I embark on a perilous mission with this blog.  I have been prompted to put down in words a basic statement of faith in layman's terms.  It will follow no established order or even look like any statements of faith from the past or present.  It will involve words beginning with I.  So, the "I's" have it...

The first I stands for infallible.  Regardless of one's place on the spectrum of liberal to conservative, there are certain non-negotiables that cannot be compromised.  Their absolute nature is what defines you position and forms the foundation upon which all other understanding is erected.  For me, the Word of God is infallible.  It is the standard for belief and conduct.  It is truth.  It is transcendent and it is trustworthy.

The Word of God is an expression of the Will of God, thus it is infallible.  It has yet to be proven wrong and as history continues will be proven correct.  This does not imply a literal hermeneutic because like all great literature, the author often takes poetic license.  The infallible Word of God does imply source truth.  The Word of God is the antecedent of all wisdom because God is its author.  The Word of God is truth and the Spirit of God is the Spirit of truth.  Where there is contradiction, the Word of God is the arbiter.  It is the final word.  As God is infallible and cannot be wrong, mistaken or fail.  So His Word takes on the nature of His character.  He is true so His Word is truth.

The Word of God is infallible because it is transcendent.  Notice I have not used the word Bible or scripture.  This is because the Word of God is no limited to the written record.  The Bible is a miracle of infallibility.  It is miraculous in its preservation.  God has not only used men to record His Word for us in Holy Scripture, but He has employed men to maintain it's veracity in content and spirit.  The Bible is this most investigated piece of ancient literature and still has yet to be proven in error.  It is also miraculous in inspiration.  It is the Word of God, breathed from His own mouth and recorded by been as the Spirit gave direction.  The Bible is no ordinary book because it contains the written record of the Will of God.  Scripture is also miraculous in its illumination.  No only did the Spirit author it, but the same Spirit of God "quickens" it.  The Holy Spirit makes it come alive and gives words written thousands of years ago fresh personal relevance.  The Bible is infallible written record of the Will of God, but God still speaks.  His words can still be heard as the Spirit shines His divine light on the written word to speak to us today.

The Greek gives us two primary words for the word "word."  One is the general and more inclusive word for the Word of God.  We call it logos.  John relates that Jesus is the logos of God.  He is the Word that was with God in the beginning and is has been incarnated to perform the Will of God.  He is infallible and totally inseparable, but unique to the written word.  Jesus came to restore relationship with the Father not establish a new religion.  The Bible points us to that relationship, but we cannot have fellowship with a book.  Spirit makes the logos real and relevant to us.  He illumines scripture so that the logos becomes rhema.  This is the word used in the Greek language that defines an illumined word from God.  Rhema is the logos made fresh and real to us by the Holy Spirit as we employ our faith to read and listen to the Word of God.  It is equally infallible and effective for salvation.  The infallible Word of God is truth and it is transcendent, making it real across the centuries. The inspired and illumined Word of God transcends time and space and is as relevant today as it was the day it was first penned.

The Word is infallible also because it is trustworthy.  Because faith in Jesus Christ is not another religion, but an invitation to relationship, it requires trust.  Trust is the currency of fellowship.  There can be no relationship without trust.  Trust is faith added to obedience that results in real hope.  Because the Word of God is unerring truth, it can be trusted.  One can build their life on it and with it.  My emphasis is upon the infallible Word of God because one cannot fellowship with a book.  Trust is for people.  It is the bond that unites them.  The Word of God can be trusted and it reveals to our mind who God is and to our spirit that He is who He says He is.  It is still impossible to please God without faith. (Hebrews 11:6)  This is where obedience creates trust.  Because the Word of God is infallible, it can be trusted.  We can believe it, obey it and experience the author of it.  The Word of God can be trusted and it is infallible because of this fact of faith.

Infallibility is a large assertion.  In a world of lies and ambiguity, absolutes are hard to find.  Like the physical laws of the creation, spiritual laws govern the universe.  They can be denied but braking them has consequences.  Jesus closes the Sermon on the Mount with an almost childish illustrates that overwhelms with its simplicity.  He describes two men who built house.  One erected his on a foundation of sand.  The other constructed his on a bedrock of stone.  When the storms came and rain fell, the house built on sand was washed away because it lack a firm foundation.  The house built on the rock remained.  The Word of God is the bedrock.  All other foundation is sinking sand.  The Word of God is truth.  It is truth for us today because it is transcendent.  By the Holy Spirit words on a page can come to life and transform.  The Word is also trustworthy.  Lives can be built upon it.  It is the only foundation that aligns us with God.  As an expression of God it is the only infallible reality in our world.  There is no more stable a foundation upon which to build one's experience.

In the past several months, everything in which most people have trusted has been shaken if not destroyed.  Who could have predicted the failure of the largest Wall Street firms and the bankruptcy of GM.  Men look to education as their source of power in life and in the past 40 years we have spent billions of dollars to improve our educational system and we are still falling behind the rest of the world.  Even nature seems to be against as hurricanes and wildfires and floods ravage the land.  Church and government leaders seem to fall like dead flies every week.  No one trust Washington.  Used to be if it was said on television or written in a newspaper you could take it as truth.  No any more as personal agendas override integrity and plagiarism becomes common.  The bottom line is that everything that we thought we could trust is proving to be unreliable.  More reason to turn to the infallible Word of God as our mooring for life.  Dig deep and plunge your peers deep in the Word and watch everything fall apart around you.  The Word of God is infallible because it is the truth, it is transcendent and it can be trusted!

tim