The Significance Of Baptism pt 2

Baptized In The Name…

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” (Matthew 28:19)

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)

            What does it mean to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost? What does it mean to be baptized in the name of Jesus? Is this a series of words that must be said over the one being baptized, or is there another significance? 

            The preposition ες is often translated in, into, unto, or for and is seen in both of these texts as well as 1 Corinthians 10:1-4, where Israel is spoken of as being baptized unto Moses. “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:1–4) 

(It is interesting to note that there is a parallel to be seen here: Israel was redeemed by blood and then baptized in the Red Sea, and the saints are redeemed by the blood of Jesus and then baptized in water.) Notice that Israel was baptized unto Moses. Just as we are baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus Christ, unto repentance, and for the remission of sins, Israel was baptized unto Moses. Were they baptized in order to receive Moses into their hearts? Were they baptized to be joined unto Moses? No, they were baptized in identification with Moses. They were identified with Him as their leader as they followed the visible presence of the LORD in the fiery and cloudy pillar.

            What, then, does it mean when we read of being baptized unto repentance, for the remission of sins, in the name of Jesus Christ, or in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? It simply means that we are identifying with repentance, the remission of sins, Jesus Christ, or the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As we saw earlier, baptism occurs after repentance, which brings the remission of sins (Luke 24:47;2 Corinthians 7:8-10). Baptism neither saves, nor brings the remission of sins. Neither does water baptism join us to Jesus Christ, or the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Baptism is an outward sign that identifies us with all of these.

            Thus it is that, when we are baptized, we are saying that we have repented of our sins, received the forgiveness of our sins, are joined to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and are thus identifying ourselves as such.

Revelation

Revelation

Defined

 Revelation- a disclosure of something that was before unknown; and

divine revelation is the direct communication of truths before unknown

from God to men. (McClintock & Strong Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature)

Revelation Logical

The doctrine of revelation is a doctrine that is very logical.  God is an intelligent God.  He has created intelligent creatures. This being so, it stands to reason that God would communicate to them His reason and will for their being. There are also things about life and about God that we would not otherwise know.   “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deut 29:29)(KJV)  God has given us revelation that we can know His purpose for us and fulfill this purpose.

Revelation Necessary

             Revelation is necessary, because God is not known apart from His revelation.  

“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?” (Rom 11:33-34)(KJV)  God is far beyond all human comprehension.  The wisdom, ways, and mind of God are limitless. They are of a depth that cannot be fathomed (measured).  In fact, the Bible tells us that there is much more of God than is revealed to us.  Habakkuk said, when he saw a vision of God, “His brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power.” (Hab 3:4)(KJV) God is so great that, when He reveals Himself, He is still hidden!  Isn’t that amazing?  God’s greatness is such that, when He manifests Himself to us, more is hidden of God than is made known of Him.  This greatness makes revelation necessary.  

Two Forms of Revelation

            There are two forms of revelation: general revelation and supernatural revelation.

In general revelation God makes Himself known to all.  This could also be called natural revelation.  The Psalmist said, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.  Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.” (Ps 19:1-3)(KJV)  All of creation testifies to the majesty of its Creator. The signature of God is seen upon the canvas of His world and works.  Creation also testifies to the eternal nature and power of God. In fact, man is responsible to God because creation reveals to him that God is present.  “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.   For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”( Rom 1:18-20)(KJV)   God has revealed himself in man by giving him an inherent knowledge of God.  He has also revealed His eternal power and deity to man in nature.

God’s general revelation of Himself is also seen in history.  As Paul stood before the people of Lystra, he told them that God had revealed Himself to them by providing for them throughout each year of their lives. “The living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein: Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.  Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.” (Acts 14:15-17)(KJV)  In many other ways, and in many other times, God has revealed Himself throughout history. This could also be spoken of as providential revelation, or God’s revelation of Himself through intervening in the lives of His creatures.

In supernatural, or special revelation God works in ways that are above nature.  Supernatural revelation is more specific than natural (or general) revelation.  General revelation does not make known to us the truth of the triune nature of God. Supernatural revelation teaches us this.  We do not learn of the person and work of the Holy Spirit from nature, but we do learn this great truth because of God’s supernatural revelation.

