THE WORD IS
The Bible is a Christian's most important book. It is God's revelation in which He speaks to us. Through thousands of years the Bible has been an amazing source of strength. It has provided comfort to those with a troubled conscience. It has taught us to place our trust in the Lamb of God who has taken away the sins of the world. In our spiritual life we have become accustomed to trusting the Bible and we have never been disappointed. Experience teaches us this - and what is significant - the Bible teaches this about Itself.
The Apostle Peter tells us of the origin of the Bible in these words: "Men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God" (2 Pet. 1:21). The Bible is the Book of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Its writers did not write their own ideas and conclusions. The Holy Spirit used their personalities in His service in such a way that He gave us His own words through them. Jesus says: "The Scripture cannot be broken" (John 10:35). The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. God cannot lie (Rom. 3:4). So we too confidentally confess: "We know that God does not lie. I and my neighbor and, in short, all men, may err and deceive, but the Word of God cannot err" (Large Cathecism IV,57). The Bible is God's own word without mistakes and errors. We get the courage to make this confession by believing the Bible's own testimony. Jesus Christ and the Apostles believed the same.
The Bible has always been attacked. The devil wants to make its divinity open to question. "Did God really say?" (Gen. 3:1) is the question he asks. If we doubt the divine authorship of the Bible we have fallen into the devil's snare. If we cling to the Word we are standing on a safe rock. Many theologians have renounced their faith in the inerrancy of the Bible. Many professors are teaching young students to doubt. In this way they are undermining the foundation of Christ's Church.
The Bible has also been defended through the ages. There are large volumes in existence in which the attacks against the Bible are disproved in detail. This is a proper way of defending the Bible and is of benefit. However, we err if we think that all the difficult passages of the Bible must be explained to us before we can believe that the Bible is inerrant. There is a proverb that says: One fool can ask more than a thousand wisemen can answer. In other words by following this method we can never be entirely sure.
The Lutheran Church shows us another method. Believe the Bible's own testimony. Cling to those clear passages of the Bible where the Bible is called God's Word. A particularly clear and firm passage is: "The Scripture cannot be broken" (John 10:35). These are Christ's own words. If there are some difficult passages which you do not understand, leave the matter to God until you either find an explanation or until you arrive there where there is no longer a problem of understanding. The problem, you see, is not in God's Word or in God, but in our understanding.
When a church and its pastors hold fast to the inerrancy of the Bible and know God's grace in truth, they have obeyed Peter's exhortation: "Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were, the utterances of God" (1 Pet. 4:11). In such a church a heart burdened by sin finds a refuge in the wounds of Christ. A church like this is not swayed by every wind of doctrine, but rather proclaims the everlasting Gospel. There, souls are nourished. They hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and rejoice as a bride rejoices when she hears of the voice of the bridegroom.