There are many questions that have stirred up controversy in the religious world these days. Teachings and practices that Christianity thought were settled long ago have been brought into serious question in modern times. The sad part is not that questions have been raised, every thoughtful generation will ask them. The sad part is that leaders who should have given strong and certain answers have given either weak answers or none at all. This is not because there aren’t strong and certain answers, but because those who are leading religious groups are often 1) not familiar with the Bible or 2) afraid that they might “offend” or 3) both.
Since the need to have sound answers is important, I thought I’d write a series of posts on some of the more important questions of our day, so that we may all obey the command: (1 Peter 3:15) “…always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” And the question that we’ll start with will be a foundational one, “Is the Bible really the authoritative word of God?” The question about the authority of Scripture is a principle that we will return to in this series again and again, so let’s start here.
The very definition of the Bible is that it is God’s word. There are some that will quickly point out that it was written by men, but the Bible itself anticipated the accusation and clarifies, (2 Peter 1:20, 21) “…no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” And the Bible alone is God’s word, not the Koran, not the Veda, and not the book of Mormon. This is not said to offend, but to simply state a fact that can be readily shown by an examination of the Bible’s 1) flawless fulfillment of prophecy and 2) accuracy of history, geography, and yes, even science. Check it out and see for yourself. Many a skeptic has taken this challenge and found faith in God and the Bible. Other so-called holy books cannot honestly claim this perfect standard; only the God-inspired Bible can.
Now, since the Bible is God’s word; we should next recognize that it is authoritative, because it is God who is in charge, not us. Jesus Christ will be the judge of all mankind: (Acts 17:31) “because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” How will he do it? John 12:48 tell us, “…the word I [Jesus] spoke is what will judge him at the last day.” Judgement won’t be on the basis of what we thought, what our opinions might be, our feelings, or what everyone else was doing. It will be on the basis of what God has said in the Bible. You see, God through the Bible, is telling us now exactly how He will judge us later.
The Bible, therefore, is the authoritative word of God. It gives us God’s standard for right and wrong — no human guess-work required. It reveals the truth about our origins, God’s great miracles in history, the spiritual realm, sin, God’s tremendous love for mankind, God’s great promises, and the way of salvation from sin — through Jesus Christ alone. The pattern for the church, worship, and everyday Christian living is found here. And finally, the authoritative Bible gives us a glimpse of an indescribably wonderful place called Heaven for the faithful.
Get to know God through reading His authoritative word, the Bible. Then getting to know Him, obey Him. Truth is not just for knowing, it is for doing.
I’m looking forward to hearing your series!
This has been the subject of my study for some time because I agree that the authority of the Canon may be one of our most important issues today. In all of my talks with people of other worldviews, it usually boils down to whether or not the Bible is actually God’s inspired and authoritative word.
This is my personal reading list that I’ve been working through:
The Enduring Authority of the Christian Scriptures, edited by D.A. Carson
How We Got The Bible, by Neil Lightfoot
Canon Revisited: Establishing the Origins and Authority of the NT Books, by Michael J. Kruger
The Question of the Canon: Challenging the Status Quo in the NT Debate, by Michael J. Kruger
Evidence of An Early NT Canon, by Norman Geisler
thank you!!! easily understood …………. VERY Clear~~~