The Bible is one of the most important foundations for our faith as believers in Christ. Let's not assume that we, or the people around us, have a strong, accurate understanding of what the Bible is and the role it should play in our lives. Here is a list of basic truths about Scripture. As you read them, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I understand what this is saying?
- Do I live like this is true?
- Am I teaching my children and those around me these truths? [Consider using this list and the Scripture references as a discussion starter for teaching your children.]
Here is what the Bible teaches about itself.
- The Bible contains revelation that we would not know except that God has revealed it (Rom 1:2-4; Heb 1:1-2).
There are many things we learn about God through observation of creation. But there are some things that he has told us about history, himself, and his plan that we could not know unless he told us about it in the Bible. For example, God has revealed important truths about creation, the coming of Christ, the gospel, and the coming judgment.
- The Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21).
Although the books of the Bible were written by human authors, God is the true author. He used these authors to speak to us through the Bible.
“For we did not follow cleverly devised myths
when we made known to you the power
and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,
but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. . . .
No prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation.
For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man,
but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
(2 Peter 1:16, 20-21)
- The Bible is trustworthy (inerrant) (Psalm 19:7-11; 2 Peter 1:19).
Since the Bible was not created by man, but was given by God, we know that it is true.
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul;
the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever;
the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.
- The Bible is authoritative.
Since the author of the Bible is God and it is a trustworthy presentation of truth and righteousness, then it is authoritative. Thus, all truth claims are to be tested by Scripture and the directions given in Scripture are to be obeyed.
- The Bible is sufficient: it is the only source of revelation given or needed to understand the truth about God and his will for us (2 Tim 3:17).
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 complete, equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17)
The Bible reveals the gospel for salvation and truth to equip believers for
righteousness (Psalm 19:7-11; Acts 20:32; 2 Tim 3:14-17).
- God has given us his Spirit to help us understand and apply what he has revealed in Scripture (1 Cor 2:6-16; John 16:5-15).
The Bible also teaches us what role it should play in our lives:
- The Bible should be read, preached and taught in the home and in the church (1 Tim 4:6, 13; 2 Tim 2:2; 3:14-17; 4:1; Titus 1:9; Deut 6:4-7).
- The Bible should be used to establish sound doctrine and practice and refute wrong doctrine and practice (2 Tim 3:16; 2 Tim 4:2; Titus 1:9-11).
- The Bible should be read, memorized, and meditated upon as a constant source of wisdom and strength (Col 3:16; 2 Peter 1:19; Psalm 19:7-8; Psalm 1:1-2; 119:9-16).