Three Points on Inspiration
When the Book of Acts opens, in Chapter 1, we find the eleven remaining apostles waiting in Jerusalem until they would receive power from Holy Spirit. They were gathered together in an upper room with about 120 of the disciples, including the mother and brethren of Jesus. In Acts 1:15-16, Peter said, “Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.” He then goes on in verse 20, “For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.” Here he quoted two passages from the Book of Psalms – Psalm 69:25 and Psalm 109:8.
From Peter’s statement in Acts 1:16 we learn a very important lesson from the Bible on Inspiration.
Inspiration is the means by which God has communicated to man from the beginning until the time when “that which is perfect” has come (1 Cor. 13:10). That is, until the complete revealed Word of God has come. “Inspired of God” literally means “God-breathed.” God “breathed” the very words of the Scriptures. This is known as verbal, plenary inspiration – every single word of Scripture is God-breathed. God still speaks to us today – yet only through His Inspired Word.
Let us note three things from Peter’s statement in Acts 1:16:
First, note the Ultimate Source of the Scriptures. “…which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake…” We see that the God speaking through the Holy Spirit is the source of scripture. Just as Peter would later say, “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Peter 1:21). “All scripture is given by inspiration of God…” (2 Timothy 3:16)
Second, note the Medium Employed (Webster’s Dictionary, “The means or instrument by which any thing is accomplished, conveyed or carried on.”) “…which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake…” (David was not only king of Israel – he was a prophet of God, the inspired author of many Psalms.) God has employed, throughout the ages, medium to get His Message to mankind. “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets…” (Hebrews 1:1) This teaches us that God “spake in times past …by the prophets…” That is, “in the prophets themselves as the vessels of divine inspiration. God spake in them and from them.” (Vincent’s Word Studies) Notice 2 Samuel 23:2 “The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue…” and Jeremiah 1:9 “Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth….”
Third, note the Final Result of the process of Inspiration – Scripture. “This scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake…” Scripture is the revealed Word of God in written form. The word “scripture” comes from the Greek word “graphein,” which means, “that which is written.” The Scriptures are the Words of God. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). May we all follow the example of the Noble Bereans who, “searched the scriptures daily…” (Acts 17:11) – and read God’s Word every day.