What We Believe: The Scriptures (Part 1)
[NOTE: What do we at CNCC believe? This begins an ongoing series on the CNCC statement of faith and what it teaches.]
I.A. “The Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired and is God's revelation of Himself to man. It is a perfect treasure of divine instruction. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy.”
In order for humanity to know what we need to be right with God, we need God Himself to reveal the truth to us in a way we can understand it. We believe that the Bible is that special revelation from God, the actual Word of God given to us exactly as God wanted it to be expressed. We call the divine role in the writing of Scripture “inspiration,” which comes from 2 Timothy 3:16 where we are told all Scripture is “God-breathed,” which is translated “inspiration” in older translations.
God did not drop the Bible from heaven already written, or even dictate it to people to be written word-for-word (except in a few instances that are described in the Bible). The Holy Spirit inspired people to write what was needed, using their own personalities and styles (1 Peter 1:20-21). There were about 40 authors of Scripture, and as we read what they wrote we can see the differences between the authors. Yet they wrote exactly what God wanted them to write; theologians use the term “verbal inspiration” to mean that each word of the Bible, not just the general ideas, are from God.
The Bible is the revelation of God’s thoughts, commands, and warnings. While we can learn some truths about God from creation and conscience (as Romans 1 tells us), we cannot know how the universe and humanity began, the extent of our separation from God, or the details of God’s provision of salvation through Jesus Christ without a divine message to give us the details. The message of the Bible centers on salvation (Romans 16:25-26).
Since the Scriptures reveal God’s plan of salvation, they must be completely reliable. We believe that the divine inspiration of the Bible keeps it from all error of fact and make it completely trustworthy in all that it tells us. We can fully rely on what the Bible teaches us about God and about salvation, but also about everything else it touches on. The word for this trustworthiness is “infallibility.” We believe that only the Bible is an infallible source of truth; no person, church, denomination, or creed is reliable except as it conforms to the Bible (Psalm 19:7-10). Through the inspired Word of God we can know the truth that He has given us and find the ultimate truth of Christ.