THE key issue: The Authority of Scripture

“I know what the Bible says about abortion, but I am for it!”

Even after many years, those words still hit me like a gut punch. They were spoken to me by a person who was in church almost every Sunday and even led in a Sunday School class at their church. While there are many problems with such a statement, I want to focus on what I believe is the biggest one: the open rejection of scripture’s authority. In one sentence, the person who spoke those words communicated that they did not believe the Bible was authoritative for how they lived their lives. They didn’t say they didn’t “believe the Bible” and they didn’t say the Bible wasn’t clear about the issue. They simply said the Bible wasn’t their final authority in making decisions and living their life. They rejected the AUTHORITY of the Bible for their life.

No doubt there are many professing Christians today who make similar statements – to their great peril and the peril of the church. Contrast this line of thinking to what the Bible actually says about itself…

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16–17, NASB95)

If you are reading this post, you may know that the Greek word translated “inspired” literally means “God breathed.” The very words of the Bible are God’s words. Then, in response to the nature of the Bible, there is the ROLE of the Bible in the Christian’s life…

“teaching” = The Bible is where we GET what we believe and the source from which we teach what we believe.

“reproof” = The Bible rebukes and strongly corrects us when we sin and need to be confronted.

“correction” = The Bible helps us improve and become more of what we need to be.

“training in righteousness” = We never outgrow the Bible. The Bible is part of our constant growth as a Christian.

Sounds pretty “authoritative” to me!! Please understand what I am NOT saying. I am NOT saying that every single issue is crystal clear in scripture. I am NOT saying that sincere believers (who believe scripture is authoritative) cannot disagree about some issues (i.e. mode of baptism, eschatology). I am NOT saying that every issue is simple and sincere believers shouldn’t wrestle with implications and the bigger picture.

I AM saying that scripture is absolutely authoritative in the life of the believer. It is not enough to “believe the Bible.” We must study the Bible and seek to understand the Bible. We must seek to adjust our lives to the teachings of the Bible – not the other way around as so many do today. These facts hold true even if we don’t like what the Bible says to us. These facts hold true even if the culture tells us the Bible’s teaching is outdated and out of step.

If the Bible isn’t binding and authoritative on my life as a Christian, then it immediately becomes an “option” among many. If the Bible isn’t binding and authoritative on my life as a Christian, then the Bible really means very little. Sadly, this is where so many professing believers in our churches are today. It all comes back to the authority of scripture. Once that is lost, everything else goes pretty quickly.

Think about it.

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