We Need the Word of God


After showing that the Church, from it's conception in the first century even to the modern day, has always believed that the Bible is the Word of God, B.B. Warfield asks the question, "Why?  Why is it that Christians have always believed that the Word says, God says?"  Of course, the easy answer is because this is simply what the Scriptures say.  Christians read the Bible and believe what it says. And yet, this doctrine of verbal plenary inspiration [the very words, and all the very words, are from God] of the Bible, also called the inerrancy of the Bible, stands true and unwavering throughout the ages.  Of all doctrines that the Bible teaches, why this one?  Why has this stood with such fierce tenacity from the very beginning?  B.B. Warfield explains:

It is due to an instinctive feeling in the church, that the trustworthiness of the Scriptures lies at the foundation of trust in the Christian system of doctrine, and is therefore fundamental to the Christian hope and life. It is due to the church's instinct that the validity of her teaching of doctrine as the truth of God, — to the Christian's instinct that the validity of his hope in the several promises of the gospel, — rests on the trustworthiness of the Bible as a record of God's dealings and purposes with men.

It is doubtless the profound and ineradicable conviction, so expressed, of the need of an infallible Bible, if men are to seek and find salvation in God's announced purpose of grace, and peace and comfort in his past dealings with his people, that has operated to keep the formulas [creeds] of the churches and the hearts of the people of God, through so many ages, true to the Bible doctrine of plenary inspiration. In that doctrine men have found what their hearts have told them was the indispensable safeguard of a sure word of God to them, — a word of God to which they could resort with confidence in every time of need, to which they could appeal for guidance in every difficulty, for comfort in every sorrow, for instruction in every perplexity; on whose "Thus saith the Lord" they could safely rest all their aspirations and all their hopes.

Such a Word of God, each one of us knows he needs, — not a Word of God that speaks to us only through the medium of our fellow-men, men of like passions and weaknesses with ourselves, so that we have to feel our way back to God's word through the church, through tradition, or through the apostles standing between us and God; but a Word of God in which God speaks directly to each of our souls. Such a Word of God, Christ and his apostles offer us, when they give us the Scriptures, not as man's report to us of what God says, but as the very Word of God itself, spoken by God himself through human lips and pens. Of such a precious possession, given to her by such hands, the church will not lightly permit herself to be deprived. Thus the church's sense of her need of an absolutely infallible Bible, has co-operated with her reverence for the teaching of the Bible to keep her true, in all ages, to the Bible doctrine of plenary inspiration.

Warfield, B.B. The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible. Pg. 120-125