Let’s Talk about the Authority of the Scriptures
By Randy H. Cavender
More and more, people today are getting away from standards. No one can agree on the proper standard to follow. However, the Bible is a book of utmost practicality (Col. 3:17). The lord shows us the importance of the Word of God when He said, "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth" (John 17:17). People should and must understand that without the Bible we could not and would not know the mind of God (1 Cor. 2:9-13). Thus we inquire: In moral and religious matters is the Bible our standard for authority?
First we must understand that the Bible is God's word. Paul taught Timothy,
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
Further, Peter teaches that the holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:19-21). When describing the way they gave the revelation of God, Paul stated,
He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) (Eph. 3:3-4).
Thus, the revelation which had been given to tile apostles was written down. Thus, we have the Bible, God's Word!
The Bible Is Authority!
Since we have established the Bible as God's word, we should understand as such, it is authoritative. The Old Testament was authoritative for the nation of Israel to which it was delivered. However, the New Testament is our law today and we must not think of men above that which is written (1 Cor. 4:6). We must learn that it is complete. The Lord stated that the Spirit of Truth would guide the apostles in all truth. Later, Jude refers to “the faith … once for all delivered to the saints." (Jude 3)
We must also realize that the scriptures are sufficient for our needs (2 Tim. 3:16-17). It gives us all things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). Furthermore, we should recognize that the Bible is unchanging. It does not need revising to fit our needs. Over the centuries the Word of God has overcome great obstacles to even remain today. Nevertheless, it has! Just as Peter said it would when he said, “because 'All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, But the word of the Lord endures forever.’ Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you" (1 Peter 1:24-25).
Our Responsibility to God's Word
We have learned that God gives the Scriptures (2 Tim 3:16). We have also learned the usefulness of the Scriptures and why they are applicable. Now we should realize our responsibility to them. First I would suggest that we must believe the Scriptures. Paul praised the Thessalonians.
For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe. (1 Thess. 2:13)
Do you really believe the Bible is God's mind revealed to us (1 Cor. 2:9-13)?
Further we must follow it. Paul again stated to the Colossians:
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Col. 3:17)
We must follow God's Word in word. Some do not think it is important whether we use scriptural language or not. For instance, many refer to the “church of Christ" as another denomination. Unfortunately many professed and learned Christians do the same thing. However, we must use our words in the same way the scriptures use them. Peter said,
If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. (1 Peter 4:11)
Let us be satisfied to follow the Bible and use our words rightly.
Nevertheless, we must follow the Scripture in the things we do. Realizing that Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth, let us make sure that the things we do are authorized by the scriptures. Sadly, many today who profess Christianity have been turning the church into a Country Club by the things they do in the name of religion. They appeal to the carnal, material things of life, instead God's true power, the Gospel (Rom 1:16-17) to attract people of the world. Where is the authority to do such? Let us remember the words of John,
Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds (2 John 1:9-11).
Not long ago, as I was listening to the radio to Dr. Laura, she stated that man could not know the standard of judgment that He would use. It is so sad that many people believe this. However, we need to realize that Jesus stated the opposite! We can know the standard of judgment, yea we must know! We must be prepared for the judgment and Jesus stated:
“He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him- the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day" (John 12:48).
The “Precious Book Divine," as the old song goes, should be the rule of life and our guide to heaven. Do you study your Bible from day to day, believe it and follow its precepts? In not, why not start today! &