Josh McDowell said recently that most evangelical Christian youth in the United States no longer believe in “absolute truth.”
“In 1991, 52 percent of our born again church kids said there is no absolute truth. In 1994, 62 percent said there is no absolute truth. In 1999, 78 percent of born again church kids said there is no absolute truth. In 2002, 91 percent of our born again church kids said there is no absolute truth.”
The cause of this problem is the influence of secular education and secular media since the 1960’s. This adverse effect upon moral authority is also reflected in the beliefs and attitudes of these teens’ parents.
Until recent years, Christians throughout history accepted the classic evangelical doctrine of the absolute authority of God’s Word. The Bible is the Word of God, and it is infallible and inerrant.
Jesus taught the authority and complete reliability of the Bible in everything it teaches. Whether our generation accepts or rejects it or not, the Bible is still God’s Word and is inerrant in whatever it teaches.
Jesus affirmed the Bible’s total inspiration, inerrancy, and utter indestructibility when he said, “The Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35).
There are teachers in our day who foolishly play Jesus against the inspiration and infallibility of the Word of God. The Bible is about Jesus and demonstrates that He is its fulfillment. Jesus perfectly fulfills the Law and the Prophets. They point to Him, and He is their fulfillment (Luke 24:25-27, 44-47). Jesus fulfilled the moral laws by His obedience, the prophesies by specific events in His life, and the sacrificial system by His own substitutionary once for all atoning death on the cross.
When people reject the unique, divine character of the Bible, they reject its authority, too. God stands behind His Word.
For the last half century, the church has bought into the world system of beliefs instead of the divine authority of the Word of God.
Second Peter 1:21 tells us the men whom the Holy Spirit chose to record the Scriptures were carried or born along with their writings to produce the words that God intended to be recorded. The word in the original text meaning to be carried, or borne along was used of a ship carried along by the wind (Acts 27:15, 17). Here it is a metaphor that the prophets raised their sails and the Holy Spirit filled them and carried their craft along in the direction He wished. Men spoke; God spoke. These men wrote as men, but as men moved by the Holy Spirit. “No prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” Men wrote but God the Holy Spirit was the inspiration of the writings. The men used their literary style, vocabulary, and personality, but the Holy Spirit guided them in the final choice of the words and guaranteed the accuracy of the original manuscripts.
We need have no reserve in regard to the Word of God, recognizing its full authority. Second Timothy 3:16 tells us the Scriptures are “God-breathed,” “breathed into by God,” hence inspired. Holy men spoke and wrote by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This was the unanimous view of the early church.
John Calvin wrote, “This is the principle that distinguishes our religion from all others, that we know that God has spoken to us and are fully convinced that the prophets did not speak of themselves but as organs of the Holy Spirit uttered only that which they had been commissioned from heaven to declare – all those who wish to profit from the Scriptures must first accept this as a settled principle, that the law and the prophets are not teachings handed on at pleasure of men or produced by men’s minds as their source, but are dictated by the Holy Spirit. We owe to the Scriptures the same reverence as we owe to God, since it has its only source in Him and has nothing of human origin mixed with it” (Calvin’s New Testament Commentaries, Vol. 10, p. 330).
John Wesley said, “In all cases, the church is to be judged by the Scriptures not the Scriptures by the church.” The Bible is still the supreme authority for the Christians in all matters. It is not what we think Jesus would do or how we feel He would interpret the Scriptures, but “Thus says the Lord.”
In their original from, the books of the Bible are free from factual error, and they possess absolute, binding authority. “If the Bible is inspired at all, it must be inspired verbally. And verbal inspiration means infallibility.” “Is not My word like fire? And like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces” (Jeremiah 23:29). God has spoken infallibility in His book.Selah!
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006