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If we are going to defend our Christian faith effectively, we must first of all understand exactly what it is. As “Christians,” we must follow Christ. He is our “example,” the “author and finisher of our faith” (1 Pet. 2: 21; Heb. 12: 2). All evangelical Christians, regardless of church denomination, believe in Jesus Christ as the unique Son of God, and have accepted Him as their Savior and Lord. They seek to obey His great commission to all His followers: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world, Amen” (Matt. 28: 19–20). Therefore, we ought to teach His “all things” the same way He did. He is our authority for He created and upholds all things (Col. 1: 16: Heb. 1: 3). Among many other truths which He taught, there are two basic doctrines on which all the others depend. One is the absolute verbal inerrancy of Scripture; the other is the special creation of all things by God in the beginning. The problem is that many Christians, who believe that they believe these truths, disagree on what they mean. Therefore, on the assumption that all who really believe on the Lord Jesus Christ will accept His authority as to what He understood to be their meaning, let us look first at what He taught about the Bible and then at what He taught about creation. In the days when He was on earth, He had access only to the Old Testament, of course, but the Gospel records make it clear that He accepted these Scriptures as coming without error from God. He quoted from them often and referred to them even more often, always indicating unequivocally that He accepted their records as true and authoritative. For example, in answering a question about the vital issue of marriage and divorce, He simply quoted from the Genesis account of the first husband and wife, saying: “Have you 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” (Matt. 19: 4–6). Here the Lord was quoting from Genesis 1: 27 and Genesis 2: 24, the two complementary accounts of the creation of the first man and woman, accepting both accounts as true and compatible, and as establishing the divine pattern for all future marriages. When resisting the three temptations by Satan in the wilderness, He defeated the old deceiver merely by quoting an appropriate verse of Scripture, each from the Book of Deuteronomy (Matt. 4: 4, 7, 10, citing Deut. 8: 3; 6: 16; 10: 20; respectively). “It is written,” He said, and that settled it, even against the greatest enemy of all! Christ undoubtedly accepted the verbal inspiration of the Bible —the words, not just the thoughts. On one occasion, the Jews were about to stone Him because, they said, “Thou makest thyself God.” He then quoted Psalm 82: 6 in His defense against 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: 33–36). Our purpose here does not require an exposition of these verses, except to note that Christ’s argument depends entirely on the use of one word “gods” in Psalm 82: 6. Christ believed in verbal inspiration! Even more striking is His statement in Matthew 5: 18. “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.” The “jot” was the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and the “tittle” was a small mark used to distinguish between two similarly shaped letters. There could hardly be anywhere a stronger statement of literal inspiration of the Old Testament writings. It was made by the Lord Jesus Christ himself, and surely all true Christians should hold the same high view of biblical authority that He did. As far as the New Testament is concerned, He assured us that His own words would be accurately preserved. “Heaven and earth shall pass away,” He said, “but my words shall not pass away” (Mark 13: 31). Their preservation, as well as the writings of all the New Testament, would be accomplished by His apostles, through the Holy Spirit. “When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth …and he will shew you things to come” (John 16: 13). “He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14: 26). Then, at the very end of the New Testament, Jesus speaks again, this time from heaven. “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book. If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Rev. 22: 18–19). Note again the emphasis on “the words of the book,” not just the spiritual concepts. Lest anyone question whether these warnings were actually from Christ, the very next verse settles it: “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Rev. 22: 20). There is no doubt, therefore, in view of such statements as we have cited, that the Lord Jesus Christ believed and taught the absolute verbal inerrancy of all the Bible. Therefore, we who believe Him and seek to follow Him must do the same. All of His apostles, as well as His prophets of the Old Testament, did so, and so should we.
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