16 All Scripture is [a]inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
Footnote: [a] 2 Timothy 3:16 Lit God-breathed

I don’t normally include the footnotes in these posts; however, I couldn’t find a translation of the this passage that included the literal meaning of the Greek in the text. Every translation I searched included the literal meaning of the Greek as a footnote, and I believe it is important for us to recognize. Now, there is nothing wrong with the word “inspired” here, but I want to examine the literal “God-breathed” for a few moments.

Psalm 33:6 (NASB, emphasis mine) 6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, And by the breath of His mouth all their host.

Genesis 2:7 (NASB emphasis mine) 7 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

So, you see, the connection of all of Scripture to the Breath of God is an important one to maintain. As Paul wrote in Acts 17:28a (KJV), “For in him we live, and move, and have our being;” {oh yeah… I went old-school on that one 😉 }.

I mention this because in the past couple of decades we’ve seen a surge in the number of non-denominational Churches both here and abroad. There is a breaking away from the major hierarchies and set doctrines of these Churches that can be traced back to the reformation of the Roman Catholic Church. No doubt breaking away from false teaching, false doctrine, and corrupt leadership is necessary, but to do so without reconnecting to the authority of Scripture only leaves you floating aimlessly in a sea of organizations of men. Without a firm grasp on the authority of Scriptures, we cannot hope to remain submitted to God in keeping with His word, thus our attempts at reformation degrade into mere rebellion.  I’ve spoken to so many Christians who have left the church because they were hurt, mistreated, or lied to… only to reject all authority and to purpose within their hearts never to submit to “anyone but the Holy Spirit”. But to do so without acknowledging fully the authority of Scriptures is both reckless and rebellious and is a popular snare of the devil in our present culture and age.  It is to this generation that I hope to reach and reaffirm the authority of whole of Scriptures and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is why I’m focusing primarily in the New Testament affirmations of the Divine authority of scriptures. Let us continue on then…

I’d like to take a moment to look at one of the coolest accounts of Jesus after His resurrection found in Luke 24. I urge you strongly, to read the whole chapter… and then re-read it. It happens that as the women returned from finding the tomb of Jesus empty, and having been spoken to by Angels of the Lord, and shared their testimony with the disciples, that most did not believe. They were in mourning. Imagine for a moment, that only 3 days ago you saw your mentor, beloved teacher, Savior tortured and killed… you would undoubtedly have clouded judgement as well, would you not? But Peter took off running to see for himself. I love Peter… but that’s not where we are going right now, just setting up the backdrop for begins in verse 13:

Luke 24:13-17 (NASB, emphasis mine) 13 And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them. 16 But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. 17 And He said to them, “What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?” And they stood still, looking sad.

The “them” in v13 refers to those disciples who heard the testimony of the women who had seen the empty tomb. But why did Jesus not just appear in full glory like, “here I am, BAM”? let’s read on, because the answer to this question is absolutely beautiful…

Luke 24:18-27 (NASB, emphasis mine) 18 One of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, “Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?” 19 And He said to them, “What things?” And they said to Him, “The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened. 22 But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see.” 25 And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

Wow. You see… Jesus wanted His disciples to understand who He was and what had just happened in context of the Scriptures. He later reveals Himself to His disciples… but first, He chose to explain to them what they needed to know about Him… beginning with Moses and with all the prophets… Praise the Lord! While Jesus, being the Son of God, and already the first-born from the grave (resurrected) already bears all Authority in Heaven and Earth, He still chose to demonstrate His authority to His disciples by walking them through the scriptures. If Jesus chose to reveal Himself to His disciples in this manner, then we, too should likewise turn to the whole of Scripture to understand, proclaim, and reveal Jesus, the King of kings, and Lord of lords.

One more example before we close today. Let us return to the Apostle Paul for an example of how we are to share the Gospel as stewards of His word. Lets look at his letter to the Thessalonians. In the opening chapters of this letter, Paul is giving thanks for the faithfulness of the believers. One of the things for which Paul expresses thankfulness is particularly striking:

1 Thessalonians 2:13 (NASB) 13 For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.

So we have here that the Apostle is thankful that the believers accepted their words as the Word of God. But how is it, then, that such Authority could have been given to Paul by these believers? That they would not only accept their words as being of God, but that they “became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, for you also endured the same sufferings at the hands of your own countrymen…(v14)”. Thankfully, we have the account in Acts to bring us up-to-speed on what took place.

Acts 17:1-4(NASB) Paul at Thessalonica
17 Now when they had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. 2 And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.” 4 And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with a large number of the God-fearing Greeks and a number of the leading women.

This Jesus…is the Christ.” Paul reasoned with them from the Scriptures. That is where he derived his authority to preach, proclaiming the Jesus who had stopped him on the road to Damascus was in-fact the Christ. The authority isn’t in the vision, it’s in the Scriptures. Paul’s eyes needed to be opened, just as the eyes of the disciples that were walking on the road to Emmaus needed their eyes to be open.

It is my sincere prayer, that these posts spark a desire in your heart to read these scriptures for yourselves, and to get the full context of each passage. As I read/hear these passages I get a sense of what the disciples shared with one another after Jesus revealed Himself to them.

Luke 24:31-32 (NASB) 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. 32 They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?”

May the Holy Spirit do likewise in your hearts as you search the Scriptures, and submit to the authority of God and His Word.

In Him,
FS

2 thoughts on “All Scripture is God-breathed…

  1. […] What are the caveats? I can appreciate if on occasion the speaker caveats something he is preaching as something “he’s struggling with” or “just a thought I had and wanted to share” or even “I was really inspired by this so I wanted to share”. Those are fine and I rarely take issue with those caveats unless what is shared is actually in poor taste or scripturally unsound. I so struggle when a sermon starts with repeated appeals to direct-revelation rather than to Scripture. If the speaker starts a sermon with “the Lord showed me” then he should say it once and stand and be tested as a prophet of the Lord God. If he keeps using the caveat, it rings less of a prophetic call and more of a diversion or a deflection of responsibility for what it is he is preaching. The implication is, “hey, this isn’t me talking, it’s the very Word of God; therefore, if you reject what I’m saying you reject Him”. In today’s church, very few would make that statement, and most would appeal to how they were brought up in the church, or that they truly believe that the Holy Spirit is the one who prompted the pastor/elder/teacher to write the message. Here is the problem with such a bold assertion (the Holy Spirit showed me), if in your message you go on to mishandle the Word of God then either the spirit who showed you this message was NOT of God, or you weren’t really hearing from any spirit it was just a thought born of your flesh. In either case, you’ve taken the Name of God in vain. We are told to Preach the Word of God. So do it, knowing that all scripture is God-Breathed. […]

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