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THE INFALLIBILITY OF SCRIPTURE

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached on Lord's Day Morning, April 25, 2004
at the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles

"The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it" (Isaiah 1:20).


The following message is edited and adapted from a sermon given by C. H. Spurgeon on March 11, 1888.

What Isaiah said, "The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it," was therefore spoken by Jehovah, by God. It was the written words of the man, Isaiah, but the words were actually given by God, Himself. All of the Bible is inspired by God, and is therefore spoken by the mouth of the Lord.

Many people disrespect the Bible today, but it was treated with great respect by the Lord Jesus Christ, our Master and Lord. It is important to know that Jesus Christ had great respect for the Bible. Christ was the very Son of God, and He knew whether the Bible was reliable or not. Yet He continually quoted from the Old Testament Scriptures. Christ always treated the Bible with intense reverence. Christ never treated the Bible as though it had errors in it, like modern skeptics often do. I am sure we cannot be wrong by imitating the example of Jesus Christ, who said, "The Scripture cannot be broken" (John 10:35).

I say that since Christ, the divine Son of God, quoted the Bible, and used it in His teaching, how much more should we follow His example. Christ placed value on every single word which

"The mouth of the Lord hath spoken" (Isaiah 1:20).

The Apostles also had high regard for the Bible. They treated the ancient Scriptures of the Old Testament as their supreme authority. They supported their statements with passages from the Scriptures. No disciple of Jesus ever questioned the authority of the words of Moses, or of the prophets, or of the Psalms. If you want to say that you think there are mistakes in the Bible, you will not find any of the Apostles in agreement with you. The New Testament writers believed the Old Testament and trusted it as God's words without any question whatever. You and I belong to a church which will continue to do so, whatever others may say. Others may follow whatever authorities they like, but, as for us, God is our Master and Lord, and we believe that each word of the Hebrew and Greek Bible was given by God, for

"The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it" (Isaiah 1:20).

I. First, this is the authority for what we believe and preach.

We preach because

"The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it" (Isaiah 1:20).

It would not be important to speak on what Isaiah said, if Isaiah only gave us what he thought. Neither should we spend hours studying the New Testament writings of the Apostle Paul if the writings of Paul were only his thoughts and ideas. But since "The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it," it is woe unto us if we preach not the gospel given in the Bible. We come to you saying "Thus saith the Lord," and we would have no basis for preaching, if we did not have this message from the Bible, "The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."

Martin Luther, who never feared the face of man, said that when he stood up to preach he often felt his knees knock together because of the sense of his great responsibility. Woe to us if we dare to speak the word of the Lord with less than our whole heart, and soul, and strength! If the Bible were our own word we might be tempted to use mere human oratory in our preaching. But if it is God's Word we preach, we cannot afford to think of showing off our speaking ability and learning. We must speak, "not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect" (I Corinthians 1:17).

We live under intense pressure to preach the gospel. We must say, "The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." It is not the preacher's job to correct the Bible. A true preacher repeats the words of the Bible as a child repeats his lessons at school. It is not our business as preachers to correct the Scriptures, but simply to explain it and preach it.

Believing that it is the Word of God, I must not preach new and original thoughts of my own, but rather say, with Jesus, "The word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me" (John 14:24). Believing that "the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it," it is my duty to repeat the words of the Bible to you as correctly as I can, after having heard it and felt it in my own soul. It is not right for me to change or adapt the gospel. What! Shall we try to improve on what God has revealed in the Scriptures? The infallible revelation of the infallible God is not to be moderated or toned down to fit the fashions and fancies of this hour!

God tells us, "He that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully" (Jeremiah 23:28). What is the chaff to the wheat? What are man's discoveries in comparison to the teachings of God's Word, the Bible? Therefore we must not add to His words lest He add to us the plagues that are written in this Book. And we must not take away from the words of the Bible, lest God take away our names from the Book of Life!

Again, we speak God's truth with courage and full assurance. We preach Christ crucified, and we speak boldly, and it is right for us to do that, because we are preaching God's Word, and not our own. We have been accused of dogmatism; but we must speak dogmatically when we repeat what the mouth of the Lord has spoken. We cannot say "if" or "but," because we are dealing with sure and certain things in the Bible. If God says it is so, it is so; and that's the end of the argument. Argument stops when God speaks in the Bible.

Those people who reject the authority of the Bible may very well reject what we preach. We are not disturbed when they reject our preaching. But, when we speak the words that the mouth of the Lord hath spoken, those who refuse to hear God's Word, do so at great danger to themselves.

Again, if we believe that "the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it" - it will move us to great love and zeal. The truths of the Bible are worth living for and dying for. I am very happy to be found fault with for the sake of the old faith. "Give me that old-time religion; It's good enough for me." As an old song puts it,

The love of Christ doth me constrain
To seek the wandering souls of men;
With cries, entreaties, tears, to save,
To snatch them from the fiery wave.

