The Authority of The Holy Scriptures
[NOTE: The abbreviation ‘cf.” means to ‘compare’. Turn and read the
Scripture(s) referred to.]
-Every child of God should love the Word of God, and be a lifetime student of it. Each one should be willing to submit to the Word of God in his life and thus be an obedient, faithful child of God.
-Throughout this Booklet the English King James Version (K.J.V.) is what is referred to as the Word of God, the Scriptures, the Bible, etc. It is also known as the Authorized Version (A.V.). It was translated from the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Koine Greek scriptures. Our trust and faith is not in the translators, but in the Lord, to have overseen and preserved His Word precisely as He wanted it.
-We should always depend upon the Lord to use His Word when we hear it, read and study it, to impress upon us exactly what we need to be taught and/or to be reminded of by Him.
-We are very thankful to the Lord that He, in His love, grace, mercy and goodness toward us, has provided us with His Word of truth. To Him be all the praise, honor, glory and thanksgiving. He is the One that we should always strive to please.
-We want to thank, praise and exalt our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, the living Word in flesh. In Him only is there eternal life. He is life.
-Only by God’s Word can we know how to be born again of God and how to serve Him in an acceptable manner. God’s ways for these are very narrow and restrictive. Neither of these can ever be attained by human effort nor reasoning, human logic nor worldly wisdom.
-Bible commentaries, textbooks, other writings beside the Bible, YouTube videos, etc. can never replace the Word of God. There is just no substitute or alternative to the Scriptures.
-The Scriptures declare that “..Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams” (I Samuel 15:22). How would we know what to obey and what to hearken to, if we did not have the Word of God?
-We hope this booklet will be an encouragement and a challenge to all of us:
---To read and study the Word of God more, and then to submit more to the authority of the Word in our lives, and be more obedient. [Just as we learn to submit to the authority of our parents, the government and to the Lord’s church of our membership, so must we learn to submit to the Scriptures.]
---To seek the Lord’s help more in understanding His Word, so we can always rightly divide it.
---If need be, to develop a higher and greater view, appreciation and perception of the Scriptures, and never approach the Scriptures casually or lightly, but with great respect for what they truly are, the very Word of God.
I. THE WISDOM
-The wisdom in submitting to and obeying the Word of God: Jesus said, “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (Matthew 7:24-27).
[It is the fool who hears the Word of God and does not submit to its authority in his life and who does not obey it. This would include me, you, or anyone else.]
II. THE AUTHORITY
-The Authority of God’s Word is the same as the Authority of God Himself since He is the source, the author, the originator of all Scripture. Since God has authority over the lives of His children and over His New Testament churches, then the Word of God has the same authority. Jesus is ‘the Word’ (John 1:1-3, 14; Revelation 19:13, “...His name is called The Word of God.”). He and the written Word of God are in perfect harmony, agreement and unity. They have the same authority. As children of God we should desire to, and willingly submit to this authority over us.
-The infinite greatness of God gives us an insight into the greatness of His Word. God is the eternal one, true and living God (Jeremiah 10:10; I Thessalonians 1:9). He is from everlasting to everlasting (Psalm 90:2; 93:2; Micah 5:2). He is all-powerful, all-wise, all-knowing, all-present (Psalm 139). He fills heaven and earth (Jeremiah 23:24). How great God is! The logical implication is that His Word also is great.
-Jesus told His church, “..All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18).
-Children of God have been bought with a price. We are not our own. We belong to our Heavenly Father (I Corinthians 6:19, 20). It is only right that He and His Word have authority over us and over all of His children.
-The Lord’s true New Testament churches have also been purchased with the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28). They belong to Him. He and His Word have authority over His churches.
-A problem is that the old natural man, with its pride, resists submitting to anything or anyone. We need the Lord’s help to realize our need to submit to the Word of God and to not resist. We should ask the Holy Spirit to convict us and to humble us when we are lifted up in pride.
-We should delight in the Word of our Lord. “Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in His commandments” (Psalm 112:1).
