Without a doubt, the ground Satan most vigorously and continuously attacks these days is the trustworthiness of Scripture—by which he also strikes a blow at its authority, sufficiency, inerrancy, integrity, and perspicuity. The battle for the truth is the battle for the Bible, and in this fight God’s people cannot flinch.
It is no coincidence that Satan’s entry into the biblical story is marked by questioning the trustworthiness of God’s Word. In the garden, he begins with what sounds like an innocuous question. He pretends he is concerned only for Eve’s well-being. Soon, any imagined neutrality disappears as he boldly claims to know more than God does. He insinuates that God is wrong and he is right. God may have said that they would die, but Satan assures Eve they won’t. This perverse deception that we see in Genesis 3 is repeated throughout history: God says one thing; Satan says God is a liar and counters with a different story.
The devil began his campaign with a façade of innocence, just asking a simple question: “Indeed, has God said?” (Genesis 3:1). You could actually translate his words as, “So, God has said, has He?” Here we have the first question in the Bible, which introduces the first dilemma in human history. There were no questions or dilemmas before this one. Up to this point, Adam and Eve had walked in perfect fellowship with God. Then there was the first question, and it was about the integrity and honesty of God. This query was designed to start Eve down the path of doubting the trustworthiness of what God had said, and doubting God’s word is the essence of sin. For the first time, that deadly spiritual force was covertly smuggled into the world. Eve fell for the great satanic lie—and we fall for it too, if we ever question God at His Word.
Understanding mankind’s natural proclivity toward doubt and skepticism, Paul writes in no uncertain terms, “All Scripture is breathed out by God” (2 Timothy 3:16, ESV). Because the Bible is the very breath of “the God of truth” (Isaiah 65:16), we can have confidence that it is utterly trustworthy. Psalm 12:6 proclaims, “The words of the Lord are pure words; as silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.” This same idea is repeated throughout Psalm 119: God’s Word is truth, His commandments are truth, the sum of His Word is truth, all of His ordinances endure forever, and all of His precepts are sure.
Scripture is entirely true, and it contains all the truth necessary for the life of faith. God did not hold back or hide any necessary revelation. Paul makes that very point in his epistle to Timothy: “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16–17). God’s Word is uniquely suited to accomplish His intentions for salvation, sanctification, and glorification; it supplies everything we need for life and godliness in this world, and hope for the life to come.
Moreover, it is the truth by which all other spiritual and theological truth claims are measured. That’s why the hard work of faithful interpretation is so vital, and why God gave pastors and teachers to the church. The truth can be known only if the correct meaning of the text is known.
Today, the church is overrun with false shepherds peddling faulty interpretations of Scripture that are not God’s Word. They will tell you that Scripture is all about improving your relationships, soothing your emotional wounds, enriching you financially, and meeting a host of other felt needs. But those are devilish lies meant to cripple your confidence in God’s Word when it inevitably fails to do what it was never intended to do.
The purpose of God’s Word is to deposit life-transforming truth into the mind. We cannot know the truth of a passage until we understand the accurate interpretation of the passage. We need to be careful and thorough students of all Scripture, confident in its divine authorship and dependent on the Holy Spirit’s illuminating work in bringing us to a clear understanding of God’s revealed truth.
We have no reason to question or doubt anything God has revealed to us through Scripture. It is trustworthy in its entirety.
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