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Back to the Basics - Biblical Authority

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A.    We need guidance in this world.

1. “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov. 14:12).

2. “I know, O LORD, that a man's way is not in himself, nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23).

3. “A man’s steps are of the Lord; How then can a man understand his own way” (Prov. 20.24).

B.     Jesus is the only one with absolute authority.

1. “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth’” (Matt. 28:18).

2. Consider His authority:

a.       Able to forgive sins (Matt. 9:6)

b.      Able to execute judgment (John 5:27)

c.       Power over life and death (John 10:18)

d.      Able to cast out demons (Mark 1:23-28)

e.       Power over sickness and disease (Mark 1:30-45)

f.       Power over storms (Mark 4:35-41)

g.      Power over laws of nature (Mark 6:45-56)

h.      Taught with authority (Matt. 7:29)

3. Indeed, Jesus is “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion” (Eph. 1:21).

C.     To follow Jesus is to follow His words.

1. “He who rejects Me and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day” (John 12:48).

2. “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Col. 3:17).

D.    Therefore, the Bible must be our authority for today.

1. It is sufficient to meet all of our spiritual needs.

a.       “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 complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3.16-17).

b.      “As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1.3).

2. Consider life without Biblical authority:

a.       Cain and Abel (Gen. 4.) – Abel’s sacrifice was acceptable because he offered it up by faith (cf. Heb. 11.4), which comes from hearing the Word of God (cf. Rom. 10.17).

b.      Nadab and Abihu (Lev. 10.1-2) – They were killed because they offered up “strange” or “unauthorized” fire unto the Lord.

3. Hence, we must STUDY it in order to be led by it.

a.       “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2.15).

b.      How do we study the Bible?

(1)    Pray as you begin your study!

(2)    Enter into the study with a correct attitude.

(a)    Believe that truth is attainable (cf. John 8:32).

1)      One must not enter into a study seeking to prove truth.

a)      This implies “preconceived notions.”

b)      One can twist the scriptures to prove many things that the Bible does not actually teach (e.g., 2 Pet. 3.16).

2)      One must enter into a study seeking to find truth.

a)      One must be willing to accept the conclusion from the Bible regardless of whether it differs from any previous beliefs, etc.

b)      This attitude exemplifies the beginning of the Restoration Movement.

(b)    Believe that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God (cf. 2 Pet. 1:20-21).

(3)    Pay special attention to the CONTEXT.

(4)    Understand that the Bible is written in various genres and utilizes various figures of speech.

(5)    Make the proper distinction between the Old Testament and the New Testament.

(6)    Be aware of some of the ways in which the Bible authorizes:

(a)    Direct Command –

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.

-      God told Noah specifically to use gopher wood.

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

-      Every other type of wood would have been unauthorized.

b)      When we are given a specific command, we are to follow it without adding or taking away from it (cf. Rev. 22:18-19).

2)      Second, there is a generic command.

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

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

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

b)      When we are given a generic command, we are at liberty to use various means in order to carry out this command; however, the means that we utilize must be in harmony with all other facets of Christian living.

(b)   Approved Example –

1)      Every example in the Bible is not necessarily binding upon us today.

a)      For example, the disciples partook of the Lord’s Supper in an upper room (cf. Acts 20:7).

b)      This example is simply an incidental example.

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

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

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

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

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

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

3)  When we come across an example with an underlining command, 

      we can know with 100% certainty that we will have the Lord’s   

      approval by following the approved example.

E.     Consider life with Biblical authority:

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,

Nor stand in the path of sinners,

Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

But his delight is in the law of the LORD,

And in His law he meditates day and night.

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,

Which yields its fruit in its season

And its leaf does not wither;

And in whatever he does, he prospers. (Psa. 1:1-3)

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