2 Timothy 3:16-17
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction…
I shall content myself with stating some plain facts about the Bible, which can neither be denied nor explained away. And the ground I shall take up is this —
I. THAT THESE FACTS OUGHT TO SATISFY EVERY REASONABLE INQUIRER THAT THE BIBLE IS OF GOD, AND NOT OF MAN.
1. It is a fact that there is a superhuman fulness and richness in the contents of the Bible. It throws more light on a vast number of most important subjects than all the other books in the world put together. It boldly handles matters which are beyond the reach of man when left to himself.
2. It is another fact that there is a superhuman wisdom, sublimity, and majesty in the style of the Bible. Strange and unlikely as it was, the writers of Scripture have produced a book which even at this day is utterly unrivalled. With all our boasted attainments in science and art and learning we can produce nothing that can be compared with the Bible. To talk of comparing the Bible with other "sacred books" so called, such as the Koran, the Shasters, or the book of Mormon, is positively absurd. You might as well compare the sun with a rushlight — or Skiddaw with a mole-hill — or Saint Paul's with an Irish hovel — or the Portland vase with a garden pot — or the Koh-i-noor diamond with a bit of glass. God seems to have allowed the existence of these pretended revelations in order to prove the immeasurable superiority of His own Word.
3. It is another fact, that there is a superhuman accuracy in the facts and statements of the Bible, which is above man. Here is a book which has been finished and before the world for nearly 1800 years. These 1800 years have been the busiest and most changeful period the world has ever seen. During this period the greatest discoveries have been made in science, the greatest alterations in the ways and customs of society, the greatest improvements in the habits and usages of life. But all this time men have never discovered a really weak point or a defect in the Bible. Over and over again the enemies of the Bible have fancied they have detected defects. Again and again they have proved to be mistaken. The march of intellect never overtakes it. The wisdom of wise men never gets beyond it. The science of philosophers never proves it wrong. The discoveries of travellers never convict it of mistakes. Are the ruins of Nineveh and Egypt ransacked and explored? Nothing is found that overturns one jot or tittle of the Bible's historical statements.
4. It is another fact that there is in the Bible a superhuman suitableness to the spiritual wants of all mankind. It feeds the mind of the labourer in his cottage, and it satisfies the gigantic intellects of Newton, Chalmers, Brewster, and Faraday. It is the only book, moreover, which seems always fresh and evergreen and new. I place these four facts about the Bible before you, and I ask you to consider them well. Take them all four together, treat them fairly, and look at them honestly. Upon any other principle than that of Divine inspiration, those four facts appear to me inexplicable and unaccountable. Not only were its writers isolated and cut off in a peculiar manner from other nations, but they belonged to a people who have never produced any other book of note except the Bible! There is not the slightest proof that, unassisted and left to themselves, they were capable of writing anything remarkable, like the Greeks and Romans. Yet these men have given the world a volume which for depth, sublimity, accuracy, and suitableness to the wants of man, is perfectly unrivalled. How can this be explained? To my mind there is only one answer. The writers of the Bible were Divinely helped and qualified for the work which they did.
II. Let us now consider THE PRIVILEGES WHICH THE POSSESSION OF AN INSPIRED BOOK CONFERS UPON US.
1. It is a privilege to possess the only book which gives a reasonable account of the beginning and end of the globe on which we live.
2. It is a privilege to possess the only book which gives a true and faithful account of man.
3. It is a privilege to possess the only book which gives us true views of God.
4. It is a privilege to possess the only book which gives a clear account of the full, perfect, and complete provision which God has made for the salvation of fallen man.
5. Finally, it is a privilege to possess the only book which explains the state of things that we see in the world around us.
III. Let us now consider THE DUTIES WHICH THE POSSESSION OF GOD'S ORACLES ENTAILS UPON US.
1. First and foremost, let us honour the Bible by making it the supreme rule of faith, the standard measure of truth and error, of right and wrong in our churches.
2. In the next place, if we believe the Bible to be "the oracles of God," let us show the reality of our belief by endeavouring to spread it throughout the world.
Parallel VersesKJV: All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: