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The Authority of Scripture
June 4, 2020

The Authority of Scripture get_app

Published: June 4, 2020

Several phrases on The Baptist Faith and Message affirm the authority of Scripture, stating, “It has God for its author,” “It reveals the principles by which God judges us,” and it is “the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and religious opinions should be tried.” It is good that such authority be given to Scripture, for the Bible itself claims such authority as the Word of God.

Read Romans 11:33-36 and Psalm 24:1-2.

  • What does this passage say about God’s wisdom, knowledge, and judgments?
    (they are deep, unsearchable, inscrutable; in other words, God knows best and does best without a doubt)
  • How does verse 36 affirm God’s authority?
    (all things are from him, through him, and for him! He is the authority as creator and sustainer of this world!)

If God created the whole world (see Genesis 1-2), then he owns it and has all authority over it. It belongs to him, so what he says goes. His is the standard by which we measure all things; and he provides us with that standard through his Word (recall the inspiration of Scripture from Day 2). Read through Job 38 and be reminded of God’s authority as creator of all things.

We know, because of our understanding of inspiration, that what the Bible affirms, God affirms. When we speak of the authority of Scripture, we are truly speaking of the authority of God. Christ affirms Scripture as authoritative throughout his ministry, considering it the very Word of God!

Read Matthew 4:1-11 and Matthew 5:17-19.

  • How does Jesus respond to the devil in Matthew 4?
    (with Scripture)
  • How does this passage show the authority of Scripture?
  • How does the passage from Matthew 5 uphold the authority of Scripture?
    (Jesus does not abolish it, but fulfills it and affirms its authority over our teachings, actions – our whole lives)

That’s great, but isn’t all of that about the Old Testament? What about the New? How do we know it holds the same authority? There are many ways we affirm the New Testament as the authoritative word of God, but let’s read one of my favorites.

Read 2 Peter 3:15-16.

Did you catch it? Look again at the last sentence and the last phrase of that sentence. Speaking of New Testament writings (Paul’s letters specifically), Peter says people will twist them as they do the other Scriptures. Peter, the head of the Apostles (who form the foundation of the Church with Christ as the cornerstone), understands these New Testament writings to hold equal authority with the Old Testament writings and grants them the title of “Scripture.” We toohold all of Scripture (Old and New Testament) to be the authoritative Word of God that directs our lives and demands our submission.

Close in a time of prayer, confessing and repenting of all the times you have rejected the authority of God in his Word by attempting to place another authority over God and his perfect Word. Thank God for the perfect, authoritative Word he has given us, and ask that he would give us a desire and a delight to submit and obey his Word.