“What Does "Inspiration" Mean? by Justin Guin”

What is meant by the phrase “God’s word is “inspired”? The word “inspiration” carries many meanings in English. It can refer to being spurred on by something or to exert influence on a person. Is this what Paul meant in 2 Timothy 3:16? “Inspired” refers to communication that is directed by God. Some translations render it as “God-breathed” or “breathed out by God.” Simply put, God’s word finds its source in the mind of God. He guided human authors to produce his authoritative, inspired word. 

What is involved in the process? 2 Peter 1:21 helps us understand how God accomplished this, “For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” The verb “carried along” means to guide, lead, or to direct. The Holy Spirit guided each biblical writer to produce every word of Scripture. It is not man’s opinion or perspective on life. Peter asserts this in 2 Peter 1:20 when he wrote, “No prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.” 

This biblical fact has implications for the Christian. Since the Bible finds its source in God, then it is fully authoritative. Paul wrote in Colossians 3:17, “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” The phrase “in the name of Jesus” refers to his authority. We must do only what he authorizes us to do, and he instructs us through biblical teaching. It offers correction and training for righteous living (2 Tim. 3:16). We are to be living embodiments of the Scripture.

Our world needs Christians who are willing to practice New Testament Christianity. God has equipped us through his inspired word for everyday Christian living (2 Pet. 1:3). Proverbs 4:13 says, “Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.” Baptist minister Charles Spurgeon stated, “I would recommend you either believe God up to the hilt, or else not to believe at all. Believe this Book of God, every letter of it, or else reject it. There is no logical standing place between the two.” Well said.