In the previous article on God’s hammer, we considered the fact of the divine origin of the Bible: “the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man” but by the will of God. This time we will study the meansGod used to write His Word: “holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (II Peter 1:21).
God’s will determined what was written in Scripture and with what words it was written. But since the Bible didn’t fall from heaven and since Scripture says that Isaiah, David, etc., wrote the words of the Bible, we must consider the God-given role of the divine penmen, the “holy men of God [who] spake [and wrote] as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” The word “moved” is a very strong one. It means, literally, that they wrote not merely as they were guided or directed or led but as they were “borne” by the Holy Spirit. This Greek word is used of Paul’s ship driven by the wind (Acts 27:15, 17). That these men were borne by the Holy Ghost means that the Holy Ghost took them up, as it were, and empowered them to write God’s word so that they wrote exactly what God intended them to write.
God’s sovereign control of the writers did not negate their personality or make them robots. Nor does it imply that Paul could have written Revelation or that John could have written Acts. Rather God prepared the men beforehand to write what He willed. The divine penmen were called “holy men” not so much to indicate their personal sanctity but to indicate that these men were set apart and equipped for their role of writing particular books of the Word of God. God in His eternal decree and sovereign providence prepared the various men to write the Scriptures. For example, God decreed that Jeremiah be a priest born at Anathoth with a religious upbringing and a particular literary style and emotional life. God ordained that he would be single, that he would have a friend, Baruch, and that he would live to see the desolation of Jerusalem. Thus God prepared Jeremiah to write His Word in such a way that the word choice, sentence structure, etc., fits with the style of Jeremiah. In fact, God used all His penmen to write particular books in accordance with the particular style He gave them in His eternal decree and providence. Clearly, the production of the Holy Scriptures is a great wonder: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” (Rom. 11:33).
In your believing Bible study, you must be absolutely certain that the Bible is God’s Word. Make this truth a first principle in understanding the Holy Scriptures: “Knowing this first, that … the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (II Peter 1:20-21).
- Volume: 8
- Issue: 15
Rev. Angust Stewart (Wife: Mary)
Ordained - 2001
Pastorates: Covenant Protestant Reformed Church of Ballymena, Northern Ireland - 2001Website: www.cprf.co.uk/
Address7 Lislunnan Road
State or ProvinceCo.Antrim
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