The Scripture

Bible Book: 2 Timothy  3 : 16
Subject: Scripture; Bible, The; Word of God, The
[Editor's Note: This message was preached regarding The Baptist Faith and Message of the Southern Baptist Convention as it regards the Scripture. The author preached additional sermons related to The Baptist Faith and Message but SermonCity does not possess them at this time. If we obtain them, we will add them to the database.]

What is the Baptist Faith and Message? The Southern Baptist Convention is an organization of Baptist churches voluntarily joined together to collaborate in missions and ministry in the U. S. and around the world in more than 100 countries. The SBC began in 1845 in Augusta, GA. In 1925 Southern Baptists felt the need to put into writing a comprehensive statement of beliefs. The Baptist Faith and Message has gone through minor revisions in 1963 and 2000. It has been used through the years as a guideline in employment and policy at Southern Baptist institutions, colleges, and seminaries. Missionaries have been asked to indicate their agreement before going to the mission field. Teachers in Baptist churches, colleges, and seminaries have been asked to indicate their willingness to teach according to the basic and biblically orthodox teachings contained in the BFAM. Our own teachers are soon going to be asked to indicate their agreement with this document.

It is the best, quickest, and most concise means of letting the world know what our Baptist beliefs are. You will find copies of the Baptist Faith and Message located throughout our church. I hope you will take a copy and read it. You will find, I believe, that it resonates in your heart as a statement of what you already felt but perhaps had not seen written down.

We are looking at what the Baptist Faith and Message says about the Scripture.

Recent studies show that Southern Baptists need to sharpen their knowledge of basic Bible teachings. A study done by George Barna indicated some alarming facts:

Only 34% of Baptists acknowledge the existence of Satan.

Only 43% of Baptists agreed that salvation is by God’s grace alone and not through good deeds.

Only 55% of Baptists agreed that Jesus lived a sinless life.

Only 66% of Baptists agreed that the Bible is totally accurate.

#3. God has told us to be biblically informed.

1 Timothy 4:13 - "Give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine." 

2 Timothy 3:14-15

The first section in the BFAM is on the Scripture. This will be our topic for the day.


2 Timothy 3:16, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."

Where do we find basis for the beliefs we hold to be true. Do we get our ideas from the latest pop psychologists of the day? Do we Baptist take our cues from Oprah, or Tyra, or Dr. Phil? Do we look for answers to the questions of life in the tabloid newspapers located at the grocery store checkout aisle? No. We base our belief systems which drive our thoughts and actions on the words of one holy document. That is the Bible. The Baptist Faith and Message states that “the soul authority for faith and practice among Baptists is the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.”

When we Baptists are trying to determine what to do or where to stand on the latest moral and ethical dilemmas, we do not ask, “What is the position of the masses?” or “What do my friends think?” We ask, and rightly so, “What does God have to say about this in the Bible?”

Why do we hold the Bible as our sole authority for faith and practice?

A. Jesus Accepted the Authority of Scripture

I'm proud of my rural Southern Baptist heritage. My wife and I were saved and baptized into a Baptist church out in the northeast Mississippi countryside. There wasn't a paved road within five miles of our home church. Most of the members of the church were country folk who accepted without reservation that every word in the Bible was true. My pastor believed in the truthfulness and authority of the Bible. No one that I knew ever questioned the authority of the Scripture. When the Bible spoke on a particular issue, to us it was as though God Himself had spoken.

Do you know I've found that we were in pretty good company. Jesus accepted the complete and binding authority of Scripture. He often settled issues of doctrinal debate with the devil or the Pharisees with the phrase, "It is written." When Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness to command that the stones be made bread, Jesus answered him with, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Written where?  In the Bible! When Jesus overturned the tables of the moneychangers and drove them from the Temple, he said, "It is written, my house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves" (Matt. 21:13).

For Jesus, if a matter is written in Scripture, it was settled. According to Jesus, there can be no appeal against Scripture. In John 10:35, Jesus said, “the Scripture cannot be broken.” If it was good enough for Jesus, it's certainly good enough for us. Jesus accepted the authority of the Bible.

B. Jesus Submitted to the Authority of Scripture

Jesus, who is the Word, obeyed the Word. He said that there were things he had to do because they were written of in the Bible.

