ESSENTIALS OF THE FAITH by Dr Walter Martin ~ "The Bible is a collection of letters and it contains quotes from men (Acts 17:28), angels (Matt 1:20), demons (Mark 5:9), Satan (Job 1:9), and God Himself (Ex 20:1) The Bible is called the Word of God because the whole transcript is an inspired, faithful, and infallible record of what God intended us to know about Himself, the cosmos in which we live, our spiritual allies and adversaries, and our fellow man. The Bible, then, wasproduced by men whose recording of events was divinely supervised and preserved from all the frailties of human error and judgment which are so common in all other religious literature. The Holy Spirit came upon the womb of the Virgin Mary and, despite her sinful nature, imperfections, and limitations, produced the sinless and perfect character who is called the Son of God, so He moved upon the minds and spirits of the recorders of Scripture that, despite limitations in language, culture, and even scientific knowledge, He produced His perfect message to mankind. Both phenomena were miraculous; both were perfect births – one of the Son of Man and the other of a Book, the Word of God. When we speak of the inspiration of the Scriptures, then, we are talking about the process that God used to convey His message. This process is described by the Apostle Paul as a type of spiritual "breathing." In fact, the Greek word theopneustos literally means "God-breathed." The inspiration of the Bible and the concepts just mentioned refer only to the initial "breathing" of God upon the authors of Scripture to produce a copy of His thoughts for man. It is for this original text of Scripture, revealed by God and faithfully recorded by His servants, that the Christian church claims infallibility. Through the centuries God has preserved literally thousands of copies and fragments of these initial manuscripts with only minor transmissional mistakes made by scribes over the years. Historic Christianity affirms the plenary or "full" inspiration of the Bible, and it further holds that inspired concepts can be communicated only by inspired words. Thus, the church is correct in it's belief in the verbal inspiration of the Bible is logically inseparable from the doctrine. The Word of God is God in His Word, speaking to us by His Spirit, through whom the message was initially inspired and infused into the souls and minds of His servants. These "holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (2 Peter 1:18-21). Speaking through the prophets, God bore record in the Old Testament of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ the Living Word. In the New Testament God testifies to the apostles and the disciples of the Incarnation of His Word (John 1:1, 14). These truths are confirmed experientially by the witness of the Holy Spirit, who carries on the work of confronting men with the written Word, which points them to the living Word. It is the Holy Spirit who validates the witness by transforming those who accept the Bible's testimony to the risen Christ, our only object of saving faith. Is it any wonder that Peter could proclaim of the Lord Jesus, “All the prophets testify about Him that through His name everyone who believes in Him will receive forgiveness of sin." (Acts 10:43)! Thus the Holy Spirit, who inspired the written Word and who anointed the Living Word, perseveres in validating all His work of inspiration through the fulfillment of prophecy and the transformation of lives in response to faith in the Lord Jesus. The action of the Holy Spirit in and upon the sons of Adam is a living reminder to the church that our "labor is not in vain in the Lord." A good question to ask of your own heart is WHY do you want MORE of JESUS, MORE of the HOLY SPIRIT? Why do you want to be healed by the Holy Spirit? James 4:3 ~ Our desire to live should be for the sake of the God that gave us the Spirit. SIMON the magician attempted to buy the gift of God ACTS 8:20 and Peter responded firmly. Do we want it for power? Do we desire to be a better servant to the church and other? According to His will and purpose, for the good and edification of the church.