Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Authentication of Scripture

Why do Christians believe that the Bible is the word of God, sixty-six books that together reveal God's redemption through Jesus Christ the Savior? The answer is that God Himself has confirmed this through what is called the inward witness of the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit's witness to Scripture is like His witness to Jesus, which we find spoken of in John 15:26 and 1 John 5:7. It is not a matter of imparting new information but of enlightening otherwise darkened minds to discern divinity through sensing it's unique impact - the impact in the one case of the Jesus of the gospel and in the other case of the words of holy Scripture.

The Spirit shines in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, but also the light of His glory in the teaching of holy Scripture. The result of this witness is a state of mind in which both the Savior and the Scriptures have evidenced themselves to us as divine - Jesus, a divine person; Scripture, a divine word - in a way as direct and immediate as the way tastes and colors impress themselves on our senses. As a result, we no longer find it possible to doubt the divinity of Christ or the divine origin of the Bible.

God Himself authenticates holy Scripture to us as His word, going beyond human argument (strong as this may be) and the church's testimony (impressive as this is). God does it, rather, by opening our hearts and enlightening our minds to perceive the searching light and transforming power whereby Scripture evidences itself to be divine. This impact is itself the Spirit's witness by and with the word in our hearts. Argument, testimony from others, and our own particular experiences may support and clarify this witness, but the imparting of it, like the imparting of faith in Christ's Divine Saviorhood, is the prerogative of the sovereign Holy Spirit alone.