John R. Rice (December 11, 1895 – December 29, 1980) Preacher … evangelist … revivalist … editor … counselor to the thousands … friend to millions—that was Dr. John R. Rice, whose accomplishments were nothing short of miraculous. Known as “America’s Dean of Evangelists,” Dr. Rice made a mighty impact upon the nation’s religious life for some sixty years in great citywide campaigns and in Sword of the Lord conferences.
Like many other strong fighters for the faith, Rice was also marked with a sincere spirit of compassion. Those who knew him best knew a man who loved them. In preaching, in prayer and in personal life, Rice wept over sinners and with saints.
The Infallible Inspiration of the Bible
“Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” – Mark 8:38.
1. Bible Literally God’s Word
What does inspiration of the Bible mean? I start with a classic, well-understood verse, or at least one fairly well understood, 2 Timothy 3:16: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable …” All Scripture is inspired. We talk about the inspiration of the Scripture. Actually, what the Lord says is not so much that God breathed upon the Bible or even that He breathed into the Bible, but that He breathed out the Bible.
The Bible is the breath of God. The Bible proceeded from out of the being of God. God breathed out the Bible. It is not merely that God breathed on men who wrote, but that which came out—the Bible itself—was breathed out from God.
Incidentally, as you know, in the Greek the term for breath or wind and spirit are the same. The Holy Spirit of God came upon men, and God breathed out through His Spirit the Word of God. Not that God supervised men, not that He touched men, but that He moved men to say what He breathed out Himself. The Bible is breathed out from God, is a product of God, and thus is the Word of God.
In 2 Peter 1:19 we read:
“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed.”
More sure? Yes. More sure than what? More sure than eyewitness. Said Peter in verse 16, “We … were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” More sure than what? The voice of God from Heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son.” Peter said we have something more sure than that: ‘More sure than eyewitness; more sure than hearing a voice from Heaven.’ “We have … a more sure word.” What’s that? The Bible.
The Bible is more sure than if a man heard God talking from Heaven, as Peter did on the Mount of Transfiguration, more sure than when Peter saw Jesus transfigured before him literally. The Bible is more sure than that. It is literally from God without reference to whether man saw it right or heard it right. The Bible is from God. It is more sure than anything received by the human senses and perception.
Peter then said:
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.”
“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 Pet. 1:20, 21.
Men were moved by the Holy Ghost. They spake as they were moved. It is not that God said, “Now I must supervise this fellow. Being so smart, he can do most of it right. I’ll watch and see that he makes no mistake. Go ahead and pick out your own words.”
No, no! God put the words in his mouth.
The other day I got a card from my little granddaughter, less than two years old. She signed her name “Linda Jo.” But Mother moved the hand, though Linda held the pen.
I am saying that God Himself moved the men when they wrote the Scriptures. Inspiration—what does that mean? Not just supervision, not just some correction of mistakes, but the words came from God. The Scriptures were breathed out from God. The men who wrote held the pen, but God held the man who held the pen. Literally, this is the Word of God, not the word of man.
In 1 Thessalonians 2:13 Paul says:
“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God.”
Not the word of men, but the Word of God. Paul spoke it, but it wasn’t Paul’s word. Paul wrote down his epistles, but they were not Paul’s except in the sense of identifying the penman. They were not the words of a man; they were in truth the words of God.
How often the Bible is called the Word of God.
The Bible never says “approximately the Word of God.” The Bible never speaks of “relatively the Word of God.” The Bible never says this is the “record of the Words of God.” The Bible never says that the Scriptures “contain the Word of God.” No! This is in truth the Word of God.
To Be Continued . . .
John R. Rice Website: https://swordsermonvault.com/collections/john-r-rice
John R. Rice Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100041276476532