The Bible is a book. It may be called a collection of books compiled together into one majestic volume. As a book it is designed to be read. In this respect it is like all other books. But the Bible is not like any other book. It is the Book of Books. We customarily call this book the Holy Bible. Its holiness is found in its “otherness.” It is a sacred book because it transcends and stands apart from, above, every other book. It is holy because its ultimate Author is holy. It is holy because its message is holy. It is holy because its content is designed to make us holy.
The bible is an inspired book, that is, “breathed out” by God. Inspiration reaches far beyond the scope of the inspiration of human artists as commonly understood. The Bible offers more than brilliant insight, more than human sagacity. It is called “inspired” not because of its supernatural mode of transmission via human authors, but because of its origin. It is not merely a book about God; it is a book from God. Therefore the church confesses its trust and confidence that the Bible is the vox Dei, the veritable “voice of God.”
The Bible is a normative book. The church has declared the Bible is the “Norm of norms, and without norm.” A norm is a standard to regulate our lives, but all such regulations must be subordinate to Scripture. To be the “Norm of norms” is to be the superlative norm, the standard by which all other norms are measures. The Bible is not simply “first among equals”- it has no parity with other standards. As Jesus is exalted to be Lord of lords and King of kings, so we submit to His Word as the Norm of norms, the standard of truth and the one rule for the people of God.
God is the Lord of heaven and earth, and He alone is able to impose absolute obligation upon His creatures. He does this through the written word. The reformers of the sixteenth century recognized this unique authority of the Bible, expressing it in the watchword Sola Scriptura, “the Scripture alone.” The reformers did not despise other authorities, or deny the value of tradition and the creeds, but they distinguished the singular authority of the Bible, “the only infallible rule of faith and practice.”
God calls every Christian to pursue righteousness. Our trust is to be childlike, but our understanding must be mature. Such trust and understanding require study of God’s word. The authentic disciple meditates on it day and night, continuing and remaining in it. Our goal is more than knowledge; it is wisdom and the fruit of inward and outward obedience…