The messages for the State of the Church focused on the “Authority of God,” especially in His Word. Authority is like a flywheel between the engine and transmission on a stick shift vehicle. It keeps the organism (the drive train) running smoothly and shifts the Christian life into higher stages of spiritual growth, just like the gears on many cars! Yet it is also the ingredient that the flesh consciously and subconsciously resists, “because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God.” (Rom 8:7)
I concluded the second message with a challenge and a question. The challenge was to understand “why we go to Scripture” and the question related to how we “pick and choose” what we want to submit to in life.
Why do we go to Scripture? Of course, the bottom line is that Scripture is the only way to clarify God’s will and understand how to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 10:31). Additionally, consider these passages:
Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. (2 Cor. 5:9)
9 … we …do not cease to pray for you.. 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him…(Col. 1:9-10)
When a man’s ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. (Pro. 16:7)
No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier. (2 Tim. 2:4)
By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death… for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. (Heb. 11:5)
And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. (1 Jn. 3:22)
The point of including these passages is that we go to Scripture to please God and we please Him by seeking His will in His Word. So, we humbly approach the Lord in prayer and ask Him, “Lord, how can I please You in and with my life?” This is a prayer He hears and answers, because He directs the Holy Spirit to guide us into Scripture that tells us how to please Him.
To illustrate this, every parent would gladly accept a child who asks, “Dad, Mom, what can I do today, that would please you?” After you checked your pulse, you’d give a few godly insights with humble servant- leadership on what that child could do! The same is true in every authority situation.
Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God. (1Thes. 4:1)
And we will seek the Lord with diligence, lest we miss out on pleasing Him,
But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. (1 Cor. 9:27)
To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily. (Col. 1:29)
IF we have that attitude and pursuit, then we will not “pick and choose” what we want to submit to in life. We will search the Scriptures and submit to everything as Jesus said, “…the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He [the Father] does, the Son also does in like manner. (John 5:19)
We might claim that we will submit to everything according to God’s will, but do we “pick and choose” what we will submit to regarding human authority? Do children get to “pick and choose”? Do employees get to “pick and choose” on the job? Do we realize that parents and employers are representatives of God’s authority and how we submit humanly is a picture of how we submit spiritually? Do you ask the Elders how you can help fulfill the vision they have cast?
Let me close with the magnitude of this:
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably [for His pleasure] with reverence and godly fear. (Heb. 12:28)
Let’s humble ourselves under His authority and enjoy His maximum freedom!
IS THE BIBLE THE FINAL AUTHORITY?
Is the Bible the final authority in the faith and practice of the church of Christ?
The Bible is not only the final authority, it is the only authority for faith and practice in the Lord’s church.
Contrary to God’s word, many would contend that the Bible is superseded and or has been added to by other books. In example:
1. The Roman Catechism.
2. The Book of Mormon.
3. The Watch Tower Bible.
4. Various creed books of other denominations.
5. Books that state that the Bible has been mistranslated, however, they have corrected the Scriptures for your consumption.
THE BIBLE ALONE IS SCRIPTURE.
2 Peter 1:20-21 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
Prophecy of Scripture is not found in catechisms, creed books, books about the Bible or so-called books of new revelations from God. The Bible and the Bible alone is Scripture.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is inspired by God……
The apostle Paul did not say all catechisms, all creed books and all extra-Biblical writings are inspired by God.
Matthew 22:29-32 But Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God…..31 But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God.
Jesus told the Sadducees the Scriptures were spoken by God. Jesus never told anyone that creed books, catechisms, and other extra-Biblical writings were spoken by God. Jesus said, they did not understand the Scriptures.
John 2:22 So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripturesand the word which Jesus and spoken.
The disciples believed the Scriptures. They did not believe the man-made traditions of the elders or any other extra-Biblical writings.
John 7:38 He who believes in Me, as the Scriptures said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’
Note; Jesus quotes the Scriptures as truth. Jesus never quoted man-made creed books, catechisms and other extra-Biblical writings as being from God.
Galatians 3:22 But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
The Scripture has concluded that all are under SIN. The man-made traditions of the Pharisees, Sadducess, the elders, and the scribes did not conclude anything. The Scriptures are the only source for absolute truth.
James 2:8 If, however, you are fulling the royal law according tothe Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,”you are doing well.
There is no place in the Bible that states you are doing well by keeping any law according to man-made catechisms, creed books, extra-Biblical revelation or any other laws outside of Scripture.
John 5:39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life, it is these that testify about Me.
The Jews searched the Scriptures looking for eternal life. Jesus said that the Scriptures testified about Him. Jesus did not say man-made catechisms, creed books and other extra-Biblical books testified about Him.
Acts 17:2 And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, and giving evidence that Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.”
The apostle Paul used the Scriptures to give evidence of the gospel of Christ. The apostle Paul did not teach from the Roman catechism, the Book of Mormon, the Watch Tower, or any denominational creed book. Paul did not reason from man-made books.
Acts 17:10-12…..they received the word with great eagerness,examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.
The Bereans did not consult one single book of man-made traditions. The man-made traditions written by the elders and scribes were not searched in order to confirm the truth spoken by Paul and Silas. They searched the Scriptures and the Scriptures alone.
2 Peter 3:15-16…our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters,speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.
The apostles words and letters were Scriptures. The words of the prophets were Scriptures. The words of Jesus were Scriptures. The words of God were Scriptures. The words of extra-Biblical catechisms, creed books, and so-called new revelations are not SCRIPTURES.
The apostles and prophets of God are all dead. They not giving any new Scriptures.
God was silent 400 years between the Old and New Covenant. God has been silent since the apostles died.
THERE ARE NO NEW SCRIPTURES.
THE SCRIPTURES ARE FOUND IN THE BIBLE AND THE BIBLE ALONE.
(All Scripture quoted from: NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)