Article 3: The Written Word of God
We confess that this Word of God
was not sent nor delivered by "human will,"
but that "men and women moved by the Holy Spirit,
spoke from God," as Saint Peter says. (2 Peter 1:21)
Afterward our God--because of a special care
for us and our salvation--commanded the prophets and apostles, God's servants,
to commit this revealed Word to writing. The two tables of the law were written with God's own finger.
Therefore we call such writings
holy and divine Scriptures.
At some point in our lives, all of us have sent someone to do an errand for us. Whether it was to purchase something for us at the store or get us something from the other room, we have all found out how important it is to give very specific instructions and descriptions. It isn't until we get something that we didn't think that we were asking for that we realize this. It might be that we assumed that the person getting us groceries knew we used a particular brand of peanut butter or it could be that the person running the errand thought that everyone drinks skim milk. These types of confusions can show us why it is important to be really specific. This not only applies for errands but also is important for Christian doctrine.
In Article 2 of the Belgic Confession we saw that there were two ways in which God reveals himself to us. Those two means were general revelation (we see God in the design of creation) and special revelation (scripture). With those two categories defined, the Belgic Confession goes on to narrow down how we can understand special revelation. This Word of God was not sent nor delivered by "human will". Instead it is the work of God. The confession is deliberate to help us understand that what we call special revelation is not a human invention. It was the will of God, not the will of people. Scripture has a divine origin, not a human one. It comes from God himself through men and women who were "moved by the Holy Spirit". It is because this word that comes by the work of the Holy Spirit is so important that God had his servants "prophets and apostles" record this word from God down so that we would have it in writing. This record of the work of God is what we call "holy and divine Scriptures".
This is the important first step in understanding God's revealed word to us. We do not come across random ancient writings and call them scripture. What we have as scripture is there for a very specific reason. We want to make sure that we get the right information. We want the right books in our Bible. Why? As the confession says because scripture is "for us and our salvation". The story that we see unfolding in scripture points us to Jesus Christ. He is how we are saved and he is how we have peace with God. There may seem to be parts of the Bible that don't point us to this such as the book of Esther. Even though that book is in the Bible it doesn't mention God. As we look at the unfolding drama of God saving his people through Jesus though we see that Esther plays an important role of preserving the promised line to the Messiah. She prevented her people, the Hebrew people, from being wiped out. By reading the story of Esther we are reminded that God works all things together for the salvation of his people and that God keeps his promises. If the Hebrew people would have been wiped out then God's promise in Genesis 3:15 that one day the seed of the woman would destroy the work of the serpent would have failed to come to pass and God would have been a liar.
Instead, what we see is that God keeps his promises and that he does not lie. The books that we have in our Bible are for the purpose of pointing us to the saving work of Christ for us. The Bible isn't just some random ancient writings. It matters what is in our Bible. The Bible is made up of history, poetry, and prophecy that point us to the work of Jesus for us and show us the amazing, loving, merciful, and powerful God we serve.