Hello folks. Sorry for the delay. Last week I succumbed to the Covid. Thankfully, the Lord saw fit to give me a lighter case this time. With His help, I was over it by the weekend.
Last time we looked at the Bible and how it came to be in the form we see it today. And the interesting thing about that is how so many authors contributed to it over such a long period of time, and yet it has a continuity of concepts and principles, and doesn’t contradict itself from beginning to end.
That could only be achieved by having a single author, God Himself. And we have that notice in the scripture itself. 2 Peter 1:21 says, “for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” It’s like I heard a preacher say recently regarding the book of Romans. We know Paul physically wrote Romans, but it’s also just as accurate to say that God wrote Romans.
And God’s authorship brings us to what I want to look at today, the authority of the Bible.
Some view the Bible as an authoritative list of books. In other words, at some point, some authority selected the books and thus are above them. This allows that authority to set limitations on the Bible and gives them the ability to alter the meaning and interpretations of it.
Others view the Bible as a list of authoritative books, meaning no one is above it. The Bible, as the word of God Himself, is the final authority. Sola Scriptura. The scripture alone. It is the standard. It does not depend on man to receive its authority. Therefore man cannot change the meaning of scripture, he must determine the truth from the scripture.
Since God is the author of the Bible and the creator of all things, this second view of scripture is the only one that makes sense. The Bible has authority of itself because of its author. 2 Timothy 3:16, says that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” Another way to say that is that all scripture is “God breathed.” Yes, men did the actual speaking and writing, but God inspired them to speak and write. We can trust that God is powerful enough to take care of His word for us.
What are some other evidences to support the God breathed authority of scripture?
Full disclosure. There are things included in scripture that would be left out of man-made documents. People write their histories to show themselves in the best possible light, especially when dealing with controversial subjects. But scripture reveals everything that happened. A former pastor of mine used to say the Bible shows everything, warts and all.
Take Peter, for instance. We know that he was always saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, he failed to trust Jesus when he walked on the water, and he denied Christ not once but three times, even after being warned that he would do so. Why would a person reveal such failures if your intention was to show the power of your new religion? A person wouldn’t. But to show complete truth, Almighty God would.
Fulfilled prophecy. The Bible has proven to be 100% accurate when it comes to fulfilled prophecy. There are some prophecies which are yet to be fulfilled, but the ones that have been were fulfilled exactly the way predicted by the scripture. No other man-made writing has that kind of record. Only God has the power to see the end from the beginning. Thus only something authored by Him could have such an accuracy rate.
Jesus affirmed the scripture. In Matthew 12, 19, 21, and 22, Mark 2 and 12, and in Luke 6, Jesus either quotes Old Testament scripture or recalls an incident from there. And He would preface each time with either “have you not read” or “have you never read.” Jesus Himself was and is God, so He knew the scripture was true. But even if you don’t believe He is divine, it’s obvious He believed the scriptures held the truth.
Also, it’s interesting to note that Jesus never argued with the Pharisees and Sadducees about what was in the law or the construction of the canon. He blasted them for their failure to follow it and for adding their traditions to it. As far as He was concerned, the scripture was the truth, and He admonished everyone to follow it. He also went beyond what was written to the spirit of the law, the meaning that God intended. Jesus said in Matthew 5:18, “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”
The Apostle Paul also affirmed the scripture. He says in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” Notice the phrase “according to the scriptures.” He wasn’t referring to the gospels as they weren’t written yet. He was referring to the Old Testament. God is the author of it all, and all of it tells the truth.
And finally we have what is called historical verification. The things the Bible speaks of turn out to be true. I’m still amazed each time I hear of some skeptic touting the unreliability of the scriptures because they refer to some person or place or historical event that the secular historians haven’t found. And then some archeologist digs up the city or uncovers some other evidence that verifies exactly what the Bible says.
The Bible isn’t a work of fiction, and its writers weren’t trying to create some grand story to sell their religion. Whatever the Bible expresses as an event in history or actions regarding a person or details about a location, you can be sure those things existed and/or happened just as the Bible reports. It truly is the word of God and derives its authority from Him.
So, we’ve looked at the Bible’s creation and its authority. While I realize I’m going a bit long, I want to take a moment and hit the final aspect, the Bible’s power.
As I mentioned last time, the Holy Spirit played the primary part in putting the Bible together. It is, after all, His words. The Holy Spirit indwelling believers and giving them utterance is how we received the Bible. And it is reliance on Him that allows us to understand it. He is the person of the Godhead who reveals the truth of the Bible to us, and it is through Him that the power of God is conveyed through the scripture.
The Bible speaks to the hearts of people as no other book can. It reveals sin and convicts the hardest heart. Only the Bible can be credited for saving and changing lives.
Isaiah 55:11 says, “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” God gave us His word to reveal His redemptive plan for us. From Genesis to Revelation, we can count on it to inform us, enrich us, and with the Holy Spirit’s help, use it to grow closer to the Father and like His Son Jesus.
The Bible, God’s word to us, is truly the highest authority. Spend as much time as possible in it.
Until next time.
For more information, watch “The God Who Speaks,” a documentary produced by the American Family Association. The information provided in this post I acquired while studying at Blue Mountain College, now known as Blue Mountain Christian University, and heard again in the aforementioned AFA documentary. I claim no possession of original facts or ideas. I simply share what I’ve heard and learned from thirty-five plus years of ministry.
Do you know Jesus? Do you have a personal relationship with Him? According to scripture, all anyone must do is recognize their sin condition, realize that Christ died to pay for that sin, and ask Him to save them from it. Salvation is a gift of grace we receive by faith. Meet Him today! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need more information.
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