“For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
For prophecy never came by the will of man
Note that this verse begins with a word of explanation – “for.” The previous verse explained that Scriptures did not come from a human source but a divine source.
Scripture does not originate with man. Man does not originate the Bible. The human author received God’s ideas. Scripture comes by divine inspiration. The Bible is not man’s idea. The Bible originates with God. Revelation comes from God to man.
Religion is man’s ideas about God. That is why religion does not have the answer.
but holy men of God
If the Bible did not come by man’s will, how did it come? By “holy men of God.” Approximately thirty different men wrote the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament. About eight men wrote the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. God used holy [set apart] men to write Scripture.
These men were not automatons or robots. They used their own personality and vocabulary to write Scripture. The Holy Spirit, however, guarded them from error as they wrote Scripture. He superintended each word they wrote. Therefore, the authors of Scripture made no mistakes. We have the Bible exactly as God intended for us to have it. We can place our confidence in Scripture.
“Holy men of God” are Old and New Testament authors like Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, John and Paul. God picked certain men to communicate the Bible.
spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit
“But” implies strong contrast. In contrast to human beings originating Scripture, the Holy Spirit superintended the writing of Scripture.
“Moved” means to carry. The book of Acts uses “moved” for wind carrying a ship (27:15, 17). The Holy Spirit so guided the human author that he wrote without error. That is why Scripture is certain. Therefore, we can trust Scripture because it is the very words of God.
This word “moved” translates “upholds” and “bearing” in the book of Hebrews:
“Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3).
“Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach” (Hebrews 13:13).
The idea is to carry. The Holy Spirit upholds or bears the writers of Scripture as they write Scripture. The writers of Scripture wrote better than they knew. That is why the Bible is not full of fables.
The Holy Spirit governed the human author as he was in the process of writing Scripture (2 Peter 3:16). The human author was aware of the content that he wrote, but the Holy Spirit “carried” him. The Holy Spirit originates Scripture.
The Holy Spirit so supernaturally superintended Scripture writers that without circumventing their intelligence, their personal literary style or personality, He enabled them to record Scripture with perfect accuracy. Human authors were not automatons or robots who acted like a computer when they wrote Scripture.
We have a trustworthy Bible because the Holy Spirit superintended the writing of Scripture.
The Bible is the unabridged revelation of the thoughts of an omniscient God.
God put everything that we need to know about Him in writing. Scripture is the only inspired book on earth. Other books may be profound and insightful but God did not inspire these writings. Only the Bible is inspired because the Holy Spirit wrote Scripture.
No single church has the exclusive right to interpret the Bible. If a single church had this right, then no single individual would have responsibility to understand Scripture for himself. If we blindly accept what a given church teaches we place ourselves at risk. Each of us must take responsibility to understand the Word for ourselves.
Every Christian has the Scripture and the Holy Spirit to help him understand the Bible for himself. The issue is not what your church teaches but what the Word teaches. It is not what your preacher teaches but what the Bible teaches.
What does the Bible teach? We place our explicit faith in the Bible.