Is belief that the Bible is inerrant a requirement to be saved?
Inerrancy is the teaching that the Bible is perfect and without error in its teachings. Does a person have to believe the Bible is inerrant to be saved?
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The Bible itself answers this question. Ephesians 2:8-9 notes, "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." Faith in Jesus Christ as Savior is the way of salvation (John 3:16). As Romans 10:9-10 explains, "if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved."
Most people have little understanding of the Bible when they come to faith in Jesus Christ. Instead, a person is saved by faith and then desires to grow in faith. Spiritual growth includes learning more about the Bible, including its teachings regarding inerrancy. Salvation typically takes place sometime before a person has learned about biblical inerrancy and its importance.
Does this mean the inerrancy of the Bible is unimportant? Of course not! The very teachings that help us understand how to be saved are included in the Bible. Without the Bible, we would have little understanding of who God is and His plan for our lives. It is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and inspired by God. Second Peter 1:20-21 reveals, "no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." As Psalm 19:7 proclaims, "The law of the Lord is perfect."
Salvation is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8-9); Scripture is revelation from God. A person can be saved and not understand what inerrancy includes. However, a growing believer in Jesus Christ will seek to mature in his or her understanding of the Bible and will learn about the inerrant nature of Scripture in this process. Understanding the importance of biblical inerrancy will further encourage spiritual growth in the believer and cause a Christian to seek to help others come to faith and maturity in Jesus Christ and the knowledge of Scripture.
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