Supernatural revelation has two basic forms. The first is the incarnation and life of Jesus.  Jesus came into the world to make God known unto man.  “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”( John 1:18)(KJV)  There are many, many things about our great and wonderful God that we would never have known if Jesus had not come into the world. The unseen God was not seen in nature, but He is seen in the person and work of Jesus Christ.  “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,  Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.”( Heb 1:1-2)(KJV)

             The second form of supernatural revelation is the written word of God.  This is called Biblical revelation.  God has made His will and ways known to man through the truths He has revealed to us in His word.  This word of God is revelation.  This is not to be confused with inspiration which deals with the process by which we received the word.  The word of God is God’s revelation of Himself and His will to us. Paul told the Galatian church that the law of God found in the Old Testament is a Divine revelation.  “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.”( Gal 3:19)(KJV) God used angels and Moses to reveal Himself to us and give us the law.  This is indeed supernatural, for we would not have known many of the things taught us in the Old Testament had God not chosen to tell us.  .   “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” (Deut 29:29)(KJV)   Peter also spoke of the word of God as being a supernatural revelation.  “We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.  For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.   And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.  We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.   For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”( 2 Peter 1:16-21)(KJV)  Peter stated that he was an eyewitness to the glory of Jesus. He was present when God the Father spoke from Heaven to testify of His pleasure in His Son.  This was a supernatural revelation that would not/ could not occur naturally.  Peter also stated that God has revealed Himself to us through the writings of the prophets, and that this was given supernaturally.  

            We also find that the New Testament scriptures are a supernatural revelation of God.  Note Jesus’ promise concerning the coming of the Holy Ghost: “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.  He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.  All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” (John 16:12-15) (KJV)  Today we are blessed to have the Word of God which has been revealed through the work of the Holy Ghost.  This has happened just as Jesus promised it would.

            Finally, we find supernatural revelation at the coming of Jesus.  “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” (Rev 1:7) (KJV)  This revelation of Christ brings about eternal change for His children.  “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” (1Jn 3:2) KJV

The Apostolic View Of Scripture

apostolic view Scrip

The Apostolic View Of Scripture

Having examined the view of Jesus and the Evangelists, we now turn to the remainder of the

New Testament to learn of the Apostle’s view of the Scriptures. It will only be possible to highlight

this, due to space constraints. We shall see, however, that the Apostolic view of the Scriptures was a

high view that held the Scriptures to be God’s Word, authoritative, and true.

Acts

“Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of

David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. For he was numbered

with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. Now this man purchased a field with the reward of

iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. And it was

known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue,

Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation

be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.” (Acts 1:16–20)

As Peter spoke to the Jerusalem church regarding the need to select a replacement for Judas, he

appealed to the Psalms. His appeal to the Psalms shows that he regarded them to be the very Word of

God, because the Holy Spirit spoke them by the mouth of David, though they were very obviously

written words. We should note, also, that this is the direct Word of God though it comes to us through

man. We do not need a text to be prefaced, “Thus saith the LORD,” for it to be the direct Word of God.

The Scriptures come to us by the Holy Spirit through men, and we can be content with that.

“And when they heard that, they lift up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art

God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: who by the mouth of thy

servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of

the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For

of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with

the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy

counsel determined before to be done.” (Acts 4:24–28)

This is an important passage to consider as we examine the apostolic view of Scriptures. Here

we find that the early church viewed God as speaking by the mouth of David in the Psalms. What is

crucial is that we recognize that they are saying this in reference to the Scriptures. Though David wrote

the Psalm to which they refer, they consider it to be spoken by God through David. Thus it is the Word

of God.

Some seem to think that those who hold this view speak of God somehow dictating the words to

those who recorded Scripture. The truth is that there were a number of ways in which God

communicated truth to those who wrote Scripture. The final result was the Word of God, regardless of

how God gave the Word to those recording it. One thing is sure, however, and that is the fact that God

used men to give us His Word.

