Q-2: What rule has God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?
This morning we come to the second question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism. The question is: What rule has God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him?. Our study of this question is adapted from a Sermon by Thomas Watson.
A: The Word of God, which is contained in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him.
Paul writes to Timothy that ‘all Scripture is breathed out by God,’ (2 Tim 3:16) Scripture refers to the Bible, the sacred Book of God. It is given by divine inspiration; that is, the Scripture is not the product of man’s imagination, but has its source in God. We are told in Acts that the image of Diana was venerated by the Ephesians, because they supposed it fell from Jupiter. (Acts 19:35) The holy Scripture is to be highly reverenced and esteemed, because we are sure it came from heaven. “For”, as Peter declares, “no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Pet 1:21) The two Testaments are the two messengers by which God has spoken to us.
Q: How does it appear that the Scriptures have a divine authority stamped upon them?
Because the Old and New Testament are the only foundation of the Christian religion, if it cannot be proven that they came from God, the foundation on which we build our faith is gone.
I will therefore endeavour to prove this great truth, that the Scriptures are the very word of God.
Have you ever wondered where the Scriptures came from, if not from God?
Bad men could not be the authors of it. Would they apply their minds to composing such holy lines? Would they denounce sin so fiercely?
Good men could not be the authors of it. Could they write in such a way? or could they counterfeit God’s name, and put, “Thus says the Lord,” to a book of their own making?
Nor could any angel in heaven be the author of it, because it states that the angels pry and search into the depths of gospel mysteries, Peter writes of “things into which angels long to look” (1 Pet 1:12), which implies their not knowing some parts of Scripture; and surely they cannot be the authors of that book which they themselves do not fully understand. Besides, what angel in heaven would be so arrogant as to impersonate God and, say, ‘I create,’ (Is 65:17) and, ‘I, the Lord, have spoken?’ (Num 14:35)
So that it is evident, the origin of Scripture is sacred, and it could come from no one but God himself.
Not to speak of how all the parts of Scripture come together as a harmonious whole, here are seven rational arguments which may show it to be the Word of God.
 Its antiquity.
It is of ancient standing. The antiquity of Scripture make it venerable. No surviving accounts of human history reach further than Noah’s flood: but the holy Scripture relates matters of fact that have been from the beginning of the world; it writes of things before time.
We may know the Scripture to be the Word of God, in the second place, by
 its miraculous preservation in all ages.
The holy Scriptures are the richest jewel that Christ has left us; and the church of God has so kept these public records of heaven, that they have not been lost. The Word of God has never lacked enemies to oppose, and, if possible, to wipe it out completely. They have given out a law concerning Scripture, as Pharaoh did the midwives, concerning the Hebrew women’s children, to eliminate it at birth; but God has preserved this blessed Book intact to this day.
The devil and his agents have been blowing at Scripture light, but could never blow it out; a clear sign that it was lighted from heaven. Nor has the church of God, in all revolutions and changes, kept the Scripture that it should not be lost only, but that it should not be corrupted. The letter of Scripture has been preserved, with amazingly few exceptions, intact in the original language. And the Scriptures were not corrupted before Christ’s time, because then Christ would not have sent the Jews to them. He said, ‘Search the Scriptures.’ (John 5:39) He knew these sacred writings were not corrupted with human notions.
The Scripture appears to be the Word of God,
 by the matter contained in it.
The mystery of Scripture is so perplexing and profound that no man or angel could have known it, had it not been divinely revealed. That eternity should be born; that he who thunders in the heavens should cry in the cradle; that he who rules the stars should lie in a manger; that the Prince of Life should die; that the Lord of Glory should be put to shame; that sin should be punished to the full, yet pardoned to the full; who could ever have conceived of such a mystery, had not the Scripture revealed it to us?
So, for the doctrine of the resurrection; that the same body which is crumbled into a thousand pieces, should rise the same individual body, else it were a creation, not a resurrection. How could such a sacred riddle, above all human analysis, be known, had not the Scripture revealed it?
As the matter of Scripture is so full of goodness, justice and sanctity, that it could be breathed from none other than God; so the holiness of it shows it to be of God. Scripture is compared to silver refined seven times. (Ps 12:6)
The Book of God has no doctrinal errors in it; it is a beam of the Sun of Righteousness, a crystal clear stream flowing from the fountain of life. All laws and edicts of men have had their corruptions, but the Word of God has not the least hint of error.