-It is not grievous, but joyous, for God’s children to submit to His Word. “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous” (I John 5:3).
-Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30). [The way for the child of God to ‘learn of’ Him is by reading and studying the Bible, and then submitting to and obeying the Bible and growing spiritually. Also, it includes faithfully praying and assembling together with, and as part of, a true New Testament church to worship the Lord.]
III. THE SOURCE
-The Word of God is from God Himself and not from man, not from angels nor from any other source.
-“For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe” (I Thessalonians 2:13). [They did not receive it as the word of Paul. It was not that ‘Paul said’, but that ‘God said’. We should always emphasize in speaking about the Bible that it is all God’s Word and that every word was inspired of God. God used men to pen His Word, but the Word came from God and the men were obedient, holy ‘instruments’ used of God.]
-“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (II Timothy 3:16,17). [The word ‘inspiration’ means ‘God-breathed’.]
-“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” (II Peter 1:20, 21). [ Prophecy in this sense would be inclusive of the entire Word of God, the Scriptures. Even the last book of the Bible is called ‘prophecy’ (Revelation 1:3 22:10).]
-“But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). [Every Word of God proceeded out of God’s mouth, thus, ‘inspiration of God’ of all scripture, every word.]
IV. THE IMPORTANCE
-God’s name is excellent, high, holy and it is great. “Let them praise thy great and terrible name; for it is holy” (Psalm 99:3). “Let them praise the name of the LORD: for His name alone is excellent; His glory is above the earth and heaven” (Psalm 148:13).
-Yet God Himself puts such great importance upon His Word, in that He has magnified it above His name: “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name” (Psalm 138:2). [If the LORD Himself puts such great importance upon His Word, how much more should we.]
-The Lord has inspired and preserved a perfect Book to instruct man on how to be saved and be given God’s gift of eternal life, becoming a child of God and then how to serve God in the way that He commands so that He will be well pleased and will be glorified. In this present age God’s children must serve Him in one of His true New Testament churches to please Him and so that He will receive glory (cf. Ephesians 3:21).
-Only in the Word of God can a saved person, having the indwelling Spirit of Christ, find, understand and know the ways and thoughts of God that He has given for His children in this life. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8, 9). “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been His counsellor?” (Romans 11:33, 34).
-The natural man’s way: “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 16:25). This is the way of the world. All they have is human reasoning, logic and worldly wisdom (“…earthly, sensual, devilish” (James 3:15)). The only way to know the things of God is through His Word with the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit (cf. I Corinthians 2:11). Even some so-called ‘Bible scholars’ only have and use human and worldly reasoning and wisdom. We must always beware and be on guard.
-The yielding to the authority of our heavenly Father and His Word is well pleasing to Him. Even as children in this life are to submit to the authority of their parents: “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord” (Colossians 3:20), so much the more should children of God be obedient to the authority of our heavenly Father and His Word.
-His New Testament churches must always continue to submit to and conduct our lives under the authority of God’s Word and never compromise it. Submitting to the Word of God will be very unpopular in this world, but again, the Lord’s churches belong to Him and should strive only to please and honor Him. Part of the very definition of one of Jesus’ true New Testament churches is that it must be “…the pillar and ground of the truth” (I Timothy 3:15). If a church compromises ‘the truth’ then it is in danger of becoming a religious organization, that is not a true New Testament church of the Lord Jesus Christ. We must stick to the Word of God no matter how unpopular it is in this world.
-We need to have great conviction in our lives about this.
-Consider the following Scripture passages that also deal with the great importance of the Word of God:
THE WORD OF GOD IS PURE, PRESERVED, PERMANENT AND PERFECT:
-“The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever” (Psalm 12:6, 7). [The Word of God is true and it is completely and eternally trustworthy. Some seek to find mistakes and errors in the Word of God. They may believe, due to their pride, that they have superior knowledge and wisdom, and because of their ‘much learning’ are able to ‘correct’ the Word of God. In so doing they may cast doubts in the minds of some hearers of the purity and accuracy of the Word of God. The problem is with that kind of people and not with the Word of God. The Word of God endures! It will stand for ever (cf. Isaiah 40:8).]
