The Authority of Scripture

THE AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE

(IS GOD’S WORD NEGOTIABLE?)

(Pastor Lee Jackson FFWC)

  1. I.  INTRODUCTION – BEFORE I WAS CALLED TO BE THE PASTOR OF THIS CHURCH  A PART OF MY JOB WAS TO EVALUATE AND ACQUIRE TECHNOLOGY FOR THE COMPANY I WORKED FOR, WHICH INCLUDED NEGOTIATING CONTRACTS FOR ACQUIRING TECHNOLOGY.  THE ASPECT OF THE JOB INVOLVED REVIEWING THE CONTRACT, EDITING AND CHANGING THE LANGUAGE I DID NOT LIKE, DELETING SENTENCES & PARAGRAPHS THAT I COULD NOT LIVE WITH AND ADDING OTHER SENTENCES, PARAGRAPHS AND SECTIONS THAT I THOUGHT WOULD BENEFIT AND PROTECT THE COMPANY I WORKED FOR.  WE WOULD GO BACK AND FORTH UNTIL WE HAD A CONTRACT BOTH COMPANIES WOULD ACCEPT.  MANY PEOPLE THINK THAT WE CAN DO THIS WITH GOD’S WORD AND HIS COMMANDMENTS – IGNORING (EFFECTIVELY DELETING) SECTIONS THAT THEY DO NOT AGREE WITH AND INTERPRETING OTHER PASSAGES AS THEY SEE FIT.  MANY TODAY CHOSE TO BELIEVE IN HEAVEN, BUT NOT IN HELL.  THEY BELIEVE IN ANGELS BUT NOT IN THE DEVIL OR DEMONS.  THEY BELIEVE IN GOD IS LOVE BUT THEY DO NOT BELIEVE THAT GOD COULD SEND ANYONE TO HELL.  

DO WE HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO NEGOTIATE WITH GOD WITH RESPECT TO HIS WORD AND HIS COVENANT (CONTRACT) WITH US? CAN WE TAKE WHAT WE WANT AND LEAVE THE REST?  CAN WE FILTER GOD’S WORD THROUGH OUR LIFE EXPERIENCE TO DETERMINE WHAT IS RELEVANT TODAY? IS GOD’S WORD INTENDED TO BE A STANDARD FOR CHRISTIAN LIVING OR MERELY A GUIDELINE? HAVE THE TEN COMMANDMENTS BECOME TEN SUGGESTIONS? THIS MORNING WE ARE GOING TO LOOK INTO GOD’S WORD TO FIND OUT WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT IT’SELF?

II.            THE BIBLE (SCRIPTURE) HAS DIVINE ORIGIN IT IS GOD’S REVELATION OF HIMSELF; IT REVEALS GOD’S PURPOSE AND HIS PLANS IN HIS COVENANT  WITH US – A COVENANT RATIFIED BY THE BLOOD OF JESUS.

2 Tim 3:16-17:  All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. NKJV

  1. SCRIPTURE IS DIVINELY INSPIRED (GOD BREATHED).  GOD SPOKE TO MEN THROUGH HIS HOLY SPIRIT AND HIS SON.
  2. IT IS PROFITABLE FOR INSTRUCTION, REPROOF AND CONVICTION OF SIN, FOR CORRECTION OF ERROR, AND DISCIPLINE IN OBEDIENCE, [AND] FOR TRAINING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS (HOLY LIVING, INCONFORMITY TO GOD’S WILL IN THOUGHT, PURPOSE AND ACTION) SO THAT THE MAN OF GOD MAY COMPLETE AND PROFICIENT, WELL FITTED AND THOROUGHLY EQUIPPED FOR EVERY GOOD WORK.  AMPLFIED BIBLE)

2 Peter 1:20-2:1: no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. NKJV

III.           IN ADDITION TO SCRIPTURE GIVEN TO PROPHETS & THE APOSTLES SCRIPTURE IS REVEALED, EMBODIED AND FULFILLED IN JESUS CHRIST, GOD’S SON.

Heb 1:1-3: In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. NIV

John 1:1-2,14: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. NIV

Luke 4:17-21: The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21 and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” NIV

IV.          WE CAN PICK AND CHOSE WHAT WE WANT TO BELIEVE OR IGNORE THAT WHICH MAKES US UNCOMFORTABLE  BUT WE DOE SO AT OUR OWN PERIL.

Matt 5:17-18:  “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. NIV

Matt 15:3-7: Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, `Honor your father and mother’ and `Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’  5 But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, `Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,’ 6 he is not to `honor his father’ with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. NIV

JESUS SAID: Matt 24:35: Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. NIV  Isa 40:8: The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” NIV

WE CAN CHOSE TO BELIEVE ANYTHING WE WANT BUT THAT DOES NOT CHANGE GOD’S MIND OR GOD’S WORD OR OUR ACCOUTIBILITY TO HIS WORD.   WE WILL ALL STAND BEFORE GOD TO GIVE AN ACCOUNT.

V.   CONCLUSION – ARE YOU ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE THAT THINK FOR THEMSELVES.  YOU DECIDE WHAT IS RIGHT AND WHAT IS WRONG.  YOU CHOSE WHAT TO BELIEVE ABOUT GOD’S WORD AND WHAT NOT TO BELIEVE OR FEEL AT THE MOMENT.  IT MAY BE THAT YOU HAVE NEVER SAID SO IN SO MANY WORDS, BUT THIS IS THE WAY YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE.  I WOULD REMIND YOU OF WHAT SCRIPTURE SAYS:

Isa 55:6 – 9: Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. 8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”  declares the LORD.  9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

 WE CANNOT FIND GOD OR KNOW GOD ON OUR TERMS, WE COME TO KNOW GOD ON HIS TERMS:  SALVATION TO US IS REVEALED THROUGH HIS WORD: 

 John 14:6-7: Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” (niv)

 John 8:31-32: To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”   (niv)

 Joh 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (niv)

Joh 3:14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. 16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (niv)

To gain canonical recognition, a book was expected to pass two basic tests. First, it had to have a history of “continuous and widespread approval amongst Christians” (J. W. Wenham, Christ And The Bible). Second, it was expected to demonstrate that it had either been written by an apostle or specifically approved by the apostles.

A well-known theologian once said that the church no more created the New Testament Canon than Newton created the basic principles of physics. The earliest writings of the church fathers demonstrate their confidence in the authority of the New Testament Scriptures.

John 1:10-13: He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God- 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. NIV

Ps 119:9-10: How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. 10 With all my heart I have sought You; NASU

Ps 119:30: 30 I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws. NIV

Ps 119:34:  Give me understanding, and I will keep your law

and obey it with all my heart. NIV

Ps 119:105: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. NIV

Ps 119:66-67:  Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I believe in your commands. 67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word. NIV

Ps 119:89-90: Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. 90 Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures. NIV

Ps 119:160: All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal. NIV

2 Sam 23:2: “The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me;

his word was on my tongue.  NIV

1 Cor. 2:10 b-14 The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.  14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. NIV

John 8:31-35

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”

34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. NIV

2 Tim 1:13-14: What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you-guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us. NIV

Rev 22:18-19

18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. NKJV

Rev 22:7-8:  Behold, I am coming quickly! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.” NKJV

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