It is so pure that it purifies everything else.. ‘Sanctify them through thy truth,’ (John 17:17) is our Lord’s prayer in John chapter 17.
The Scripture presses holiness as no other book ever did: it tells us to live ‘self-controlled, upright, and godly lives;’ (Tit 2:12) It entreats us, to ‘whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable’ Phil 4:4. This ‘sword of the Spirit’ (Eph 6:17) cuts down vice.
The Scripture is the royal law which commands not only the actions, but affections; it binds the heart to good behaviour. Where is there such holiness to be found, as is discovered in this sacred book? Who could be the author of such a book but God himself?
Next, that the Scripture is the Word of God is evident
 by its predictions.
It prophesies of things to come, which shows the voice of God speaking in it. It was foretold by the prophet Isaiah, a ‘virgin shall conceive,’ (Is 7:14) and by the prophet Daniel, the ‘Messiah will be cut off.’ (Dan 9:26) The Scripture foretells things that would occur many ages and centuries after; as how long Israel should serve in Egypt, and the very day of their deliverance. We read in Exodus ‘at the end of four hundred and thirty years, to the very day, all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.’ (Ex 12:41) This prediction of future things is a clear demonstration of its divine origin.
 the impartiality of those men of God who wrote the Scriptures,
who do not spare to set down their own failings. What man that writes a history would bring himself down, by recording those things of himself that might stain his reputation? Moses records his own impatience when he struck the rock, and tells us, he could not on that account enter into the land of promise. David relates his own adultery and bloodshed, which stands as a dark stain on his name to succeeding ages. Peter relates his own cowardice in denying Christ. Jonah sets down his own passions, ‘I do well to be angry, angry enough to die.’ (Jonah 4:9) Surely had their pen not been guided by God’s own hand, they would never have written that which reflects dishonour upon themselves. Men usually rather hide their blemishes than publish them to the world; but the penmen of holy Scripture eclipse their own name; they take away all glory from themselves, and give the glory to God.
We may know the Scripture to be the Word of God, in the sixth place, by
 The mighty power and efficacy that the Word has had upon the souls and consciences of men.
It has changed their hearts.
Some by reading Scripture have been turned into other men; they have been made holy and gracious. By reading other books the heart may be warmed, but by reading this book it is transformed. Paul writes to the Corinthians, ‘you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God.’ (2 Cor 3:3) The Word was copied out into their hearts, and they became Christ’s epistle, so that others might read Christ in them.
It has comforted their hearts.
When Christians have been downcast and discouraged, the Word has been their help, and sweetly revived them. A Christian’s main comfort is drawn out from the Bible that ‘through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope,’ (Rom 15:4) as Paul writes to the Romans. When a poor soul has been ready to faint, it has had nothing to comfort it but a Scripture verse. When it has been sick, the Word has revived it. We read, that ‘this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory.’ (2 Cor 4:17) When it has been deserted, the Word has come in to encourage and it is told that ‘the Lord will not cast off forever.’ (Lam 3:31) He may change his providence, but not his purpose; he may have the look of an enemy, but he has the heart of a father. And so the Word has a power in it to comfort the heart. ‘This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me,’ (Ps 119:50 NASB) writes the Psalmist.
Now, the Scriptures having such an exhilarating, heart-comforting power in them, shows clearly that they are of God, and it is he that has put this power to console in them.
In the seventh place, there are
 the miracles by which Scripture is confirmed.
Miracles were used by Moses, Elijah, and Christ, and were continued, many years after, by the apostles, to confirm the truth of the holy Scriptures. As stakes are set under weak plants, so these miracles were set under the weak faith of men, that if they would not believe the writings of the Word, they might believe the miracles.
We read of God’s dividing the waters, making a pathway in the sea for his people to go over, the iron floating, the oil increasing by pouring out, Christ’s making wine of water, his curing the blind, and raising the dead. In this way, God has set a seal to the truth and divinity of the Scriptures by miracles.
