Who is the author of Scripture? Is it mere man or God Himself? And how does knowing the author change and affect how I study Scripture?
If you could come to grips with the answers to these questions, it might radically change the way you view and study the Bible.
If I walked up to you and asked who wrote the book of Matthew, how would you respond? If you said, “Matthew” you would be correct … sort of. As Christians we believe that the Bible was penned by man but written by God. Yes Matthew sat down and wrote his Gospel, and though his culture, background, and personality comes through in his writing, it was written under the inspiration and movement of the Holy Spirit in his life.
2 Timothy 3.16-17 says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
The word “inspiration” is two Greek words put together: God and breath (wind). What Paul is telling Timothy is that all Scripture is God breathed – God spoke it. The early church was strong on this idea and the concept permeates the New Testament.
For example in Acts 1.16 Peter stands up in the upper room and declares: “Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus …” He goes on and quotes Psalm 69.25 and 109.8. He says that David wrote about Judas in the Psalms. One day while David was writing he was inspired to talk about the betrayer of the Messiah. But Peter is specific to point out that David wasn’t the author, the Holy Spirit was. The Holy Spirit spoke those words by the mouth of David. Yes David wrote the words down but the author was God.
This is found all throughout the book of Hebrews. Over and over again a passage in the Old Testament is quoted but the author is credited to God, not man. For example, in Hebrews chapter one several passages from Psalms, 2 Samuel, and Deuteronomy are quoted, but each make it clear that God is the one who spoke it.
So who is the author? God is. The Holy Spirit moved upon every writer of the Bible to write the truth God wanted spoken. At times, the writer wrote word for word what God wanted said (like some of the Old Testament prophets) and at other times God used the writer’s personality, style of writing, and background to pen His words. The writers weren’t cogs in a machine writing mechanically but in the brilliance of God, He was able to take each person individually and use them as a vessel to pour forth truth.
Take it to the Bank
If the Word of God is in fact the words of God, do you see why we place so much significance on Scripture? This isn’t just another piece of literature like the Iliad or Romeo and Juliet, they are in fact the very words of God.
The writer of Hebrews says we have an anchor for our soul, that there are two immutable truths that give us hope and confidence (see Hebrews 6.17-20). One, God cannot lie. Anything God speaks is true. Scripture, as the Word of God, is true! It cannot lie. Just as God cannot lie, neither can Scripture because it is His words. The second anchor of our soul is that God has made promises. Peter says we have been given “exceedingly great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1.3-4). If God has promised and He cannot lie, do you see that everything Scripture declares we can take it to the bank? It is as sure as done!
The truths of God’s Word are not cute statements to hang on our walls or tack to the refrigerator. They are to be lived and experienced!
But I haven’t experienced or even seen such living, you might refute.
The question upon your life is not whether you have ever seen someone live this way, the question is will you believe that the Word of God is in fact the words of God, and because He cannot lie, neither can it lie, and will you press in and begin to live by faith in the fact of Scripture?
In other words, will you take the truth and promises of Scripture and regardless of whether you have ever experienced or seen it, will you ask God to produce such a life within you? Will you move forward trusting the truth of God’s Word, knowing you can take what He said to the bank.
How do I begin to walk in victory within the Christian life? I have lived for years in defeat and hopelessness, and I desperately want to change. I have tried every program and technique and nothing seems to work. I begin to question if freedom from sin is even possible.
Victory and triumph within the Christian life does not come by sitting back and waiting for victory to be delivered in the mail. I must reckon the truth of Scripture and begin to move forward living in that reality. It is as I continue to step forward in faith (believing the fact of Scripture) that I find myself living in victory, freedom, hope, and triumph.
We can live the Christian life! We can be the men and women God has called us to be. We can live in victory, triumph, freedom, peace, and hope! Not because we have some innate power, but because we throw ourselves upon the authority and truth of God’s Word and allow the Holy Spirit to produce it in our lives. When we place our faith in Jesus, we find that the Spirit of God who lives within us will produce His nature in and through us.