Wednesday, January 27, 2021

What is the Bible?

Continuing in our study of the Westminster Shorter Catechism, we come to doctrine of Scripture. 

Q 2: What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him? 
Answer: The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him. 
Not only has God purposefully created and designed us for the end of glorifying and enjoying him, but he has also told us how to do so. God has not left us to guess what glorifies him. He has not left us to stumble around in the dark. Rather, he has revealed his will for us, a rule to direct us unto his glory and our delight. 

This rule is the word of God. This word came to his people in various ways, both written and spoken. But since revelation culminated with Christ and his apostles (Heb. 1:1-2), God’s word is now is found only and wholly in the written word of God, the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments. This is why the answer says the word of God is “contained in the Scriptures.” This does not mean that only some of Scripture is God’s word.  It is contained in Scripture, not in the way that an egg contains a yoke, but in the way that the weekly update I send out to my church is contained in an email (the email is my weekly update, and all my weekly update is in that email). The Larger Catechism makes this clear by saying, “The holy scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are the word of God, the only rule of faith and obedience.”

We find this truth clearly taught in 2 Timothy 3:15-17. Holy Scripture is God’s word, and because of this it has supreme authority. Because it is now the only form of special revelation given to us, it is necessary for knowledge of salvation. Because the whole counsel of God concerning doctrine and duty is given in Scripture, it is a sufficient rule of faith and life. Because God gave it to direct us, those things in it which are necessary for salvation are clear enough that even “the simple” may understand them (Ps. 119:130).

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