In our current series we’ve been going through an old list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism published in 1648. Last week I began looking at how the Bible shows itself to be the word of God. We saw the Bible is the word of God because of its majesty, purity and connectedness. This week I want to look at two more reasons.
The Bible is the word of God because its whole intention is to give glory to God. If the Bible’s intention was to give glory to something other than God, then it clearly could not have been written by him as you would never expect God to speak about exalting something else. And the Bible does aim to bring glory to him. The apostle Paul writes: ‘Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God’ (Romans 3:19). And then again a few verses later Paul asks: ‘Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By one of works? No, on the contrary, by a law of faith’ (Roman 3:27). Paul is saying that the gospel of faith presented in the Bible excludes human boasting which means the gospel gives God glory. Thus the Bible is God’s word as its goal is God’s glory.
Also the Bible is the word of God because of its effect on sinners. Over the centuries, the Bible has again and again miraculously changed people who were clearly hardened sinners. Thus the Bible is described in the following manner: ‘For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart’ (Hebrews 4:12). The Bible cuts through us and changes us. Changes us how? Firstly the Bible converts us: ‘He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created’ (James 1:18). And then the Bible continues to comfort and build you up once you are a Christian: ‘For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope’ (Romans 15:4).
So do you recognise that the Bible is the word of God because it gives glory to God? And do you recognise that the Bible is the word of God because it converts sinners and builds believers up?