"In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, the Apostle Paul writes, " All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." The word in the Greek for "inspired" literally means "God breathed," and this concept of "breath" is closely tied to the Holy Spirit."
The Nicene creed is known for its rich Christology and foundational affirmation of the triune godhead. In its address of the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, we find these last (interesting) six words: "He has spoken through the prophets. "
What do these words mean and what difference do they make to our life and faith today?
The Apostle Peter's second epistle sheds some insight: "But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God" (2:20-21, emphasis mine). These "men moved by the Holy Spirit" are the prophets, and their words are included in the Word of God.
Similarly, in the New Testament book of Hebrews, chapter 3, verses 7-8, the author writes,
"Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says,
“Today if you hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts as when they provoked Me,
as in the day of trial in the wilderness" (emphasis mine).
This is none other than a direct quotation from the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 95:7-8. In other words, the Psalmist writes the words, and the New Testament author recognizes that these words are not simply the words of an author, but the direct words of the Holy Spirit Himself.
In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, the Apostle Paul writes, " All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." The word in the Greek for "inspired" literally means "God breathed," and this concept of "breath" is closely tied to the Holy Spirit.
Again, in 2 Peter, the third chapter, Peter writes of people who would distort the writings of Paul, "as they do also the rest of the Scriptures," pointing to the belief very early on that Paul's writings and the other writings that would make up our New Testament were like-wise "God-breathed," inspired by the Holy Spirit.
So what is the point of all of this? It is God Himself who has spoken through the prophets, through those whose words make up much of our Scriptures. The Scriptures themselves, come from the "breath of God," from people "moved by the Holy Spirit."
What does this mean? The Scriptures we have are unique in that they are “inspired,” they reflect how the Holy Spirit has spoken through people to us through His Word.
What difference does this make? In our lives with our challenges and struggles, decisions to be made, proper perspective required, we need direction--how much more from the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, Himself? The prophet Jeremiah writes, (15:"Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts" (15:16). As we prayerfully pour into these words, these Scriptures to us from the last three millennia, we can have confidence. These words, through the work of the Holy Spirit, have changed millions of lives and are continuing working today, among His people, the church. The Holy Spirit, who has "spoken through the prophets," continues to point us to the eternal message found in the Scriptures. It is this message that gives us hope and a compass in a broken and hazy world.
Thus we see here, in this ancient creed, not only a foundational support of who God is in His triune nature, but also the source of the words of the prophets to us, the Holy Spirit Himself.
Toby Oaks - Collin County Campus Administrator & Logic/Rhetoric Principal.