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The Bible Bears Witness to Itself

Written by Mark Vroegop on

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 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
(2 Pet. 1:16-21).

Taken from the sermon “Reasons We Don’t Believe: The Bible Isn’t Trustworthy” by Mark Vroegop.

Read article 1 and article 2 of the series.

The final characteristic that affirms the trustworthiness of the Bible is its own claim to be the Word of God by virtue of its inspiration. The Bible is a supernatural word. It is God’s revelation to mankind.

First, according to verse 20, there are no private interpretations that create prophetic Scripture. The teachings of the Bible may have been written by human beings, but humans are not the source.

Second, in verse 21, there is a reiteration of what is said in verse 20, with a focus on why interpretations do not create Scripture: prophecy does not come from human will.

Third, and finally, we get the source of the Scriptures themselves and the reason why they are trustworthy: “men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit”(v. 21). To be carried along means that like a ship is driven by the wind or a ferry carries cars. Something greater than the individual is at work.

The Bible claims to be the Word of God and to be inspired by the Holy Spirit. And because God says that his word is true, it must be accepted as truth. Some may protest that this argument is circular. Someone might suggest that this argument presupposes the truth of the Scriptures. And they would be correct. However, everyone presupposes something. By suggesting the argument is circular, the person presupposes the autonomy and authority of human reason. Skeptics of the Bible presuppose that we can appeal to reason to prove reason.[1]

The Bible is self-evidently the Word of God when a person’s eyes are opened to belief. Here is how John Piper says it:

When God mercifully clears away the corroding effects of sin on the template of God’s glory in our hearts, we see “the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6). It fits. This is what we were made for. We know it. This light is its own confirmation, just as natural light is its own confirmation. We know we are seeing reality. In the end, we do not deduce by logical inference that the eyes of our heads are seeing objects in the world. Sight is its own argument. Similarly, in the end, we do not deduce by logical inference that the eyes of our hearts are seeing the peculiar glory of God in his word. Sight is its own argument.[2]

We see this in other areas of life. If someone asks you, “How do you know you are in love?” how do you answer? Do you use the scientific method? Rational argument? Historical research? Ask an engaged couple who are madly in love how they know that they are in love! They’d say something like, “We know. That’s how.” If you don’t know you are in love, you probably aren’t.

You can use all the facts that point to the historical evidence of Jesus. It’s there. You can cite all the literary evidence for the Bible’s veracity. It’s there. Nothing’s wrong with any of that, but I would suggest that it is never enough. The Bible is its own authority, and when you see it for what it is, believe!

Listen to the full sermon “Reasons We Don’t Believe: The Bible Isn’t Trustworthy.”

[1] John M. Frame, Apologetics – A Justification of Religious Belief, (Philipsburg, P&R Publishing, 2015), 14.

[2] John Piper, A Peculiar Glory – How the Christian Scriptures Reveal Their Complete Truthfulness, (Wheaton, Crossway, 2016), 250.

Mark Vroegop

Mark was called as the Lead Pastor of College Park in 2008. In this integral role, he is the primary teaching pastor for the North Indy congregation, and he works alongside the pastors and elders to implement our mission of igniting a passion to follow Jesus. He is a graduate of Cedarville University and Grand Rapids Theological Seminary (M. Div.). Mark approaches ministry with a unique blend of passion for Jesus, a love for the Word, and a desire to see lives changed. He is a conference speaker, Council Member of The Gospel Coalition, contributor to 15 Things Seminary Couldn’t Teach Me, and author of Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament and Weep With Me: How Lament Opens a Door for Racial Reconciliation. Prior to serving at College Park, Mark served at a church in western Michigan for 13 years. He married his wife, Sarah, in 1993, and they have four children, as well as a daughter in heaven due to an unexpected still-birth in 2004.
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