I’ve been to a few funerals where I heard somebody say the funeral home did a great job with the body. What they meant was that the funeral home did a great job embalming and cleaning the body, setting the facial features, shaving or applying cosmetics to the face and finally, dressing the deceased. However, no matter how good the work of the morticians, the body typically only looks like an imitation of the live, vibrant person that once lived. It’s just an empty shell.
Many people view the Bible this way. It looks good and is presented well, but it’s not alive. It’s just a shell that contains old stories about old people now dead and gone. However, this is not the case. The Bible testifies about itself that it is “living and active.” The theological term that Scripture uses to describe this “living and active” phenomenon is called the “inspiration” of Scripture. The word “inspire” is derived from the Latin word inspirare which means to “breathe or blow into,” and describes the physical act of breathing into something. Therefore, the term inspiration is not speaking to a spirited arousal, an emotional influence or an animated feeling. Instead, it refers to the origin of Scripture. All Scripture originates from God Himself.
Many scholars correlate the act of breathing out Scripture with the act of God breathing life into Adam. In both accounts, God’s action of breathing out His Spirit results in life! This is the reason we can say Scripture is living and active. It does not merely communicate the Word of God. It does not just contain the Word of God. It does not somehow become the Word of God under certain conditions. It is God's Word. It is the recorded expression of God’s person—His intellect, emotions and will. The Word of God comes from God, and it is still alive and active today.
What conclusions about Scripture can you draw by better understanding this term “inspiration”?
Need some inspiration? To listen to more, download this complimentary mp3 of a sermon by Dr. Tony Evans, but clicking this link.