The Roman Catholic church cannot deny that the Scripture is divine and sacred; but what they affirm is that it receives its divine authority from the church; and in proof of it they cite that Scripture, 1 Tim 3:15, where the church is said to be ‘the pillar and support of the truth.’ (1 Tim 3:15) Now It is true that the church is the pillar of truth; but it does not therefore follow that the Scripture has its authority from the church.
A king’s proclamation, for example, may be fixed on a pillar, the pillar holds it out, that all may read it, but the proclamation does not receive its authority from the pillar, but from the king; so the church holds forth the Scriptures, but they do not receive their authority from the church, but from God. If the Word of God is divine, merely because the church holds it forth, then it will follow, that our faith is to be built upon the church, and not upon the Word, which would contradict Eph 2:20 which states that Christians are ‘built on the foundation (that is the doctrine) of the apostles and prophets.’ (Eph 2:20)
But now one may wonder,
Q. Are all the books in the Bible of the same divine authority? A. Yes, they do.
And the answer is that, Yes they do.
The Word is a rule of faith to direct our lives. The Word is the judge of controversies, the rock of infallibility. That only is to be received for truth which agrees with Scripture, as it is found in the original transcript. All maxims in religion are to be brought to the test of Scripture, as all measures are brought to the standard. Are all the books in the Bible of the same diving authority? Indeed the answer is: They are so.
Next we may ask,
Q. Are the Scriptures a complete rule? A. Yes.
Do they contain everything we need to know as to the way of salvation and to please God?
The Scripture is a full and perfect rule, containing in it all things necessary to salvation. Paul could tell Timothy “from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation.” (2 Tim 3:15) It shows the articles of faith, what we are to believe; and the Agenda, what we are to practise. It gives us an exact model of religion, and perfectly instructs us in the deep things of God.
And so, yes, the Scriptures are indeed a complete rule for the whole life of the believer.
Q. What is the main scope and end of Scripture? A. To reveal a way of Salvation.
It clearly reveals Jesus Christ. The Apostle John says of his gospel that “these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31) The Word of God is to be a test whereby our grace is to be tried; a light house to show us what rocks are to be avoided. The Word is to urge on and quicken our affections; it is to be our rule book and comfort; it is to sweep us over to the land of promise.
The answer is, briefly, to reveal a way of salvation.
Q. Who should have the power of interpreting Scripture? A. Scripture itself.
The Scripture is to be its own interpreter, or rather the Spirit speaking in it. Scripture being the ultimate truth, nothing can interpret Scripture but Scripture. As the sun reveals itself best by its own beams; the Scripture interprets itself to the understanding.
In contrast, the Roman Catholic teaching, subtle and deadly, is that the final authority to interpret Scripture lies in the church and ultimately in the Popes. May God save of from any form of this teaching.
And so the answer is, Scripture Itself is its final interpreter.
Q. But what about deep and difficult passages? A. The weakest believer is lead by the Holy Spirit.
The question is concerning hard places of Scripture, where the weak Christian is ready to wade into deep waters beyond his depth; who shall interpret here?
The church of God has appointed some to expound and interpret Scripture; therefore he has given gifts to men. The several pastors of churches, like bright constellations, give light to dark Scriptures, and though they are few in our day, we have the writings of many Godly men of the past. In the words of Malachi, “the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth.” (Mal 2:7)
And yet, this is not to rest our faith on men.
We are to receive nothing for truth but what agrees with the Word. As God has given to his ministers gifts for interpreting obscure places, so he has given to his people so much of the spirit of discerning, that they can tell (at least in things necessary to salvation) what conforms to Scripture, and what does not.
God has gifted his people with such a measure of wisdom and discretion, that they can discern between truth and error, and judge what is sound and what is false. Acts speaks of the Bereans “examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Acts 17:11) They weighed the doctrine they heard, whether it agreed or not with Scripture, though Paul and Silas were their teachers.
And so the answer in brief is that, even in deep and difficult matters, the weakest believer is lead by the Holy Spirit.
And now how can we apply this teaching about Scripture, or as the Puritans liked to put it what are their various uses?
The first use is to
Use 1: See the wonderful goodness of God,
who, besides the light of nature, has committed to us the sacred Scriptures. The heathen are enveloped in darkness. They have the oracles of their philosophers but not the writings of Moses and the apostles. How many live in regions of death, where this bright star of Scripture never appeared!
