Oh how I love your law!
It is my meditation all the day.
Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me.
I have more understanding than all my teachers,
for your testimonies are my meditation.
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
— Psalm 119:97-99, 103, and 105
The Word of God is the basis for all that we know about Him and what He has purposed to do with His grand design in the universe that He has made. When our first parents, Adam and Eve, sinned against God in the Garden of Eden, they became separated from God. Since that terrible event, the Lord has progressively throughout human history revealed more and more of His plan to redeem fallen men and women and return His creation to a state of bliss and perfection. The Bible is God’s progressive revelation to us of this redemptive plan, which was ultimately sealed by the blood of the perfect, one-time sacrifice of His unique Son, Jesus Christ, by crucifixion in Jerusalem. His resurrection from the dead and His ascension into heaven served to confirm that His sacrifice in our place had been accepted by the Father.
The Bible also teaches us that the Father and the Son poured out the Holy Spirit upon those who believe in Christ. It is this Spirit of God that unites us to Christ, empowers our lives of faith, and wonderfully works in us to build the Church, God’s kingdom. The Bible guides our worship and the way in which we administer the Lord’s Church in this era of His grace. His Word also exhorts us to live in eager anticipation of Christ’s return, when He will complete the Father’s plan to return creation to perfection, condemn the unsaved, and the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit will be glorified through the praise and worship of all redeemed believers, who will be raised from the dead or translated into imperishable bodies.
We believe that the originally written Old and New Testament Gospels, letters, histories, prophesies, poetry, wisdom, and legal materials were inspired by God as His Spirit moved and worked through the documents’ authors to reveal His intention for humanity. God’s inspirational authority includes every word in the original manuscripts as they were recorded, not governing simply portions, but rather the whole.
While we lack at the present time the original written manuscripts, we believe that the thousands of preserved fragments, passages, books, and complete Testaments available in papyri, parchments, and vellum extending to within decades of the originals and the great deal of agreement between them is proof of God’s preserving His revelation for us His people in His Body, the Church.
As the Apostle Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” Hope relies heavily upon the Word of God to form our service of worship, both in our daily lives and during the Lord’s Day and special services. The Word of God is more vital to us than the water we drink, the food we eat, and even the air we breathe.
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.
— Isaiah 40:8