In our previous post we briefly looked at what the Bible says about its inspiration – that it has been “breathed out by God” (2 Timothy 3:16, ESV). In other words, the Bible is the very Word of God Himself. Now that fact has some rather important and far-reaching implications, doesn’t it? And one of the first of those implications is that Scripture, as the Word of God, is authoritative.
To say that the Bible is authoritative is to say that it is our “only rule of faith and obedience” (The Westminster Larger Catechism Q.4). In other words, if there is any debate or question about what we are to believe (i.e. faith), the Bible has the first and final say on the subject. Likewise, if there is any debate or question about how God would have us to live (i.e. obedience), the Bible has the first and final say on that subject as well. Do you approach the Bible that way? Or, better yet, do you test or examine what you believe and how you live by what the Bible says? Needless to say, if you are a believer in Christ, you should do just that.
For example, do you attend worship at a local church? Do you listen attentively to the preaching? (I certainly hope that you do.) But if so, do you bring your Bible? Is your Bible open during the sermon? In Acts chapter 17 the Apostle Paul was in a place called Berea (v.10). When he and his companion, Silas, went into the local synagogue to preach the gospel of Christ, what did the Jews in Berea do? The Bible says that they were “noble” because “they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so” (v.11, ESV). Think about that. They had the Apostle Paul himself preaching to them (!), and yet they tested whatever he said to them by what the Old Testament Scriptures said! (And you can be sure that Paul did not mind that one bit.)
I hope that you will be that noble-minded as well. Bring your Bible to church; keep it open and test everything by the Scriptures. Please don’t take our word for whatever we pastors say in our preaching! Receive it with all eagerness, to be sure, but also examine whatever we say by what the Bible says. Make sure that you are believing us pastors and teachers only so far as we are actually teaching you what the Bible says – nothing more, and nothing less. We have no authority in and of ourselves. None. Our only authority is found in what the Word of God says. His Word is truth (John 17:17).