What Does “Inspiration” Really Mean?

Biblical Authority Devotional: Inspiration, Part 1

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God’s perfect character shows us that His inspired Word is as credible, reliable, and trustworthy as God Himself.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16)

Today’s big question: what does “inspiration” really mean?

In the past 14 devotionals, we have been considering the character of God. This is in direct correlation with contemplating the claim that all of Scripture is given by God’s inspiration. God is the source of the inspiration of His Word. God is unlimited and perfect in all His ways. All of His attributes are consistent and woven together in perfect harmony beyond human capacity. God’s perfect character shows us that His inspired Word is as credible, reliable, and trustworthy as God Himself. We need to be clear that the Bible also teaches that inspiration was given through men (2 Peter 1:20–21).

Have you ever wandered past an incredible architectural design in a building and wondered about the inspiration for it? How about a piece of fine art or an amazing music composition? Surely the inspiration was great, but what really was the power of that inspiration? Was it perfect? Was it ringing with everlasting truth? No one man can claim to be without error or without the ability to contain error. This is why it is important to understand that the inspiration talked about in Scripture is not just a motivating factor like we see in art or other wonderful human works. The Greek word used for “inspiration” in today’s verse is “Theopneustos.” This word literally means “God-breathed.”When we read Scripture, we should understand that we are not reading some words of men who just had an inspired talent. We are reading the Word of God that was breathed out through men of His choosing to give us His Word in authenticity and full authority. We still see personality traits, cultural impact, and even the author’s own passion spilling into the pages of Scripture. We see the perfect Word of God without corruption breathed out through the heart and minds of His chosen men. We can see the perfect nature of God in the holiness of His Word, and we can relate through the humanity of His chosen writers.

While the great human works of history give us displays of captivating inspiration, no human work can claim the breathed out Word of an inerrant and infallible God. We may be moved by a Mozart symphony or dazzled by a Shakespearian play, but only God’s Word is perfect, reliable, and eternal.

Today’s big idea: biblical inspiration is uniquely different and incomparable to any human inspiration.

What to pray: humbly thank God that He made His Word so accessible.

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