We have this blessed Book of God to resolve all our doubts, to point out a way of life to us. God having given us his written Word to be our rule of life takes away all excuses from us. None of us can say, I went wrong because I lacked light; God has given you his Word as a lamp to your feet; therefore if you go wrong, you do it wilfully. None of us can say, If I had known the will of God, I would have obeyed it.
There is nowhere to hide for God has given us a rule to go by, he has written his law with his own finger; therefore, if we do not obey, we have no excuse left. If a supervisor leaves his instructions in writing with a worker, and tells him what work he will have done, and the worker neglects the work, that worker is left without excuse, in the words of Jesus ‘now they have no excuse for their sin.’ (John 15:22)
Use 2: Is all Scripture of divine inspiration? Then it reproves, (1.) The Roman Catholics,
who take away part of Scripture, and so rob God of his authority. They erase the second commandment out of their catechisms, because it condemns images; and it is usual with them, if they come across anything in Scripture which they do not like, either to put a false interpretation on it, or, if that will not do, to pretend it is corrupted.
They are like Ananias and Sapphira, who kept back part of the money. (Acts 5:1) They keep back part of the Scripture from the people. It is a great insult to God to deface and obliterate any part of his Word, and brings us under that curse of Revelation 22 ‘if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life.’ (Rev 22:19)
Is all Scripture of divine inspiration? In the second place,
(2.) It condemns the Antinomians,
Those who are against the law, who lay aside the Old Testament as useless, and out of date. But God has stamped a divine majesty upon both Testaments; and wherever it has not been repealed, it stands in force. There is much gospel in the Old Testament. The comforts of the gospel in the New Testament have their roots in the Old. The great promise of the Messiah is in the Old Testament, ‘the virgin shall conceive and bear a son.’ (Is 7:14) The moral law, in some parts of it, speaks gospel – we read ‘I am the LORD your God;’ (Ex 20:2) here is the good news that God speaks of himself as your God. The Christian’s great hope, where God promises to ‘sprinkle clean water upon them, and put his Spirit within them,’ is to be found primarily in the Old Testament. (Ezek 36:25, 26) So that to take away the Old Testament, is to take away the pillars of a Christian’s comfort.
(3.) It condemns the Modern Christians,
who, pretending to have the Spirit, lay aside the whole Bible, and say effectively that the Scripture is a dead letter, and they live above it. What terrible audacity is this! Until we are above sin, we will not be above Scripture. It is a terrible thing to talk of a revelation from the Spirit, but to suspect it to be an invention of men. The Spirit of God works in and by the Word; and whoever pretends to having new light, which is either above the Word, or contrary to it, abuses both himself and the Spirit: his light is borrowed from him who transforms himself into an angel of light.
(4.) It condemns the despiser of Scripture;
such as those who can go whole weeks and months and never read the Word. They lay it aside as rusty armour; they prefer any other book or pastime before Scripture. The weighty matters of the law are to them insignificant. How many can spend countless hours straining for some earthly pursuit, but their eyes begin to be sore the moment they look upon a Bible! Heathens die for not having the Scriptures, and these die in contempt of it. Surely those who despise their guide must necessarily go wrong. Those who follow the lead of their lusts, and never turn to the Scriptures to keep them in check, are carried to hell, and never stop.
(5.) It condemns the abusers of Scripture.
The Apostle Peter speaking of Paul’s letters writes “There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.“ (2 Pe 3:16) They extract meaning out of verses without comparing Scripture with Scripture.
Some joke around with or use Scripture lightly. When they are sad, they take the Scripture as their play thing to drive away the sad spirit; In the fear of God, let us be careful about this. Luther felt so strongly about this that he is quoted as saying, ‘Whom God intends to destroy, he gives them leave to play with Scripture.’
We come to the third use,
Use 3: If the Scripture be of divine inspiration, then be exhorted, (1.) To study the Scripture.
It is a copy of God’s will. Be People of the Scriptures, Bible-Christians. In this Book of God are scattered many truths as so many pearls. ‘Search the Scriptures.’ (John 5:39) Search as for a vein of silver. This blessed Book will fill your head with knowledge, and your heart with grace.
God wrote the two tables with his own fingers; and if he took pains to write, well may we take pains to read.