-“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple” (Psalm 19:7).
-“For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven” (Psalm 119:89).
-“Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it” (Psalm 119:140).
-“Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him” (Proverbs 30:5). [Even one letter makes a difference, but the Lord is so very specific and precise, as in Galatians 3:16, not ’seeds’, but ‘seed’, with no ending ‘s’.]
-“But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (I Peter 1:25). [It is by the Word of God that the gospel of Jesus Christ can be preached.]
-The Word of God is completely trustworthy.
THE WORD OF GOD IS PERTINENT AND PRACTICAL:
-(See Matthew 4:4 above. Man is to live by every word that proceeds out of God’s mouth, His Word.)
- “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). [Since faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is necessary for a person to be saved, and faith comes by hearing the Word of God, we conclude that the Word of God is very practical and of great importance.]
-Faith is very important after a person is saved. He is to conduct his life by faith, and faith comes by hearing the Word of God. “(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)” (II Corinthians 5:7).
-We must walk by faith in order to please God. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). Again, faith comes by hearing the Word of God.
-Hebrews chapter 11 tells of several who believed God’s Word, submitted to its authority and obeyed it. Noah is but one example: “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; ..” (Hebrews 11:7).
-The prophets heard God’s Word and then submitted to its authority.
There are many examples, here are a few:
--Abraham (in his obedience to offer Isaac)
--Elijah (He allowed the ravens to feed him and allowed the widow to sustain him. This was all at the command of the LORD.)
--Jonah (He finally submitted to God’s Word, obeyed it and God greatly blessed the people of Nineveh and many others.)
-The New Testament church members submitted to it. There are many examples, here are a few:
--By assembling to worship the Lord.
--By going and taking the gospel to many people in many areas.
--By baptizing those that received Jesus as personal Saviour.
--By teaching the Word of God.
--By showing forgiveness.
--By being active in Praying.
--By loving the Lord and others.
--By supporting other churches.
--By studying the Scriptures.
--In many other ways.
-The greatest example of all: The Lord Jesus Christ submitting to the Father. His was a perfect submission to the authority of the Father. He was obedient. He only spoke the Words that the Father gave Him.
THE WORD OF GOD IS POWERFUL:
-The LORD said, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). [God’s Word, from His mouth, and He sent it.]
-“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). [A reminder that it is not the preacher or the teacher that is powerful, it is the Word of God, and the God of the Word. A man can’t convict anyone, he can’t draw anyone to the Lord, etc. But the Lord can and He does.]
-“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (II Timothy 3:15).
-“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).
-It was by His Word that the Lord spoke all creation into existence. By His Word the Lord sent the flood in the days of Noah. His Word, spoken and written, is very powerful. And it has AUTHORITY.
THE WORD OF GOD WILL BE PRESENT ON JUDGMENT DAY:
-On Judgment Day the Lord Jesus Christ will be the Judge. His righteous judgment will be according to the same rule that we have available to us in this life, the Word of God.
-“So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty” (James 2:12). [cf. James 1:25]
-Jesus stated, “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).
THE WORD OF GOD IS PERSONAL:
-The individual is to hear it, read it, study it, believe it, submit to it, obey it, hide it in his heart, meditate on it and rejoice in it. God speaks to His children and to His churches through His Word.
-“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:7-9).
-“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15).
-“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22).
-“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13, 14).
THE WORD OF GOD IS PRECIOUS:
-“He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalm 126:6). [The ‘precious seed’ is the Word of God. Consider the parable of the sower and the seed in Matthew 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8.]
-“Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding” (Proverbs 23:23).
THE WORD OF GOD IS TRUTH:
-“Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever” (Psalm 119:160).
-“For the word of the LORD is right; and all His works are done in truth” (Psalm 33:4).
-“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth”