The Bible is Our Authority

If you have not read my last blog, you may want to read it as a foundation before reading this one.   Here is the link:  (Sorry, but I am having technical issues with my blog and cannot create a clickable link right now.  Just cut and paste this into your browser.)

The next principle of Bible study concerns authority and truth.

Many people and entities are authorities in our lives.  We begin with our parents, move on to teachers and church authorities, then bosses and government.  All of these are God-given authorities in our lives, but ultimately there is only one authority – Scripture. This means that while we obey those in authority over us, we never go against the Bible to do so.

Scripture is also the ultimate standard of truth.  While we can certainly learn from many sources, the Bible is the one and only true standard in which to judge all knowledge and to know what is truth.  So the Second Principle of Bible Study is . . .

The Bible is our ultimate authority . . .

The Bible is the ultimate standard of truth.

Everything – people, science, our experiences, teachers, nature, what we see and hear, even preachers and sermons, must be tested against the Word of Truth.

So often people will follow one person or one preacher without digging into the Word for themselves and understanding what the Bible says.  Since people are human they can be wrong and lead us astray.

King David is case in point.  He was King over God\’s people, but he killed his good friend Uriah and took Uriah’s wife Bathsheba for his own, bringing God’s wrath on himself (see 2 Samuel 11).  To David’s credit, he repented, but never regained his original power.

If King David can fall and be wrong, anyone can!  It’s never a wise choice to follow a person or take at face value everything that someone says about the Bible without learning how to check it out for oneself.

Can we learn from other people?  Absolutely!  But we must make sure that we are following God and His Word, not a person.

Isaiah 8:20 tells us:  “To the law and to the testimony!  If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”

“Law” (“Torah”) means “instruction,” and refers mostly to the Pentateuch (Gen through Deut), but can also refer to all the instruction God gives through His prophets.  The Hebrew word for “testimony”is often a synonym for God’s law (see Exodus 25:21, Psalm 19 & 119).

So according to the Bible itself, if something does not agree with its teachings or the law of God, that something is not valid.  What are some of those “somethings?”

Have you ever been tempted to gain knowledge by supernatural means – using a spirit medium, or by contacting spirits on your own?  In Isaiah 8:19 people were telling others to seek answers from the dead through mediums.  This goes against many places in Scripture that condemn this practice (such as Lev 20:26, 27; Deut 18:10-12; 1 Chron 10:13).  So if someone comes to you and suggests that you seek answers from a supernatural source, you know that the authority of the Bible forbids this, and  that this person is not speaking from God.

You may stay away from the supernatural.. But here’s another area that often gets us into trouble;  it’s thinking that we know what would be best for us.  After all, we are intelligent, experienced, and should be able to tell what’s right for us, right?  Wrong!!

Our human emotional and mental faculties, our own reasoning and experiences, were never designed to be our own authority.  Eve proved this.

Eve was created a perfect being, but in Genesis 3 she trusted her own emotions and reasoning above God’s direct Word, plunging the human race into ruin.  She listened to the voice of another who seemed to make better sense at the time than God did, and she chose to trust her own intellect and feelings rather than obeying God.  What trouble could have been avoided if Eve had not gone her own way!

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate,”  Gen 3:6.

We face the same choices for our own lives.  If we obey God even when we don’t understand why, we make Him and His Word our ultimate authority and source of truth, and remain on the path of safety.  If we choose to “know best,” we are on dangerous ground.

Solomon says in Proverbs 14:12 – “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”  No matter what appears right in our own eyes, we must test it against what the Bible says.

These are two ways that we can make something other than the Bible our authority and truth.  Next time I’ll discuss a few more.

Please leave a comment and share your thoughts on this important topic.


About Pastor Sherry

Hi, I'm Pastor Sherry! I'm a Ministry and Spiritual Life Coach, and am committed to helping you Reach For The Summit of your relationship with God. This includes developing or transforming your personal devotional life as well as breaking through barriers such as Unloving, Fear, Bitterness, that are preventing you from the kind of connection with God that you seek. I'd love to connect with you on Facebook (Pastor Sherry, Reach For The Summit), LinkedIn (Pastor Sherry), and Twitter (PastorSherry1). To receive my monthly newsletter, please sign in to the opt-in box at the top of this page!
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9 Responses to The Bible is Our Authority