Romans

“For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on

whom I will have compassion.” (Romans 9:15)

“For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might

shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.” (Romans 9:17)

“As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved,

which was not beloved.” (Romans 9:25)

For Paul, what Scripture says is what God says. Notice how he says, “he (God) saith, and then

said, “the Scripture saith”, and again says, “He saith also…” These statements show that Paul believed

that when Scripture speaks, God speaks.

“For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” (Romans 10:11)

“Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, A tried stone, a

precious corner stone, a sure foundation: He that believeth shall not make haste.” (Isaiah 28:16)

Paul states here that the “Scripture saith” while quoting a passage that says “thus saith the Lord

God.” Paul’s quoting of the writing shows that he viewed the Scriptures words to be on the same level

as God’s words, because what Scripture says is what God says.

“But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no

people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you. But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them

that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. But to Israel he saith, All

day long have I stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.” (Romans 10:19–

21)

Note the progression of “Moses saith,” then “Esaias…saith”, and then “he (God) saith.” What

Moses and Isaiah said in Scripture is what God said.

Scripture, then, is God’s Word.

1&2 Corinthians

“In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet

for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 14:21)

“For with stammering lips and another tongue Will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is

the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; And this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.”

(Isaiah 28:11–12)

In this passage we find once more that Paul understood the words of Scripture to be the Words

of God. As Paul quotes his text, he shows that the Scripture is giving us God’s Word even though Isaiah

does not present his writing as directly quoting God.

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean

thing; and I will receive you,” (2 Corinthians 6:17)

“Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; Go ye out of the midst of her; be

ye clean, that bear the vessels of the LORD.” (Isaiah 52:11)

Once again we find that Paul demonstrated that what Scripture says is what God says.

Galatians

“And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the

gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.” (Galatians 3:8)

Here Paul says that the Scripture preached the gospel to Abraham yet, when we turn to Genesis

12:1-3, we find that God Himself was speaking. Once again we find that Paul believed that Scripture is

God’s Word. What Scripture says is what God says.

Ephesians

“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he

saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” (Ephesians

4:7–8)

“Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: Thou hast received gifts for men; Yea, for

the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.” (Psalm 68:18)

There are some who seek to declare that Scripture is not God’s Word. They use the Psalms as an

example, because they don’t understand how the praise, prayers, pleas, and poetry of men could be

God’s Word. Paul quotes Psalm 68:18, which is the word of David, and identifies it as the words of

Christ (Ephesians 4:7). If the he referred to in Ephesians 4:8 would have been David, I believe Paul

would have said so. Instead, the reference points us back to Ephesians 4:7 and Christ, who is mentioned

there as being the one giving gifts to the church.

Hebrews

“For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And

again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?” (Hebrews 1:5)

“And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God

worship him.” (Hebrews 1:6)

“And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.” (Hebrews

1:7)

“But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the

sceptre of thy kingdom.” (Hebrews 1:8)

“And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works

of thine hands:” (Hebrews 1:10)

In each of these quotations from the Old Testament Scriptures the writer to the Hebrews

demonstrates his belief that what Scripture says is what God says.

“For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not

ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the

church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold, I, and the

children which God hath given me.” (Hebrews 2:11–13)

“I will declare thy name unto my brethren: In the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.” (Psalm

22:22)

“And I will wait upon the LORD, That hideth his face from the house of Jacob, And I will look for him.”

(Isaiah 8:17)

We see once again that the writer to the Hebrews quotes Scripture as the Word of God. What

Scripture says is what God says.

We find other instances in Hebrews where the writer demonstrates his belief that Scripture is

the Word of God:

Hebrews 3:7 the Holy Spirit says

4:3 He spoke

4:6 He…saying

4:8 He spoke

All of these demonstrate the writer’s belief that God speaks in and through the Scriptures, and that

Scripture is the Word of God.

This is followed up by more references in Hebrews 5:5,10;6:16-18;8:8-12;10:15-17,29;12:5.

There is abundant testimony to the fact that the writer to the Hebrews understood Scripture to

be the Word of God. It is worth our while to understand that he was writing to Jewish Christians who,

no doubt, agreed with him on the issue.

1&2 Peter

“Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace

that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in

them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which

are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent

down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.” (1 Peter 1:10–12)

Peter says that the Spirit of God was in the prophets who told us of the Christ’s suffering and

glory.

