Class: The Spirit & The Scriptures


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The Spirit & The Scriptures

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • January 31, In the year of our Lord, 2016

  1. Verbal Plenary Inspiration
    1. This designation distinguishes from loose theories of inspiration.
    2. The writers did not invent their writings,

      20 …knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation… (2Pe 1.20).

      1. What did Peter mean that no prophecy is of private interpretation?
        1. Man did not interpret either the current event or its fulfillment.
        2. They spoke not knowing the meaning of the figures and symbols,

          10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. 12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into (1Pe 1.10–12).
        3. Thus, Peter meant
          1. that the prophets did not originate the Scripture, but
          2. in the next he told of its origin.
        4. Peter spoke of
          1. the origin of Scripture,
          2. not whether we can seek to understand it.
    3. Next, Peter went on to explain himself,

      21 …for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2Pe 1.21).

      1. What he meant by not of private interpretation,
      2. means it did not come by the will of man.
        1. God was the originator,
        2. so their pens did not write until directed.
    4. The Holy Spirit inspired the words that they used, because
      1. it was His word,
      2. not the word of the prophets.
      3. First Corinthians 2 explains the process more,

        10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual (1Co 2.10–13).

        1. As Paul said in the preceding verses (7–9),
          1. the Spirit revealed truths about Jesus.
          2. Yet how do we communicate truth?
            1. Is it not by words?
            2. If by mere feelings, how do you express those in words?
        2. Verse 13 even mentions words explicitly.
  2. The Spirit Worked with the Writers
    1. He worked with their personalities.
      1. God decided to use humans to write the Bible.
        1. Sometimes He spoke directly (Exo 20.18–19).
        2. However, He chose to convey his message through humans.
        3. Therefore, you can see their personalities in their writings.
      2. The Spirit used humans as vehicles.
        1. When humans drive vehicles,
          1. the human control the vehicle, but
          2. you see a car with its characteristics.
            1. So the Spirit controlled people, but
            2. you can see their characteristics.
        2. Again, like blowing through different wind instruments,
          1. the flowing air gives sound, but
          2. different instruments give distinct sounds.
    2. He worked with their knowledge of events.

      26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14.26).
    3. He worked with their emotions.

      9 Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him,
      Nor speak anymore in His name.”
      But His word was in my heart like a burning fire
      Shut up in my bones;
      I was weary of holding it back,
      And I could not.”
      (Jer 20.9)

      1. See the prophet Jonah at work.
      2. Notice the Book of Psalms.
    4. The Spirit allowed the prophet to have some control.
      1. Consider in Jeremiah 20.9, that Jeremiah decided to quit preaching.
      2. Paul had to let the Corinthians know that they could control speaking,

        32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets (1Co 14.32).
      3. The Spirit also worked with Luke’s research,

        1 Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them to us, 3 it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write to you an orderly account, most excellent Theophilus, 4 that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed (Luke 1.1–4).
      4. Jude shows his decision in the matter of what to write,

        3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).
  3. How the Spirit Worked through the Writers
    1. He employed more than one method,

      1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets… (Heb 1.1).

      1. What would one method have demonstrated?
        1. A non-personal God
        2. A limited God
        3. A method which was more easily imitated
      2. Also, no one Bible-writer had the complete doctrine.
      3. The different ways that God spoke to or through the prophets:
        1. Angels to men – Gal 3.19
        2. Dreams and visions – Num 12.6
        3. Reveal secrets – Amos 3.7
        4. Audible voices – 1Sa 3.10
        5. The Holy Spirit carried them,
          1. either telling them what to say or
          2. speaking directly through the person:
            1. 2Pe 1.21
            2. Mark 13.11
            3. Matt 10.19–20
            4. Luke 21.14–15
    2. Inspiration caused the writers to write accurately.
      1. Is not all of the Bible the word of God?
      2. What about the words of Satan and sinful men found in the Bible?
        1. The recording of those words or events are inspired.
        2. This is important in considering the authority of certain passages:
          1. Job 4.7
          2. Ecc 10.19
          3. Acts 5.33–40