Of The Holy Scriptures
Chapter 1, Paragraph 5
“We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church of God, to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scriptures; and the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the Doctrine, and the Majesty of the style, the content of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is to give all glory to God) the full discovery it makes of the only way of mans salvation, and many other incomparable Excellencies, and entire perfections thereof, are arguments whereby it doth abundantly evidence it self to be the Word of God; yet notwithstanding; our full persuasion, and assurance of the infallible truth, and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit, bearing witness by and with the Word in our Hearts.”
John 16:13, 14. What does the Spirit do in this passage?
1 Corinthians 2:10-12. What does the Spirit do in this passage?
1 John 2:20,27. Who does the teaching?
At the end of the 1980’s children’s television show Reading Rainbow, the host LeVar Burton would mention other books that would be good to read, “…but you don’t have to take my word for it.” The scene would then shift to children giving reviews of various books. In a sense, this paragraph of the 1689 is saying the same thing. The church can attest to Scripture being the Word of God, but ultimately it is the Holy Spirit working with Scripture in our hearts that persuades and assures us that the Bible is God’s Word.
While the church does not hold power over Scripture (see Day 7), the church can demonstrate to us how the Bible is the Word of God. Books and sermons abound that show evidence that this is so; the beauty, the truth, the clarity, and the logic contained in Scripture is aptly brought forth by pastors, theologians, and apologists as evidence to Scripture’s divine authority. Especially in the Reformed tradition, Scripture is recognized as the authoritative Word of God and is respected accordingly.
Yet the church alone does not have the power nor the ability to make Scripture be the Word of God. That power and ability belongs to God alone. Since the Bible is “God-breathed”, it testifies to its own authority and veracity. The Holy Spirit, being God, illuminates the Scriptures in our hearts so that we can recognize that it is truly God’s Word.
When Scripture tells us that no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God, and that the Holy Spirit abides in His people, we can be comforted. God shows Himself to be intimately involved in making Himself known to His people. He does not leave it to ourselves to prove that Scripture is the Word of God – He takes the time to teach us Himself! What an gracious God!
Questions to Consider
- Have you ever reflected on the excellency and majesty of Scripture?
- Have you ever praised the Holy Spirit for testifying to us about Scripture being the Word of God?