Nothing is more foundational to how we live as Christians than our view of the Bible, which is why we are spending three weeks talking about its uniqueness. Last week we discussed its historicity; today we will cover its authority, which relies heavily on 2 Peter 1:12-21.
Why the Bible is authoritative.
- God speaks to us through eye witness accounts of Jesus’ life recorded in the New Testament.
- God speaks to us through His prophetic word of the Old Testament.
- Many of the prophecies recorded in the Old Testament found their fulfillment in the New Testament. In that sense, the New Testament verified the authenticity and authority of the Old Testament.
- Jesus himself often referred to Old Testament Scripture, even those known to be human commentary. For him, all Scripture is considered to be God’s Word. In Matthew 5, Jesus says that every letter of the Bible is divinely inspired and it was the operating principle of his life.
- Simply speaking, the Bible presents itself as authoritative.
Why it’s a good thing that the Bible is authoritative.
- Other authorities will not be as safe and correct as the Bible.
- Our choices are usually governed by our feelings, and our feelings are contradictory–they are not a sound, authoritative basis for making decisions.
- Your decisions are often framed within what is acceptable to your culture, meaning that you are not the authority of your life–your culture is.
- Only Scripture can illuminate your flawed, delusional authority over yourself and show the right way to live.
- If the Bible is your authority it liberates you emotionally and intellectually. Emotionally because what God thinks matters more than what others think, and intellectually because you do not have to be subject to the whims of theories and cultural trends. Biblical truths are trans-cultural and trans-temporal.
- Because the Bible is radically personal because it tells us that God wants to walk in an eternal love relationship with Him.
How the Bible’s authority works in our lives. It works in three ways:
- It works through the will. There will be times that we obey God’s word as an act of will regardless of whether we understand or agree.
- It works through the heart. As we obey God as an act of will, we see the fruit of that obedience and it begins to soften and change our hearts.
- It works through practice. You need regular reminders of God’s authority, of His grace, power and mercy. You need to ask God to work out the authority of the Bible in your life until you are liberated emotionally and intellectually and are walking in wisdom in the light of God’s love for you.
APPLICATION / CHALLENGE
Accept the Bible’s authory over your life. See it in light of the gospel. Place yourself under its authority day in and day out—and it will change you!
TAKE ONE STEP
Each week, write down one doable concrete step of obedience, small or large, that you will put into practice this week. (James 1:22: “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”)