In Luke 18:31, Jesus said, "Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished."

There in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26), when Jesus was betrayed by the traitor Judas, He said: "Do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus? In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me. But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled."

Why should we accept the authority of the Bible? Because Jesus provided for us an example in word and in deed.

If the Bible is not authoritative, then we cannot know for certain the truth about God. If the Bible cannot be trusted, then we cannot know for certain the truth about Heaven and Hell. We're left to stumble aimlessly through life with no moral compass and then to leap off into the dark unknown at death.


When the Bible says “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” what does that mean? Well, it doesn't mean the same thing that we mean when we talk about being inspired. We might say, "I watched the sun come up yesterday and the beauty of it inspired me to write a poem." But the inspiration of Scripture is not like that.

The word Paul used for "given by inspiration of God" is the Greek word theopneustos and it means, "breathed out by God. This phrase refers to the inspiration of Scripture. There is evidence indicating what we have in the Bible was in fact inspired by God and not by men. Take, for instance, the many Old Testament prophecies that were brought to complete fulfillment by Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 7:14 and Micah 5:3 prophesied that the Messiah would be born to a virgin.

Micah 5:2 promised the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.

Psalms 41:9 prophesied He would be betrayed by a friend for 30 pieces of silver.

Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 described the sufferings of Jesus on the Cross hundreds of years beforehand.

When Christopher Columbus sailed into the mouth of the Amazon River, one of his men thought they'd found an island.  "No, we've discovered a continent," Columbus replied, "a river that big couldn't come from an island."  So it is with the Bible.  A book so great could not come from man. 


A. The Bible is the Word of God

Because the Bible comes from God it is the Word of God. The Bible does not merely contain the Word of God. It is the Word of God. This is seen in the claims of the Bible writers. When Amos confronted Israel with their sins against God, he didn't accuse them himself, but with the words, "Thus saith the Lord." When Jeremiah began his writing, he said in 1:4 "The word of the Lord came unto me.”

B. The Bible is Without Error

The BFAM statement on the Scripture says the Bible is “truth, without any mixture of error.” That simply means that we believe that the Bible is true. There are no errors anywhere in the Scripture.

Although the Bible is not a history book, it is accurate in its history. Although the Bible is not a science book, it is accurate in matters of science. 2,000 years before Christ, Job made a statement relating to science that is nothing short of amazing. He said this about God: "He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing" (26:7). When Job stated the truth about the earth hanging on nothing, he expressed an idea that no scientist would discover for thousands of years. The Egyptians said that the earth rested on pillars. The Greeks thought it was carried on the back of Atlas. The Hindus believed the earth was balanced on the back of an elephant which was standing on the back of a giant turtle which was swimming in a cosmic sea.

How did Job know that the earth was suspended in space? God revealed it to Him.

To say that the Bible is without error also says that the miracles of the Bible are true. It is true that Jonah was swallowed by a great fish and spent 3 days in the belly of a fish on a Mediterranean cruise, and then was spit out on dry land. It's true that God divided the Red Sea and allowed two million Israelites to pass over on dry ground. The account of the creation of the world found in Genesis is accurate in every way. Somewhere in the beginningless eternity God spoke at the proper moment and creation began.  He reached down the hand of His omnipotence into infinite emptiness and threw it out into nowhere, and nothing became something.

Now, if I can believe that, then I have no trouble believing that Jesus walked on water. I have no trouble believing that God could make a donkey speak, an axe-head float, and rain down bread from heaven for the children of Israel.  Because the Bible is without error.

C. The Bible is Infallible

When we follow the teachings of the Bible, it will never lead us astray; about the Cross, about sin, about salvation.

Years ago, in the days of the old camp meetings, a preacher set out after the evening service to find his way along the edge of a mountain to the home where he was to spend the night. He had no lantern or light of any kind. An old farmer lit a bundle of pine branches, handed them to the preacher, saying, "Take this. It will light your way home."

The preacher said, "But what if the wind blows it out?"

"It will see you home."

"But what if the rain extinguishes it?"

"It will see you home."

"But what if it burns out before I get there?"

"It will see you home."

And the truths found in the Bible will see us home as well.