5 Aug

Biblical Authority

There seems to be a growing trend of people approaching the Bible as less authoritative then before. The Bible is not the first source people today turn to or the ultimate source to shine a light on the principles and guidance that Christians need to apply today.

Could it be that it is due to less people reading the Bible? Potentially so.
Could it be that less people are learning how to read the Bible, interpret the Bible, and practically apply what has been understood in Scripture? Potentially so.
Could it be that we are approaching the Bible, believing that there are no absolutes in life? Potentially so.

Along with these issues, if there is a story, passage or verse that Christians don’t like, they skim over it and look to pick another verse they like to read over because it suits their theology or idea of being a Christian. This is an issue because when one picks and chooses which Bible verse is applicable and relevant, we cause the Bible to be changeable and no longer infallible. Knowing this, how can we stand firm on the teachings we have selected when we have denied other teachings from the same source? What right do we have to put a line somewhere and not in another place?

I believe that the Bible in its whole needs to be taken in its own context. I believe it needs to be taken in its whole or taken in nothing. If God is all-knowing, all-true and all-powerful; the Bible reflects that. In saying so, here are some of the keys i want to bring to you when it comes to approaching the Bible

1. Approach the Bible, believing its ultimate authority

2 Timothy 3:16 – “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”

When you approach the Bible in this fashion, you allow your heart to be open for God to speak into. You don’t come in with your own ideals and theology shaping your perspective of God but you allow the Bible to shape it for you. You begin to see the Word as the final say in the principles it shares. I am not saying that we are to walk into reading the Bible with blind faith or passiveness; but to actively engage in reading and questioning things so you can truly seek the pearls of wisdom that God wants to bring into your life. When we have this approach, we create the idea that there is no room for movement with God’s Word or the ways of God. We allow God to have authority over our lives as he should.

2. Learn how to interpret and apply the Biblical principles

The Bible is rich of principles waiting to be discovered. It is not something where we buy and metal detector and give the ground a once over finding specific items. It is where you buy a shovel and continue digging until you find something amazing and potentially transformative. This skill and craft needs to be learned. We need to learn how to understand the context, the author’s intention, the audience’s situations and what the purpose of the passage is. When we begin to look for these things, rather than words at face value in our context, we begin to see the true message and intentions behind the passage.

3. Study into the Word of God, not out of your own agenda

We need to be careful when we approach the Bible with a specific mindset, we need to make sure we are not placing boundaries and ceilings on the Word by holding our own agenda. Rather, we need to pray to God to reveal what he wants to reveal and to say what he wants to say

4. If you come to a disagreement, do something about it.

Are you misinterpreting something? Are you having a misunderstanding? Have you overlooked a detail? I’ve personally encountered this issue many times; one or two words can powerfully change a meaning of a verse and a revelation can powerfully transform a meaning from one thing to another. God has gracefully pointed out my errors in my own understanding and shined a light on His wisdom through His Word. With this, God has enhanced my walk with Him. It is amazing to see God come through and show you the true understanding and lessons behind something you didn’t gain in the first place!

5. Be open to being challenged

i am a strong believer in the theory that every Christian you encounter knows something you don’t or has a differing belief about something than yours; whether you need to talk to that person for five minutes or five years, you will find something different. Discover what it is and discuss it. Share each other’s point of views on the topic so you can potentially cement your own theology or even correct your own theology when it comes to understanding certain aspects! There is power in healthy and effective discussion. We can never truly know everything that we can find out about God.

6. Read, Meditate, Apply = Wash, Rinse and Repeat

Joshua 1:8 – Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

Read, read, and read again! Sometimes we simply need to open our Bibles and read. We’re all not called to be scholars or preach a whole sermon to a million people about what deep insight we have gained. It is simply God wanting to speak into our lives and all it takes is reading, meditating on what has been read and finding out the principles we can apply into our lives to enable us to flourish in God.

Lastly, let us approach the Bible with certain absolutes. There are key things in God’s narrative that are clear and unchangeable, while the rest can be debated and discussed. Some absolutes are – God is love; God is just; God is righteous; God sent His Son, Jesus to save my life; I am a sinner, I need to repent for i have the opportunity to do so (There is no Good News without Bad News!); God is for me and not against me; God wants me to flourish in His ways. When we approach the Bible with simple absolutes and no confusion about it, we allow God to speak to us clearer from His heart because we understand his character and where he is speaking from.

Let us be Christians that build our lives that is on the solid foundation of His Word. Sometimes all it takes it the opening of the Bible and giving it the authority it demands

Matthew 7:24-27 – “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”

The Bible has power, but we won’t understand or wield that power until we give the Bible the authority first.


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