The Holy Scriptures
The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration. The inspired authors spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
In this Word, God has committed to humanity the knowledge necessary for salvation.
The Holy Scriptures are the supreme, authoritative, and the infallible revelation of His will.
They are the standard of character, the test of experience, the definitive revealer of doctrines,
and the trustworthy record of God’s acts in history.
(Ps. 119:105; Prov. 30:5, 6; Isa. 8:20; John 17:17; 1 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Heb. 4:12; 2 Peter 1:20, 21.)
1. WRITTEN BY DIVINE INSPIRATION TO DIVERSE HUMAN BEINGS
God’s holy word, the Bible, is unique among all other books. It was written by more than 40 authors living on three different continents over a span of 1,500 years—yet its words were inspired by God. He inspired human authors and through them He communicated His will to the rest of humanity (2 Peter 1:20-21).
That’s why the Bible does so well at reaching people at differing points in their lives, amid different situations, and with a wide spectrum of perspective. The Bible reveals God, but through human eyes so we can relate.
These days, people question everything. They question the news, authority figures, and even themselves. It’s almost a default mindset when there’s so much contradictory information confronting us each day from a variety of media.
It can sometimes feel like there’s no real right answer to anything. But even amid all the confusion and noise of the world, the Bible can be the one source of information that is completely trustworthy. It teaches us the right way to live, reveals God’s character, and holds the answer to all our big questions.
2 Timothy 3:16 even describes Scripture as “breathed out by God,” and “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (ESV).
2. A ROAD MAP FOR LIFE
The psalmist once wrote: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105, CSB).
How true that is. Scripture holds instructions, wisdom, and guidance for every decision we might face, serving as a roadmap for life. The Bible’s pages are full of wisdom, telling us what God asks of us and how He wants us to live.
But the Bible isn’t just a collection of words and sayings, it’s a story. The story of the human race. It tells us how God created humanity to be perfect, how humanity lost that perfection, and how God has been fighting to restore us ever since.
The Bible is the story of humanity’s flaws and failures overcome by God’s love and forgiveness. Humans fall short at making things right, but God will always come through.
This is another way the Bible serves as a roadmap. It reveals our own tendencies, the flaws that came along with our fallen nature. It tells us the stories of people who struggled to live in a world full of both good and evil, the choices they made, and how God worked in their lives. It gives us examples of both what to do and what not to do, instructing us on the reasoning behind the doctrines we practice and the choices God wants us to make.
Although the Scriptures were meant to instruct us, there are parts of it that can be confusing. Even scholars struggle with the exact meaning of some passages. There are times when it seems simpler to just take the preacher’s word for it instead of trying to sort things out for ourselves.
That’s how many Christians felt in the mid-1800s. They were content to hear the preacher read from the pulpit and leave the difficult Bible verses for someone else to study.
But not everyone felt this way. There were some who truly wanted to understand the whole Bible, Old and New Testament alike. They wanted to read God’s word for themselves, to experience and understand His gospel and follow His commandments.
Out of this desire the Seventh-day Adventist Church was born, led by Christians who wanted a deeper understanding of God’s word. And the more they read and devoted themselves to Bible study, the more they learned about who God is and His love that goes into each of His instructions for us.
3. THE REVELATION OF GOD’S WILL
The more we learn about Scripture, the clearer it becomes that the Bible is not like any other book. It is God’s Word sent to human authors and passed down through generations. How else could a book written over such a long span of time by so many different people of diverse backgrounds contain one cohesive message? There’s no way the Bible could keep its strong, united message over all that time without God’s hand guiding the process. He wanted to make sure the Bible gave its readers a clear, vivid message.
God gave us the Holy Scriptures so that He could reveal His character, and this is wonderful news! It means we don’t have to keep second-guessing ourselves, wondering what God is like and what He wants from us. He already gave us the answers in His Word.
God further revealed His will and His desire for our hearts through Jesus, His son, when He sent Him down to earth to be our Messiah. The four gospels of the New Testament give us a detailed account of Jesus’ time on earth, demonstrating God’s character and His love for us.
God isn’t some mysterious deity wandering up in the clouds and trying to hide from us. He is our loving Father and Creator, eager to be with us, and longing that we might grow strong in our faith and grow closer to Him. That is the image of God Scripture shows us.
4. A TIMELESS, RELEVANT MESSAGE
While the Holy scripture paints a picture of humanity’s history and offers us insight into God’s will and character, it also holds many valuable morals that are just as true today as the day they were written.
That in itself is no easy feat. Society’s morals are constantly changing. What might have been considered brave or noble a hundred years ago might be viewed as foolish or small-minded today, or vice-versa. The world’s views about what’s okay, what’s permissible, or what’s frowned upon change all the time. But God’s views don’t (Matthew 24:35).
The commandments He set down in the Old Testament will never change. Christ’s doctrines of loving our neighbors and forgiving those who wrong us will never go out of style. God’s law will always be “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27, ESV).
The lessons and instructions God put into scripture for us will never become old and outdated. They will never be antiquated beliefs without use or practicality. God’s word transcends time and culture. His commandments will always be binding and His promises will always be true.
God’s word is timeless, “…alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12ESV).
Even though it was written thousands of years ago, the Bible still has the same strength and impact it did when God first inspired it. He put His wisdom and love into each passage so that we might know Him better. That wisdom and love is still relevant and alive today.
God’s written word has had a tremendous impact throughout history. It has guided people, inspired nations, and changed hearts all over the world.
In 1995, the Guinness Book of World Records declared the Bible the number one best-selling book of all time, with over 5 billion copies sold and distributed around the world, and translated into 349 languages. How could a simple book become so wide-spread, reaching and impacting so many people? This is God’s word, and through it He speaks to us.
God uses Scripture to offer us a roadmap to life and give us insight into humanity’s story. He uses it to reveal His will and offer us timeless, relevant wisdom. The Bible has been referred to as God’s love letter to us, and that comparison couldn’t be more true. God shows His love for us by revealing His character, offering us wisdom and advice, and telling us how He sent His son to die so that we could live. What love could be greater than that?