“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light

that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: knowing this

first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in

old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2

Peter 1:19–21)

Peter declares that the Scriptures came to us through men who were led by the Spirit of God. It

was not simply a man’s decision to write, but he wrote as he was directed by God’s Spirit.

What is the result? Would it not be the Word of God in written form?

“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you,

who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon

themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way

of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make

merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth

not. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into

chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; and spared not the old world, but saved Noah the

eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; and

turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them

an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; and delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy

conversation of the wicked: (for that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed

his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)” (2 Peter 2:1–8)

“which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of

Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass

speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.” (2 Peter 2:15–16)

It is very instructive to see that Peter viewed the Genesis historical narratives as being correct.

He also believed that the narrative about Balaam and his ass was correct. While many today question or

reinterpret various historical narratives in the Scriptures, Peter accepts them at face value and refers to

them as being trustworthy.

When we look at all of the passages mentioned (and there are many more that were not given

due to space constraints), we can see that the New Testament writers viewed the Scriptures as the Word

of God.

Let us take seriously the words of Charles Hodge:

“What does the Bible teach on the subject? If our Lord and his Apostles declare the Old Testament to

be the Word of God; that its authors spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost; that what they said,

the Spirit said; if they refer to the facts and to the very words of Scripture as of divine authority; and if

the same infallible divine guidance was promised to the writers of the New Testament, and claimed by

themselves; and if their claim was authenticated by God himself; then there is no room for, as there is

no need of, these theories of partial inspiration. The whole Bible was written under such an influence as

preserved its human authors from all error, and makes it for the Church the infallible rule of faith and

practice.1”

1 Charles Hodge, vol. 1, Systematic Theology, 182 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems,

Inc., 1997).

 

Jesus, John And The Scriptures

John Jesus WOG

Jesus, John And The Scriptures

 

In a previous article we studied the synoptic gospels and how they viewed the Scriptures. We also saw how Jesus viewed the Scriptures. In this article we shall study the gospel according to John to see more about Jesus’ view of the Scriptures, as well as examining John’s view of the Scriptures.

 

And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.” (John 2:17)

When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.” (John 2:22)

Notice that Psalm 69:9 is quoted as prophecy, and it seen to be of the same force as Jesus’ own words.

 

 

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:14–15)

Here Jesus is seen as accepting Numbers 21:1-9 as a reliable historical narrative.

 

 

Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5:39)

For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.” (John 5:46)

Jesus and the Jewish leaders of His day believed the Old Testament to be authoritative. Jesus also understood the Old Testament to be speaking of Himself.

 

 

Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?” (John 7:42)

Both 2Samuel 7 and Micah 5:2 recognized to be authoritative prophecy.

 

 

It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.” (John 8:17)

Deuteronomy 19:15 quoted as authoritative.

 

 

Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?” (John 10:34–36)

Psalm 82:6 is cited as being part of the law. Though not in the Pentateuch, the “law” was evidently a euphemism for all of the Old Testament Scriptures.

The Word of God came to Israel, Jesus said in reference to this Psalm. The statement may even be a broader statement that speaks of all of the Old Testament Scriptures.

Not only does Jesus view the Psalms as the Word of God, but He also states that the Scripture cannot be broken. That is, the Scriptures are the Word of God and cannot be destroyed or rendered of none effect.

This shows that Jesus viewed the Scriptures as infallible, because they will not pass away. He also viewed them as inerrant, as they will not be voided in any manner.

 

But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: that the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?” (John 12:37–38)

Isaiah 53:1 is quoted as having been authored by Isaiah and to have been predictive prophecy concerning Jesus.

 

For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.” (John 19:36)

They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it: according to all the ordinances of the passover they shall keep it.” (Numbers 9:12)

These verses are laws that are contained in historical narratives, yet they are cited as predictive prophecy. This demonstrates John’s firm belief in the reliability of the Old Testament Scriptures.

 

And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.” (John 19:37)

Zechariah 12:10 is viewed as reliable predictive prophecy.

 

For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.” (John 20:9)

Is we compare Acts 2:25-32 with Psalm 16:10 and Acts 13:34 with Isaiah 55:3, we have a hint of the Scriptures to which John was referring.