  1. Mel Thompson says:

    I think man follows others instead of using the authority of the Word is summed up by Paul in his epistle to the believers in Corinth: “For you are still of the flesh [under the control of ordinary impulses]. For as long as envying and jealousy and wrangling and factions among you, are you not unspiritual and of the flesh, behaving yourselves after a human standard and like mere men?” (1 Corinthians 3:3). As you know, Paul’s letter to the church assembly is to born-again and baptized Christians. And yet were “mere infants in Christ” (3:1). As the line goes in the movie, “A Few Good Men”, Tome Cruise’s character ask the question to the witness: ‘I just want the truth’. And the often quoted response from Jack Nicholson was, “You want the TRUTH? You can’t handle the TRUTH.” The Bible is our authority as believers as you so well put it–it’s the TRUTH! However, if Christians are still being fed with milk instead of solid food, they will not be strong enough to accept the TRUTH!
    Mel Thompson recently posted..“Membership Has Its Privileges!” (PART 2)

    • Yes, Mel, it’s certainly easier to rely on others than to read the Bible ourselves and rely on God to show us truth — and then to follow it. We learn from each other to be sure, but I know because I’ve read your blogs (!) that you’ll agree we all need to learn to study the Bible for ourselves and check out what someone else says.

  2. Amy Hagerup says:

    HI Pastor Sherry, These points are well-taken. When I am discipling young women and they say that someone said to them “God told me to tell you to do this or that,” I always tell them to be cautious because no one has the corner on the market for hearing from God. They can hear His voice too as they seek Him. Thanks for these truths. Blessings, Amy
    Amy Hagerup recently posted..Living Life on Purpose: 9 Tips

    • Hi Amy, you give a good answer to your young women! You also bring up an interesting phenomenon. I know people who want to be God to other people and feel they have the right to tell others what God wants. But that’s dangerous. The person who’s doing the telling may or may not have a direct line to God, but the receiving person doesn’t usually check that out. Also, no human should set themselves up as God to someone else to give orders. Genuine prophets will pass all the tests of a prophet. We’re in an age where deception abounds, and we need to be very careful.

  3. Good post.You have made a number of great points which I had not considered.This provides exactly the features I’ve been looking for, so absolutely timely.

  4. Helen Murray says:

    Thankyou for this. How often I go dashing off down the path that seems to make sense to me only to find that waiting, listening, trusting His timing might have saved me so many problems.
    I’m reading at the moment about listening to God; about learning to hear His voice and hold it against both Scripture and circumstances for confirmation. I have so much to learn!
    Thankyou for your wisdom and clarity.
    Helen Murray recently posted..Getting a word in edgeways

    • Oh Helen, we all have so much to learn! Even when we know the rule about the Scripture being our highest authority, situations always send us scrambling back to God to know what to do! The Bible gives principles, but doesn’t spell out for us every situation. And I’m with you — by waiting on God and listening to Him, I could save myself a lot of trouble. Sigh. We keep learning . . . but isn’t God good to let us learn together? :)

  5. Hi, Sherry i couldn’t agree with you more. My journey with God has really made me question many of the things I have been taught in mainstream Christianity and accepted without question, I was conforming without even knowing that I was. It has placed me in a bit of a strange position because I often feel like I’m an outsider, but my standard is God’s Word and trying to do what is pleasing and acceptable in God’s eyes and not man’s. Now that it’s approaching Christmas I once again find myself sticking out because I do not choose to celebrate it, some people may think that I’m strange but I have my reasons for not doing so. I would rather spend the day trying to be the light and magnify God’s light, not sure what I’ll do this year maybe I’ll head down to a homeless shelter or local hospital. I have been praying for God to lead me on this.
    Florence Achama recently posted..Three lessons from the ‘Un’destroyed (Part 1)

    • Hi Florence, actually I think it’s a good thing to question what one has always been taught. A child who grows up in an environment of believing in God and accepting Jesus has to eventually come to the place where they believe and accept for their own selves. No one can piggyback off of someone else when it comes to religion and relationship with God. As for Christmas, it’s the time of year when some people (not most anymore, I think) think of Jesus’ birth, but the season and the holiday really has nothing to do with Jesus’ birth. He was born in the fall, and the Christmas holiday is full of non-Christian activities. So if God is leading you to not celebrate Christmas anymore, He will show you what else to do on that day. I’d be interested in hearing what you do . . .

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