The Scripture Cannot Be Broken


This may make purists cringe a little bit, but I have an affinity for inspiring sports movies: Hoosiers, Rudy, The Rookie, etc. What some find cheesy, I find inspiring. In almost every one of these stories, there’s a moment when the protagonist gives a huge speech with inspiring music. The music makes you forget about the fact that the words may not be all that inspiring in themselves. This isn’t unique to sports movies though.

There are epic moments in many films where the hero stands and inspires the hearts of those around him to stand against overwhelming odds. And those moments are made all the more spine tingling by grand, sweeping soundtracks. One of my favorite speeches is given by one of my all-time favorite characters, Aragorn, at end of the Lord of the Rings trilogy:

Sons of Gondor! Of Rohan! My brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me! A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the age of Men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand!

Storyline of Scripture

Scripture has its own sweep and drama and grand storyline. There are plot lines in the epic story of Scripture that are more momentous than others. The entire story is true, but there is background information, rising action, and initial climax in the redemptive work of Christ. The Bible points forward to the great final climax, the consummation of the age when Jesus returns as Christus Victor and sets all things right again.

Another thing I love about the Word of God is its ordinariness. It’s an ordinary means of God’s grace to us. There are moments I would set apart with fanfare, sweeping landscape shots, and inspiring music. But they happen in the midst of ordinary life. I’d like to introduce our series on the Word of God by looking at one of those ordinary moments. There are classic passages on the Word of God: Psalm 19, Psalm 119, 2 Timothy 3, 2 Peter 1. But one of the most remarkable statements about the nature of the Word of God comes in the middle of a conversation between Jesus and the Jews in John 10.

In one of many conflicts between Jesus and the proud religious leaders of his day, Jesus makes a statement—almost a parenthetical statement—and says, “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35). God’s Word cannot be broken, cannot fail, because God cannot be broken; God can never fail.

From the very beginning, the testimony of God’s Word has stood faithful, unbreakable and true. And it is the Word of God itself that the enemies of God attack, because there is an integral link between God’s Word and God himself.

This is the nature of human interaction as well. We build relationships with our words and accept or reject one another on the basis of our words. Imagine going through one of the most difficult experiences of your life. You share the burden or hurt of that experience with your closest friend—someone you love and trust. And that person looks at you skeptically, maybe even questions what you’ve said. At the end of the day, it’s not merely your words that the person is questioning. No; you know they’re questioning you. They’re rejecting you. The same is true, but infinitely more so, of the relationship between God and God’s Word. To reject God’s Word is to reject God himself.

The very first interaction of God with his creation is his Word in Genesis 1—”God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” And the same is true for God’s relationship to humanity. Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Attacks Come on the Word of God

“And God said …” The Word of God is the foundation upon which the revelation of God’s character is revealed to us. Yes, we have the revelation of creation, as Psalm 19 so beautifully says: “The heavens declare the glory of God.” But it’s the specific revelation of the Bible that shapes our understanding of general revelation. Without the Bible, we cannot know God. It’s for this reason that the very first attack on the relationship between God and man comes as a subtle attack on the Word of God.

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say …” On the one hand, you have the enemies of God attempting to question, to tear down the Word of God. On the other, you have Jesus declaring, “The Scripture cannot be broken.”

Satan can question God’s words. He can even deceive us into believing a lie. Not only did Satan question God’s Word, he changed it: “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?’” God had actually said almost the opposite: “You may eat of any tree, except one.” The Word of God can be questioned; we can be deceived, but the Word cannot be broken.


Everything that God had declared to be came true. Satan couldn’t undo the Word of God in the Garden. The prophets of Baal couldn’t break the Word of God at Mount Carmel. The proud religious leaders couldn’t break the Word of God in Jesus’ day. The mighty Roman Empire couldn’t destroy the Word in the days of the early church. The corrupt popes of the Middle Ages and Reformation couldn’t undo what God had declared. Neither could Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, or the higher academic critics of the 20th and 21st centuries. In a Western world that increasingly prizes the fallible thoughts of men over the infallible Word of God, the Scripture cannot be broken.

It might not be set to music. It may not have grand sweeping shots of landscape, but it is magnificently, gloriously true: God’s Word will stand forever; the Bible will prevail. It can never, never fail. The Scripture cannot be broken. God has declared that this is true, so it is true.

To a world that says, “Did God actually say …,” we reply, “The Scripture cannot be broken.”


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