We can be certain, however, that John was convinced of the reliability of the Old Testament Scriptures.

 

If we but allow Scripture to speak for itself we find that the evangelists and Jesus viewed the Scriptures to be the Word of God, reliable in both prophecy and in historical narratives, and without error in that which it affirms.

The Testimony Of Jesus And The Synoptics Regarding The Word Of God

synoptics Jesus WOG

The Testimony Of Jesus And The Synoptics Regarding The Word Of God

 

As we consider the inerrancy of the Scriptures we must address what the Scriptures say about themselves. While some may say that it is circular reasoning and arguing to declare Scripture to be the Word of God based upon the testimony of Scripture itself, we declare that it is not necessarily so. We also have the testimony of history which shows to us that Scripture was accepted as the Word of God by holy people of old. Couple this with the presuppositions that we have mentioned in a previous article and we have good reason to read the Scriptures and take their words as reliable testimony.

In this article we shall consider the testimony of Jesus and the synoptic gospels regarding the Scriptures being the Word of God. We shall use Matthew as representative of the synoptics. As we do so we shall see that Jesus and the evangelists took the Old Testament texts to be reliable, authoritative, and the Word of God. Not all passages in Matthew will be considered, but we shall look at enough texts to show us what view Jesus and the evangelists held regarding the Old Testament Scriptures.

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” (Matthew 1:22–23)

This first text is an excellent text for us to consider. Liberals who do not believe that Jesus was conceived and born of a virgin would certainly desire to excise this verse. They would love to take the passage quoted (Isaiah 7:14) and tell us all about the Hebrew not necessarily meaning a literal virgin. This passage, however, shows us that Matthew accepted that there was a literal virgin who conceived and bore a child, and that it was also the meaning of the text in Isaiah. Not only so, but he also tells us that the Lord spoke by the prophet. In other words, Matthew viewed the writing of Isaiah as the speaking of the Lord.[1]He saw this as God’s Word.

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)

Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” (Matthew 4:7)

Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (Matthew 4:10)

While there have been diverse views regarding the writing and composition of Deuteronomy, one thing is certain: Jesus’ quoting of Deuteronomy shows that He viewed it as authoritative. He also showed His belief that Scripture is the Word of God by quoting that man shall live by the Word of God (Deuteronomy 8:3), and then quoting other Scriptures as authoritative. Had Jesus not believed them to be the Words of God He would not have believed them to be authoritative. Yet, Jesus embraced both the Divine origins of Scripture as well as the authority of Scripture.[2]

 

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17–19)

This passage quotes Jesus as upholding the enduring nature of the Old Testament Scriptures in the most minute of points as well as the authority of the Scriptures. Considering what we have already seen of Jesus’ response to Satan, it is obvious that He is once again asserting that the Scriptures are the authoritative words of God.

 

that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” (Matthew 8:17)

Here we see that Jesus does not present to us multiple authors of the prophecy of Isaiah, but accepts that Isaiah was author of the latter as well as the former parts; and this is, of course, contradictory to much liberal scholarship today. Jesus, however, saw Isaiah chapter fifty-three as being authoritative, and as Matthew wrote he made no distinction between Isaiah 7:14 (See statements on Matthew 1:22-23) and Isaiah 53:4, thus accepting both as God’s Word.

 

At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were a hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was a hungred, and they that were with him; how he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.” (Matthew 12:1–8)

In this one passage we find Jesus affirming the reliability and truthfulness of 1Samuel 2:16, Exodus 25:30, Leviticus 24:5-9, Numbers 28:9-10, Hosea 6:6, and even the Genesis creation account (Genesis 2:3)! He does this in opposition to the Pharisee’s claim that He and His disciples were acting unlawfully. Jesus simply shows them that the historical narratives of Scripture are authoritative as well as the law, and certainly of greater authority than the Pharisee’s interpretation of the law. At the same time Jesus asserted that it was He who was the Creator who made the sabbath holy, thus insinuating to the Pharisees that it was His word of which they were speaking.

To put it briefly, Jesus presents the Old Testament Scriptures as His Word.