Let us strive to be like Apollos who was said in Acts 18 to be “mighty in the Scriptures.” (Acts 18:24) The Word is our deed to Heaven; and shall we be ignorant of our deed? Paul’s injunction to the Colossians and to all believers is to ‘let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.’ (Col 3:16) Our memories must be a slate where the Word of God is written.
There is majesty sparkling in every line of Scripture; There is music in Scripture. This is that blessed sound which drives away sadness of spirit. Hear some of its blessed song a little. Paul writes to Timothy, ‘this is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners;’ (1 Tim 1:15) he took not only our flesh upon himself but our sins. And ‘Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ (Matt 11:28) What heavenly music does it make in the ears of a distressed sinner, when the Holy Spirit endues it with life!
The Scripture speaks of faith, self-denial, and all the graces which, as a chain of pearls, adorns a Christian. It excites to holiness; it speaks of another world, it gives a prospect of eternity!
Will you not then search the Scriptures? Make the Word familiar to you. It is impossible to overstate the excellency of Scripture. It is a spiritual panorama, in which we behold God’s glory; it is the tree of life, the oracle of wisdom, the rule of manners, the heavenly seed of which the new creature is formed. (James 1:18) The Scripture is profitable for all things.
If we are deserted, here is comfort that cheers the heavy heart; if we are pursued by Satan, here is the sword of the Spirit to resist him; if we are diseased with sin’s leprosy, here are the waters of the sanctuary, both to cleanse and cure.
Search the Scriptures! There is no danger in tasting this tree of knowledge. There was a penalty in the beginning, that we might not taste of the tree of knowledge: The warning then was: ‘in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’ (Gen 2:17) But there is no danger now in taking from this tree of holy Scripture; if we do not eat of this tree of knowledge, we will surely die. So then, read the Scriptures! There may come a time when the Scriptures may be kept from you.
Read the Bible with reverence.
Think in every line you read that God is speaking to you. The ark in which the law was stored was overlaid with pure gold, and was carried on bars so that the Levites might not touch it. (Ex 25:14) Why was this, but to show us how we must give reverence to the law?
Read with seriousness.
It is a matter of life and death; by this Word you must be tried; conscience and Scripture are the jury God will proceed by, in judging you.
Read the Word with affection.
Let your hearts be awakened with the Word so that you may echo the feelings of the disciples on their way to Emmaus: ‘did not our hearts burn within us?’ (Luke 24:32) Labour that the Word may not only be a lamp to direct your walk, but a fire to warm your heart.
Read the Scripture, not only as a history, but as a tender letter sent you from God, which may affect your hearts. Pray that the same Spirit that wrote the Word may assist you in reading it; that God’s Spirit would show you the wonderful things of his law.
(2.) Be exhorted to prize the written Word.
King David valued the Word more than gold. The Scripture is the chart and compass by which we sail to the new Jerusalem. It is a sovereign comfort in all distresses. What are the promises but the water of life to renew fainting spirits? Is it sin that troubles? Here is a Scripture remedy. The Psalmist writes “when iniquities prevail against me, you atone for our transgressions;’ (Ps 65:3) Do outward afflictions trouble you? Here is a Scripture remedy. Psalm 91, “I will be with him in trouble,’ (Ps 91:15) not only to behold, but to uphold. The Scripture will make us wise. They teach a man to know himself. They reveal Satan’s snares and stratagems. (2 Cor 2:11) ‘They make one wise for salvation.’ (2 Tim 3:15) And if this be so, how highly should we prize the Scriptures.
In the third place,
(3.) if the Scriptures are of divine inspiration, then believe them.
Give credence to the Word! It is breathed from God’s own mouth. From here comes the profaneness of men, that they do not believe the Scripture. Isaiah could lament ‘who has believed what he has heard from us?’ (Is 53:1) If you believed the glorious rewards the Scripture speaks of, would you not give diligence to make your election sure? If you truly believed the infernal torments the Scripture speaks of, would it not put you into a cold sweat, and cause a trembling at heart for sin?
Learn to realise Scripture, build up your hearts into a firm belief of it. Some think, if God should send an angel from heaven, and declare his mind, they would believe him; or, if he should send one from the damned, and preach the torments of hell all in flames, they would believe. But, “if they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.” (Lk 16:31) God is wise, and he thinks the fittest way to make his mind known to us is by writing; and those who will not be convinced by the Word, will be judged by the Word.
