Monday, June 24, 2024

The Word of God is the Final Authority

It was a bright and sunny morning in the midst of spring I believe, when me and my pastor entered into a neighborhood to discuss the good news of Jesus Christ.  We wanted to invite the lost to church and inform them on how they could know they were on their way to heaven.  One door flung open and a man with a warm disposition asked my pastor what we believe.  "We believe what the Bible teaches." he explained. The man then scoffed, "Maaan errbody says that, what do you really believe?" After discussing the specifics of our view of the Bible we ended the conversation on a warm note as seemingly the man had already trusted Christ as his Savior.  As I think of this interaction in hindsight, the man wasn't wrong with his question and neither was my Pastor in his initial response.  Every believer who religiously tethers themselves to the name of Christ tends to say they believe what the Bible professes.  But what exactly does this mean?  Many selectively only believe parts of the Bible as they believe it was corrupted (Muslims & LDS members).  Some believe it's all allegorical and thus conveniently butcher the bulk of scriptures the way they see fit, more often than not, exiling passages that condemn sin, and fundamental doctrines such as Christ's deity  (Progressive "Christians").  Many of these types will suggest there are other sources of divine inspiration, and we find in the vast majority of cases, that these new revelations attempt to usurp the clear doctrines of scripture, thus leading thousands astray in the wake. Others believe the Bible should be taken literally at its word.  But what saith the scriptures after all?  We find that the scriptures assert itself not only as the final authority on faith and practice of a Christian, but also on God's condemnation of the world.  Men are guilty of sinning against a holy and perfect God (Romans 3:10; 6:23), God provided a way out for man's condemnation in his love (Romans 5:8), accept and believe what Christ did for you (Romans 10:9-13) or reject it (Revelation 21:8).  

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness -2nd Timothy 3:16

All scripture is inspired, or in other words, God-breathed. It is profitable or in other words advantageous for doctrine. The Word of God is used for reproof or the exposure of false doctrine, is used for correction of mistaken beliefs, and is used for instruction in righteousness for children and adults alike.  All books of the new testament were written by apostles, or by books sponsored by the apostles who themselves were eyewitnesses of Christ's teachings and finished work. If there is any controversy over Paul's writings, Peter himself asserts it as scripture (2 Peter 3:16). The entire foundation of the church rests on the works of the apostles (the New Testament), the prophets (the Old Testament) with Christ as the chief cornerstone as Paul writes in Ephesians 2:19-20: 

Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

The Old Testament is obviously also authoritative (Psalm 119:89), and God himself, the Lord Jesus Christ, quoted it as authoritative in the flesh when he rebuked the devil by quoting passages in Deuteronomy (Matthew 17:18-20) .  In quoting the scriptures we find Jesus viewed the scriptures as historical, prophetic, trustworthy and did so with power, conviction and authority.  Jesus used the Old Testament scriptures in the exact way Paul writes in 2nd Timothy 3:16, for reproof & correction (Matt 12:3-4), for doctrine (John 8:58), and for instruction in righteousness (John 3:1-16). As a side note, it's important to note the apocrypha was never considered canon in the Tanakh (Old Testament).  The Torah, prophets, and writings all pointed to a coming Messiah, which was fulfilled in Christ and revealed in the New Testament.

The Word of God rebukes false religious systems, asserts itself as authoritative and God-breathed, and can be trusted because of it's fulfilled prophecy, historicity, eye witness testimony, comportment to reality and harmonious message woven throughout it's 66 books. The Bible itself is God's Word, sharper than any two edged sword, demands obedience, and will condemn or redeem those who trust or distrust its words.

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isaiah 55:11 

The Word of God is the Final Authority

It was a bright and sunny morning in the midst of spring I believe, when me and my pastor entered into a neighborhood to discuss the good ne...