 

And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judea beyond Jordan; and great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there. The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matthew 19:1–6)

In this passage we find Jesus presenting the Genesis creation account as a reliable historical narrative that is also the authoritative Word of God.

No doubt there are some who would love to argue about my conclusion here, but they must certainly deal with the person of Jesus before they go any farther. If Jesus is indeed the sinless Son of God, we must accept the absolute truthfulness of His Words. Jesus did not deceive the people by accommodating His speech to the errors of their day. In fact, Jesus was on the offensive against their errors (See Matthew 19:1-9 for an example.). Neither was Jesus ignorant of the truth regarding the origins of mankind. To embrace a such as this would be to diminish Jesus’ perfections as well as His deity: a position that is unacceptable to those who believe the New Testament Scriptures.

Our presupposition is that Jesus is the sinless Son of God who speaks truly. Thus we accept Jesus is truly referring to the Genesis creation account as a reliable and authoritative historical narrative.

 

While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, The Son of David. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying, The Lordsaid unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? If David then call him Lord, how is he his son? And no man was able to answer him a word, neither durst any man from that day forth ask him any moe questions.” (Matthew 22:41–46)

Jesus here states that David spoke in the Spirit, i.e. David was inspired. Jesus viewed the Psalms as the inspired Word of God given to us through David.

 

And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.” (Matthew 27:35)

Matthew also considered the writings of David to be the Word of God. Here he states that David was a prophet whose words were being fulfilled in Jesus.

 

Having taken the Gospel According To Matthew as representative, we have seen that the writers of the synoptics as well as Jesus viewed the Old Testament Scriptures as the inspired, reliable, and authoritative Word of God.

[1]    It is worth noting that God’s Word does not have to be orally from God. To be God’s Word, it must come from God. Thus God’s Word can be written, and it can be prophetic, poetic, historical, or some other genre. To be God’s Word, it simply has to have God as its source.

[2]It is instructive to see that Satan did not argue with Jesus about Scripture the way that he argues with the rest of us. He simply accepted Jesus’ rebuke, thus showing that even Satan must bow to the authority of God’s Word.

Notes On The Deity Of Christ

Why Call Jesus God?

John 1:1-4,14;Colossians 1:15-19;Hebrews 1:1-4 He is Creator

 

 

Psalm 90:1-2 Being Creator, He is before time and thus eternal Micah 5:2 cf Matthew 2:1-6 see also Hebrews 7:1-3;13:8;1 John 1:1-3;5:20-22 (Isaiah 57:15)

Cf Revelation 1:8,11;21:6

This also shows us that the Son of God has no beginning. He is the beginning. He is timeless and eternal.

 

John 1:1-4;1 John 1:1-3;5:20-22 cf Genesis 2:7 He is life Deuteronomy 32:39-41

 

 

He is the JEHOVAH, the I AM Isaiah 40:3 (Here He is explicitly called God.) Matthew 3:1-3;John 1:19-34 cf John 8:58

 

 

He is Savior Matthew 1:21;Luke 1:47;2:11;John 4:42;Acts 5:31;13:23;Ephesians 5:23;Philippians 3:20;1 Timothy 1:1;4:10;2 Timothy 1:10;Titus 1:1-4;2:10-15;3:4-6;2 Peter 1:1,11;2:20;3:2,18;1 John 4:14;Jude 1:25

2 Samuel 22:3;Psalm 106:21;Isaiah 43:3,11;45:21-22;49:25-26;60:15-16;Hosea 13:4

These texts show us the following: there is only one Savior, God is that Savior, Jesus is that Savior. Seeing there is only one Savior, who is God, and that Jesus is our Savior, it follows that Jesus is God.

                                                                                    

 

God knows all things. This is an attribute that belongs to God alone. Isaiah 46:8-11 cf John 21:17;Hebrews 4:12-13;

 

 

 

Scripture calls Him the unchanging, eternal God. Hebrews 1:8-12 cf Psalm 102:24-27  and Malachi 3:6;Hebrews 13:8

 

He is the Lord from Heaven 1 Corinthians 15:44-49

 

 

He is omnipresent John 1:18;3:13

 

 

He is almighty Genesis 17:1;18:14 cf Revelation 1:8,11;(19:6-16)Here we see that the Lamb is the almighty God, who is King of kings.