I must constantly repeat the words of the gospel message, words like this, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). We must say it boldly, every time we preach, in every place, we must tell the gospel to every creature, "For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." How can we keep from proclaiming the good news? "The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." And shall not your mouth proclaim it too? Whisper it in the ear of the sick. Shout it on the street corners, but everywhere let this be your motive - you preach the gospel because "The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." Let none of you be silent, who has a voice, to spread, so that all can hear, the words that the Lord has given by His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ! "For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."

II. Second, this demands our attention.

Every word that God has given us in the Bible demands our attention because it is really important. Since "the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it," the words of the Bible are very important. God does not play with you. God is very serious when He speaks to you. God speaks to you in the Bible about eternal things. What God says is important because your very life depends on it. I pray that you will be smart enough to listen, "For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."

God does not say things that might as well have been left unsaid. When God speaks you need to listen. I know that Satan says you can do very well without listening to God's Word. I know that your own carnal heart tells you to listen to the voice of business and pleasure, but not to the Word of God. But if you wish to learn from the Holy Spirit, you must hear what God says in the Bible. Today, if you will hear His voice, hear it; for He demands immediate attention. Without waiting, say in your heart, "Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth" (I Samuel 3:9).

I urge you to listen to what the Bible says because it tells you how to be saved. There is no other book that can help you find salvation. You must listen to the Bible, "For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."

I have showed you from this verse that the Bible is the authority for what we preach, and the Bible demands your attention.

III. Third, this makes the Bible very alarming to many.

Shall I read you the whole verse again? "But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."

God has never yet spoken a threat that didn't come true. When God told Pharaoh what He would do, He did it - and the plagues came thick and heavy on him. And you can depend on it, when Jesus says, "These shall go away into everlasting punishment," it will happen exactly as He said (Matthew 25:46). God's Word is not given to frighten you with things that aren't real. God has always carried out His threats - and you can depend on it that He will continue to do so, "For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."

How can you believe the Bible, since it condemns you? If you will believe it, and do what it says, you will find the way to escape from Hell. The mouth of the Lord tells you to escape judgment by uniting with Jesus. The Bible flows with the milk of mercy, and the honey of grace. But if you reject the Bible, if you trample on its promises, and even if you burn it in your anger, the Bible will still remain unchanged and unchangeable, "For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." That's why you should treat the Bible with great respect. Remember that "These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name" (John 20:31), "for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."

IV. Fourth, this makes the Bible the foundation of our faith.

"The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it," is the foundation of our confidence. Your sins can be forgiven, because God said so. "Ah," you say, "I feel so weak that I cannot pray or do anything right." Is it not written, "When we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly" (Romans 5:6)? Therefore, in spite of your inability, believe what God said, "For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."

I think I hear some Christian saying, "God has said, 'I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,' but I am in great trouble; all the things going on in my life seem to contradict that promise." Yet, "the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it," so the promise is true. Believe God in the face of bad circumstances. If you cannot see a way of escape or a means of help, yet still believe in the unseen God, and in the truth of His presence, "For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." When I am depressed almost to despair, I am resolved to hang on to the bare Word of the Lord, and prove it to be in itself an all-sufficient support. God's purposes shall stand, "For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." Away with all who contradict it. Ours is a well-grounded confidence, "For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."

Some day we will die. The sweat of death will glisten on our foreheads, and we won't be able to speak. Oh that then, like the grand old German Emperor, we may say, "Mine eyes have seen thy salvation," and "He hath helped me with his name."

Brethren, we have not followed cunningly devised fables. We are not "wanton boys that swim on bladders," that will soon burst under us. We rest on firm ground. We rest on God Himself. His promise must stand, for "the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it."

Never mind what people say, you go to the Bible, you do what it says. Cling to the Word of God; turn to Jesus Christ; be washed clean from sin by His Blood. Let the gospel of the martyrs, let the gospel of the Reformers, let the gospel of the blood-washed multitude before the throne of God, the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, be your gospel, and none but that, and Christ will save you, "For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it." Glory to His name, through Christ Jesus! Amen.


(END OF SERMON)

Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Dr. Kreighton L. Chan: Psalm 119:17-24.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:

           "I Know the Bible is True" (by B. B. McKinney, 1886-1952).

THE OUTLINE OF

THE INFALLIBILITY OF SCRIPTURE

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

 

"The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it" (Isaiah 1:20).

(John 10:35)

I.   This is the authority for what we believe and preach,
I Corinthians 1:17; John 14:24; Jeremiah 23:28; John 3:16.

II.  This demands our attention, I Samuel 3:9.

III. This makes the Bible very alarming to many, Matthew 25:46;
John 20:31.

IV. This makes the Bible the foundation of our faith, Romans 5:6.

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at www.rlhymersjr.com. Click on "Sermon Manuscripts."