How are we supposed to free ourselves from the spiritual emptiness and the degenerate life and find a genuine life? I was so lost and befuddled before, but now I’ve found the answer.
Gains From Reading the Bible: The Bible Isn’t Entirely God’s Word
By Cheng Hang, the United States
March 7 Sunny
In gatherings, I often heard the pastor in our church preach, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God; everything in the Bible is the word of God.” So, I have been believing that all the words in the Bible are given by inspiration of God, and holding on to this saying without doubt. This morning, when I was practicing spiritual devotions, I saw it says in the Bible, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). Suddenly I thought of these verses: “And he said to the woman, Yes, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. And the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die: For God does know that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:1-5). Are these not man’s words or Satan’s words? I also thought of the words with which Satan tempted the Lord Jesus for three times after the Lord Jesus fasted in the wilderness for forty days. Do those words not also prove that there are words of Satan in the Bible? So how can we say that everything in the Bible is the word of God? But then I thought: Brother Paul clearly said that all scripture is given by inspiration of God; the pastors and elders have always said that everything in the Bible is the word of God. Could they be wrong? At that time, a big question mark appeared in my mind.
March 8 Sunny
Today, when reading the Bible, I suddenly thought of yesterday’s question, which I wanted to figure out very much. So, I searched the Bible carefully, finding that there are not only the words of Satan but also the words of an ass in the Bible. For example, Numbers 22:28: “And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said to Balaam, What have I done to you, that you have smitten me these three times?”; Numbers 22:30: “And the ass said to Balaam, Am not I your ass, on which you have ridden ever since I was your to this day? was I ever wont to do so to you? And he said, No.” Seeing these verses, I felt more doubtful about the saying “All scripture is given by inspiration of God; everything in the Bible is God’s word.”
Not until I read 2 Timothy 3:16 again did I suddenly understand: Isn’t it Paul’s words? Are Paul’s words and his thirteen epistles not also recorded in the Bible? Though his epistles benefit people a bit, they are still his understanding and knowledge, which can’t represent God’s will. Besides, the words of those apostles who followed the Lord Jesus like Peter and John, of the Pharisees, and of the ruling authorities are all man’s words. Could it be that their words are also given by inspiration of God? Obviously not! Thank the Lord! I felt a little brightened in my heart.
March 10 Overcast to Sunny
Today, after the gathering, I came across Pastor Wang in our church who has some unique insights when preaching and viewing things. We often gained some benefit from listening to him. So I asked him how he understood the saying “All scripture is given by inspiration of God; everything in the Bible is God’s word.” Then he said flatly, “The saying ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God’ was spoken neither by Jehovah God, nor by the Lord Jesus but by Paul. Since it is Paul’s word, it only represents his personal understanding and knowledge, not God’s will. Because he is just a created being, a man corrupted by Satan, it is inevitable that there are mixtures and erroneousness in his words. We believers in God should view things according to God’s words. In the Bible, only the words of Jehovah, the words of the Lord Jesus, and the words of God conveyed by the prophets are God’s words. Since God never said ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God; everything in the Bible is God’s word,’ we can’t hold on to this saying.”
After hearing Pastor Wang’s sharing, I felt brightened in my heart: What he said was completely right. God never said that all scripture is given by inspiration of Him and that everything in the Bible is His word. However, I treated man’s words as God’s words and as the truth to keep. I’m so foolish! From now on, I should believe in God according to His words and heed His words.
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