NOTES AND QUOTES FOR TODAY:
The Five Pillars of Scripture – IV
4. The Authority of Scripture
“Be obedient to the restraints as well as the constraints of the Spirit.”
The age in which we are living is one of rebellion against established authority. Judges 21:25 accurately describes today’s generation, “…every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” It is an era in which everything that has been nailed down seems to be coming loose. Everyone, however, lives under some authority. There are three potential authorities in society today:
– Human authority, rests in defiled sinners and is unreliable.
– Hellish authority, rises from a diabolic serpent and is usurped authority.
– Heavenly authority, resides in divine Scripture and is unbroken. “…the scripture can not be broken” (John 10:35).
The key to God’s authority is revelation. Revelation is the voluntary self disclosure of God in His person and His plan. The Bible is both God’s deceleration of authority as well as His declamation of authority. The phrase, “Thus saith the LORD”, or its equivalent, occurs thousands of times within the sacred Scripture. The key to its pages is disclosed in the opening chapter of the first book of Genesis, where the statement “And God said…” occurs 10 times.
When considering the authority of the Bible, there are three great facts to ponder:
1. With regard to its production, the Bible is our supernatural authority.
To qualify for this, the Bible has the breathing of God in it, the backing of God behind it, and the blessing of God upon it. Yes, with regard to its production, the Bible has divine authorship, divine attestation, and divine accreditation. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
2. With regard to its placement, the Bible is our supreme authority.
The word placement deals with order of importance, rank, or standing. When considering God given legitimate source of authority, the Bible stands at the top of the list, being supreme in God’s mind and will. Now, within the Scripture, there are three divinely mandated bases of authority namely:
a) Conjugal (marital) authority – this is the authority within marriage, the relationship of the husband and wife (Ephesians 5:23) which includes parental authority (Ephesians 6:1)
b) Church authority – as described in 1 Corinthians 5; it contains pastoral authority (Hebrews 13:17)
c) Civic authority – as delineated in Matthew 22:21; it involves protective authority (Romans 13) – here in is clearly described that the biblical function of civic authority is not to provide but to protect! Now due to man’s depraved nature, these are not infallible in operation.
3. With regard to its practice, the Bible is our sole authority.
For New Testament Christians, the Bible is not just the “final” authority in matters of truth and conduct, it is THE SOLE AUTHORITY OF FAITH AND PRACTICE. Yes, this sole authority – the written Word of God is:
a) A perfect authority – “Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him” (Proverbs 30:5).
b) A powerful authority – “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword…” (Hebrews 4:12).
c) A practical authority – “…Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
d) A preserved authority – “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).
While the Protestant Reformation failed to eliminate all the vestiges of Romanism (Luther retained the cursed unscriptural concepts of infant baptism and a state run church), its three rallying cries of “Sola Scriptura” – solely by Scripture; “Sola Gratia” – solely by Grace; and “sola Fide” – solely by faith, are valid themes. Now, the pillar of the authority of the Scriptures – as delineated above, follows naturally from the first three: divine inspiration, infallibility, and preservation.
So to the question what is the Scripture for? The answer will be “to instruct and direct us in all our belief and conduct.” In this book, the Bible, God speaks, and we must hear and obey! “…Speak, LORD; for thy servant hearth…” (1 Samuel 3:9). Scripture has the authority to command and rule – it is the same authority as God Himself has, for the Scripture is God speaking. To the written Word of God we hand our ways of life – for time and eternity. Yes, we bow to this authority because Scripture claims this for itself. Yield to this gracious totalitarianism!
Beloved, a consistent view of Scripture will mean that we tremble at it – as it is written in Isaiah 66:2, “…but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” Finding nothing offensive in its claims, for we read in Psalms 119:165, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them”; and they are careful to do all that it says, for they exhorted in James 1:22 to be, “…doers of the word, and not hearers only…”
Once you abandon the final authority of Scripture, there is no stopping place!
To be continued…
From The Staff of The Peoples Gospel Hour
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The Bible reveals two ways which people are following to get into heaven. One way, the true way, is God’s way. God’s way into heaven is the way of peace and truth and righteousness. It is the only way approved of God. This way centers in the Lord Jesus Christ who said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6). The Bible declares that there is another way. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12).
There are so many popular ways today filled with lost multitudes all over the land, such as the way of morality, the way of respectability, the way of religion, the way of churchianity, the way of baptism, the way of christening, the way of confirmation, the way of penance, the way of confession, the way of “doing the best I can”, the way of self, the way of education, the way of philosophy, the way of false isms and cults that crowd the street. Little wonder then when we speak to people about the way of salvation, that so many have asked, “How can I know which is the true way? There are so many different ideas and so many religions.”
But there is ONE difference between God’s way of salvation and man’s way, and that difference is found in a Person, the Lord Jesus Christ. You will notice that man leaves Christ out of the center of his way. You will discover that the modern false cults and isms demote Christ to a mere man and add something to what He has already done for your salvation and mine. We become children of God through a supernatural birth. Jesus said to Nicodemus: “Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Jesus also said, “Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again” (John 3:7)
“May the Lord bless you, and make you a blessing!” – The PGH Staff.