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Text:  Col. 3:17; Eph. 5:10

Thesis:  To show one how to rightly establish Biblical authority.


1.      One can’t direct his own steps alone (Jer. 10:23).

2.      Paul tells us that we are to prove what is acceptable unto the Lord (Eph. 5:10).

3.      We must do all things, whether in word or in deed, in the name of the Lord (Col. 3:17).

  1. Doing all things in the name of the Lord means that we must do all things by His authority.
  2. Therefore, we must have a “thus saith the Lord” for what we do.

4.      The Bible is the source to which one goes in order to establish Biblical authority.

  1. The Bible will make one wise unto salvation (II Tim. 3:15).
  2. The Bible will provide all things to make one completely furnished (II Tim. 3:16-17).
  3. The Bible will provide all things for both physical and spiritual life (II Pet. 1:3).

5.      We will look at three various ways to establish Biblical authority:


I.                   Authority is established by a direct statement.

A.    Most people would not at all argue that it is a command if God directly says it.

B.     A direct statement are those such as Mark 16:16 and Matthew 28:19.

C.     There are two types of commands that will be examined.

1.      First, there is a specific command.

a.       A specific command is one such as recorded in Genesis 6:14.

b.      God told Noah specifically to use gopher wood.

c.       Therefore, Noah was only authorized to use gopher wood in order to build the ark.

d.      Every other type of wood would have been unauthorized.

e.       One must carry out this type of command in the exact way that God has commanded it.

f.       One must not add nor take away from the command (Rev. 22:18-19).

2.      Second, there is a generic command.

a.       A generic command is one such as recorded in Matthew 28:19.

b.      The command that is within this passage is to preach the gospel to every creature.

c.       The means by which we carry out this command is left up to us.

d.      The command is still to be followed, but we are at liberty to use whatever means we see fit in order to carry out this command.

e.       The way that we carry out this command must be in harmony with all other facets of Christian living.

D.     One must establish whether or not the command is applicable to him.

1.      There are three important items to find out about a command.

a.       First, one must find out who is speaking.

b.      Second, one must find out to whom he is speaking.

c.       Third, one must find out what is the purpose of the command.

2.      One must also distinguish between the Old and New Testament.

a.       One may read of many different items that were commanded under the Old Testament, but one is to be under the New Testament today (Heb. 10:9-10).

b.      Therefore, we must only seek to follow what is commanded in the New Testament (Col. 3:17).

II.                Authority is established by an approved example.

A.    The most common question that is asked is: “When is an example binding?”

B.     An example that would be binding would be one that has an underlining command associated with it.

1.      An underlining command is one such as Matthew 26:26-28.

2.      We are commanded to take the Lord’s Supper, but there is no direct command that tells us when to partake of it.

3.      We read of an example of Christians partaking of the Lord’s Supper upon the first day of the week (Acts 20:7).

4.      Therefore, this was an approved example of one partaking the Lord’s supper.

5.      The disciples carried out this command on the first day of the week, and it was with the Lord’s approval.

6.      The same way in carrying out the command with God’s approval in the first century is the same that one can carry out the command in the twentieth century with God’s approval.

C.     The same rules that govern a direct command would also govern an approved example.

1.      One must not add nor take away to it.

2.      One must find out whether or not it is applicable to him.

III.             Authority is established by necessary inference.

A.    One infers from what God has implied.

B.     Necessary inference would be governed by the rules of common sense.

C.     Some examples of necessary inference will be noted.

1.      First, we will look at Mark 16:16.

a.       The verse states that “he” that believes and is baptized shall be saved.

b.      Although one’s name is not stated directly, one must infer that anyone that believes and is baptized shall be saved, and that if he will be saved when he obeys these steps.

2.      Second, we will look at Galations 5:21.

a.       A list of sins has been given, and he concludes with “and such like.”

b.      One must infer that he must not be involved in any types of sin that would fall under these categories or would be associated with them.

3.      Third, we will look at II Peter 1:10.

a.       The statement is a conditional one that shows that one will not fall if he does the things previously mentioned.

b.      One must infer that he will fall if he does not do the things previously mentioned.


1.      One must handle upright the word of God by dividing it correctly (II Tim. 2:15).

2.      We are told to do all things by New Testament authority (Col. 3:17).

3.      The Bible will guide us to what we are to do in order to obey God and attain salvation.

4.      Therefore, one must learn what the Bible has authorized, and then put it into practice in his life.

5.      Will you adhere to its teaching about salvation?

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