Special Revelation – Part 3 – The Necessity of Scripture Continued
Continued from Part Two – The Necessity of Scripture . . .
What if the prophets spoke but the prophecies were not written down? How would we know what came to pass or what was to come to pass? What if God did not write down the Ten Commandments? How would we know to keep the Sabbath?
Scripture is not merely revelation, but inscripturation—It’s revelation committed to writing. It is an everlasting deposit of divine revelation. It was divine revelation when Paul preached Christ at Thessalonica. But when it was written down as Acts chapter 17, it became inscripturation.
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son…
Not all of divine revelation was recorded. Throughout redemptive history, God has spoken to His people. But for His own sovereign purpose, He did not have all His “speakings” inscripturated.
And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.
The Necessity of Inscripturation
Inscripturation is necessary for the following reasons:
- Because of the corrupting effects of sin. A written revelation is more objective and less prone to corruption. Moreover, a written revelation is less affected by the vicissitudes of history. This is especially important when prophecies must be preserved for successive generations.
- Written prophecy is better judged in written form. When prophecy is written down, it is preserved. It may be scrutinized by future generations. Events foretold two hundred years in the future are not verifiable during the prophet’s lifetime. Only through the written record may the prophet be vindicated.
- Written prophecy acts as an indictment and a warning. In Scripture we see God indicting His people through the prophets for idolatry, covenant breaking, and unbelief. Furthermore we see God’s wrath poured out, as was prophesied, upon nations, cities, and peoples. These events have been inscripturated for our instruction and warning. These events provide witness to God’s justice and wrath.
- Written prophecy preserves the promises of God. Certain prophecies were not fulfilled in the generation in which they were uttered. This preserves His promises, giving hope to His people throughout redemptive history.
- Instcripturation shows the permanence of God’s revelation. Written revelation demonstrates that the Word of God abides forever. It does not change, nor do the wants, desires, and opinions of man affect it.
- The written Word of God may be tested. God has objectively revealed Himself and His will to us in the pages of Holy Writ.
- God commits His words to writing for the greater assurance of His people. Each of the preceding points shows how inscripturation works towards our assurance and sanctification.
In summary, Scripture is necessary because it . . .
- Expounds upon general revelation
- Provides the way of salvation
- Is the chosen communication method of the King
- Is more than just revelation, providing us the inscripturated words of God
- Presents a recorded record of God’s promises and dealings with His people
- Is objective and self-authenticating (we will talk more of this in a later post)
- Reveals God and His will to us
- Is sufficient for doctrine and life