 

 

He is the Son of God and one with the Father. John 1:1-3,14;10:27-30;14:9;Philippians 2:5-8

Why Is This Doctrine Important?

Mediator- 1 Timothy 2:5-6 cf Galatians 3:  The only way that our mediator could truly understand the way of God, represent God (John 1:18), accurately convey the heart and will of God (John 1:1-3,14;),and reconcile man to God (2 Corinthians 5:17-21), He must be God.

Savior-If Jesus is not God, He cannot save us. Only God is Savior Isaiah 45:21-22 cf Titus 2:11-14If Jesus is not God, we have no hope of future salvation at His return.

Worship- If Jesus is not God, He cannot rightfully be worshiped. No mere man is worthy of worship.

Service- The exalted Christ is the One Who is to be served and obeyed, not some mere human who deserves no honor and obedience as God deserves. Philippians 2:5-16

 

In short, this truth affects the whole of the Christian experience.

Jesus’ View of The Scriptures

Jesus View of The Scriptures

The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. ” (Matthew 19:3–9, KJV)

Authoritative 

As Jesus responded to the question of the Pharisees we note that He referred them to the Scriptures. Over and over again we find Jesus turning the people back to the Scriptures to get the answers to their questions.  Here he asks, “Have you not read..?”  Jesus then quoted to them the instance in which God gave Adam his wife and explained to them that, since the two were joined together by God, they should not be divided.

Jesus viewed the Scriptures as the authority for doctrine and morality.

 

Inspired

 

Jesus also viewed the Scriptures as the inspired Word of God.  Note how Jesus used Genesis 2:24-25.  He takes the words penned by Moses and says, “He which made them at the beginning..said…”  In other words, Jesus was stating that while Moses wrote it, God had spoken it. Jesus viewed the Scriptures as the inspired Word of God.

 

Inerrant

 

Jesus also viewed the Scriptures as the inerrant Word of God.  He did not seek to correct the creation account of Genesis chapters one and two.  He did not even add any words of qualification as though He had reservations about the cosmology of the creation account.  Jesus simply accepted and asserted that the Genesis creation account was correct!

Someone may reply saying, “Yes, but people in Jesus day, and Jesus Himself, didn’t have the scientific knowledge that we have today!  There was no way for them to understand that the earth could not have come into being in six literal, twenty-four hour days.”  To the one who replies in such a fashion I must ask this question: Do you truly think that the eternal Son of God was that ignorant?  Do you think that Jesus was fallible in His reasoning?  If so, you need to reevaluate your understanding of Jesus.

Another may reply, “Well, Jesus knew better, but was simply speaking in an accommodating manner.” To which I can only sigh and remind said person that if Jesus did so, He was being deceitful- and that is sinful. If that is how you view Jesus, I must ask you why you even have any respect for Him or the Bible.  Such a view should certainly be repented of.

 

Verbally Inspired

 

Finally, Jesus believed that the Scriptures were verbally inspired.  He applied the Scriptures with the understanding that the very words were given by God.  While the Pharisees stated the Moses “commanded” them to give a writing of divorcement, Jesus replied that Moses “suffered”, or allowed, them to do so. In other words, there is a difference between “command” and “suffer”.  The word “suffer” (allow) was the word given in Deuteronomy chapter twenty-four.  Jesus took the fact that the word “suffer” was used and explained that something that is allowed is not necessarily commanded.  There is a difference.  He could only have done so if the very words of Scripture were given by inspiration.

 

Our View

How do you view the Scriptures?

Too often we find people today who have accepted much of the old German higher critical scholarship. I have no problem stating that I am a Fundamentalist.  I have no problem accepting the Scriptures and holding to a high view of the Scriptures.

Should there arise a conflict between science and the Scriptures, I shall accept the fact that

  1. my interpretation of the Scripture is incorrect

or

  1. science in incorrect

I see no alternative. When we bring the Scriptures into question and doubt their veracity we question the very character and veracity of the sinless Son of God Who preached and taught the Scriptures as being authoritative, verbally inspired, and inerrant.

That is absolutely unacceptable.