The Word of God
Λόγος του Θεού
By Rev. Chadd N. Hatfield, Ph.D.
Academic Dean, UGCS of the UACCCI
The Belgic Confession (1561):
We receive all these books, and these only, as holy and confirmation of our faith; believing, without any doubt, all things contained in them, not so much because the church receives and approves them as such, but more especially because the Holy Ghost witnessed in our hearts that they are from God, whereof they carry the evidence in themselves (Art. 5).
When we as followers of Jesus, (the called and beloved that have been redeemed and made righteous in Christ), are led to teach, preach, or counsel, what is our authority? We have learned throughout history that denominationalism, religious positions of authority, and charismatic popularity lead to corruption, false teaching, and strange doctrine. So our authority must not rest upon tradition of the church or man, but of the Word of God, as in the Scriptures, the Holy Bible, this being shrouded by The Word of God, Jesus our Lord. The many new students, parishioners, or clients that look towards us whom are in the ministry for sound truth, and rational guidance let by God, it is only logical and ethical to give them the source of absolute truth, not the breath of man, but rather the Breath of God, the scriptures, inspired by God Himself. Πᾶσα γραφὴ θεόπνευστος this phrase in the NT GK is very clear, that all Scripture is God inspired, or breathed out authority.
Now let us dive into the text to validate the proposition, is we observe 2 Timothy 3:16-17; "16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." Looking specifically at verse 16 we see that purpose for the Scriptures, doctrine, (διδαχή) and more specifically the act of teaching or that which is taught. The use of the term in Scripture, however, is broader than a simple reference to information passed on from one person to another or from one generation to the next. Christianity is faith founded on a message of good news rooted in the significance of the life of Jesus Christ. In Scripture, then, doctrine refers to the entire body of essential theological truths that define and describes that message ( 1 Tim 1:10 ; 4:16 ; 6:3 ; Titus 1:9 ). The message includes historical facts, such as those regarding the events of the life of Jesus Christ ( 1 Cor 11:23 ). But it is deeper than biographical facts alone. Jesus' death is an integral historical fact as is Jesus' death for sins ( 1 Cor 15:3 ) which is a vital doctrine.
Doctrine, then, is scriptural teaching on theological truths. All scripture then is vital for use the entirety of the Bible to demonstrate how one comes to salvation, live holy, be at peace during times of struggle, power over the demonic realm through Jesus. So when we use the Word of God soundly and accurately reproof over behaviors, correction in error, and growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus (2 Peter 3:18) by our instruction in righteousness. In 2 Timothy 3:17 we see the exegesis established, "that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." ἄνθρωπος which is the Greek term used for man which in the original language in this particular case means men as well as women. So it is the θεόπνευστος or God breathed Scriptures that is our source of authority and base for all things pertaining to Faith and practice. So when it comes to worship, teaching theology, counseling, and or mode of Christ centered behavior, our mapped out manual happens to be God's words, written by holy men of God, thus no private interpretation, (2 Peter 1:19-21) "And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." The God breathed Scriptures protect us against cults, and false teachings and always have.
We at the UACCCI can guide, teach, counsel and train, and with the wisdom and knowledge that we as bishops, elders, and or counselors, have learned and the gifts which God has given us. However, we always must remember that our authority and the base for any concept, theological viewpoint, or method of guidance must rest upon that final authority; the Holy Scriptures of the Bible. I am overjoyed when I observe sound preaching, teaching, and even therapeutic counseling exposited with sound wisdom, educated logical truth, but always wrapped up in the magnificence of the Scriptures themselves which God has given His servants to spread the ultimate and absolute Truth.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Rev. Chadd N. Hatfield, PhD Tucker Memorial Baptist Church Huntington City Mission Huntington, W.V.
Dean of Academics UACCCI Ministries