The Authority of God’s Word

Most of what we read is subjective. The content is subjective to the intent of the author, the interpretation of the content is subjective to the understanding of the reader. Generally, a reader may interpret the thoughts of a writer without any fear of negative consequences for misinterpreting what the writer said. (Exceptions to this might include the IRS tax code and instructions for “some assembly required” toys).

The Bible is somewhat different. God is its author therefore it carries with it divine fiat. Believers have the right to interpret Scripture for themselves free from dogma or control of spiritual hierarchy. With that right of interpretation, however, comes an incredibly important responsibility of interpreting it correctly. We are accountable to God for how we interpret His Word.

The Bible is the only book that can genuinely lay claim to divine inspiration. “Inspiration” literally means, “God-breathed”. God spoke to holy men and impressed upon them through visions, thoughts and audible voice what they were to write. God chose his instruments carefully and the result is a collection of 66 books that was written over a span of 4,000 years by numerous writers and yet is unified in its theme and consistent in its message. No other book can even come close to matching this level of magnificence.

We speak of the Bible as being inerrant and infallible. This means that it is without error and is incapable of failing. This speaks to God’s ability to preserve His Word as He promised. Satan has tried to deny, destroy, debate and dilute the Word through the centuries. He persecuted those who wrote and translated the Bible. He perpetuates lies and confusion to cloud the minds of men so as not to believe the Word, yet it still remains.

What is our responsibility concerning the Word? First, we are to read it as the source of our faith and knowledge. Second, we are to submit ourselves to what it says. Remember, Scripture is God speaking to us, we should listen and obey.

We are to recognize its superiority to the writings of men. It is wonderful to read what others say about the Bible, but that is no substitute for reading it ourselves. Reading Christian literature without reading the Bible is like reading a recipe book and hoping our body will receive vital nutrients from the experience.

We should realize that the Word of God is superior to our experience. I often hear people say something like this, “I don’t know what the Bible says about this, but this is what I felt.”

Peter dealt with this in II Peter 1:16-21. He, along with James and John were eyewitnesses of the majesty of God on the Mount of Transfiguration. They audibly heard the voice of God from Heaven affirming Christ as the Son of God. If something like that happened in our time, the individual who was blessed to experience it would get a book deal, go on a speaking tour and be on all of the television talk shows. Not Peter, his response to this was, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy. He placed the authority of Scripture over his own experience with God.

Thank God for His Word that abides forever.

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15 responses to “The Authority of God’s Word

  1. “…like reading a recipe book and hoping our body will receive vital nutrients from the experience.”

    So true. Great thoughts!

  2. Awesome post !

    thanks for writting it , and sharing ! 🙂

  3. Those are great words you have written on God’s Word. Someone once said, “This book [speaking of the Bible] will keep you from sin; or sin will keep you from this book.”
    I appreciate your convictions of God’s Word. I also believe it to be inerrant and infallible.

  4. Good, relevant points.

    I enjoy reading about the history of The Word also, and comparing the various translations… except those that are obviously up to some agenda such as the PC Bible.

    Most of the meaning isn’t hard to discern though. God’s intent is clear enough that we can sense the meaning for us. Primarily because it is so consistent.

  5. Gordon,

    Good thoughts and very relevant subject.

    God bless,
    Jim

  6. I knew I liked you for many reasons, and this post is one of them. How refreshing to have someone write that the Bible is infallable!

    You have no concept (well maybe you do) of how many so-called christians on the internet think the bible is written by just men with many mistakes ansd untruths in it.

    I really try not to argue…yea right…bad mouthing God, sets my teeth on edge. the thoughts roll around in my head and shoot right out my mouth!

    Thank you for being a God champion!

  7. Thanks all for your visit and comments. It is encouraging to find people of like mind on this extremely vital point of doctrine.

    Bonnie, you sure have a way with words!

  8. Of the five sola’s of the reformation this one is the foundation. Your explained it very well.

    Jazzycat

  9. What an amazing post! Thank you!

  10. How about a different view, just for fun…
    I see that scripture in a completely opposite light. I see no reference to the written word at all.
    It seems to me that Peter is advocating reliance on the Word of Life that you have seen and handled with your own hands rather than some written words. (wouldn’t that pertain to experience?) His refererence is back to the prophets who also reported what they had been given “by the Holy Spirit” (again not written, but experiential)and made mention that there were other false prophets at the time, presumabley with a different message. Peter is seemingly re-emphasizing that believers should rely upon the Word written in their hearts, that in fact he, Peter, had not brought fables and stories to them but eyewitness accounts, which are far more credible. He seems to be saying that those eye witness accounts and audible hearings of God’s Word were proof positive of the message he had brought the church. God’s Word does indeed abide forever but perhaps the Word is primarily that which is written in our hearts. That which we have seen and handled for ourselves of the Word of Life. Perhaps that is the most important, powerful and lifechanging Word of all… and He must write it…maybe it cannot be pen and ink alone or even primarily.

  11. That was a blessing. The Peter illustration really drives home your point!

  12. enjoyed and linked to this post.

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