The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:8
While going through 2 Timothy, we have seen Paul’s claims for the inspiration and sufficiency of Scripture as specified in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” Hence, we believe in the inspiration of Scripture (breathed out by God), the authority of Scripture (from God), the inerrancy of Scripture (without error in all its teachings), and the sufficiency of Scripture (profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness). Again, I cannot over emphasize the importance of having and affirming a high view of Scripture.
In the 1980’s, there was a major battle in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) over the doctrine and nature of Scripture. There were some who denied things like the inspiration, inerrancy, and sufficiency of Scriptures. The “Conservative Resurgence” was necessary to uphold our high view of Scripture (we believe the Bible is inerrant, inspired, authoritative and sufficient). While there might be some disagreements amongst our Southern Baptist Convention churches about some of the specific teachings of Scripture (which should be expected with 45,000+ churches in our convention), thankfully, we are by in large united on issues related to the authority, inspiration, inerrancy, and sufficiency of Scripture.
As mentioned, we believe in the inspiration of “ALL Scripture.” At the 1983 SBC Pastor’s Conference, one of the preachers took out a bottle of Tylenol and said, “If I knew there was one capsule in this bottle that was laced with cyanide, I would throw the whole bottle out.” Then he picked up the Bible and said, “If I knew there was one error in this book, then I’d throw the whole thing out.” His point was simply, we can’t pick and choose which parts we believe or don’t believe. Again, we believe all of our Scripture was given to us by God.
If we say we believe in the authority of Scripture, then Scripture triumphs over our opinions and our opinions should change to align with God’s Word. If we say we believe in the authority of Scripture, when church traditions or the church’s constitution and by-laws are not aligned with God’s Word, they should be changed. If God has spoken (and He has), His ways are right and perfect regardless of what culture, or anybody else, believes or practices. Let’s be a people with a high view of the Bible and a people who love, read, study, and do our best to live out the truths as given us in Bible. As Jesus prayed in John 17, may we be sanctified in the truth (His word is truth).
Seth Sykes had a helpful little song called, “I’m Acquainted with the Author.” Below are some of the words of his song:
Many folks are sad and weary, and they often fret and pine,
For they read what many critics have to say
About the dear old Bible, blessed holy book divine,
But for me, I’ve proved its worth, and I can say,
I’m acquainted with the Author, and I know God’s Word is true;
In times of grief it brings relief and tells me what to do.
Now I dearly love its pages, for I’ve found the Rock of Ages;
I’m acquainted with the Author, and I know it’s true.