This is the sign of genuineness in every letter of mine… 2 Thessalonians 3:17
These words did not come from Paul, they came to him: “All Scripture is breathed out by God” (2 Tim. 3:16). Peter says, “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” (2 Pet. 1:20-21).
When you read the Bible, you are reading the Word of God. Picture Paul walking around the room. Words are coming to him as he is “carried along” by the Holy Spirit, and as he speaks, someone is writing the words down. Maybe it was Silas, or Timothy, or someone else.
Then Paul says, “Give me the pen.” He goes over to the parchment and writes: “I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the sign of genuineness in every letter of mine; it is the way I write.” It’s more than an autograph, which could easily be forged—it’s two sentences.
Apostolic letters had authority in the churches. So, it’s not surprising that false teachers who wanted to promote themselves claimed that their letters were apostolic, so churches would read them. There was great potential for confusion—how could you tell an apostolic letter from a fake or a forgery? “This is the sign of genuineness in every letter of mine.”
Do you see how important this was? This letter really is apostolic. God has spoken in the Scriptures, and you can rest your life, your death, and your eternity on what He has said.
How might you approach the Bible differently, if you were certain that it was God’s Word?