Last night I woke up at 3AM, my mind being flooded with questions and thoughts from the scripture related to challenges that have been made to my understanding about the scripture. I could not go back to sleep until I recorded them. These are offered for your consideration:
Is the Bible the Word of God?
These days I have been hearing that the Bible is not the Word of God, because Jesus is the Word of God. The statement that Jesus is the Word of God made flesh is actually found in the Bible. But did Jesus Himself believe that the Bible is not the Word of God? When being tempted of the devil for 40 days, Matthew and Luke record for us how Jesus resisted temptation.
Satan challenged Jesus's sonship to God by telling Him He could satisfy His hunger by changing stones into bread. Jesus answered by quoting scripture:
"It is written, 'MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD'."
Matthew 4:4 NASU
To what was Jesus referring? Was He saying that He would satisfy His hunger by eating Himself, since He was the Word? Or is He saying that everything that God has and is communicating to us is our spiritual bread?
Consider Hebrews 1:1-3:
after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions
and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom
He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His
nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power."
God spoke through His prophets, as recorded in the Hebrew Bible, which to Christians is the Old Testament. At the very least, the writer claims that the Bible is the record of what God spoke through the prophets. But both the Hebrews and the Early Church believed that even the record of His statements were breathed by God the Holy Spirit as they were recorded.
God communicates both through the spoken word and through His actions. Psalms 33:6: "By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth." The very act of creation communicates to us the nature of God. (Romans 1:20). Certainly God is not limited to communicating to us in writing alone, but writing is to be included and is to our benefit. (2 Timothy 3:16, Romans 15:4).
In this example from Matthew 4, Jesus used the scripture as a weapon against temptation, "the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God." (Ephesians 6:17, Hebrews 4:12).
Yes, Jesus is the Word of God, eternally. It was He who created all things, saying "let there be light." (John 1:3, Colossians 1:16). So why do we find it difficult to see that Jesus, the Word of God spoke through Moses, Samuel, Isaiah, David, and others when the Spirit of Christ was in them? (1 Peter 1:10-11). Just get out your concordance and see how many times you can find the phrase, "the word of the Lord came to Samuel, Jeremiah, Amos etc." every time God had something to say to His people.
That is why Jesus Himself called the scripture, the Word of God. (Mark 7:13)
In Acts, Luke calls the Gospel the Word of God:
Acts 6:7: "And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly;"
See also 8:14, 11:1, 12:24, 13:5,7,44,46, 17:13, 18:11, 19:20.
So was Jesus increasing and growing? Or was the message He told the apostles to preach spreading?
To recap, both the things God has said, and His gracious and mighty acts as recording in the Bible, communicate God's Word to us. Jesus is the Word of God in eternity, and also as revealed in a human being who lived 2,000 years ago, the full and complete revelation of the person and nature of Almighty God. (1 Timothy 3:16)
In these modern times, fewer people believe as they did a generation ago, that the 66 books we have today are the authentic message from God which testifies of who Jesus is. Could it be because they are uncomfortable with the truth it contains, concerning our situation, and our need to totally depend upon Someone greater than us?