God has spoken. This short sentence should not only bring us comfort, but utterly amaze us. The God who has revealed Himself through His awesome creation has condescended to a level in which His creatures can understand. R.C. Sproul explains, “We receive distinct information from God Himself, and that astonishing fact lies at the root of a Christian understanding of knowledge.” In earlier times, God spoke directly to people such as Adam and Noah. Other times, He spoke through various means: as the Angel of the Lord, in the burning bush, in the fire and cloud over Mount Sinai, among others. He also called upon prophets and apostles to be His voice to the nations. However, the highpoint of God’s Special Revelation is found in Jesus Christ. In John’s Gospel he states that “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, He has made Him known (John 1:18).” This powerful statement declares that God has most fully revealed Himself in the person and work of Christ. Commenting on this verse, John Calvin says, “…God is openly seen in the face of Christ.” This means that to understand the character and nature of God, we must understand Jesus. Theologian Charles Hodge further explains, “The words of Christ were the words of God. The works of Christ were the works of God. The love, mercy, tenderness, the forgiving grace, as well as the holiness, the severity and power manifested by Christ, were all manifestations of what God truly is.”
How then do we obtain this “Special Revelation”? In order to answer this question, we must look at the Bible, for the Bible is the modern Christians direct revelation from God. The Apostle Paul writes, “all Scripture is breathed out by God” (2 Timothy 3:16), that the words that we have in the Bible are the very words of God. Again, Paul writes, “for whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope (Romans 15:4).” Paul is stating that the Old Testament Scriptures were written for the people of God, so that 1) they may know God, 2) they may know what the will of God is, and 3) through this knowledge they may have endurance and encouragement in life.
If the Bible is truly God’s word, truly written by God, then it logically follows that the Bible has authority. If the words in Scripture are God’s words, then to disbelieve those words is to disbelieve God. To ignore those words is, fundamentally, to ignore God. Therefore, the Bible must be held in high honor, diligently read and studied. This also means that we affirm the Bible is infallible and inerrant; it is incapable of error and cannot “fail” at any point. The book of Titus tells us God cannot lie; because the Author of the Bible cannot lie, His authoritative word is also unable to lie but is completely and consistently true in all that it affirms. The Bible alone must be our sole source of everything that we do and teach as followers of Jesus Christ. With the reformers of the 1500’s, we must proclaim that we believe in Sola Scriptura; that is, we believe that the Bible alone contains all the knowledge we require for salvation and holiness.
The Bible contains the testimony of God and is, therefore, our only rule of faith. The Bible contains the precepts of God and it is, consequently, our only rule of duty. Finally, the Bible contains the promises of God and it is, therefore, our rule of hope. On any issue or controversy that comes before us, we must look to the Bible for instruction. When the Bible speaks on any subject, all else must remain silent. When the Bible speaks it leaves no room for doubt; it is our final appeal on all matters because, fundamentally, God has spoken.
By Pastor Nick Jones
Maranatha Baptist Church
1320 E. Saguaro Dr. Globe, AZ