Believing the Scriptures is vital. It will enable us to resist temptation. ‘The word of God abides in you,’, writes the Apostle John, ‘and you have overcome the evil one.’ (1 Jn 2:14) It promotes our sanctification; therefore sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth, are put together. (2 Thess 2:13) If the written Word is not believed, it is like writing on water, which finally makes no impression at all.
In the fourth place, if the Scriptures are divinely inspired,
(4.) Love the written Word.
‘Oh how I love your law!’ (Ps 119:97) exclaims the Psalmist. One commentator compares the Scripture to a garden, every truth is a fragrant flower, which we should wear, not on our jacket, but in our heart. David counted the Word ‘sweeter… than honey and… the… honeycomb.’ (Ps 19:10) There is that in Scripture which may cause delight. It shows us the way to riches (Deut 28:8, Prov 3:16); to long life; (Ps 34:12) to a kingdom. (Heb 12:28) Well then, may we count those the sweetest hours which are spent in reading the holy Scriptures; well may we say with the prophet Jeremiah ‘Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart.’ (Jer 15:16)
Next, if they are the very Word of God, be exhorted to
(5.) Conform to Scripture.
Let us lead Scripture lives. May the Bible, as it were, be seen printed in our lives! Do what the Word commands. Obedience is an excellent way of commenting upon the Bible. ‘I’, says the Psalmist, “I will walk in Your truth’ (Ps 86:11). Let the Word be the clock by which you set your life. What are we the better for having the Scripture, if we do not direct all our speech and actions according to it? What is a carpenter the better for having his set square with him, if he leaves it in his toolbox, and never makes use of it for measuring and squaring his work? So, what are we the better for the rule of the Word, if we do not make use of it, and regulate our lives by it? How many swerve and deviate from the rule! The Word teaches to be sober and temperate, but they are drunk; to be chaste and holy, but they are profane; they stray far the rule! What a dishonour is it to religion, for men to live in contradiction to Scripture! The Word is called a ‘light to our feet.’ (Ps 119:105) It is not only a light to our eyes to correct our sight, but to our feet to correct our walk.
In the sixth place, be exhorted to
(6.) Contend for Scripture.
Though we should not be of contentious spirits, yet we ought to contend for the Word of God. This jewel is too precious to be parted with. The wise man of Proverbs says ‘guard her, for she is your life.’ (Prov 4:13) The Scripture is beset with enemies; heretics fight against it, we must therefore ‘contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.’ (Jude 3) The Scripture is our book of evidences for heaven; should we part with our evidences? The saints of old were both advocates and martyrs for truth; they would hold fast Scripture, though it was at the cost of their lives.
Next, be exhorted to
(7.) Be thankful to God for the Scriptures.
What a mercy is it that God has not only revealed his will to us, but that he has made it known by writing! In the old times God revealed his mind by visions, but the Word written is a surer way of knowing God’s mind. ‘We ourselves’, writes the Apostle Peter, ‘heard this very voice borne from heaven…and we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed.’ (2 Pet 1:18)
The devil is God’s imitator, and he can transform himself into an angel of light; he can deceive with false revelations; Satan deceives people with delusion, instead of divine revelations; therefore we are to be thankful to God for revealing his mind to us by writing. We are not left in doubtful suspense that we should not know what to believe, but we have an infallible rule to go by. The Scripture is our north star to direct us to heaven, it shows us every step we are to take; when we go wrong, it instructs us; when we go right, it comforts us; and it is matter of thankfulness, that the Scriptures are made intelligible, by being translated into our language.
And finally, if the Scriptures are the divine Word of God
(8.) Adore God’s distinguishing grace,
if you have felt the power and authority of the Word upon your conscience; if you can say with David, ‘Your word has revived me,’ (Ps 119:50 NASB) Christian, bless God that he has not only given you his Word to be a rule of holiness, but his grace to be a principle of holiness. Bless God that he has not only written his Word, but has also sealed it upon your heart, and made it effectual.
Can you say it is of divine inspiration because you have felt it to be lively and active? Then magnify free grace! that God should send out his Word, and heal you; that he should heal you, and not others! That the same Scripture which to them is a dead letter, should be to you ‘an aroma from life to life!’ (2 Cor 2:16)